Wales' First Minister visits Snowdonia

Posted by Elfyn Jones on 15/01/2010
Carwyn Jones viewing avalanche at Nant Peris.

Carwyn Jones AM the First Minister for Wales held his first official visit to North Wales on Thursday 14 January, and the outdoors was a major theme.

He had expressed a personal interest in discussing the apparently increasing trend in mountain accidents on Snowdon, and the wintry conditions in Snowdonia provided a wonderful backdrop to some very informative debate.

The First Minister (the nearest Wales has to a Prime Minister) met with members of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, Elfyn Jones (BMC Access & Conservation Officer for Wales), Alun Pugh (Director of Snowdonia Society), and Mal Creasey (from Mountain Leader Training); and due to the current conditions got a first-hand view of the huge avalanche that occurred a few hours before his arrival, directly above the village of Nant Peris.

The debate focussed not only on the increased number of accidents in Snowdonia in 2009, but also on the real benefits that mountaineering and the outdoors brings to areas such as Snowdonia. There was discussion on the economic value of mountaineering, especially the real boost to the economy provided by visitors attracted by the wintry conditions. A BBC news report later interviewed staff at local outdoor shops, including Joe Browns in Llanberis who commented on the extra business and increased sales of ice axes, crampons and winter weather gear that have occurred.

The controversial issue of waymarking and signing paths on open mountains were frankly debated. Both the BMC and the local rescue team volunteers made it clear to the First Minister their opposition to this, preferring a better level of information (including a specialised weather forecast and ground conditions report) at key gateways to the mountains that would enable mountain users to make informed decisions before venturing on the hills.

The First Minister heard at first hand the immense voluntary contribution made by members of the busiest mountain rescue team in the UK, and personally thanked them for their efforts in dealing with over 180 mountain incidents (which tragically included 12 fatalities) on Snowdon in 2009.

In order to prepare himself better for his next visit to Snowdonia, The First Minister left well prepared with a copy of “Mynydda”, the Welsh version of “Hillwalking” by Steve Long, and the BMC/Harvey Maps Snowdonia Mountain Map!



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 1239 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Wales: the lockdown eases
1
Wales: the lockdown eases

Welsh Government has announced that from Monday July 6th unlimited travel for all purposes is now allowed throughout Wales. This also includes travel to Wales from England and that all the closed areas of National Parks and other beauty spots will be open from that day.
Read more »

Castle Inn: free training for group leaders
0
Castle Inn: free training for group leaders

BMC and Mountain Training Association Workshop Castle Inn Quarry: Best Practice for Groups. Do you take or lead groups climbing at Castle Inn Quarry? Do you know access to this venue could be in jeopardy due to over-use and behaviour issues? Do you want to know how to avoid these issues and protect access to this super convenient venue? Remember “Groups” include student groups, climbing clubs as well as organised schools, outdoor centres and instructor led groups! Read on for the details.
Read more »

Warning: Storm Ophelia hits Tremadog
2
Warning: Storm Ophelia hits Tremadog

Storm Ophelia made quite an impact across the west coast of the the British Isles on 17 October and the BMC owned crags at Tremadog didn't escape unscathed. Damage to routes, trees uprooted and even some rockfalls were her legacy.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Wales: the lockdown eases
1

Welsh Government has announced that from Monday July 6th unlimited travel for all purposes is now allowed throughout Wales. This also includes travel to Wales from England and that all the closed areas of National Parks and other beauty spots will be open from that day.
Read more »

Castle Inn: free training for group leaders
0

BMC and Mountain Training Association Workshop Castle Inn Quarry: Best Practice for Groups. Do you take or lead groups climbing at Castle Inn Quarry? Do you know access to this venue could be in jeopardy due to over-use and behaviour issues? Do you want to know how to avoid these issues and protect access to this super convenient venue? Remember “Groups” include student groups, climbing clubs as well as organised schools, outdoor centres and instructor led groups! Read on for the details.
Read more »

Warning: Storm Ophelia hits Tremadog
2

Storm Ophelia made quite an impact across the west coast of the the British Isles on 17 October and the BMC owned crags at Tremadog didn't escape unscathed. Damage to routes, trees uprooted and even some rockfalls were her legacy.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »