Experienced climber who fell from Snowdonia peak 'died doing what she loved', inquest heard

The inquest heard Mrs Orton was an experienced climber who had carefully planned the route. Credit: PA

The family of a climber who fell from a Snowdonia peak "died doing what she loved", an inquest heard.

Experienced climber Samantha Jane Orton was on Glyder Fach in the Ogwen Valley when she fell and sustained a fatal leg injury.

An inquest held at Ruthin County Hall on October 28 heard Mrs Orton fell around three metres on the Chasm Route.

The 55-year-old was with friend Hannah Carrington when the accident happened - minutes before the fall she had said how much she was "loving" the climb and the views.

But just moments later Ms Carrington heard her friend let out a "loud terrified scream" followed by an "agonising cry as if she was in pain".

Nearby climbers recalled seeing Mrs Orton on a ledge and appeared to be unconscious.

Mrs Orton died shortly after the fall. Credit: PA

The Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team, Welsh Ambulance Service and the Coastguard were all called out, with the climber being airlifted from the scene.

Mrs Orton, from Manchester, died shortly after at the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue base in Capel Curig.

The inquest heard the pair were experienced climbers who had carefully planned the route and were wearing appropriate safety equipment, including helmets and harnesses.

A post mortem conducted by consultant pathologist Dr Mark Atkinson found Mrs Orton had died from "cardiovascular shock from blood loss due to a leg injury as a result of a fall from height."

Having heard how much Mrs Orton had been enjoying the climb before the fall, her father told the hearing "she died doing what she loved."

Giving a conclusion of accidental death, senior coroner John Gittins said: "This was an accident, pure and simple. There is no suggestion before me that this anything more than a tragic accident."

He said that "none of us know what is around the corner", but in his job he gets to see people "living their dreams", going on to add "she died doing what she loved in a place she was very fond of."

In a statement released following the incident, Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue said: "The second callout of the day came at 2.30pm to reports of a fallen climber on Glyder Fach. A lead climber took a fall on Chasm Route and was reported as unconscious, nearby climbers moved to help and the coastguard helicopter winched the casualty but sadly she had not survived.

"The climbers then assisted her partner back down the climb to waiting team members and she was looked after at base. The team's thoughts are with the casualties' family, friends and climbing partner, the team would also like to thank the assisting climbers for all their help."