An Teallach the incredible mountain and some memories of it and of RAF Mountain Rescue.

1950's The RAF Kinloss MRT troops on An Teallach

1950’s The RAF Kinloss MRT troops on An Teallach note the gear.

Is there a finer mountain in Scotland than An Teallach? I was speaking to the current RAF Lossiemouth Team Leader who was just back from a weekend on the North West and had enjoyed a great day on An Teallach as I have done so many times. To many it is most peoples top 5 it is a hill I love and I been privileged to climb it over 50 times. I have climbed the ridge several times in winter adding in a few of the Classic Gullies and what an adventure this mountain is. I have also  added it to the Fisherfield 5/6 Munros in one huge summers day, it is a place I love and always try to visit. Many just grab the Munros on the ridge as it can be so wild looking but can be a great adventure with so many ways to go. This mountain has so many tops plus the two Munros and  many secrets hidden in the big Corries, it is a mountain to explore and the best way to do it is along summer day and take in all the Munro tops as well. If you go to these tops then views of the incredible Fisherfield wilderness and these great wild hills are a place to stop and savour. I always advise to when you climb An Teallach climb all the ridges and tops and then you will appreciate this mountain fully.

2016 RAF Lossiemouth MRT on An Teallach Photo Shane Rousell

2016 RAF Lossiemouth MRT on An Teallach Photo Shane Rousell

I love the area so well  it is famous for the Goats that you may meet and smell before you see them on the ridge as they come wandering by. They make you feel so insecure of your abilty to climb especially if you meet them on the ridge on a ledge. They also hang about by the main road and be careful as you drive to hill, they may be about in a big group.

2016 Aug - Goats An Teallach - Shane Roussel photo.

2016 Aug – Goats An Teallach – Shane Roussel photo.

It is also the gateway to the great wilderness and of course the famous Mountain Bothy at Shenaval a place to spend a night after a great day out. It has also been the place of many call -outs for Mountain Rescue and in the early days a remote area where locals and keepers were the first port of call for those who had an accident. These were the days before mobile phones and helicopters and many incidents involved man power only to recover a casualty. The RAF Kinloss Team (now  no longer with us) was on many of the early incidents. Looking at the effort involved in a accident recovery below this is a serious place if you have an accident.

1960 An Teallach call out

1960 An Teallach call out

Yet these are great hills and when fit and moving well a place of unrivalled wildness. I love the shapes of the great Corries, the huge deep clefts,the colours of the sandstone sculptured cliffs and the shapes of the rock as it is weathered by time.  Add to that the West Coast light and we have a mountaineers heaven.

1989 An Teallach

1989 An Teallach

The hidden Corries are wonderful and all sides of the mountain have huge Corries and ridges away from the crowds that offer incredible ridges on to the summits. When I was ill a few years ago as I was slowly recovering I wandered into these places and was as always in awe of the cliffs and the grandeur of thees wild places.  It was so refreshing to be in such a place and just to look at wonderful Corries was worth the slog from the road. The long walk in was rewarded by the views and peace of the Corrie and then always tempting you onto the ridge even when not firing on all cylinders it was a must to go higher.

top at

This is a real mountain: An Teallach is a complex mountain massif, with ten distinct summits over 3,000 feet (914.4 m). From 1891 to 1981, only the highest of these, Bidean a’ Ghlas Thuill, had the status of a Munro – a separate mountain over 3,000 feet. In 1981 the SMC granted Munro status to Sgùrr Fiona, in recognition of its considerable topographic prominence (150 m) and distinct nature.] The complete list of Munros and Tops (subsidiary summits appearing on Munros is now as follows:]

  • Bidean a’ Ghlas Thuill 1062 m (3484 ft)
    • Glas Mheall Mòr 979 m (3212 ft)
    • Glas Mheall Liath 960 m (3150 ft)
  • Sgùrr Fiona 1060 m (3478 ft)
    • Corrag Bhuidhe 1040 m (3412 ft)
    • Lord Berkeley’s Seat 1030 m (3379 ft)
    • Sgurr Creag an Eich 1017 m (3337 ft)
    • Stob Cadha Gobhlach 960 m (3150 ft)
    • Sàil Liath 954 m (3130 ft)
    • Corrag Bhuidhe Buttress 945 m (3100 ft) – deleted from Munro’s Tables in 1997


  • The tops and Munros of the mighty An Teallach

    The tops and Munros of the mighty An Teallach

    • Climb all these tops and tell me how incredible this mountain is. The views will be spectacular as will the scenery of this wild place. Get to summit in the summer and if lucky watch the sunset set over the hills.


