To encourage walkers to follow the correct footpaths on Snowdon and in order to reduce the number of call-outs to the local mountain rescue team, a number of distinctive stone pillars, recycled from local disused buildings, will be strategically placed on the mountain this summer.
In recent years, it has become evident from Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team’s reports that walkers tend to get into difficulties in the same places on Snowdon. As a result, and following detailed discussions with Snowdonia’s MountainSafe Partnership and with the full support of the Northern Snowdonia Local Access Forum, the Authority has decided that setting stone pillars will be more sustainable and less obtrusive than ordinary signage.
The initial phase of the project entails setting one stone pillar at the foot of each of the six main paths up Snowdon with the name of the path etched on its surface. This will then be followed by setting other stone pillars in places which have proven to be problematic for walkers in the past. Therefore, for safety reasons only, stone pillars will be placed to mark Bwlch y Moch and Crib Goch to encourage people not to go along these routes by mistake, another stone pillar will be placed to identify the intersection of Llanberis Path and Snowdon Ranger Path as walkers often mix up the two paths. Also, a stone pillar will be placed on the summit to identify accurately where the Watkin Path begins and another stone pillar to identify Bwlch y Saethau as walkers often make the mistake of descending the mountain this dangerous way.
Mair Huws, Head of Wardens and Access at the National Park Authority explained the scheme further, “Obviously, we can’t ignore all the incidents that occur on Snowdon. Erecting signs all over Snowdon is not acceptable, therefore placing these stone pillars on the mountain is sustainable, it is a convenient way to keep people informed without being intrusive, and will not affect people’s enjoyment of the mountain. By placing them in this way, our hope is to create as little impact on the landscape and the atmosphere of the mountain as possible, encouraging walkers to be safe and responsible at the same time.”
The Snowdon Paths are the Llanberis Path, Rhyd-Ddu Path, Snowdon Ranger Path, Watkin Path, Miners Track and the PYG Track. More information about the footpaths can be found on the Authority’s website, www.eryri-npa.gov.uk.
Of course, don’t rely on signs to navigate around the mountain. Keep your map and compass handy and to make sure your rucksack is packed with:
- Extra warm clothing such as a fleece jacket and thermal underwear
- Spare walking socks
- Thermal gloves and hat
- Lightweight bright torch
- Compact first aid kit
- Survival bag or blanket
- Water bottle