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  1. New Stone Pillars On Snowdon

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    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:

     

  2. Plan A Highland Adventure For The Family This Summer

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    More families can now experience the thrill of their own personalised and exclusive Highland adventure – including rock climbing, abseiling, hill walking and ridge walking to wild camping, loch fishing and navigation skills –  in the heart of some of the most stunning landscapes in the north west Highlands of Scotland. New outdoor activity company Highland Adventures based in Ullapool is run by qualified climbing instructor, mountain leader and local mountain rescue team member Ken Keith.

    The company offers families the opportunity to try out a specific activity, or take advantage of a fun Taster Day package which includes a little bit of everything.  Half and whole day activity packages are planned to suit each individual family’s needs, ages and abilities, so no-one gets left out and everyone will finish the day with a sense of achievement.

    The Highlands of Scotland provide a unique rock climbing environment, and the variety of rock types and scale of cliffs can present a challenge for mums, dads and kids alike.  And although families don’t have to be mad to abseil down a sheer cliff face, it certainly helps. The less adventurous can choose a gentle guided walk through scenic glens and smaller hills and learn about the history, geology and wildlife of the area, or try fishing in one of the many stunning hill lochs.

    Spending the night camping out and sleeping under the stars in the wilds of Scotland is likely to appear on many people’s ‘things to do before you die’ lists.  Nothing quite beats sitting beside a remote Scottish loch miles away from anyone and anywhere, with a freshly landed trout sizzling on the frying pan and a dram in hand (adults only!) as the sun sets over the mountain peaks.

    Highland Adventures is currently offering free kids places (under 18s) with two paying adults; B&B and packed lunches are an added option. For further information about all activities and packages visit www.highlandadventures.co.uk or contact Ken on 01854 666331.

     

    As with any activity holiday, you’ll need to be dressed to suit the conditions. In the mountains, that means you should ensure that you pack your rucksack with the following – even in the summer:

     

  3. Terra Nova Moonlite Bivvy Bag Now In Stock

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    With the heavy rain we have been experiencing in the UK for the past few weeks, a waterproof sleeping bag cover is the ideal piece of kit for any budding lightweight backpacker. The extremely lightweight waterproof breathable fabric produces a bivvy bag that packs down to 21 x 6cm (8.3 x 2.4″) and weighs only 180g (7oz). Used in conjunction with a Terra Nova Tarp this Moonlite Bivvy Bag will protect you from the worst of the British spring weather.

     

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