Park Authority

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Changing Winter Conditions Take Walkers By Surprise.

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2 January 2016

After a recent cold snap, Snowdonia National Park Wardens wish to remind those thinking of going out walking on the mountains, to check the weather before setting off.

Although the last few months have proved to be very mild, a cold snap over the New Year took many walkers by surprise. Although lower ground remained sodden from the weeks of heavy rain, higher up in the mountains hail and snow had fallen with compacted snow and ice on many of the main paths on Snowdon. But how do you find out what the conditions are like in the mountains before setting out?

This winter, a new team of people climb to the summit of Snowdon to check ground conditions. Three or four times a week, in all weather conditions, members of the Wardening Team on Snowdon, Helen Pye, Carwyn ap Myrddin, and Rhys Wheldon Roberts gather detailed information on ground conditions in order to transfer the data to the Met Office. Joining them is Anne Vowles of Fachwen, a highly experienced mountaineer who has just won a contract to assist the Authority in collecting ground conditions data.  The information collected will clearly state if ice or snow will affect ground conditions on the mountains of Snowdonia.  With the same information, the Warden also uses Twitter to communicate any changes and messages via @snowdonweather and @mountainsafe.

Helen Pye, National Park Senior Warden for Northern Snowdonia said,

"Even a little snow or ice on the ground can make the mountains very different places. And, when conditions are like what they’ve been recently, dressing in warm clothes is not enough. It is essential to carry an ice-axe, crampons, ski goggles and spare warm clothing, in addition to the usual kit which is needed for hill-walking. So for walkers to be thoroughly prepared before setting out, we encourage them to follow our Twitter account and tweets. Tweeting any change in ground conditions and reporting the conditions to the Met Office is an extremely valuable service we offer - not only do we reach a wide audience, but it also provides the latest information on ground conditions in the mountains."

Notes to Editors

  1. For excellent advice on preparing for a day in the mountains, visit the Snowdonia National Park website, www.eryri-npa.gov.uk/visiting/walking/safety-advice,   and specific information about the preparation for walking in snow is available at: www.mountainsafety.co.uk/Kit-Winter-Hill-Walking-Kit.aspx
  2. To read the latest ground condition report by the National Park Wardens visit: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/mountain-forecasts/snowdonia#?tab=mountainWeather