A woman stranded overnight on a mountain in Kerry has been reunited with her family after declining medical attention.
The middle-aged woman, who did not wish to be named, got lost on Monday afternoon while walking up Mangerton Mountain.
It is believed she ventured off the path after following the sound of running water she wanted to drink from, and ended up “wedged on a ledge” on the east side of the mountain in an area known as Horses Glen. Sensibly, the woman, a regular walker on the mountains outside Killarney, decided to stay put and used her mobile to call for help.
Gerry Christie from Kerry Mountain Rescue said they reached the woman at around 7pm and attempted a rescue.
He said: “It was dark by the time we reached her and there was very poor visibility. We could hear her and talk to her but we just couldn’t gain access to her safely. The ground between us was impassable.”
The rescue team decided to wait until morning to extract the woman, with four members of the group staying nearby throughout the night, speaking to the woman every half hour to make sure she was okay.
Mr Christie said Kerry Mountain Rescue received up to 40 emergency call-outs a year and it was unusual to leave someone on a mountain overnight, but conditions were just “horrendous”.
He said: “She was in good spirits throughout the night. Her position was sheltered from the wind, but she did say the rain was pouring down on her face at times.”
At first light, the rescue team lowered a man down to the woman’s location. He made contact with her almost immediately and carried out the extraction — lifting her to the summit via a rope. Although the team was worried about hypothermia and other injuries, the woman declined medical attention and decided to walk back down the mountain unassisted.
She was greeted at the base by concerned family members.
Mr Christie said he was delighted the rescue ended on a happy note.
He said: “She was in great spirits, despite a sleepless night stuck up a mountain. She even spared a kiss for the lad who lifted her out.”
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