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  1. MountainSafe Partnership Advice For Sponsored Events

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    With an increase in the number of organised events taking place on Snowdonia’s mountains, organisers and participants are encouraged to take extra precautions before embarking on such challenges. Recently, there has been an increase in sponsored walks and charity events being held in Snowdonia, which in turn has resulted in an increase in the number of emergency calls as groups get into difficulty on the mountains. As a result, the MountainSafe Partnership is appealing to organisers and participants to prepare themselves thoroughly before venturing on their challenge, and to be responsible and safe whilst enjoying the experience of walking the mountains of Snowdonia, and fundraising at the same time.

     

    On behalf of MountainSafe, its Chairman Phil Benbow said, “We are eager for people to enjoy themselves as they come to Snowdonia and therefore are asking people to remember five things before they start out:

    1. Prepare in advance by ensuring that all participants are aware of the challenge ahead of them and that they are fit and are properly equipped.

    2. Weather – check the Met Office website for the latest weather forecast for Snowdonia and don’t be afraid to cancel your event if conditions are unfavourable.

    3. Stay together – you are only as strong as your weakest member. Consider the whole group – don’t leave anyone behind.

    4. Remember to have a backup emergency plan. There is no guarantee of a phone signal in the mountains and the mountain rescue service is an emergency service for emergency cases only.

    5. Respect the mountain, local communities and other people and follow all local codes of conduct, including the Countryside Code, and take your litter home with you.

     

    In remembering these five important points, participants are more likely to enjoy their experience and to succeed in their effort to raise money for their favourite charities. “

     

    John Grisdale, Chairman of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, added, “My concern about these groups is based on their lack of understanding of the mountains and the environment. For example, last week, we were called out to rescue three young men who decided not to follow the normal path. They weren’t wearing appropriate clothing or shoes, they didn’t have any directions, no leader and the gully they got stuck on was precarious for the rescue helicopter. Although most achieve their goal with a sense of satisfaction, if weather conditions are unfavourable, and there is a lack of knowledge by walkers, there’s an increased risk of accidents.”

     

    Further advice on organising events in the mountains of Snowdonia can be found on Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team’s website – www.llanberismountainrescue.co.uk/news/sponsored-events-on-Snowdon –  or contact the National Park Authority – parc@eryri-npa.gov.uk.

  2. Saving Lives With Last Minute Christmas Shopping At Sub Zero Store

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    Are you stuck for ideas for stocking fillers or what to get your loved ones for Christmas? If so, Snowdonia’s Mountainsafe initiative has come up with its ‘Top 5 Christmas Gifts’, which, used correctly, could save lives.

     

    Mountainsafe’s Top 5 Gifts are:

    1.    Torch and batteries: Rescue teams are often called to assist casualties who have miscalculated the duration of their walk and are caught out by the shortness of daylight. Carrying a torch is essential because the days are at their shortest over the Christmas period.

    2.    Hat: It is recognised that over 20% of body heat is lost through the head, therefore, as the weather becomes colder, a warm hat should be an essential item.

    3.    Gloves: the main function of cold weather gloves is to keep the hands warm and dry. Dexterity should be a consideration, along with keeping hands warm for several hours at a time.

    4.    Walking Poles: Using a pair of walking poles eases the strain on the knees particularly when walking down a mountain. However, using poles when walking over snow and in particular icy patches on well trodden paths, can prove useful in avoiding slips and tumbles and any potential injuries.

    5.    Winter skills courses: An ice axe and crampons are also essential pieces of equipment for those venturing to areas covered in snow. More important, however, is knowing how to use them safely. There are many professional instructors and outdoor centres based in Snowdonia who can provide excellent instruction in their use.

     

    On behalf of Mountainsafe, Llanberis Rescue Team Chairman, John Grisdale said, “It’s important to respect the mountains whatever the season. However, winter can be less forgiving, and as all hill sheep farmers will confirm, conditions in the hills can be arctic and change rapidly. Those venturing on the mountains should be adequately shod and clothed for the prevailing conditions and checking the weather forecast for the day is always a wise decision. In addition, those venturing to the high snow clad summits should possess winter equipment such as ice axe and crampons and know how to use them. These high excursions can be very demanding and only the experienced should venture on to steep ground covered in snow and ice.”

    Careful planning is always recommended before venturing into the mountains.  Researching the route thoroughly beforehand is highly advised, including finding out what the conditions on the ground are before setting out. It is also important to check the weather forecast. The bilingual Twitter service @eryridiogel in Welsh and @safesnowdonia in English tweet any change in ground conditions, weather information, general advice on walking in the mountains and also highlight good examples of mountaineering. Recently, grid reference markers have been placed on pre-existing stiles and gates in Snowdonia to help temporarily disorientated walkers to pinpoint their position.

    Of course, you’ll need a rucksack to carry the extra kit you’ll need for winter walking including spare clothing. Check out the options available in thermal base layers, mid layers and soft shell clothing as well as safety and survival gear

    Photo caption: Yr Aran and the path from Rhyd-ddu; Copyright - JohnGrisdale

     

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