Page last updated at 06:22 GMT, Friday, 12 June 2009 07:22 UK

Rescue warning over Snowdon cafe


Aerial footage shows the new cafe at the top of Snowdon

Rescuers hope the new visitor centre and cafe on Snowdon's summit will not lead to an increase in people getting into difficulty on the mountain.

The RAF based at Valley, on Anglesey, said it had already experienced an increase of up to 45% in rescues on Snowdon over the last six months.

They said it could be because more people are holidaying in the UK and visiting the area.

They warned people to be prepared and well equipped when on the mountain.

At 3,560ft (1,085m) above sea level, Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales and attracts thousands of people to its peak each year.

A new £8.4m visitor centre - which includes a cafe and shop - is being officially opened on Friday.

Spike Wright
They need to go out to make sure they're fully prepared, fully equipped that they understand the route they're going to takee
Squadron leader Spike Wright

Squadron leader Spike Wright, the officer commanding Sea Flight 22 Squadron, said those hoping to visit the mountain and new centre should be prepared for the mountain's dangers.

"We have seen a marked increase in the last six months in the number of call outs that we have been asked to carry out when compared to previous years," he said.

"In context, that's probably about a 40 to 45% increase between January and June this year when compared to previous years."

He said it was "difficult" to know why there had been such a big increase, but added: "I think it's because many more people are coming to this area and holidaying within the UK and so more people on the hills mean more problems for us probably."

But he said the team did not want to discourage people from walking on Snowdon.

"It's a lovely area and we want to encourage them to do so [visit]. But they need to go out to make sure they're fully prepared, fully equipped that they understand the route they're going to take.

"And more importantly that if they're unsure that they turn back earlier rather than turning back too late."

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