Twitter service launched for Snowdonia walkers
A new information service using Twitter has been launched aimed at keeping walkers safe in Snowdonia.
The national park is using the social media site to give people weather information and walking advice before they take to the mountains.
The service - @safesnowdonia in English and @eryridiogel in Welsh - will also highlight good mountaineering examples.
Llanberis Rescue Team said it regularly saved walkers who had failed to check the weather forecast.
"This new service will be a valuable service to everyone who intends to walk on the mountains in Snowdonia," said John Grisdale, chairman of the Llanberis Rescue Team.
"Llanberis Rescue Team is called out too often to rescue walkers in bad weather because they haven't bothered to look at the weather forecast and therefore haven't prepared.
MOUNTAIN SAFETY ADVICE
Plan your route carefully before you set off by choosing a route that suits the fitness level of everybody in your group.
Keep to your planned route at all times.
Wear comfortable, ankle-supporting walking boots and suitable clothing. You'll need a waterproof and windproof jacket and over trousers.
In wintry conditions you'll need to take extra clothing such as a thermal base layer, fleece jacket, gloves and a hat.
Carry a rucksack that can accommodate plenty of food and drink.
Take a map and compass with you and make sure you know how to use them.
It is vital to carry a torch, whistle, first aid kit and mobile phone, but you are not guaranteed a signal on the mountain so don't rely on your phone.
Check the weather forecast before you set out and if the weather deteriorates, turn back.
Tell someone about your plans, which route you're taking and what time you expect to return so they can raise the alarm if necessary.
SOURCE: Snowdonia National Park
"If walkers did their research thoroughly, including finding out what the conditions on the ground before setting out, it would make our work as a rescue team much easier."
Changes in ground conditions will be tweeted, as well as general advice on walking in the mountains.
National park warden Gruff Owen, who is responsible for the new service, said: "In the middle of all the Christmas excitement, it's very easy to forget the importance of thorough preparation before setting out on the mountains, and knowing what the ground conditions will be is part of that preparation.
"You need to ensure that you have the correct equipment, including an ice axe and crampons and knowing how to use them is as important as having them.
"Knowing also what the ground conditions will be before setting out is incredibly important.
"The mountains of Snowdonia are there to be enjoyed, but you will not enjoy the experience if you haven't prepared yourself adequately."
The national park already supplies information to the Met Office website, which gives detailed information about weather conditions in Snowdonia.