The North Wales White guide is a free guide to inform and educate winter climbers in Snowdonia on how best to enjoy the area, while at the same time minimising the potential damage to protected habitats and fragile environments.
The BMC has produced a number of Green Guides to climbing in the past, including a Green guide to the uplands, Green Guides to climbing in the Lake District and Yorkshire.
The North Wales White Guide is a winter version of these guides, and is a bilingual, collaborative effort from the BMC and the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW). It is produced by Ground Up, with support from Snowdonia Active and Snowdonia National Park.
Its aim is to inform and educate winter climbers about some of the fragile and internationally important habitats and plants that could be damaged by winter climbing activities, and how climbers can help to minimise any potential damage by identifying best practice.
Many of the best winter climbing venues in Snowdonia are also very important, legally protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest, which potentially could be inadvertently harmed if climbed in poor conditions or with poor techniques.
The guide is a combination of work from Dr Barbara Jones (BMC Volunteer and previously Upland Ecologist for CCW), Elfyn Jones (BMC Access & Conservation Officer), Joe Roberts (BMC volunteer and CCW Access Policy Officer) with input from Simon Panton and North Wales winter activists Mark “Baggy” Richards.
By using a combination of clear topos of the main climbing areas and close up photos of important plants and habitats, it shows climbers the sites which are the most sensitive and fragile, and gives advice on how to minimise the environmental impact of climbing at these venues – emphasising the need to ensure that climbers do need to wait for good conditions and the need to use good techniques and the right equipment to minimise damage.
By following the simple, yet highly informative advice in the guide it’s hoped that both winter climbing and conservation can successfully co-exist at these venues, avoiding the need for formal or statutory controls on climbing at these sites.
Download a free copy of the BMC North Wales White Guide (pdf)
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