The BMC has just released a press statement that takes no prisoners. It says it like it should be said, and jumps off the fence of ambiguity slapping the National Park Authority, the Government and a Coroner in the face and begs them to wake up and smell the onions.
It comes at a time when messages from the Head of the Wardens Mair Huws warns that the summit of Snowdonia are not a place for children and the BBC picked it up and basically said families should stay off the mountain. Before this a coroner returning a verdict in an enquiry into the death of a walker, cited ‘false paths’ as the real problem on Snowdon.
The BMC instead picks up on the fact that close to half a million people headed up Snowdon in 2013. A staggering number, given the local rescue team is called out on just under 300 occasions, with only a few deaths a year, I personally think that is amazing. Given that my experience of working on the mountain is that there is inexperience everywhere.
The BMC picks up on the problem of inexperience and suggest the National Park Authorities, removal of false paths is a knee jerk short reaction and short term fix.
Jon Garside the training officer for the BMC said, “It is wrong to say that paths, summits or any other physical aspect of the mountain environment are inherently dangerous. The key factor is people themselves and their ability to deal with the hazards they encounter.” Or in other words false paths don’t kill people, people do.
What to me lends more weight to the BMC statement, other than of course they being a national governing body for rock climbing and mountaineering. Is that the Access and Conservation Officer who is also a key member of Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team. The very team that has to deal with any fall out and emergencies from the half a million people that flood the mountain every year.
Instead of knee jerk reactions the BMC are calling for a well funded education program. One that will require government to give more money to Snowdonia National Park to help manage Snowdon which the BMC claim is the busiest mountain in the world.
I suggest to read their statement and make your own conclusions, it certainly to me says that the park is reacting to what a coroner has said is the cause of an incident. The BMC also questions that coroners conclusions. Is it good or bad that the BMC has spoken out against this?