  • Great days on this mountain.

    Great days on this mountain.

In the RAF Mountain Team they nowadays we wear a helmet when scrambling and I think it is a good idea as you never know what can fall on you from above. An Teallach at times can be an especially on a busy a mountain  which in winter can become a huge expedition under heavy snow. Never take this mountain lightly is can be a serious proposition and the navigation can be tricky and if you get it wrong at the least you may have a long walk out.


A great scramble in places.

The pinnacles are great fun and the sandstone so rounded at times and weathered invites you to take care, especially when as it can be have the sandy gravel on the ledges. Always take care with your feet and test the holds, this is a mountain enviroement. The exposure will keep you aware but newer walkers may find this intimidating so it is well worth while using the easier parts of the ridge to gain experience and familiarity with the rock and terrain.

The view from ...........

The view from ……….. worth going out onto the tops? Name that top.

The hard parts on the ridge can be avoided as there are paths that cut below the ridge but again these can be tricky and care is needed. As always when descending take your time and a short rope may be handy  for those who need a bit of confidence.

In my youth wearing trainers Walshes!

In my youth wearing running trainers Walshes!

It is hard to believe that in my youth I would run along this ridge not nowadays. It was always a great place to teach the newer team member’s some basic rope skills at times and get used to moving together especially on a wild day in the rain and wind.


The views of this mountain open as you get nearer and an early start as a long winters day is essentail.


An Teallach – Toll a Choire Lochan

No partner ,

A bony day, head for the North West.

It is best.

Cross the river,

No path, pick a line up quartzite slabs.

Blue skies, no wind, frozen ground.

In the Glen that few visit.

All rushing for a summit or a route.

Now sandstone slabs.

Pebbled and glaciated, the odd cairn.

Views of snow covered cliffs, frozen loch,

No words for this beauty.

Toll an Lochain.

2013 April Heavy Whalley

Video | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Wet and midge madness on the West, but sunny at Inverness. A sunset to end the day!

Wet day so we ran away !

Wet day so we ran away ! What a shame but I want to see these hills in good weather.

“The best laid schemes of mice and men” were dashed yesterday as we avoided the tourists with an early start and a wet trip to Kintail on the West Coast. It rained all the way and as we passed Loch Carron is got heavier and the cloud lower and the lights were on in the car. The forecast had said as much but we still thought it may get better. I had so wanted to get this new hill in the Corbett Aonach Buidhe but I want to savour this hill and its views and a long day in the mist, rain and midges were a no brainer. It was an easy decision so we took the long way back chasing the weather through Kintail and passed a walker in full midge face mask setting of into the hills, rain and mist. A hero or madman? The Cluanie Loch is very low and the old road and bridge showing but too midge driven for a photo.

The drive back through Kintail and on to the A82 was busy so many massive trucks and work on the Wind farms, forestry clearances  and other new builds, what a change in this area and one I wrote about before in 2012. 

Glen Rowan Cafe magic bacon roll

Glen Rowan Cafe magic bacon roll

Please note this is from my blog on 25 April 2012.

“As I drove up yesterday across to the West Coast I was amazed at the amount of trees that have been harvested and also the new roads on the hills. Many to new wind-farm sites and new Ariel mast that are being built all over the highlands. It will be an interesting day as Donald Trump ( he is now running for Presidentof the USA)is at the Scottish Parliament talking about  wind – farms in Scotland. I wonder should he be allowed to address the parliament  as he has huge personal interests in his new golf course. Money talks as we see every day but I pray they get it right for the future of this beautiful country.

It may need the wisdom of Solomon to get a right balance but should Mr Trump be addressing our elected parliament when it is hard to try to get to speak to your MP or MSP at times?

