Snowdonia’s mountains could be a safer thanks to a training scheme for walkers.

The national park authority is running a basic navigation course to help those venturing on to the hills find their way and cut down on calls to rescue teams.

The one-day training event, based at the National Mountain Centre in Plas-y-Brenin, will offer those who have little or no navigation experience a grounding in the art. People with some skill can increase their confidence in map reading. A similar course was held in spring this year.

Course organiser Dion Jones, who works for the Snowdonia National Park Authority, is also a member of the Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team. He told grough: “What we have found is that about 60 to 70 per cent of people who have to call out mountain rescue are simply lost. If we can increase their navigations skills, this will help.”

The findings are similar to the experience of the Wasdale team in Cumbria which, as reported on grough, is faced with a growing number of call-outs to aid people who have lost their way on the fells.

The course at Plas-y-Brenin is a joint venture by the national park authority, North Wales Police and North Wales Mountain Rescue Association. The free course, for between 50 and 60 people, will run on Saturday, 27 October. Each instructor will take five people on to the Snowdonia hills to teach basic map-and-compass skills. The day’s training will wind up in the early evening, so there should be a chance to try a little night navigation too.

This month’s course has been filled, but Mr Jones says he hopes to run the courses again next year. For details and to book a place, contact him on 01766 772242 or by email at