With a marked increase in the number of organised and sponsored events taking place on Snowdonia’s mountains and recent headlines about groups getting into difficulty on the peaks, the Mountainsafe Partnership, which includes the Snowdonia National Park Authority and Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team are urging organisers of such events to take extra precautions before embarking on such challenges.
Speaking on behalf of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, who are responsible for responding to call-outs on Snowdon, Chairman John Grisdale said, “My apprehension about these groups of walkers is based on their lack of understanding about the mountain environment. Thankfully the vast majority achieve their goal with a sense of satisfaction.
“However, the potential of mishap increases greatly if conditions are less than perfect and the mountain rescue team has been called to several cases of novice mountaineers who have met with less than perfect conditions”.
With sponsored walks and charity events becoming ever more popular, those responsible for patrolling the mountains and responding to call-outs are eager to spread the safety message so that participants can enjoy the experience of walking in Snowdonia’s mountains and raising money for their favourite charity, safely and responsibly.
As part of the wider Mountainsafe campaign, Snowdonia National Park Authority Warden, Gruff Owen has issued his top 5 tips for those considering taking part in events on the mountains. They are as follows;
- Prepare well in advance-make sure all event participants understand the challenge they are facing and are properly equipped for the mountain environment. – The Snowdonia National Park Authority website has a comprehensive route guide along with information on mountain safety.
- Check the Met Office’s Snowdonia Mountain Weather Forecast and don’t be afraid to cancel your event if you’re not prepared for the conditions. There are plenty of good, alternative low-level walks in Snowdonia which are just as enjoyable but without the inherent risk of encountering hazardous weather on Snowdonia’s summits.
- Stay together – you are only as strong as your weakest member. Consider the whole group – don’t leave someone struggling behind you.
- Remember – mountain rescuers are volunteers. As an event organiser, take every precaution to avoid an incident and have an emergency action plan in place. Do your best to deal with non-serious incidents yourself. Mountain rescue is an emergency service that should only be called out in an emergency and remember, you’re not guaranteed a mobile signal in the mountains.
- Respect the mountain, local communities and other mountain users. The increasing number of large events taking place in Snowdonia inevitably has its effect. Follow the Countryside Code, take your litter home and be aware of your responsibilities by reading the Institute of Fundraising’s Code of Practice.