Members of LLMRT carry a stretcher on the Pyg Track on Snowdon. Photo: Rob Booth

Members of LLMRT carry a stretcher on the Pyg Track on Snowdon. Photo: Rob Booth

Britain’s busiest volunteer mountain rescue team has just clocked up its busiest ever month.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, whose area includes Wales’s highest mountain Snowdon, was called out 34 times in August, a record for the organisation.

On one day, the team was called out five times in seven hours. Many of the incidents could be avoided by walkers going prepared on to the mountains of north Wales, the team’s chairman said.

Rob Johnson said: “People often treat Snowdon as a tourist destination, rather than a mountain, and this leads people into being poorly equipped for the conditions the mountain often presents.

“Having a map and a compass and the knowledge of how to use them costs very little but will massively add to the enjoyment of a mountain day and will take a great strain off volunteer rescue services.

“More than half of the 34 incidents that we were called to in August were as a result of people being lost on the mountain. With a little preparation this is not necessary on a mountain like Snowdon that has a great network of established paths and more than its fair share of civilisation.”

Members of the Llanberis team stretcher a casualty towards hovering Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Steve Nelson/Sarda Wales

Members of the Llanberis team stretcher a casualty towards hovering Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Steve Nelson/Sarda Wales

The Llanberis team said it was alerted to a variety of incidents throughout the month. Some were serious, such as the climber who sustained broken ribs and a punctured lung when he fell 10m and tumbled a further 20m down the mountainside, but others could be put down to poor preparation on the part of mountain-goers.

The team clocked up about 750 man-hours helping people who called for assistance on Snowdon and the surrounding area.

Mr Johnson said: “During these busy periods we have been especially grateful for the assistance of our neighbours: Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team and the mountain rescue team based in RAF Valley.

“We’ve also enjoyed a strong working relationship with Rescue 936, the new Coastguard helicopter service. They have attended numerous callouts this summer and their assistance has been invaluable.”

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team is the busiest Team in the UK and responds to an average of 180 callouts each year.

Mr Johnson said: “As we enter the autumn months we are now beginning to lose the daylight hours.

A casualty is winched into the Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Miles Hill

A casualty is winched into the Coastguard helicopter. Photo: Miles Hill

“Our team are bleary eyed this morning having had to go out last night to rescue two walkers who did not take a torch with them onto the mountain. Before you head out be aware how long your route will take and make sure you have the appropriate equipment with you to be self-sufficient.

“As a minimum we recommend a map and compass, headtorch, warm clothing, waterproof outer layers, food and water and a dose of commonsense. All mountain rescue in the UK is carried out by volunteers and calling them should be a last resort.”

The Llanberis team also pointed out it has safety advice on its website.

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