A scheme that placed markers bearing grid references at points in a national park is credited with aiding the rescue of three lost walkers.
Aberdyfi Search and Rescue Team said the location marker plaque had been a massive help in finding the three, who rescuers said were poorly equipped.
The trio of walkers got lost yesterday on Cadair Idris, the 893m (2,930ft) peak in the South-West of the Snowdonia national park.
Aberdyfi SRT was alerted at 4.50pm.
A spokesperson said: “The group was poorly equipped and did not have a map although luckily for them they had located one of the new Snowdonia national park grid reference markers on a stile which is part of the park’s mountain safety initiative.
“The team quickly deployed in poor weather conditions and located the party who were very cold. They provided warm clothing and walked the three down before dropping them back to their car.
“This was the first time the grid reference markers had been used in a rescue on Cadair Idris and something which massively aided in the rescue.
“Yet again the team would urge all venturing out into the mountains to ensure they are properly equipped and have the skills to navigate in the terrain.”
The plaques are part of a plan by the Mountainsafe Partnership to increase safety on the hills of the Snowdonia national park.
They were first installed on and around Snowdon and are attached to gates and stiles, giving walkers and other outdoor enthusiasts a six-figure grid reference and two initial letters to aid navigation.
Snowdonia national park warden Gruff Owen said when the scheme was launched: “The idea for placing grid references on footpath furniture originally came from local mountain rescue teams.
“By working closely with recreation groups through the Mountainsafe Partnership we’ve developed the idea so that it’s as unobtrusive as possible.
“The markers are being placed on pre-existing stiles and gates so that temporarily disoriented walkers who’ve brought a map and remember their geography lessons, will easily be able to pinpoint their position.”
The Mountainsafe Partnership consists of Snowdonia National Park Authority, North Wales Police, Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training Wales, North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, RAF 22 Squadron and Snowdonia Active.