The John Muir Trust a wonderful organisation has some interesting information on the effect of wind-farms on the environment as has the Internet. It is also worth having a look at the pros and cons and making a making a decision on balanced discussion. It is also worth looking around and seeing what happens when they build them and the infrastructure that can be needed to maintain them. Worth knowing? 

Written in 2012 !

In 2016 it is as bad  as ever and the heavy road traffic far worse. Who would believe what is happening now and how Mr Trump has moved on and he scares me to death with his views! We managed to stop and get a bacon roll at the Glen Rowan Cafe a superb roll and worth the long drive to Invermoriston and it was still wet and then headed to Inverness to see if the weather was better?


Inverness Canal Aug bikes

Inverness Canal in  August on the  bikes.

We headed of  and the sun was shinning and had a great cycle along the canal from Lochend to the big bridge over the A82 and then back along the other side of the canal and lunch at the locks. It was sunny and warm and lovely spot and not busy at all.

Dead Slow ahead.

Dead Slow ahead.

We then visited two pals who are heading to China for a few months more tea and then home. No hills but a long drive, crazy roads, rain, mist and then sun later in the day. Getting the bike off the” faffing” about and dropping Yeni in Forres made it a long day but a bit of fun on the bikes. I still want to get on the hill but I am sorry my days of getting soaked are over, I want to enjoy and see the hills nowadays.

Burghead sunset.

Burghead sunset.

I had a shower and then later on what a sunset over the Moray Firth nature was showing off last night and plenty were out watching this incredible show. I headed up to the cliffs and was one of many just loving this wonderful sight. It all in a day in August in Scotland a land of so many different weather changes during the day.



Posted in Corbetts, Enviroment, Weather, Wild life | 5 Comments

New Navigation Book out by Lyle Brotherton “Ultimate Navigation Manual”


It is great news that my friend’s book on navigation has been published by Collins this week and is now available. It has been a long journey of nearly 5 years to complete and  huge research has gone into it by Lyle Brotherton the book’s author. Lyle has visited so many countries and worked with many SAR Teams all over the world it will be a great addition to those who wish to build on that key skill of navigation for their outdoor adventures. There is lots of information about Lyle on his website at We met in 2007 in the USA when we were both lecturing to the Yosemite SAR Group and became great friends ever since.

I have had a quite week recovering from my golf trip and had a hard drive back via Crainlarich on wet roads. The driving was awful, so many going so fast in poor conditions…

View original post 160 more words

Posted in Views Political? | 1 Comment

Heading to the Corbett Aonach Buidhe 899 metres : ‘yellow ridge’ on the West Coast near Kintail.Stalking advice?

This was a low key weekend for me as I was catching up and the weather held we had some grand sunshine. I may be a bit tired from the nights of watching the Olympics what a two weeks, long nights/early mornings but incredible results. It was wonderful viewing and so fun to watch despite the lack of sleep. Today is an early start for a hopefully new Corbett for us all. It is one of three in a group that I missed last time around. I will approach from Kintail a long journey from my house.


Aonach Buidhe is a remote hill that we will cycle in to.

Aonach Buidhe is a remote Corbett at the head of Srath Duilleach, however, the long approach route can be cycled as far as Iron Lodge, less than 1km from the base of the mountain. Aonach Buidhe is star shaped with many ridges of varying sizes radiating from the central peak. Many of the more northern slopes are steep and craggy but, given that the only reasonable approach route leads you to base of the long SW ridge with its easy to moderate slopes,

For me the name Iron Lodge is a memory shaker for me . The original Lodge was covered in (corrugated iron) hence the name. This was where I started my first weekend with the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team in 1972 when I was out on trail with the team on a  training weekend. It was an incredible weekend in full winter and then we drove up to Iron Lodge with Dave Pierce who took me up the remote winter Munro Mullach Na Dhearigain 982 metres  in the West Bunula Forest. It was a huge day in full winter and an eye opener for me. We had our crampons on most of the day and what an effect on me in my future life.  The long walk back in the dark was character building even though in these days no one spoke to you? Yes it will be a walk through the past for me.

