Nine people in four different parties had to be rescued from Carrauntoohil in Co Kerry yesterday after getting into difficulty due to icy conditions.
The highest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil is a challenge for even the most experienced of climbers and the Kerry Mountain Rescue team has issued a stark warning to the public in light of recent incidents.
Posting a lengthy statement to their social media page, the team asked people for their cooperation, writing:
"As we are unfortunately in the early throes of another Level 5 lockdown with cases of Covid-19 at record levels, Kerry Mountain Rescue Team would like to reiterate our previous lockdown stance in relation to the virus. This is a necessary reminder in order to protect our members and their families as well as the casualties themselves."
Saying that they will do what they can in the case of an emergency, the team is urging people to "be considerate" of the resources available to them and avoid high mountain terrain where possible.
"Kerry Mountain Rescue are asking all hill-goers to be considerate of the resources of the Emergency Services at this time by avoiding 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.
"Given the current wintry conditions on the hills in Kerry, and recent observations by team members of extremely ill-equipped parties, we would also like to remind people who are considering venturing into the hills at this time to ensure they are properly equipped (including ice axe and crampons), have sufficient winter mountaineering experience and are complying with Government guidance on travel restrictions."
This enrages me. Also, do they live within 5k of Carrauntoohil? Mountain rescue putting their own lives at risk to rescue them. https://t.co/NNDFwC8zNo
— Sinéad Ryan (@SineadRyan) January 6, 2021
The full statement can be found here.
Header image via Facebook/Kerry Mountain Rescue Team