Safety reminder

Worth a read to remind us all of the dangers involved with mountain walking.

I’ve always considered Tryfan to be the most demanding of the North Wales peaks.

Best wishes,


A very sad story.

I don’t know this mountain, and therefore which route is which. What I do know is that it is not one that I will be doing with Jimmy alone. I will wait for an opportunity to do a joint walk/activation with someone like G3CWI, MW0IDX or G7ADF, who knows this mountain well.


In reply to M1EYP:

Whilst I know the mountain, you would not like any route I pick on it :). Seriously though, a guidebook for a mountain should be taken as just that. A guide, not absolute fact. You must still be able to negociate any problems that may occur. Reliance on a guidebook, map or compass will only get you so far, your own senses are the most important thing out there.

Even the OS are not without fault. The worst example is that of the bridlepath on Moel-Hebog. It goes straight over a 200ft cliff.


In reply to GW4EVX:

I read that the bad weather was major factor in this accident. Normally you should foresee this kind of problems before they become dramatic. Making only the half way and going back is always a good option.

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to GW4EVX:

Well it is a demanding and potentially dangerous mountain. The death is unfortunate but it seems wrong to hang the blame on one factor - the guidebook. They were obviously not well prepared for the activity as they had not even brought a map and a compass from home. What else were they short of? What footwear were they wearing, particularly as the guy slipped? If they found the Heather Terrace route difficult why did they then take a significantly more difficult route down? I suspect the newspaper has oversimplified the factors/events.

You are right Ron, it is a timely reminder that ALL hills and mountains are dangerous places and we should all take precautions to minimise the risks. With winter approaching the risks are of course higher with lower temperatures, ice, snow and more chance of poor visibility and high wind speeds. Maybe we should have more discussion on here about safety with a view to raising awareness, particularly for those new to higher level walking.

Safe activating.

73 John GW4BVE

In reply to F5VGL:

I agree with you Jaakko,
We have just to remember this Edward Whimper qote:

" Do nothing in haste, look well to each step, and from the beginning think what may be the end."

73 Alain F6ENO

In reply to F6ENO:


I can only add the link

73, Jaakko OH7BF/F5VGL

In reply to GW4BVE:

John’s comments encapsulate my thoughts exactly. Take heed of the Scout’s motto - BE PREPARED!

Also know your limits - there are mountains I would not consider climbing alone - Tryfan being one of them. In fact, considering my current level of fitness I don’t think I’d tackle it at all! Only done it once, in my youth, as part of a circular tour taking in the Glyders and descending by the Heather Terrace. Exciting to say the least! Didn’t try jumping from Adam to Eve 'cos they were covered in ice with those beautiful horizontal icicles that look like shark’s teeth down the leaward edges.

I would welcome input on relevant safety information for particular mountains on the summit info pages - useful stuff like don’t take the bridle path off Moel Hebog…

73 de Paul G4MD

For our own safety maybe within SOTA we could devise or find some sort of difficulty rating for the hills. I would suggest a range from accessible in flip-flops with a pushchair to requires ropes, oxygen and Sherpas.

I am always a little nervous on the hills and if something doesn’t feel right I will turn back. I feel some people, particularly the athletic types for whom the effort is minimal, can be over confident whilst still being inexperienced.
Finding that perfect balance somewhere between blind panic and over confident is I believe the answer to being safe, either side of that you are a danger to yourself and your companions.

The two most important rules are “Know your limitations” and “Do your homework”. Hopefully as our experience grows our limitation become less, but as we grow older we must be mindful that what was easy ten years ago may not be so easy today.

In the short time I have been involved with SOTA I have been approached numerous times on the summits by people with a map and compass who are clearly lost in near perfect conditions and broad daylight, it is very worrying. One couple approached me to say they had parked near the tarn and which way was it. I pointed out at least a dozen and said “Which one?”. For all I know they are still looking for there car.

There have been a number of ankle injuries recently and a similar injury in winter conditions could soon turn in to a tragedy. The difference between a slip and a fall is minimal but the end result can be catastrophic. Please, please be careful out there.

Stay safe.
Steve GW7AAV

In reply to GW4EVX:
I agree with John, the report is oversimplified…plus the blame factor, looking for someone, anyone, other than the casualty to blame. Human nature, I guess.

I was struck by the following sentence: ““There is no easy way up Tryfan. It is a serious mountain, a mountaineering mountain, and there are no paths on it.” Well, they went up the Heather Terrace, almost the M1 of mountain paths, which of course in poor weather they should have gone back down on or alternately descended on the Idwal side of the col to Bristly Ridge (or even the other side of the col is not too bad) but even so, the route on the North Ridge is really very well marked and scratched - I would have said unmissable unless snow covered, but clearly they missed it and finished up on one of the crags each side of the ridge.

Perhaps I have climbed it too often, but I really think Tryfan is not all that difficult: imposing, perhaps, but not as hard as, say, Crib Goch - which unfortunately is not a SOTA summit.

Grading our hills would be a difficult undertaking because conditions are as important as terrain. Lets put it this way, a nice simple two point summit such as Titterstone Clee could become a major undertaking if a heavy snow shower struck whilst you were on it, I have seen 15 cm of snow fall in less than thirty minutes on a similar summit at this time of year. We would probably have to go for something like the Ralph Storer system (100 Best Routes on Scottish Mountains):- Grade (steepness), Terrain (going), Navigation and Seriousness and judge conditions on the day, so even a grading system needs interpretation.

Sorry this is a bit long but its a complex subject!


Brian G8ADD

I came accross this a while back, is for sale | HugeDomains
Not as yet used it as I have been walking with company, however I do plan to use the service if I do some of the harder routes alone this winter.

I does not cost much and could be very usefull as I still maintain control if needed.