Kintail map Munros

The bike is on the car ready to go and I am off to pick up Yeni and Babs in Forres. I am hopeful we will have a good day and the long cycle in will be interesting and maybe a new Corbett will be our reward?

Pick up in the past near Iron Lodge.

Pick up in the past near Iron Lodge. The Laird has contacts.

Advice to access users – Deer management can take place during many months of the year but the most sensitive time is the stag stalking season (usually from 1 July to 20 October, but with most stalking taking place from August onwards). During this season, you can help to minimise disturbance by taking reasonable steps to find out where stalking is taking place  and by taking account of advice on alternative routes. Avoid crossing land where stalking is taking place. Stalking does not normally take place on Sundays.

Walkers are being warned that the hills are alive again with the sound of deer stalking.

The Heading for the Scottish Hills service has been launched by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) for this year.

The service allows walkers to check ahead for possible deer stalking taking place on estates, to help reduce the chance of disturbing stag stalking during the peak season from late summer to October 20.

SNH has worked with partners, including the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Association of Deer Management Groups, to create a more user-friendly service. This year’s service covers more hills, particularly in the northern Highlands, and is accessible from mobiles and tablets.

The website ( includes general information about stalking on all participating estates and contact details for further information. There is also information about responsible behaviour for both land managers and walkers.

The site provides information on specific Munros, Corbetts and other popular hills. It also includes routes that are “always okay” and general information such as when the estate will start stag stalking and the days of the week when stalking doesn’t take place.

Fiona Cuninghame, SNH recreation and access officer, said:“The web service is a quick way to check that you won’t disturb deer stalking when heading to participating hills between July and October. We hope that you find the service easy to use and would welcome feedback on . We expect the service to continue to grow, so if you’re planning a trip and the hills you want to climb aren’t included on the site, it’s worth taking another look nearer the time.”

Andrea Partridge, Mountaineering Council of Scotland Access Officer, said:“The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has been closely involved with the Heading for the Scottish Hills website and is delighted to see that the service has expanded again this year. We encourage all hill-goers to check the website during the stalking season and contact the relevant estate if necessary.”

The website helps walkers follow the advice in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code to try and find out where stag stalking is taking place and who to contact if more information is required. The Code also encourages walkers to take account of reasonable advice on alternative routes and to avoid crossing land where stalking is taking place.

The web page takes its name from the Heading for the Scottish Hills book, which was a collaboration between landowners and mountaineers published between 1988 and 1996. For the first time, this book provided hill walkers with an easy way to identify and contact participating estates to find out where stalking was taking place.

We have checked and our hills are okay today, have you?


Posted in Corbetts | Leave a comment

Video from Ardgour Garbh Bheinn visit to Alan Grout Cairn. 

Thanks for a great day Dan Carrol!

Posted in Views Political? | Leave a comment

More on El Alamein Refuge in the Cairngorms. Bothies threatened by Commercial groups?

Many will have read my Blog on the El Alamein Refuge in the Cairngorms. My blogs on various occasions have spoken about this old bothy in disrepair.  A pal has visited and tried to patch things up a bit any views.

A bit of history  – The El Alamein’s bothy in the Cairngorms location was accidental – intended to be sited at the plateau’s edge just above the gently sloping grassy Coire na Spreidhe (Coire of the Cattle), a mistake in the map reference saw it constructed some distance beneath this coire, on the steep and boulder-strewn slopes of Strath Nethy. This is a lovely part of the Cairngorms with great views of Strath Nethy and Loch Avon. It is a place to sit and enjoy the views and peace away from the industrial Ski area.  It is amazing what wild life you see so close to this busy area but in summer it is usually peaceful and enjoyable.

A small line of tiny (now largely collapsed) never found them  lead down towards it, but even on a good day these would be difficult to discern from the other piles of rock which are abundant in this area. In winter this area holds heavy snow and can be an interesting journey to test your skills. Other incidents influenced matters too. In November 1972, there was the so-called Cairngorm Tragedy when seven children in a school party perished in the winter weather. The subsequent Fatal Accident Inquiry concluded that the existence of Curran Bothy caused the school party to head for it to spend the night, and hence if it had not been there they would not have headed for it and not gone on and perished. There are other arguments against bothies on the highly vulnerable plateau.

