Text Donation to LMRT14

£5 or £10 to 70070

Do Snowdon’s goats speak Welsh or English?

The weather last weekend was dominated by high pressure it was cold, clear and still; sounds carried considerable distances, the voices of people traversing Crib Goch could be heard on the lower paths. The Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team received a call from the police following a 999 call from an informant on the Miners’ Track reporting calls for help, supposedly from someone in distress high on the Crib Goch ridge. Following intensive investigations by the Team Co-ordinator and first hand reports by members sent by Land Rover to the shores of Llyn Llydaw the incident was soon closed as nobody was found to be in distress. The call out was logged as information based on ‘good intent’.

Walking along the Miners’ or PyG tracks from the car park at Pen y Pass toward the summit of Snowdon you may well see some of the wild goats which roam this area of Cwm Dyli and the Llanberis Pass.

These wild animals are now referred to as feral goats. Several centuries ago they were domesticated animals and herded for their meat and milk. Herding them had become uneconomic many generations ago and they were allowed to roam freely in the high valleys and over the surrounding summits. Modern sheep farmers are happy to allow the goats to graze the more isolated and steeper sections of the slopes and cliff faces, they are far more sure-footed than the Welsh mountain sheep that might well become stuck if they venture on to such ground in search of succulent vegetation and cause problems for the farmers whilst trying to retrieve them.

Most visitors walking along these paths are oblivious to the goats, even though their white, grey or black fleeces make them quite prominent once one’s eyes have become accustomed and able to distinguish them from sheep. However, goats usually remain well out of sight on the steeper sections and the more isolated parts of the cliffs. These animals are essentially very wary and shy away from walkers on the footpaths. You are far more likely to hear them before your eyes can distinguish them on the rocks. Goats are noisy, they bleat loudly, calling out, possibly warning others about the approach of human beings who also can be quite noisy- talking to and shouting at each other or laughing and giggling as they wander along the footpaths.

It has yet to be proved that goats mimic the human voice but they make a damned good attempt; be assured when on a quiet, clear, sunny day you may think that you hear the plaintive sound of a call for help, listen carefully the “hheeelpp” may well be a goat, though whether they are calling in Welsh or English has yet to be established and your evidence might well be significant to future research!!. It’s worthwhile to look and listen carefully, you may well find the source of the sound and view these elusive animals, possibly not too far from you. In early spring you may well have the added advantage of listening to the adults calling to their young kids. Viewing them is quite a delightful event and one that will remain with you for a long time and make your day on the hill more enjoyable and memorable.

Finally, if you do hear such a sound and consider it necessary to report the incident to the police, be aware that it might be the call of a feral goat and discuss the matter with the police or team co-ordinator.

‘Mountainsafe’ accounts are intended to highlight the need for careful planning before venturing on to the mountains, taking care to adopt all safety advice and then enjoy the mountains safely.

John Grisdale Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team

Read more News articles

The Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, is a registered charity. Address : The Treasurer, 34, Glanffynnon, Llanrug, Gwynedd, LL55 4PR
(Charity registration no. 513913).
Email : info@llanberismountainrescue.co.uk

Read Our Terms And Conditions

Error Displaying Weather Feed.

This site uses cookies to store information on your computer. See our Cookie Policy for further details on how to block cookies.
I am happy with this


What is a Cookie

A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is a piece of data stored by a website within a browser, and then subsequently sent back to the same website by the browser. Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember things that a browser had done there in the past, which can include having clicked particular buttons, logging in, or having read pages on that site months or years ago.

NOTE : It does not know who you are or look at any of your personal files on your computer.

Why we use them

When we provide services, we want to make them easy, useful and reliable. Where services are delivered on the internet, this sometimes involves placing small amounts of information on your device, for example, your computer or mobile phone. These include small files known as cookies. They cannot be used to identify you personally.

These pieces of information are used to improve services for you through, for example:

  • recognising that you may already have given a username and password so you don’t need to do it for every web page requested
  • measuring how many people are using services, so they can be made easier to use and there’s enough capacity to ensure they are fast
  • analysing anonymised data to help us understand how people interact with our website so we can make them better

You can manage these small files and learn more about them from the article, Internet Browser cookies- what they are and how to manage them

Learn how to remove cookies set on your device

There are two types of cookie you may encounter when using our site :

First party cookies

These are our own cookies, controlled by us and used to provide information about usage of our site.

We use cookies in several places – we’ve listed each of them below with more details about why we use them and how long they will last.

Third party cookies

These are cookies found in other companies’ internet tools which we are using to enhance our site, for example Facebook or Twitter have their own cookies, which are controlled by them.

We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. You should check the third party websites for more information about these.

Log files

Log files allow us to record visitors’ use of the site. The CMS puts together log file information from all our visitors, which we use to make improvements to the layout of the site and to the information in it, based on the way that visitors move around it. Log files do not contain any personal information about you. If you receive the HTML-formatted version of a newsletter, your opening of the newsletter email is notified to us and saved. Your clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These and the open statistics are used in aggregate form to give us an indication of the popularity of the content and to help us make decisions about future content and formatting.