An ice-axe and crampons are essential for wintry conditions on the national park's mountains. Photo: Snowdonia NPA

An ice-axe and crampons are essential for wintry conditions on the national park's mountains. Photo: Snowdonia NPA

Walkers and outdoor enthusiasts are being encouraged to prepare properly for their hillgoing trips in Snowdonia over the Easter holiday.

Experts are reminding anyone heading for the national park’s mountains that conditions on the summits will be wintry.

Ice-axes and crampons are necessary where snow and ice persist on the peaks, MountainSafe said.

The organisation is a partnership between North Wales Police, Snowdonia National Park Authority, North Wales Mountain Rescue Association, British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Training Wales, Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, the Met Office, Royal Air Force 22 Squadron, Plas y Brenin National Mountain Centre and Snowdonia Active.

It said: “More often than not, the weather on the mountains is completely different to the weather in the lowlands.

“On average, the temperature drops about 1C to 3C for each 300m climbed. Therefore, while it’s 7C in Llanberis, it can be -3C on the top of Snowdon. This Easter, MountainSafe is encouraging walkers to check weather forecasts which are aimed specifically at walkers.”

Carwyn ap Myrddin, the national park warden on Snowdon, said: “We want everyone who comes here to enjoy the experience of walking in the mountains of Snowdonia.

“Therefore it’s essential to check weather forecasts which are specifically aimed at walkers, to decide if the weather is suitable for hillwalking and to pack the right gear for the forecast conditions, specifically:

  • Snow – very often snow remains on the mountains until the end of April, and when there’s snow on the footpaths, you will need the correct equipment, including an ice axe and crampons.
  • Wind speed – you’ll need to check wind speed in advance as walking in high winds or gusting wind is very difficult and can be incredibly tiring.
  • Rain – even if the weather looks favourable, you need a coat, waterproof trousers, and good walking shoes. Wet clothes will very quickly make you much colder and rain can make paths very slippery underfoot.
  • Sun – strong sun leads to sunburn and dehydration, so you’ll need sunscreen, a sun hat and plenty of water.

“To try and reduce the number of callouts made to mountain rescue teams in north Wales over the Easter holiday, I would encourage people to make their good day in the mountains better by following the MountainSafe and Adventure Smart Wales’s advice, so that all those venturing into the mountains of Snowdonia over the holiday period will remember their day for the all the right reasons.”

Phil Benbow, chair of the MountainSafe Partnership added: “Detailed mountain weather forecasts can be found on the Met Office’s Snowdonia mountain weather forecast,  which includes reports on the ground conditions, or the Mountain Weather Information Service.”

Adventure Smart Wales was launched last week. It is a two-year project, funded via the Welsh Government’s tourism product innovation fund. It encourages closer joint working within tourism, to develop and improve the tourism experience for visitors to benefit the tourism sector and local communities in Wales and to help grow the tourism economy in a sustainable way.

More advice is available on the Adventure Smart Wales website or the MountainSafe site.

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