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MountainSafe is a joint campaign between several organisations including North Wales Police, Snowdonia National Park and North Wales Mountain Rescue Association that is aimed at keeping people safe on the region's mountains.

Following a record year for both the number of visitors and rescue incidents in Snowdonia, MountainSafe is urging anyone heading for the hills this winter to do so safely.

MountainSafe spokesman, Tim Bird from North Wales Police, said: "This year we have seen more and more incidents of people being hurt, people getting lost, groups starting out late in the day with one torch between them, people getting caught out by the weather and inexperienced walkers without the proper equipment or clothing."

Simple paths in summer can require specialist equipment such as crampons and ice axes to safely negotiate them in winter. Only hours after MountainSafe highlighted the necessity for walkers and climbers to be well prepared, mountain rescue teams were called out to two incidents on Snowdon (BBC). The lack of appropriate equipment prompted Elfyn Jones from Llanberis Mountain Rescue to put the call-outs down to "foolhardy behaviour."

Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, supporting MountainSafe, said: “We are blessed in Wales with areas of outstanding natural beauty and using our natural outdoors as a green gym is a really good way of keeping fit, but I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to be fully prepared for all weather conditions in the mountains, especially during the winter."

The Welsh Assembly Government working with the Meteorlogical Office, supports the Mountain Weather Wales service, which provides daily forecasts of the weather conditions in both Snowdonia and the Brecon Beacons - found at www.mountainweatherwales.co.uk

Last winter three walkers died in two separate incidents on Snowdon near the Llanberis Path at a notorious accident blackspot - a convex slope above a precipitous drop called Clogwyn Goch.

Photo: Snowdon from the valley floor with the broken cliffs of Clogwyn Goch obvious in the centre of the picture. © Ray Wood

Topic: MountainSafe, Snowdonia, Mountain Rescue.

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