Hillwalkers in Snowdonia need to respect the mountains, experts said

Hillwalkers in Snowdonia need to respect the mountains, experts said

Charity walkers on Wales’s highest mountains need to be prepared and fit for the challenge, experts warned.

Organisers should make sure sponsored walkers heading for the hills of Snowdonia area aware of what they face on the peaks, they said.

The warning follows an increase in charity events and an increase in emergency calls to the area’s volunteer mountain rescue teams.

Chair of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team John Grisdale said: “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.”

Mountainsafe chair 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.”

He said organisers and participants should prepare in advance and make sure they are fit enough and properly equipped.

They should get a weather forecast and be ready to postpone their venture if conditions dictate.

Team members should stick together and make sure no-one gets left behind.

Groups should also have an emergency plan. He added there is no guarantee of getting a mobile phone signal in the mountains.

Mr Benbow said: “The mountain rescue service is an emergency service for emergency cases only.”

He added that hillgoers should respect the mountain, local communities and other people and follow all local codes of conduct, including the Countryside Code, and take litter home.

“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,” he added.

Further advice on organising events in the mountains of Snowdonia can be found on Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team’s website,  or by contacting the national park authority on 01766 770274 or by email.

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