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Royal rescues to increase in Snowdonia

Posted 7 June 2012
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Royal rescues to increase in Snowdonia
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Britain's Mountain rescue services can count on Prince William as more than just a nominal patron, for he is a fully-fledged search and rescue pilot based at Holyhead, flying helicopter missions that have included airlifting stricken climbers and walkers from Snowdonia.

And in his latest successful completion of a training programme, the Duke of Cambridge has qualified as a captain for search and rescue missions, enabling him to lead missions.

Many people would love the chance to meet him, even if female admirers can no longer dream the way they once did. But few would want to do so lying on their back while wearing hiking boots and walking trousers.

For some, of course, this will happen and such rescues could come as a great relief along with all other help that mountain rescue services in Snowdonia can provide.

But those who wish to avoid such mishaps can take a range of steps to help themselves. Snowdonia contains the highest mountains in the British Isles outside Scotland and there are many risks at different times of the year.

For example, while summer may bring warmer weather and better visibility, a hot and sunny day will be one in which walkers need to ensure they have enough water in their rucksacks, or ways of replenishing it such as water purifying tablets. However, some locations offer few sources such as mountain lakes or streams, notably the lengthy Carneddau Ridge, one of the longest continuous areas of land over 3,000 ft in Britain.

Other risks to scramblers are obvious, from occasional rockfalls and the inevitable perils of slips and falls from points like Tryfan's North Ridge or Bristly Ridge on Glyder Fach.

Mountain rescue teams in the national park like the Ogwen Valley team often report cases linked to lack of equipment, such as the case in April of scramblers on Tryfan who did not take any Ordnance Survey Maps. But another, more recent case saw such a map being blown away.

However, even well-equipped people can suffer slips and trips, health problems and get lost in bad weather. So while being prepared can reduce the chance of needing help, an unexpected royal encounter is always a possibility.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801380031-ADNFCR