As those who follow the blog will know I was in Skye 2 weeks ago and had a great time in wild weather. I was with 2 friends from the Skye Mountain Rescue Team. Skye like all the Mountain Rescue Teams is full of characters and Paul and the Doc are two. Skye is a wonderful place and in the winter it becomes Alpine, with incredible sharp ridges and tricky route finding. To spend a day on the ridge in winter is a dream for many mountaineers and I have been privileged to spend some great days in this special place. It is a very tricky and hard area to work in as it is mainly rock, huge cliffs and has some incredible mountaineering challenges. The combination of the sea and mountains is special and attracts many to share its pleasures. When an accident occurs in these mountains the Skye team use their unique area knowledge and skills in a dangerous area to help others. Over the years I was involved in many huge searches with the Skye Team and had some incredible call outs. We trained in Skye fairly when I was in the RAF Mountain Rescue often to try to get area knowledge of its special complex terrain. A map is a very basic guide in these mountains. Few call outs here make the press and even fewer understand the efforts made by teams on rescues.
I was out on the hill two days ago and heard about a search for a missing walker has occurred in Skye. I was on the North West at the same time and can appreciate the weather at the time. The hills are very icy and I took it easy due to the conditions as I mentioned in the previous blog. There is little on the news about the incident or the effort involved by all.
“Police were alerted about 2.30pm on Thursday that a man had been injured in a fall on the Cuillin on Skye. A search was mounted and an RAF Sea King helicopter joined the operation to find the man.The search on the mountain range began again at 7.30am yesterday, involving the Skye and Kintail Mountain Rescue Teams and Dogs and handlers from the Search and Rescue Dogs Association. Search and Rescue helicopters and a RAF Mountain Rescue Team from Lossiemouth and Leuchars are also taking part in today’s search for the missing man.”
The forecast is again poor
Southwesterly; 40 to 50mph but sudden gusts very much stronger, especially
near showers later in the day. Effect of wind on you? Considerable buffeting often to low levels, and at times any mobility difficult where exposed on the hills – especially due to sudden gustiness near showers. Severe wind chill.
The weather has been wild and Skye were out all night on the Thursday night and Friday morning searching till the early hours. The effort involved is incredible and my thoughts are with the family of the missing walker and the teams involved. I spoke to my friend in the Skye team and he is a hardy man was exhausted by the nights effort, I know that feeling only to well. All night the wind has been battering the windows and the weather incredibly wild. The search resumes today and the teams will be getting very tired as the search reaches its third day.
The missing climber has been named by Police as Graham Patterson a local climbing guide on the Island and known to myself and many of the Skye Team. It makes the search more personal for many involved in the search. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends and all those involved in the search.
On a brighter note some climbers friends were climbing in Glencoe and on the way off the hill after a hard day they assisted Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team carry off a fallen walker with a leg injury, Great to see that people still help fellow mountaineers on the hills in trouble a tradition I hope continues, well done to all. There is a piece on the website below.