The plateau bothies, the Curran Bothy and the St Valery were demolished and the El Alamein left to its own devices. Jean’s Hut and the Sinclair Hut have gone, for various reasons. The Fords of Avon bothy on land owned by the RSPB has recently been rebuilt, but not for overnight accommodation. Basically it is an emergency shelter for those marooned while crossing the Lairig and Loaigh. It has been credited with saving several lives over the years. Whatever your views these places were and are part of the history of this place and make a good navigation exercise locating where they were and how they affected this wild area.

A stone is embedded in the wall of the bothy it reads El Alamein Refuge 1963. It has the badge of the 51 st Highland Division that was thought they built the shelter a similar plaque lies at the former site of the St Valery Refuge. The military trained heavily in this area of the Cairngorms during the war, using the harsh environment as a test for the troops.

This is from Ray Sefton the guru of the Cairngorms – However, I have to make a minor correction to the history of the bothies. They were not built by the 51st Highland Division, but in memory of the Division. They were built by the Artificer Apprentices from HMS Caledonia, Rosyth, led by CSM Jim Curran of the Royal Marines. Jim married a local girl and lived in Aviemore for many years. The metal work for the El Alamein, Curran, St Valery and Fords of Avon were made in the workshops at Rosyth and carried to the sites as part of adventure training exercises and the walls were then built. I think the reason the El Alamein survived is that it was located in Inverness-shire, whereas the others were in Moray or Banffshire.

It is as I said a great place to spot wild life and the many ptarmigan that live in this area are hard to spot especially during the nesting season. Be aware where you are walking as their camouflage is incredible, it is easy to stand on a nesting bird such is their dedication to their young.

Please be as careful as you can not to disturb the nesting birds.

This is not a barren wasteland but a place of great beauty and solitude.  It is so near the Ski area which is just now a construction site area yet nearby such a wild place to be.

Update this week  15 August 2016

This bothy is not looked after by the MBA it has some history though!  At least the big groups will not be taking clients to this bothy a bit too spartan I would think ?.


“The sustainability of Scotland’s mountain bothies is being threatened by commercial groups, the organisation that maintains the network has warned.

The Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) said it was concerned about the increasing number of businesses using the shelters.

Bothies are found throughout the Highlands, with most of them maintained by the MBA

They are free, but users are asked to follow a “bothy code”.

The code prohibits the use of the buildings by commercial groups.

Many bothies were estate buildings originally built for stalking parties or gamekeepers, but are now popular with hillwalkers and climbers. The MBA was formed in 1965 and looks after about 100 bothies throughout the UK.

Most of the shelters are found in Scotland. They provide basic accommodation, but are generally wind and watertight.

Emergency use

The charity said there were a “number of reasons” why commercial use of bothies – for example by guided tours or adventure holidays – could damage the interests of other bothy users.

In a statement, the MBA said: “There have been occasions when an owner has threatened to close a bothy if we fail to act to prevent further use in this way.

“There have been incidents when legitimate bothy users have been made to feel unwelcome, inconvenienced or even refused entry when commercial groups have been in residence.

“Our volunteers who maintain the bothies, not unreasonably, feel aggrieved to know that their hard work is contributing to the profits of a business that probably does not support our organisation in any way.”

But the MBA said it was happy with commercial groups using bothies as a lunch shelter or “in the event of a genuine emergency”.

The bothy below is not an MBA maintained one!


ElAlamein J Fraser Aug 2016

ElAlamein J Fraser Aug 2016

Hello Heavy,

When you write something on the internet you just don’t know what some madman will do in reaction to it. So it is in this case that I read about the state of the El Alamein Refuge on your blog and went to see if I could do something about it. I thought of taking an enormous toolkit but instead I settled on a lump hammer and a cold chisel.

When I got there the air conditioning was definitely on since large sections of the NE corner and east roof were in a very bad state. The door hung sadly from one hinge and the wire bench was at a silly angle.

This photograph from the Alan Halewood Blog shows roughly the condition as I found it.
Note how well lit the subjects are since there is very little above them.

