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Last Updated: Friday, 19 October 2007, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Walker death sparks guide review
Christopher Parratt (Pic courtesy dailypost.co.uk)
Christopher Parratt was described as an experienced walker
The publisher of a book criticised at the inquest on a walker who fell in Snowdonia is reviewing its content.

An accidental death verdict was recorded on Christopher Parratt, 32, of Oxford, who died after he and his wife became confused in cloud on Tryfan.

A member of a mountain rescue team told the hearing the book was "misleading".

Gwasg Carreg Gwalch said later that Walks in the Snowdonia Mountains had warnings about Tryfan's dangers, but confirmed it was reassessing the book.

Mr Parratt and his wife Jennifer had been referring to the chapter "Tryfan the Easy Way" in the guide, the inquest was told

After the hearing, the publisher said that as well as that section, the book, written by Don Hinson, described a hard route for ascending and descending the 3,000 ft (915m) mountain.

"We have written to the author and asked him to double-check all the facts to see if there is anything we can clarify on any of the dangers of Tryfan," editor Myrddin ap Dafydd told BBC News after the inquest.

"The book states all the necessary precautions people should take when climbing it.

Walks in the Snowdonia Mountains (Pic courtesy dailypost.co.uk)
The book referred to by the couple as they climbed Tryfan

"If there is low cloud or mist, the book says to turn back.

"Tryfan is an elephant on both the hard and easy ways described in the book. It is the hardest mountain to climb in Wales."

Mrs Parratt told the inquest in Caernarfon on Thursday how she and her husband, a product development manager from St Leonard, Oxford, travelled to Gwynedd for a sporting break in June.

After buying the book, a map and a compass in Betws-y-Coed, the couple, who were described as experienced mountain walkers, decided to go up Tryfan with their dog.

The coroner heard how they followed the recommended route towards the Heather Terrace but despite becoming a little confused, managed to find their way to the summit, which was covered in low cloud.

With conditions getting wetter and more slippery, they used the map to start descending.

"We had lost confidence in the book on the way up," Mrs Parratt, 29, told the hearing.

As they made their way down, they could not see any path and it became increasingly steep, she said.

Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team vehicle, with Tryfan in the background
The title 'Tryfan The Easy Way' is extremely misleading and gives a false representation
Gerwyn Lloyd, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team

Mr Parratt lost his grip and fell backwards about 25m (82ft) after descending from a ledge. His wife called the emergency services before scrambling down to him and administering first aid.

It took two hours for the mountain rescue team to reach them in the cloud and by this time there were no signs of life from Mr Parratt, the hearing was told.

Consultant pathologist Mark Lord said Mr Parratt had died of a fractured skull due to a fall from a height.

Gerwyn Lloyd, a member of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team, who is also a police detective inspector, told the hearing that there was no easy way up Tryfan.

"It is a serious mountain, a mountaineering mountain, and there are no paths on it," he told the inquest.

"The title 'Tryfan The Easy Way' is extremely misleading and gives a false representation," he said.

Mr Lloyd also said that a map accompanying the description was also misleading and virtually impossible to follow.

He said that he would be drawing attention to the book at a meeting of the forum on mountain safety comprising representatives of the rescue services, police and Snowdonia National Park.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Nicola Jones, deputy coroner for north west Wales, said she was concerned the couple had based their decision on the book.

"We have heard that there is no such thing as an easy route. It is an unforgiving mountain and if you do become lost you will find yourself in great danger," she said.



SEE ALSO
Tribute to 'adventurer' husband
18 Jun 07 |  North West Wales

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