An experienced climber fell to his death after a rock fall had severed his rope on a Class 3 scramble on a ridge in Snowdonia, North Wales.
The news of the climber’s tragic accident during an inquest at Ruthin County Hall, Denbighshire, North Wales, on September 21. Eight months prior, a rock fall event sent a large rock flake towards the climber and took out his rope, sending him on a 200-foot fall to his death.
On Sunday, January 30, Kieran Strudwick, 26, of Uckfield, East Sussex, and his friend Tom Haynes, then 25, had been making their way up the Dolmen Ridge of the Glyder Fach mountain. Both Strudwick and Haynes have had a fair amount of experience traversing Wales’ peaks. During their trek on the Snowdonian ridge, they had brought all the necessary safety equipment, investing in ropes, harnesses, helmets and carabiners. Unfortunately, though, even with all of these precautions, the climber still found himself in harm’s way.
At the time of the rock fall, the pair had just passed a particularly difficult portion of the climb called “The Ramp.”
Haynes, Strudwick’s friend of two years, alerted the fellow climber of the danger, yelling “rock fall,” before moving to the side and closing his eyes as the rocks passed over him. Sadly, when he reopened his eyes, he found Strudwick, further up-route and in a gully, falling past him.
According to North Wales Live, Strudwick had hit the mountain as he fell. Soon after, Haynes, now in a state of shock, called for help as he descended down the ridge.
Witness of Climber’s Fall Death Tried to Revive Him Following Tragic Death
Among the witnesses of the climber’s death was mountain guide Christopher Jay who expected to see the rope catch Strudwick, but instead watched him fall 200 feet. When Jay reached the climber, he attempted to revive him using CPR. However, the guide “knew instantly that Kieran’s injuries were unlikely to be survivable.”
Naturally, an investigation followed the climber’s death, and now, officials have finally declared it an accident. A post-mortem by histopathologist Dr. Zain Mehdi from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd concluded that “multiple fractures” were Strudwick’s official cause of death.
“On January 30, 2022, Kieran James Strudwick was scrambling the Dolmen Ridge on Glyder Fach. Both he and his friend had been climbing with ropes,” the report noted.
“I consider it likely, bearing in mind the evidence that Kieran was heard shouting ‘rock fall’, that the large flake in question was more likely than not disturbed by Kieran and that it fell on his rope, pulling him from the cliff and severing the rope,” Mehdi wrote. “He suffered significant injuries consistent with a fall from height. This was a tragic accident of the upmost degree.”