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 – email@example.com.