Couple forced to carry injured dog down Snowdon in 28C after train refuses them

A couple have shared their traumatic and “frustrating” experience after hiking up Snowdon for the very first time.

Danny Pyatt and his girlfriend Justyna Popera were forced to carry their 70lb dog, Kilo, back down Wales’ highest peak when he injured himself near the top.

The pair pleaded with Snowdon Mountain Railway staff to let them on the train, but they were refused entry as registered support dogs are only allowed on board, and all the seats were full.

Danny said: “The experience up was lovely and very enjoyable. But it was very difficult and frustrating towards the end, when someone stands in front of you that can help but weren’t willing to help.”

The couple, from Ascot, Berkshire, had hiked up Yr Wyddfa on Saturday, July 16 when the temperature was 28C, Wales Online reports.

“At the top, we had a bit of food and water and then set off to head back down the mountain,” Danny explained.

“Shortly, after heading back down unfortunately the dog was facing some issues to the point that other walkers were noticing he was struggling with his hip and putting weight on one of his legs.

“We were worried that he had dislocated it.

“We checked him out and sort of realised that although his leg was in the correct position he was still struggling to walk, especially downwards.

“Putting pressure on that legs prompted him to collapse and then sort of sit down a bit.

“He didn’t really want to walk and that’s when we realised we were in a bit of trouble. We were only a few metres away from the top and we had a bit to go down yet.”

Danny approached two train drivers but neither would help him.

“One told me that we needed to go buy a train ticket from the bottom. Obviously, we were at the top and we couldn’t buy it at that time,” he explained.

“So we asked if we could purchase a ticket in any way – I didn’t mind if we had to pay double.

“They had seen us walk up to the train with the dog in our arms and some people actually went to the train before us and asked them to wait for us.

“We didn’t think it would be a problem. They told us that they were fully booked and that they couldn’t help.

“We went to another train driver, which at this point, I offered to just let my partner and dog to go on the train and I would then walk down the mountain. And again, they refused.

“Just as we were sat right next to the train, we saw a runner who had injured his knee go on the train and they let him on.

“I asked how did he manage to get on? And the driver said that he was human, he was a runner.

“I answered that we were human too and our dog needed help, surely on this occasion they could bend the rules.

“But they said no again as they would only allow a registered dog.”

Danny and Justyna had no choice but to walk down the mountain, taking it in turns to carry their 19-month-old dog in their arms.

“We were struggling immensely. The dog was struggling himself,” he said.

“Luckily for us, a few walkers and marshals agreed to help out, but the dog wouldn’t let anyone except for me and my partner to carry him.

“One marshal actually came from the bottom of the mountain to come and help us as he head heard that we were carrying a dog down the mountain.

“A lovely Dutch couple had offered to take our kit bags down the mountain before us and leave them under our car, but only later we realised that our food and water were in the bags.

“So the marshals very kindly again gave us water along the way.”

He added: “Everyone was willing to help but the ones that have the means to help.

“It was suggested that we needed to call the mountain rescue, but we didn’t want to call them – they had just sent out a helicopter to deal with someone that had a head injury, we thought we were not going to be a priority at that time.

“This had been the first time up Snowdon, the experience up was lovely and very enjoyable.

“But it was very difficult and frustrating towards the end, when someone stands in front of you that can help but weren’t willing to help.”

A spokesperson for Snowdon Mountain Railway said: “A couple approached Snowdon Mountain Railway staff about an injured dog and asked to board a train that was completely full.

“As is the correct course of action, our team members contacted the mountain rescue service on Saturday 16 th July at 16:58 and spoke with the Duty Controller who informed him that they had a rescue team at Clogwyn who would be dispatched to the assist the couple.”