Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Mountain Rescue Wales

Stay Mountain Safe
The Oakeley Arms Hotel is situated in the Snowdonia National Park, one of the most beautiful parts of Wales (well, we are a little biased......). The park is home to some of the most stunning mountain ranges in Britain, as well as some of the highest peaks.
And while the hills are beautiful from afar, many visitors to the area want to get a little closer to the action and opt for an adrenalin filled day on the mountains. The first recorded ascent of Snowdon was in 1689 and it is now estimated that approximately half a million people stand proudly on the summit of Snowdon each year. And, while the majority get up and down with no incident, each year there are a few cases who need expert help.

A rescue helicopter arrives on a snowy Snowdon
Image by John S Turner via Wikimedia Commons
This is where the amazing services of our brilliant Mountain Rescue Teams come in. There are four Mountain Rescue Teams that cover the Snowdonia Area. The Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue is based in Porthmadog; the South Snowdon Team is based in Trawsfynydd and covers the southern ranges such as the Rhinogs, Arrenigs and Moelwyns. Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue is based in the northern Snowdonia village of Capel Curig, and the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team covers the most popular ranges of Snowdon and the Glyders.

There was a time when there was no help for people who got into trouble in the mountains, but by the early twentieth century, mountain hiking and exploring had begun to become popular as more and more people took to the hills for a day out. Incidents and accidents in the hills were increasing, and after a particularly nasty accident in the Peak District in 1928, a small band of mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts came together to try and co-ordinate rescue efforts to make them more efficient, and safer. By 1936, The First Aid Committee of Mountaineering Clubs was formed and was the forerunner of all the Mountain Rescue Teams in the country.

Today, Mountain Rescue England and Wales oversee all regions and Mountain Rescue Teams; their work is invaluable and saves countless lives every year. The teams are run by volunteers who give up their time to assist those who need help, often in severe and dangerous weather conditions. Although the primary function of all Mountain Rescue Teams is to assist those in difficulty on upland terrain, the teams also help in other crises - searching for missing people, assisting in floods, animal rescue and major incident emergency assistance.

Mountain Rescue Teams in England and Wales provide valuable support and assistance in crises
Image by Iain Lees via Wikimedia Commons

So let's give a big cheer for the fabulous Mountain Rescue Teams of Snowdonia. You're all heroes to us.

Snowdonia's Mountain Rescue Teams rely on donations and voluntary contributions to keep going. If you'd like to support any of the teams, click on the links above for details of how to donate. It's a worthy cause.

Find out more about Mountain Rescue England and Wales click here

If you need Mountain Rescue assistance in an emergency whilst out on the hills, dial 999 or 112. Ask for the Police and then the Mountain Rescue service.


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