Britain's busiest mountain rescue team at risk of 'burnout' as volunteers answer record callouts

Britain's busiest mountain rescue team at risk of 'burnout' as volunteers answer record callouts

The latest weather from the Met Office for GB News

GB News/Met Office
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 20/12/2023

- 13:00

The team regulaly rescues stranded walkers, climbers, runners and cyclists

Volunteers at Britain's busiest mountain rescue team are at risk of burnout due to a record number of callouts.

Llanberis mountain rescue team said that callouts skyrocketed this year, responding to more than 300 emergency incidents.

The rescue team assists those in need in the Welsh mountains around Snowdonia, also known as Eryri.

A large proportion of callouts involve incidents on Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa.

A mountain rescue on Snowdon

Rescue workers on Snowdon said they are left "stretched"


The tallest mountain in Wales has more than half a million visitors every year.

The charity, which is made up entirely of unpaid volunteers, said: "Although the figure of 300 callouts is a noteworthy milestone, an increase in the number of attendances is now placing huge pressure on the volunteers.

"With incidents frequently occurring during busy holiday periods, team members are increasingly being asked to attend several incidents a day, leading to team member fatigue and the risk of volunteer burnout."

The team said that balancing their work with their personal lives is an increasingly difficult task.


A mountain range

Mount Snowdon attracts thousands every year


Team chairman Richard Griffiths said: "We are hugely lucky that our volunteers are willing to go out at any time of day to rescue fellow walkers, climbers, runners and mountain bikers whose day has gone wrong.

"Our average member attends around 40 callouts per year. The time impact on them and their families’ lives cannot be understated.

"This has been our busiest year yet, and as we get busier and busier there is a very real risk that the service becomes overloaded and we are not able to respond to those in need quickly."

Griffiths added that 56 operational team members had done more than 8,000 hours of rescue work so far this year.

The rising number of callouts means more complex incidents are having an impact on the volunteers.

Griffiths added: "As a group of volunteers we are nearing the limit of what we can do to support those in need in the mountains.

"In the coming years, we will be looking to continue our work with other stakeholders to reduce the number of mountain incidents on Yr Wyddfa and to build our capacity to respond to this increasing demand.

"In the meantime, we continue to encourage walkers and climbers to prepare adequately so that they enjoy their time in the mountains by following the key messages from Adventure Smart UK [a campaign aiming to reduce the number of avoidable incidents]."

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