A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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The annual service provided by the National Park Authority of providing ground condition reports on Yr Wyddfa has commenced.

Shorter and colder days will draw many walkers to lower areas of Eryri during the winter months. But for experienced mountaineers the arrival of winter conditions is to be welcomed, and their ice axes and crampons are ready for the arrival of the first snow.

To help mountaineers to plan and prepare for the ground conditions ahead of them the Park Authority has once again contracted a local individual to undertake the work of preparing regular and detailed reports about the ground conditions on Yr Wyddfa.

Twice a week from November until March, Gerwyn Madog will climb Yr Wyddfa to undertake an assessment of the ground conditions. Once down he will prepare a report to be published on a dedicated page on the Park Authority’s website. The report will include information about snow and ice levels, any snow flurries and the condition of any ice underfoot. By having current reports to hand, mountaineers are armed with the information they need to determine whether or not they have the experience and skill set required to stay safe on the mountain.

The provision of regular reports on-line will hopefully reduce wasted journeys to climb Yr Wyddfa as mountaineers can decide whether or not to proceed with their plan before setting off. This in turn will help prevent any accidents that may result from walkers venturing out despite the conditions so as not to have a wasted journey.

Bethan Wynne Jones, the Park Authority’s Senior Warden for the north of the National Park said:

“Walking and hiking during the winter months on Yr Wyddfa often requires additional skills, experience and specialist equipment, such as an ice axes and crampons.  The aim of the ‘Ground Conditions Reporting’ resource is to provide potential mountaineers and walkers with information on the conditions beforehand, to assist them in making informed decisions before venturing out on the mountain and to carefully consider whether they have the required skills and experience to enjoy the mountain safely. Our ‘Ground Conditions’ reporting is such a valuable resource, especially when conditions such as snow and ice cover and depth are not visible from the foothills”.

Gerwyn Madog said:

“If you want to give yourself the best chance to be safe in the company of the mountain, the best thing to do is to have a good idea of ​​what to expect, and prepare in case things are different from expected. Looking at the weather forecast on the day, as well as the previous days, and looking at the ground conditions report can help to know what to expect. But the mountain does not look at such reports, and can behave quite unexpectedly at times, so it is also necessary to take the suitable winter mountaineering equipment for what can go wrong, not just for what is likely to happen.”

Assessments will be undertaken twice weekly with the route taken varying. All the information will be uploaded on to a dedicated page on the National Park Authority’s website.