An inquest heard that a young mountain climber was murdered in a rare accident when a falling rock severed his safety rope.
During a climbing break in Snowdonia, geologist Kieran James Strudwick fell about 60 meters.
The 26-year-old was climbing with his friend Tom Haynes on the Dolmen Ridge of Glyder Fach around noon on January 30 when the tragedy occurred.
Before embarking on Dolmen Ridge, Kieran texted his family, ‘I’m really thrilled here, it’s a beautiful spot.’
The two opted on January 30 to climb the Dolmen Ridge, which is classed as a grade 3 scramble, requiring safety equipment, including ropes, for the majority of the trip.
Kieran and Tom, both 25 years old at the time, were seasoned climbers who navigated the scramble with ease.
An inquest heard that teenage mountain climber Kieran James Strudwick was murdered in a freak accident in Snowdonia when a falling rock severed his safety rope and he fell.
When rescue teams found Kieran, the temperature had plummeted to 0 degrees.
Yesterday, the inquest at Ruthin County Hall heard that the climbers wore the required safety equipment, including helmets, ropes, and harnesses, and had planned well for the scramble, taking no risks.
While ascending Dolmen Ridge, Kieran took the lead while Tom holds the rope.
They followed the necessary procedures as they traversed a challenging area known as the ramp, with Kieran in the lead.
Moments later, Tom heard his climbing buddy yell “rock fall,” so he did the same to warn any climbers below them.
Moments later, he observed Kieran falling just a few meters away from him.
Tom testified that he witnessed his climbing partner fall from a height of around 60 meters and strike the mountain on the way down.
A coroner’s inquest revealed that Kieran James Strudwick sustained severe injuries.
Despite being in a state of shock, he was able to dial 999 immediately after making touch with two climbers on the ridge below him.
Christopher Jay, a certified mountain leader with twenty years of climbing experience, testified in court that he heard a shout before to witnessing the catastrophic fall.
Mr. Jay anticipated that Mr. Strudwick’s rope would suspend him, but this did not occur.
Mr. Jay and his climbing partner soon made their way to Kieran, but Mr. Jay “understood instantly that Kieran’s injuries were fatal”
Upon reaching Kieran, Mr. Jay determined, based on his specialized knowledge, that CPR was hopeless and shifted his attention to Tom’s safety.
By the time the mountain rescue team reached them, the temperature had plunged below zero.
The body of Mr. Strudwick was placed on a stretcher and transported to the mountain rescue base in Capel Curig, where he was regrettably pronounced dead at 8 p.m.
The Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team performed an inquiry into the terrible incident.
Emergency personnel on scene in Snowdonia following Kieran’s fall from Dolmen Ridge
At the inquest, a summary of their findings was read into the record as evidence, stating that the fall was likely caused by a huge rock fragment that had fallen from above.
Based on the findings of the investigation, the inquest heard that the most likely scenario was that the rock fragment landed on Mr. Strudwick’s rope after he disturbed it, dragging him off the cliff and severing his rope.
Dr. Zain Mehta, a histopathologist at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, determined the medical cause of death as numerous fractures following an autopsy.
Kate Sutherland, the coroner for North Wales, recorded an accidental death verdict at the Caernarfon inquest, which completed yesterday.
His father told the court that Kieran was “always joyful in life” in a statement.
Reflecting on the devastating loss, Mr. Strudwick stated, “We are in shock, our world has been broken.”