North West Wales

Mountain rescue team wants more Snowdon wardens

Llanberis Mountain Rescue safely stretcher a fallen walker to the coastguard helicopter below the summit of Snowdon Image copyright Llanberis Mountain Rescue

A rescue team wants extra cash for more wardens to work on Snowdon after its busiest year on record.

Snowdonia National Park Authority has two wardens on the mountain with another on a seasonal contract.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team (MRT), which dealt with 202 callouts in 2016 compared to 193 in 2015, said more were needed to give advice to walkers.

The Welsh Government said £400,000 extra had been given to the authority since 2013.

Secretary of Llanberis MRT, George Jones, said having more wardens available would mean visitors could be spoken to and given safety tips, hopefully preventing some callouts.

"We react and there is only so much that we can do," he said.

"A successful year for us would be a decrease in the number of incidents, not an increase."

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Media captionSecretary of Llanberis MRT, George Jones, said having more wardens could prevent some call outs

Snowdonia, like the other two national parks in Wales, has seen its funding cut in recent years.

But the park's chief executive Emyr Williams told Newyddion 9 the priority within the current budget was to "maintain the compliment of wardens" on Snowdon.

The number of people visiting the mountain has reached 600,000 per year and Llanberis MRT works with a team of 53 volunteers.

Its vice-chairman, John Grisdale, said: "If you turn back several decades we were turning out to 40 or 50 incidents a year.

"It has been quite a phenomenal growth over the last few years. Snowdon is like a honey pot - one of the busiest mountains in Britain."

A Welsh Government spokesman said: "Mountain rescue teams do great work and as the adventure sector continues to grow there is no doubt rescue teams will need the help of educators in minimising the risk of people needing their assistance.

"We will continue to work with partners and the industry so that people can enjoy Wales and be safe."

Image copyright Hefin Owen
Image caption Rescuers said the drive to attract adventurers has seen more ill-equipped walkers and climbers getting stranded on Snowdon

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