Two Star Red by Gwen Moffat is a great book about the early days of the RAF Mountain Rescue and gives an insight into mountaineering and mountain rescue in the 50’s and 60’s. Gwen married Johnnie Lees and was one of the first women guides, she has had an incredible life and is a fairly well-known author. Her other books describe how hard it was to be a single woman climber with a young child in these years. How things have changed, thank goodness. You can pick up some of Gwen’s books on Amazon she is still an incredible lady.
I was looking back into some of the history I have on mountain accidents and found the early accident on Zero gully when 3 climbers were killed after a fall in Zero gully when the belay an ice axe broke. After this Hamish Mc Innes set about designing a metal axe as there were a few other accidents where axes had broken after a fall. I have an unpublished interview with Hamish telling me this and a few other incredible stories. There is a great article in the SMC Journal by Tom Patey on the first ascent called “The Zero Gully Affair”. Hamish was running a climbing course at Steall hut when he heard that the gully was in condition, it was his route and he had to be there! He crashed into the CIC Hut and forced his way into the first ascent. His gear was already in it due to a failed previous attempt and is an incredible story, wonderful reading. I am sure it is republished in Tom Pateys book “One Man’s Mountains” and maybe Cold climbs?
The thaw goes on and I have not been out on the hills this week, fuel is so expensive so saving for my trip to Canada. I have a wee lecture to Lomond MRT at Nethy Bridge on Saturday and hope to get out on the hills at the weekend. I will be trying to be talk about Mountain Rescue and some of my experiences. The chat is entitled ” I learnt about Rescue from that” It is good to pass on and learn from some of the mistakes we made in the past, that is the only way you learn. Worth knowing?