Recent accidents in Snowdonia and the Lakes

Posted by Jon Garside on 10/02/2009
Ice climbing in Cwm Idwal Credit: John Cousins

Following the recent fatalities in Snowdonia and the Lake District, the British Mountaineering Council has released the following statement.

It is important to recognise that although it is relatively easy to access the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District in both summer and winter, the terrain is nonetheless as serious as that found in any of Britain's mountain areas.

The full range of mountaineering and climbing skills are needed to manage the risks involved. Some of the skills are technical but equally important are judgement and decision-making. It takes time to acquire these skills.

The following factors are of particular importance: 

  • Pay heed to the weather forecast and choose objectives that are appropriate.
  • Be well equipped with both warm clothing and the appropriate technical gear.
  • Adopt a progressive approach to adventure. Develop skills incrementally by choosing objectives that build on previous experience.
  • Don’t be influenced by the hype that surrounds adventure activities in the 21st century. It is not always best to “go for it”.
  • Information and training are readily available in a variety of formats including the Winter Essentials DVD, the Winter Skills handbook and the BMC Winter lectures, which take place annually in November.
  • Training courses are run by the national centres – Glenmore Lodge, Plas y Brenin and Tollymore. Subsidised winter skills courses for young people are also available via the Jonathan Conville Memorial Trust.

Only call out Mountain Rescue if absolutely necessary. Remember that they are all volunteers and may have other rescues to deal with. If you do need rescue dial 999 ask for the police and then ask for Mountain Rescue.  If you are able, tell them the 6 figure grid reference of the location you are at.

A press release, endorsed by the BMC, was issued by the police on Friday 13 February.



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