The stonework on the east (downhill) side is in a very poor state and needs stripped down and rebuilt by a good dry-stoner. It is poor protection for visitors and a danger to anyone who works on it. At one point, while trying to fill in the holes, I had to run for my life as a good half tonne of granite came my way. Although by no means perfect, the west wall and roof are in a far better and secure state.

Some aluminium section can be seen on the right, behind the door, in the Halewood photograph. That was still there and there was also another piece of aluminium and some steel galvanised wire.

The first thing I did was hang the door back on the hinges and batter them into some kind of working shape. The door now works and the outside bolt works but the hinges are still weak and will easily fail again. One can secure the door from the inside by using the piece of wire that hangs from it. I have made new support wires for the wire grid bench.

ElAlameinJF Aug 2016 photos J Fraser.

ElAlameinJF Aug 2016 photos J Fraser.

I flattened the aluminium sections so that I had two flat sheets that were luckily roughly the size of the missing part of the roof. The wire grid on the roof is in two layers and a textile and plastic sandwich had originally been put between these for protection and insulation. I was able to force the aluminium sheets between the two layers and fix them to the wire grid with pieces of wire. It is not water-tight but provides considerably more protection than has been there for some years.

I rebuilt some of the NE corner walls and then added the flattest stones I could find to the lower part of the east roof. I did not manage to complete the stonework for the north (back) wall and the east roof. There is a still a gap in the wall at the SE corner. The air conditioning is still on!
Two photographs attached.

If anyone else sees fit to do more work on it then please be sure to take some suitable PPE. Impact-protection work gloves and safety boots are recommended. Heavy leather rigger gloves and winter boots at a minimum.

They should also make sure your ‘lone-worker’ precautions are better than mine were!


Jim Fraser – thanks for the info.

In winter a wild place

In winter a wild place – not easy to find?

Posted in Articles, Bothies, Enviroment, mountain safety | 5 Comments

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD can you help highlight this tragic medical illness. The 22 Aug is a big day!

Many will know my thoughts on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how it affected myself and many of my RAF Mountain Rescue Team  and our civilian teams after Lockerbie in 1988 . It was a nightmare that despite that I had seen some of the worst that the mountains had and dealt with many fatalities and tragedies. In addition I had been to many aircraft crashes these are another horror that at times you have to live with, this was our job in the RAF.  Lockerbie was so different and to see such sights was a nightmare I will never forget, I knew my team and me were having problems and asked for help. The establishment both in the Military and in Mountain Rescue at the time told me in no uncertain terms that it there was no problems and there was no such thing. The new name  PTSD came out after this after years of fighting to get such an illness acknowledged. In these dark days we were told to “Man up ” and get on with our lives, by many who knew little. Even worse in the military as at the time as there was still stigma at times about needing assistance after a difficult tragedy.   In addition if you went sick then after a time you could have lost your job. I was lucky I had huge help from my team who covered for me till I recovered. 

It has taken nearly 25 years to recover fully and hard work by many friends family and the odd expert. I have spoken to several people recently in differing aspects of the Emergency Services and the military and it is still a problem. Some of the recent tragedies like the huge avalanches in Scotland of last year were a hard time for those involved in the recovery and a few spoke to me personally about their experiences and I hope I managed to help them. I lecture regularly and always mention my problems with PTSD and how I managed to control it. This definitely helps people approach me and I can offer my experiences and where to get help. I attended a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Course in April 1997 nearly 10 years after Lockerbie this was held in Northern Ireland. This was to help us deal with potential problems in teams and within the military with PTSD. It was a hard 3 days and we were with many Irish who had been part of the terrible tragedy that was Ireland at that time. It did help and we came a long way with many ways of helping our teams and friends in the future but there is much to be done yet.

I showed many of the traits of PTSD and had the nightmares, lack of concentration, flashes of anger, depression and many others and hid them from all. My family suffered for many years and had no clue what was wrong and I found it very difficult to get help. Many had no clue what happened at Lockerbie and no idea of what we did and saw.


Thinking time?

I had a last medical when I retired in 2007 and they look through your documents check you out and I was asked about PTSD and how could a Caterer ( I was a Caterer by trade) could be effected) was I cooking near the crash site?

