Protecting the Peaks Together

News

What it Takes to Look After a Mountain

Although we like to make it look like the mountain manages itself, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes on Snowdon. The 450,000 walkers a year ascending on foot to the highest point in Wales bring huge benefits to the local area, but also huge pressures. As Snowdonia National Park Wardens our job is to look after the mountain and the people who use it. We protect the landscape and wildlife but also work to ensure that the people who visit the mountain have a great time.

Here’s a few facts on how much people-power it take to look after Snowdon:

  • 1 x full time Warden
  • 1 x full time assistant Warden
  • 1 x seasonal warden
  • 1 x Pen y Pass site manager
  • 1 x Pen y Pass car park attendant
  • 8 x footpath workers full time through the summer months
  • 20 x volunteer wardens

Phew! And that’s just the staff and volunteers who work for Snowdonia National Park!

Here are some pics of some of the things we get up to day to day on the mountain:

A helicopter lifting stone for essential footpath work on the Snowdon Ranger  path
A helicopter lifting stone for essential footpath work on the Snowdon Ranger
path
The footpath team braving the weather to move aggregate for for lowland path repairs
The footpath team braving the weather to move aggregate for for lowland path repairs
A training day for the volunteer warden team
A training day for the volunteer warden team
Making the final edits to the new Snowdon map
Making the final edits to the new Snowdon map
Warden Rhys Wheldon leading a litter pick with the Snowdonia Society
Warden Rhys Wheldon leading a litter pick with the Snowdonia Society
Our daily report at the bottom of the PyG track
Our daily report at the bottom of the PyG track
Snowdon Race
Marshalling at Bwlch Glas during the International Snowdon Race
Gate Repairs
Warden Rhys Wheldon replacing a broken gate post – muddy work!

 

Attention all 3 Peakers… Scafell Pike needs your help!

Nine times out of ten, Scafell Pike and the surrounding area looks like this…

However, after the longest weekend and a barrage of activity on the Pike it wasn’t looking so pretty…

Banana skins…
Human waste…
Random shelter building...
Random shelter building…
Mass cairn creation...
Mass cairn creation…
And a lot of rubbish in the car park...
And 16 bags of rubbish picked up in the car park…

Along with our volunteers we work really hard to keep Scafell Pike in tiptop shape and as England’s highest peak, it gets quite the hammering over the summer months. However, there are three really simple things that you can do to help us keep Scafell Pike sparkling and ensure that you have a terrific time…

1)  As a rule of thumb, whatever you take up the mountain in your rucksack, please bring back down. Plastic bottles, gel wrappers, fruit peel… why not invest in a re-usable water bottle? It’s multiple use will save on plastic waste. In addition, if you pack all your food in a lunch box, it doubles up as a handy receptacle for your wrappers, cores and peel. We don’t provide bins in Wasdale so please bring black bin bags with you on your challenge. Bag up your rubbish, hurl it in the back of your minibus and bin it when you get back home. In addition, you can join the latest social media campaign #mountainmagpie and be a mountain hero!
2) When you’ve got to go, you’ve got to go…. check out this great article from UKHillwalking.com for everything you need to know about getting caught short and really needing the loo in the hills.

3) Our mountain paths are fragile and really need their stone coverage. Removing stones from the paths only hastens their erosion. Please resist the urge to create new cairns or add to current ones. Tramp up on the path and please leave the stones where they are!

So remember… 3 Peaks, 3 really simple guidelines. Have a terrific time on your challenge and help to prevent the Rangers from ranting!!

 

 

 

A Saturday scorcher on Scafell Pike…

 

Cracking on, on Brown Tongue
Cracking on, on Brown Tongue

What a day! A thirty-four-strong team of staff and volunteers set to work on Scafell Pike on Saturday on the hottest day of the year so far. Laying siege on the mountain with spades, brushes, litter pickers and black sacks, the team summited the Pike on every major route from Wasdale, Borrowdale and Eskdale; clearing drains, sweeping paths, picking up litter and generally enjoying the grand day out. So, what was the day all about the? Well, unfortunately our narrow paths leading to the summit of England’s highest mountain are no longer able to cope with the demands of challenge events and visitors on them.

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Snowdon: Grafters and Doughnuts

Volunteers and Warden Helen Pye on the PyG Track
Volunteers and Warden Helen Pye on the PyG Track. Photo by Dan Lane www.danlanephotography.com

On the weekend we embarked on a major challenge – carrying out repairs and maintenance on all three mountains of the Three Peaks Challenge. Sarah Lewis from the John Muir Trust has written a great blog on their adventures on Ben Nevis, there’s an update coming soon from Scafell Pike and here’s a little update on our adventures on Snowdon.

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Perfect Day for Bucket and Spade

pic4 wplaunch

The work party on Ben Nevis on Sunday was unequivocally about the quality of the day over any size aspirations (not that we’re competitive Snowdon and Scafell!!).

Glorious alpine-like weather for our hardy team of four…Susan and Dennis (Susan has just taken up the post of Nevis Landscape Volunteer Co-ordinator, they have a great volunteer ranger scheme coming up shortly) and Keith joined us from Glencoe.

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PRESS RELEASE: An essential bit of kit for Three Peaks Challengers

Three Peaks Challengers Invited to use an Essential Bit of Kit

Three co-ordinated Mountain Care days are being held across the highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales this weekend to highlight the launch of a new piece of ‘kit’ for charity challengers.

The new kit won’t be found on the slopes of the nation’s favourite mountains, but online, as a central resource with useful route maps, environmental information, health and safety tips and a simple one stop registration process.

Thousands of people each year scale Ben Nevis, Scafell and Snowdon, with many trying to summit all three peaks in one trip. The longer days of summer see numbers taking part rising dramatically, with consequent impacts on the paths and nearby communities.

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