The RAF Winter course has started and they will have to get in some miles in to get to the snow, which is fairly high up now and in the deep gullys. This is the 60 th course which is run annually for ten days in Scotland. The course started after the Beinn Eighe crash in Torridon in 1951 when the team lacked the training and equipment to get to tricky crash site on the Triple buttress of Beinne Eighe. It is a great opportunity to spend time together as the 4 RAF teams send Instructors and pupils and keep the knowledge and experience of the troops current, There is also usually at least one Rescue day where winter lowers are practised I am sure it will all go well and maybe winter will come back? There is still plenty to do as navigation and winter mountaineering and many scrambles are still available despite the lack of snow. The Ben still has some good climbing high up as has Aonach Mor which has the added advantage of the ski lift approach. It has happened before in the past and will happen again. The photo below shows the RAF Winter Course (Jocky Scott) of last years course high on Eastern Buttress on Beinn Eighe. This was after a short ceremony at the crash site on the 60th anniversary of the crash where the 9 crew lost their lives. On this day last year it took 3 – 4 hours to get into the Corrie such was the depth of the snow, how things can change.
Yesterdays search for the missing walker was unsuccessful as there was no sign found of Grant Cuncliffe who was last known to be staying at the remote Corrour bothy in the Larig Gru in the Cairngorms around the 21 Jan 2012. The Cairngorm team and several others including SARDA and Lomond Mrt all searched yesterday but too no avail, no sign was found of him. My thoughts are with the family of Grant who are in our thoughts. A big thanks to all the Mountain Rescue Teams and SARDA who helped search yesterday, not an easy task. There is nothing worse for the teams than to have not been able to find a casualty and I am sure, they will continue to do what they can to give Grant’s family closure.