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Tîm Achub Mynydd Aberglaslyn Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team

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Old Moelwyn Dairy
Penamser Road
Gwynedd LL49 9NY

Tel: 01766 515003

OS Ref: SH5599 3900

British mountains can be killers without proper care. On average 15 people are killed in Snowdonia every year.

The following points cover the minimum precautions you should take if you want to avoid getting hurt or lost or, in the event of an accident, minimise further harm.

Download a Mountain Safety Route Card

Download a Checklist

Download Poster (Cymraeg)

Download Poster (English)

Download Mountain Safety Report

List of who to call for help

Mountain Advice

Plan before setting out!

Consider the equipment, experience, capabilities and enthusiasm of the party members.

Check the weather forecast and local conditions; Mountains can be major undertakings. Night encroaches earlier in the winter the further north you go!

Learn first aid

Many accidents occur towards the latter part of the day when both your energy levels and those of your phone battery will be run down. Did you remember to charge your battery before setting out?

Footwear and Clothing

Wear suitable boots with a treaded sole, which provide support for ankles.

Clothing should be colourful, warm, windproof and waterproof.

Take spare warm clothing and perhaps a hat and gloves; it is always colder on the tops.

Food and Drink

In addition to the usual sandwiches take chocolate, dates, or similar sweet things, which restore energy quickly. You may not need them yourself, but someone else might.

Streams on hills are usually drinkable, in an emergency, if fast-running over stony beds.

Equipment and its Use

A map, compass (and the ability to use them), and at least one reliable watch should always be carried in the party.

If you carry a GPS, at least know how to read your current position. It could save a lot of hassle in an emergency when speaking to the Mountain Rescue Team.

In all conditions, it is wise to carry a whistle, torch, spare batteries and bulbs; but in winter conditions, an ice-axe, crampons and survival bag are essential.

Climbers and mountain bikers are all urged to wear helmets at all times.

Party Size

If in groups, make sure party leaders are experienced; do not let the party become separated.

Take special care of the youngest and weakest in dangerous places.

If you prefer to go alone, be aware of the additional risk. Let people know your route before you start, stick to it as far as you can and notify them of any changes.

Emergency Procedures

Be prepared to turn back if conditions are against you; even if this upsets your plan.

If you have a serious problem, get a message to the Police (999) for help as soon as possible and keep injured/exhausted people safe and warm until help reaches you. If you cannot contact anyone, use six whistle blasts or torch flashes, repeated at one minute intervals, to signal an emergency.

Report changes of route or timetable to someone who is expecting you.

Mobile Phones

Do not rely on a mobile phone to get you out of trouble.

Signal coverage in mountainous areas is very unreliable.

Mountain Rescue Teams have many years of experience in calls from mobile telephones and, whilst they are excellent when they work, there are many things that can go wrong. Even moving a few feet in the mountains can mean losing the signal. You will be advised of best practice when contacted.

If you are able to summon help using your mobile phone KEEP IT SWITCHED ON SO YOU CAN BE RE-CONTACTED.

Dangers - all can be avoided


Slopes of ice or steep snow

Very steep grass slopes, especially if frozen or wet

Unstable boulders

Gullies, gorges and stream beds

Streams in spate

Snow cornices on ridges or gully tops

Exceeding your experience and abilities

Loss of concentration, especially toward the end of a long day

Dangers - require constant monitoring

Weather changes - these can be sudden and more extreme than forecast

Ice on path (carry an ice-axe and crampons - and know how to use them)

Excessive cold or heat (dress appropriately)

Incipient exhaustion (know the signs; rest and keep warm)

Accident or illness (don’t panic - if you send for help, make sure you stay put and the rescuers know exactly where to come)

Passage of Time - especially true when under pressure - allow extra time in winter conditions


It is no disgrace to turn back if you are not certai.n

A party must be governed by the capabilities of the weakest member.

Planning and Preparation

In an emergency requiring Mountain Rescue, always

Dial 999 and ask for
Police then ask the Police for Mountain Rescue