Kerry Mountain Rescue came to the aid of nine climbers on Carrauntoohil on Tuesday as conditions deteriorated due to snow, icy slopes and below zero temperatures.
A climber became stuck on the stretch of the MacGillicuddy's Reeks known as the Devil's Ladder and was unable to ascend or descend from their position due to the icy conditions.
A Kerry Mountain Rescue team were called to assist the climber and when en-route to their location came across three other climbers who were unable to move because of the severe conditions.
In rescuing them, the team encountered two other parties of climbers in the same area and assisted them as well.
In total nine climbers were rescued by the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team, and no injuries were reported.
The rescue team is urging climbers and hill walkers to make themselves aware of the hazardous conditions on the mountain during the cold spell.
A spokesperson for Kerry Mountain Rescue said: “The team would like to remind people that current conditions in the Reeks are very serious and any route, including traditional walking routes, should only be attempted by those with prior winter mountaineering experience and the appropriate winter climbing equipment including axes.”
The team also wish to remind the public that due to Covid-19 restrictions, rescue efforts have been effected.
Restrictions to the team include:
- - If you are uninjured, lost or benighted, you will be asked to consider waiting until morning, and/or better visibility to extricate yourself.
- - If you are injured but able to walk comfortably you will be asked to consider extricating yourself from the mountain.
- - If you are seriously injured, and/or not physically able to get yourself off the hill, they will attend with the absolute minimum of team members needed to complete the task. Because of this, the evacuation will be less straightforward and the overall time to transport you to medical attention will be much longer.
They have also warned that due to the restrictions "helicopter support will only be requested if a time-critical injury is sustained" however due to the severe weather and limited lighting conditions availability of heli-support is not guaranteed.
Kerry Mountain Rescue is asking hill-goers to be considerate of the strain being put on emergency services at this time before attempting a climb.
They urge people to avoid "high mountain terrain such as the McGillycuddy’s Reeks, sticking to lowland paths and walkways while strictly observing social distancing principles and the 5km travel restrictions recently re-imposed by the Government."