Snowdonia sponsored events 'increasing rescue numbers'

Walkers in Snowdonia
Image caption Rescuers are concerned about walkers who are not as well prepared as these

An increase in sponsored events in Snowdonia is driving up the number of call-outs, says rescue groups.

MountainSafe, a partnership of mountain rescue organisations and the emergency services, is urging walkers to make more effort to ensure their safety.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team chairman John Grisdale said: "If there is a lack of knowledge by walkers, there's an increased risk of accidents."

Stone pillars are being put on Snowdon to help people keep to the paths.

MountainSafe has issued a five-point guide for people to follow to maximise their chances of completing their event without having to rely on the rescue services.

  • Prepare - ensure everyone knows the day's route and that they are fit and properly equipped
  • Weather - Check the Met Office website for the latest weather forecast for Snowdonia and cancel your event if necessary
  • Stay together - you are only as strong as your weakest member
  • Remember - have a backup plan and do not rely on having phone signal in the mountains
  • Respect the mountain, local communities and other people and follow all local codes of conduct

Mr Grisdale said that most groups using the mountain enjoy a successful day out the lack of knowledge by some meant an accident was more likely in unfavourable conditions.

He added: "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."

MountainSafe is funded by the Welsh government via Sport Wales.

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