According to The Guardian newspaper there has been a huge increase in call-outs for mountain rescues in Britain this year. The volunteer team dealing with Snowdonia had already had twice as many responses by November than all of last year.
Mostly it seems down to people heading out without any experience or any of the the right gear, according to the article:
There are also warnings that people are going out into the hills unprepared or insufficiently experienced… One rescuer told me of a stranded party who asked why the Welsh mountain path they were on wasn’t lit at night.
I can believe it. I’m sure we’ve all seen the sorts. In fact on Mt Snowdon in pretty mucky and icy conditions I was with a group that bumped into a bunch of teenagers going up in running shoes and cotton jackets. Although the two young women in the group were slipping and scared, the two boys were at that age of invincibility. As it happens they got up and down just fine, but had conditions turned bad they might have ended up in real trouble.
The British Broadcasting Service reckons that another reason for the doubling is the spread of mobile phones, which leads people to call for help even if they are not in serious trouble. The story notes that a lot of the calls aren’t necessary:
Following another busy weekend, official Chris Lloyd said many of the cases involved no injuries, and especially those over the past few days.
…many of the cases involved no injuries,…”if they hadn’t had a mobile phone they would have sorted themselves out”….”They seem to dial 999 and then leave someone else to sort it out,” he added.