I never answered I was that annoyed and walked away.

If you run a team or work in the Emergency Services it is well worth getting all the information about the real problems that can occur with you and your people.  As I have said many never suffer but many do, it may be well worth looking around and remembering that big boy’s and girls do cry and some may need help?

It is also worth thinking that if you are the one doing the  talking you need someone to help you. I am more than willing to talk about my life in Rescue and the effects of PTSD and though it hurts it is worth spreading the word and how to get help.

Who cares for the Carers?  Well worth remembering?

Just now there is a big push to highlight the effects of PTSD and a friend Andy Elwood and ex RAF Winchman is trying to get a many emergency services as he can involved be read below and if you can contact him through the links.

From Andy Elwood

Hi Heavy. Any help you can give me at all with my final day of raising awareness for mental health & PTSD through  22challenge – I’m organising a multi services event for services, veterans & 999 family where we all do 22 press-ups together, with our emergency vehicles, vessels & aircraft in order to raise awareness through a viral video effort. I know you have come across this thru various callouts over the years including Lockerbie. I would really appreciate any help, publicity, promo you could do? I had a 22 press-up video arranged with the RAF Leeming team on Sat in Hathersage, but they got diverted to Snowdon!! So Edale team stepped in at last-minute. I love MR and have been out with teams many times in my early days as a” dope-on-a-rope at Lossie.”

Many many times I was so glad to see the lads, no more so than when R137 froze up in Northern Corries 2006! Hope to hear from u, Andy

Latest fro, Andy – Tthis is spiralling up like I hoped – PTSD999 have made me a Patron – e it – off for interview now – BBC. Idea is clear in my head now please – if you blog re event Big22 on Facebook – (91k people talking about it) – we want 999teams to do a video together of 22 press-ups and showing its ok to talk. No-one should suffer in silence. I’m getting website up & running today I hope & I can post best videos on there. This should be a bit of healthy competitiveness amongst teams & I have interest around the globe. Also builds the interest & people can be part of Big22 on 22AUg even if not able to attend – that’s the nature of 999 duty anyway. Thanks Heavy – gotta run. chat later if u need, Andy

Event Website and Facebook Page:

Please share and pass on help Andy but remember PTSD is not just for 22 days for many it is for life.


Slipway opposite the Hovercraft Museum

Seaplane Square

Marine Parade West


PO15 9NS


Date: 22nd August 2016



  • Arrival from 2.15pm
  • All vessels and vehicles should be in position by 2.45pm
  • Filming starts at 3pm prompt


Prior to Monday 22nd:

  • Please submit your #22challenge team videos at so they can be shared in order to raise publicity for the event as well as #22challenge and #itsoktotalk.
  • There will be videos coming in from as far afield as Curacao, Nepal, USA, Australia and the Falklands.
  • Be creative as only the best videos will go on the website!
  • Go to to check out the competition!


What’s going to happen on the day?


  • Emergency vehicles and vessels need to be assembled by 2.30pm at the latest
  • Emergency vehicles and vessels need to be in position by 2.45pm at the latest
  • Please position yourself on or next to your vehicle to do the press-ups
  • Anyone can take part in the press-ups
  • Supporters are welcome to come along and take part
  • There will be aircraft flying past so it will be noisy
  • Someone with a megaphone will tell you when to start the press-ups
  • Filming will be done by the various aircrew and key people on the ground
  • Filming will start at 3pm prompt
  • The event will take place no matter what the weather



  • PLEASE DO NOT post your own videos on social media.  We are trying to get the official event video to go viral so we need to release a single video which can then be shared by everyone involved.
  • PLEASE DO send your videos of the Big22 to so they can be edited together into a single official event video
  • PLEASE send any team #22challenge videos that you’ve done prior to the event to in order to raise publicity ahead of the event



  • Parking – there’s a large car park at the location and plenty of additional space on the grass.  There’s also another car park a short walk down the beach.
  • Toilets – there are toilets at the next car park further down the beach towards Lee.
  • Food & drink – there are shops on the main street one street back off the waterfront.


A must read for emergency services.

A must read for emergency services.

Posted in Friends, Mountain rescue, mrdical | Leave a comment