Snowdon rescuers launch Mountain Info Service phone application

Snowdonia Rescuers say young men are often the ones they are called to help on the mountains

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Mountain rescuers are launching a safety campaign to cut the number of avoidable call-outs from people getting into trouble on Snowdon.

There were 411 calls for help from hill walkers and climbers last year on Wales' biggest mountain.

Research showed a number were avoidable and these have been largely attributed to young, ill-prepared men.

A safety campaign will be launched later on Monday, including a smartphone application.

Called the Mountain Info Service, it is free to download and billed as "essential planning tools for mountain walkers" with weather information, specialist advice and video clips.

It comes after a separate information service using Twitter was launched in December giving weather advice and walking information.

Pinpointed

The Mountain Info Services Project is being launched by local MP Hywel Williams at the warden centre at Pen y Pass.

Start Quote

By applying the latest technology... there is a greater chance of accident prevention and of promoting the safe enjoyment of our wonderful hills and mountains”

End Quote Hywel Williams MP Arfon

As well as the smartphone app, the safety campaign also includes:

  • A daily Met Office report by the national park's wardens on ground conditions and snow levels on the mountains, including advice on the skills and equipment required.
  • A series of five video clips demonstrating the way to prepare for a journey in the mountains have also been made available on the Met Office website.
  • A publicity and marketing campaign to publicise the awareness project.

Mr Williams said: "By applying the latest technology to the field of mountain safety, which is such an important issue in areas such as Snowdonia, there is a greater chance of accident prevention and of promoting the safe enjoyment of our wonderful hills and mountains."

The smartphone app is supported by the British Mountaineering Council, Mountain Leader Training (Wales), Snowdonia National Park Authority, the Met Office and Plas y Brenin (the National Mountain Centre), with funding from the Welsh government, via Sport Wales.

The campaign is backed by mountain rescuers, police and the RAF search and rescue team at Valley.

Meanwhile, another smartphone application has also been developed which allows rescuers to find people on the mountains.

The Sarloc system is a web-based mobile phone location programme which allows the exact location of a smartphone to be pinpointed.

Developed by Russ Hore of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, last month it was successfully put to use by members of the Brecon Mountain Rescue Team.

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