The serious message behind the Snowdon Trip Advisor reviews

Snowdon Trip Advisor reviews

If you have laughed about the negative Snowdon Trip Advisor reviews recently published in the tabloid press, you won’t be alone. With comments requesting concrete paths, tree-planting and internet access, and complaints about steepness, rocks and clouds, the whole thing does sound a bit ridiculous. However hidden behind the amusement there is an important message for the education and outdoor sectors. We are still not giving enough people the opportunity to find out, from an early age, what it is like to feel uncomfortable outdoors.

We weren’t always outdoor experts

It is easy to laugh at someone who doesn’t know what the top of a mountain is like, but we were all at that point once. Truth be known, even the hardiest of outdoors men and women can pinpoint times when they bit off more than they could chew. My own first trip up Snowdon was a clear example, although I knew what to expect and had good navigation skills, I still went up with far too little food and arrived back at the car in the near dark.

A serious message for outdoor writers

We live in an online world where outdoor achievement is too often presented as a fait accompli. Sunrise summit photos tempt more people outdoors but they don’t tell the story of the discomfort, apprehension and learning that take place on both ascent and descent. Social media’s, ‘Visit this place and both it and you will look like this!’ influence is a great way of persuading people outside once but, if their experiences are as disappointing as those of the people writing the above reviews, there is a distinct possibility that they might remain inside next time.

Perhaps a bit of honesty would help

The lack of outdoor experiences in people’s lives is obviously a complex issue with no single solution. It is easy to blame governments, educational establishments, parents, almost anybody really. But it is possible that we outdoor writers can make a small difference. I would like to suggest that a bit of honesty regarding fears and failures wouldn’t go amiss. Put that alongside some candid images, useable information on outdoor skills, and ‘how to start’ type advice, and we might find more people discovering a sustainable love of outdoor adventure.

Fi is an Ordnance Survey Get Outside Champion and co-author of the popular outdoor blog Two Blondes Walking. She regularly runs navigation and wild camping workshops on Dartmoor.

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