'Enjoy the Mountains in Safety'
The call outs that we attend are extremely varied. We're called out to help walkers who have become lost on the mountain, people who have made the error of heading out without a head torch and then found themselves on the mountain in the dark, people that have injured themselves and unfortunately to several fatalities each year.
A large percentage of call outs can be put down to avoidable mistakes where if people had spent a bit of time planning and preparing for their time in the mountains they would not have needed to call us.
It is not our job to judge the people that we rescue but we can learn from their mistakes and help educate others.
How do I avoid needing to be rescued?
1. Plan your route
By spending some time researching your chosen route, you'll gain valuable knowledge and an understanding of the terrain. Consider the weather and in particular wind direction and visibility.
2. Plan the days logistics
Work out where the carparks are and also the times for the Sherpa bus service. All the carparks have pay and display machines so make sure you have change.
3. Know how to use a map and compass
While walking keep your map and compass close and monitor features as you pass them. Gain an understanding of basic navigation skill by researching or via a mountain skills course.
4. Check the weather forecast
The mountain weather is very hard to forecast. Use the forecast in your planning and check the updated forecast on the day you plan to walk and adjust or change plans to fit in with the weather.
5. Carry the right gear
Snowdon is the highest point in England and Wales. The temperature can be 10 degrees colder than in Llanberis, with the wind increases by up to 3 times. See our recommended kit list.
6. Allow plenty of time
Many avoidable call-outs could be prevented by starting early in the day and allowing plenty of time for the walk. It gets dark every day of the year in Wales, so a head torch for each person is required. The carparks on weekends and holidays will be full by 8am, so consider using the Sherpa bus or starting early.
7. Be flexible in your planning
Once on the mountain, observe the weather and conditions. Make decisions based on how you feel and consider alternate options if difficulties are encountered.
8. Have plenty of food and drink
Walking up Snowdon is hard work! High energy snacks along with slow releasing food should be carried and plenty of fluids. See our Kit list for ideas.
9. Don't be afraid to turn back
Don't base your decision to push on if things get bad, based on how far you have travelled to visit Snowdon. Turning back could be the best decision you'll ever make and Snowdon will still be there next time.
10. Plan for the worse - hope for the best!
Life has its risks and being in the mountains has its fair share too. Despite all precautions, there is still the chance that something can go wrong. Some basic first aid training and carrying additional equipment will help you to deal with these incidents if they occur.