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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Way oop North.
Default 02-04-2010, 14:06

Did you notice the little monumental plaque halfway up to the start of the ridge which commemorates the death of "Captain so-and-so who fell from Crib Goch in 1874" (or somewhere about then)... that's a real confidence boost! There are some beautiful awe-inspiring veiws from up there especially on a bright summers day when the gorgeous turquoise-blue Llyn Llydaw feels like it's just an arms reach away.

There's a saying about Crib Goch (apparently): "The first time you're terrified. The second time you enjoy it. The third you fall off." I've done it twice now (1st time in 1980) and I ain't going back

On the subject of experience and poorly equipped people... I work on the SAR Sea King helicopters based up at Lossiemouth in Scotland (fixing 'em, not flying). We do pick up an awful lot of people from the mountains and hills of Scotland who simply aren't prepared for either the walk/climb, in a physical sense, or the weather conditions should it change. In some mountain ranges the weather can change in the twinkling of an eye - the weather at near sea level can be a lovely summery type day but what you should bare in mind is that the temperature can drop by about 2 degrees for every 1000ft gained in height (as a rough rule of thumb): doesn't sound much but when you throw 'Wind Chill' into the equation it can end up being a killer.

And it's not just newbies who get into trouble: 8 years ago we picked up 3 female students from the ZigZags on Ben Nevis, in April IIRC. They had ascended the mountain in little more than joggers, T-shirt and trainers. On their way down night and the weather closed in, they became tired and disorientated and so used their mobile phones to call for help. There was still snow on the summit - they had taken Tesco shopping bags for their feet just in case it was wet!!! At the opposite end of the spectrum 3 years ago we had to search for a member of one of the local-ish Mountain Rescue Teams who had not reported back in after going for a rather simple ridge walk. This man had 27 years as a MRT member! He had all the necessary kit, he had planned his walk and left details where he was going and what time he expected to finish the walk. Sadly he had slipped and fallen to his death despite all his experience, precautions and kit.
The mountains are sleeping killers and not to be taken lightly but if you're well prepared they are the most beautiful of places to be at any time of the year.


Do not meddle in the affairs of cats for they are subtle and will piss on your computer!

Last edited by Walrus75; 02-04-2010 at 14:18. Reason: spelling!