Yorkshire mountaineer killed in Snowdonia

Keith Waddell
Keith Waddell
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Tributes have been paid to “a very genuine man with a beautiful heart” following his death in a climbing accident in Wales.

Mountaineering enthusiast Keith Waddell, from Harehills, Leeds, fell while climbing a crag at the popular Tremadog site in Snowdonia on Tuesday.

Despite an emergency response from mountain rescuers and paramedics, the 50-year-old, who is believed to have lived alone, died at the scene.

Today friends and former colleagues expressed their shock at his death and spoke warmly of their memories of him.

In a tribute on its Facebook page, The Real Junk Food Project in Armley – which aims to reuse food that would otherwise be thrown away – said Mr Waddell was one of its first volunteers.

The tribute said: “Keith was a huge supporter of what we do. I only knew him for a short while, but he seemed a very genuine man with a beautiful heart.

“R.I.P Keith – I promise you we won’t stop doing what you cared so much for.”

A spokeswoman for Yeadon-based IT company EMIS, where Mr Waddell used to work, said: “We were saddened to hear the terrible news of Keith’s death. Keith worked for EMIS for seven years.

“He was a much liked and well respected member of the team and will be sorely missed by his former colleagues and friends.”

Mr Waddell, who was a member of Leeds Mountaineering Club, was climbing on Valerie’s Rib on Craig Bwlch-y-Moch, a readily accessible crag which UK Climbing describes as “one of the best crags in Wales, with multi-pitch routes up to 250ft”.

Details about the nature of the accident remain unclear, but Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team said it was called out shortly after 7pm on Tuesday and arrived within five minutes. A Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley also flew to the site, but Mr Waddell had already died.

A mountain rescue team spokesman said: “The team then remained on scene to assist North Wales Police officers with their enquiries, prior to subsequently recovering the male’s body by stretcher and the use of ropes to the roadside.

“The team’s condolences go out to the family and friends of the deceased at this difficult time.”

A post mortem has been carried out and an inquest will open in north west Wales in due course.

Shaun Roberts, who met Mr Waddell when he spent two summers working as a domestic help at Scotland’s national outdoor training centre Glenmore Lodge in 2011 and 2012, said: “Keith was one of the family and a lot of people will feel his loss.

“It is a mark of the man that we have some long-serving staff who still remember him fondly. He leaves a lot of friends.”