Snowdon in winter conditions. Photo: Photo: Steve Cadman CC-BY-SA-2.0

Snowdon in winter conditions. Photo: Photo: Steve Cadman CC-BY-SA-2.0

National park bosses are pleading with hillgoers to wise up to the weather as the school holidays approach.

BBC Wales weather forecaster Derek Brockway, a keen walker, said mountain walkers in Snowdonia can expect winter conditions and should be prepared.

Meteorologists are predicting another cold snap, meaning walkers on the mountain tops will need winter skills for the next few weeks.

A Snowdonia National Park Authority spokesperson said: “Careful planning is needed before every visit to Snowdonia’s mountains and checking the mountain weather forecast for the current ground conditions, before setting off, is essential.”

Mr Brockway added: “The snow on the mountains is very different to the snow we see in our gardens.

“When it’s frozen hard, it is very slippery, making footpaths which are graded as moderate in the summer extremely treacherous.

“It’s also very important to wrap up warmly. Temperatures in the mountains can be much lower than temperatures experienced on lower ground, with recent forecasts indicating wind chill temperatures as low as –15C.”

National Park warden Gruff Owen, speaking on behalf of the MountainSafe partnership, said: “Because of the current conditions in the mountains, visitors to the summits will need to carry an ice axe, crampons and more importantly, know how to use them.

“The days are still very short at this time of year, especially in the mountains, so it’s wise to start early and aim to be back down by 5pm at the latest.

“I carry a torch and spare batteries with me throughout the year, but during the winter they’re essential.

“However, the best piece of equipment we carry with us sits on our shoulders. When we prepare well, understand our limitations and know when to turn back we’re much more likely to enjoy ourselves.”

The MountainSafe partnership, which consists of Snowdonia National Park Authority, North Wales Police, the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Leader Training (Wales), the Met Office and Plas y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre, runs the Mountain Info Services Project with funding from the Welsh Government, via Sport Wales.

Twitter users can find weather information, details of changing ground conditions on the mountains, as well as general advice on mountaineering and highlighting good practice of mountaineering via
@eryridiogel and @safesnowodnia.

Details of mountain weather services are also available via grough’s links page.

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