According to Snowdonia National Park Authority, a recent increase in sponsored walks and charity events in the Park has resulted in more emergency calls, as ill-prepared groups get into difficulty. In response the MountainSafe Partnership is appealing to organisers and participants to take a responsible approach to their fundraising challenges.
Chairman of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, John Grisdale explained:
'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.'
'Although most achieve their goal with a sense of satisfaction, if weather conditions are unfavourable, and there is a lack of knowledge by walkers, there's an increased risk of accidents.'
On behalf of Mountainsafe, a partnership that includes the Park Authority, North Wales Police, Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, Plas y Brenin and the BMC, Chairman Phil Benbow said:
'We are eager for people to enjoy themselves as they come to Snowdonia and therefore are asking people to remember five things before they start out:
1. Prepare in advance by ensuring that all participants are aware of the challenge ahead of them and that they are fit and are properly equipped.
2. Check the Met Office website for the latest mountain weather forecast for Snowdonia and don't be afraid to cancel your event if conditions are unfavorable.
3. Stay together – you are only as strong as your weakest member. Consider the whole group – don't leave anyone behind.
4. Remember to have a backup emergency plan. There is no guarantee of a phone signal in the mountains and the mountain rescue service is an emergency service for emergency cases only.
5. Respect the mountain, local communities and other people and follow all local codes of conduct, including the Countryside Code, and take your litter home with you.
'In remembering these five important points, participants are more likely to enjoy their experience and to succeed in their effort to raise money for their favorite charities.'
More advice on organising fundraising events in Snowdonia can be found on Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team's website here.