The Yorkshire man was climbing I Gribbin in Snowdonia National Park in north Wales at 5pm on Saturday when the handle he used to pull himself up broke, sending him tumbling down the mountainside.

Mountain rescue teams were called to the scene between the 3,200-foot peaks of Glider Faure and Glider Fach, and by midday Sunday they had recovered the man’s body with the help of a Coast Guard helicopter.

Chris Lloyd, chairman of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organization (OVMRO), was involved in the rescue effort and said the incident was a “tragic accident and very, very unfortunate”.

Mr Lloyd told the Pennsylvania News Agency: “He disappeared into the cloud below, falling a long distance down very steep and unpleasant ground.

“His two colleagues saw him go so they tried to scramble over the edge to see where he went and went down quite hard. The ground was getting very heavy and they called out to him but there was no answer.

“It’s just a tragic incident and it’s very, very unfortunate. The boys did nothing wrong. This stone just slipped out of his hands. It’s just so sad.”

A total of 12 OVMRO rescuers searched for the man’s body, which was found in the dark shortly after 9:00 p.m. with no signs of life.

Cloudy conditions, regular rock falls and extensive ice in the valley where the man’s body lay meant rescuers could not attempt to evacuate the man’s body until Sunday morning.

Clearer weather allowed volunteers to carry his body on a stretcher up the steep, boulder-strewn terrain 300 meters to the waiting Caernarfon Coastguard helicopter, which then handed the body over to the undertakers.

Mr Lloyd added: “They were three young men. They walked a lot together, were well equipped and had all the necessary equipment.

“They were actually going to go and do some wild camping, that’s why they were up so high so late.

“It’s a pretty popular ridge to climb and it’s a bit of a climb to the top, so a lot of people go there,” he continued.

“It’s not difficult at all, but there are definitely loose rocks.

“There was definitely good ice. It was only thin layers. You couldn’t really see it and you couldn’t tell if it was wet rock or ice and it was easy to catch.’

Hrybin has a spine of the first degree, that is, one of the least complex.

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