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File photo. Shutterstock/Maria_Janus

Nine people rescued from Devil's Ladder on Carrauntoohil amid icy conditions

Four different parties were lowered down a 100-metre stretch of the mountain.

FOUR DIFFERENT GROUPS of people were rescued yesterday after getting stuck on a dangerous part of Carrauntoohil during icy weather.

After initially responding to help one person who became stranded on The Devil’s Ladder, the mountain rescue team lowered a total of nine people down a 100m stretch.

Just before 1pm yesterday, the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team were tasked with helping a walker who became stuck.

Colm Burke of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland that the first walker became stuck in very icy conditions, and couldn’t move up or down the trail.

“So when team members were going to the scene to assist this man, another party of three became stuck in the same area. 

As we were lowering the first two parties, another two parties came over the top of the ladder trying to descend but didn’t have the proper equipment, so we ended up lowering in total about nine people down 100 metre stretch from the top of the ladder.

Weather conditions were “quite favorable” yesterday – it was clear, there was very little cloud around and very little wind, but it was “extremely cold”, he said.

“Anywhere where there’s water courses on the mountain, they’re now frozen. Down as far as the Hag’s Glen, which is one of the main trail heads, all the ground is frozen.

So even the traditional walking routes or what might be considered ‘easy walking routes’ up and down Carrauntoohil are now quite treacherous because because of the icy conditions. 

Burke said that if people are planning hikes in wintry conditions, they will need quite a bit of equipment, and the experience, too: ice sock and crampons, extra food and water, a head torch, mobile phone with a battery backup are just some of the essentials needed to hike in current conditions.

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