AN IT MANAGER died while hiking alone in “ideal walking conditions” on 3,560ft Snowdon last Christmas Eve, an inquest heard today (Tue).

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, North West Wales senior coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones at Caernarfon said: ”There’s no such thing as a safe mountain and this highlights it.”

Mystery remained about the exact circumstances behind the tragedy of Graham Schultz, 41, of Cardiff. A Garmin watch had been sent for analysis to establish his route.

Pathologist Dr Mark Lord said Mr Schultz died from multiple injuries after a fall from a height.

Mr Pritchard Jones said Mr Schultz had followed an established path and decided to cross to another route.

The coroner said :”It was a fine day. The rock surface was dry, ideal walking conditions.

“For some reason he fell and fell a considerable distance. Whether he lost his balance or whether he slipped or it could be part of the rock broke away and caused his fall, we can’t say.

“Nobody saw him. The rock fall was heard by people on the mountain. But we can’t say if the sound of rock falling was the sound of Mr Schultz falling or whether the rock broke away and caused him to fall.

“I can’t explain the actual cause of his fall.”

Stephen Jones said there had been a “short-lived” rock fall while he was on the highest peak in Wales and England. He raised the alarm after other walkers on the peak told him they may have heard a voice that morning.

A coastguard rescue helicopter crew from Caernarfon spotted the body in a steep gully.

Elfyn Jones, of Llanberis mountain rescue team, said members were airlifted to the scene and placed Mr Schultz’s body in a stretcher. He was then taken across the slope to where he could be winched in the aircraft.

Mr Jones said Mr Schultz had taken photographs during his ascent of the mountain from Pen y Pass. The watch data showed he veered off the main Watkin path on to the East ridge where there have been “numerous” incidents including deaths.

It appeared he’d come across a big rock step which he attempted to get around when he fell. “It hadn’t been in the sun. It could have been slippery,” Mr Jones explained.