I had a fun day helping the Moray Walking Festival with a wander up my local Corbett Ben Rinnes. It was wet and dreich when I left and arrived early at the small car park. It was still damp the hills were in cloud and the midges were out. There was another car in the car park and it was the well known “Mountain Man” Cameron MacNeish who was also helping the Moray Walking Festival and coming on Ben Rinnnes for the walk and then doing a lecture in Elgin afterwards. As soon as I arrived Cameron was out of his magic wagon and the kettle was on and we shared some breakfast out of the midges. Cameron is a very interesting man and has many similar views to me on politics and the environment. We had a good chat and then our companions for the day turned up in dries and drabs. Soon the car park was full and there were many others enjoying a day on this fine we hill. All our group were there to see Cameron and we ( I) had a great laugh saying I was his agent and public relations man. Cameron was on fine form and even signing a few copies of his books that fellow walkers had brought. The weather lifted as 13 plus two dogs set off and we had a fine wander with lots of stops for views and tales. It is great to see people enjoying the mountains no matter what they do, all ages but all have love of this special land. The freedom we have and the right to roam should never be taken for granted and many like Cameron over the years have fought for this right. Our access laws are the envy of so many Countries and it great to hear a bit about the hard work done by many of the greats over the years.
Our group was a mixed bunch of all ages but a great day and Cameron was getting stopped on the way up and down for photos, the power of the television. There were a few others running up this fine hill and another group taking kids to the top as part of the Commonwealth games awareness and the flags belong to two countries who are from competing nations We had a dram at the top for those who wanted it and then a heavy shower came in but we got the views on the lush farmlands of this great whisky country.
The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is urging everyone who walks climbs and skis in the Scottish mountains to register with the 999 emergency text service. This service has been set up to allow people to text 999 when mobile phone reception is intermittent.
However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first. The MCofS is promoting the service to mountaineers and suggesting that we register now rather than wait for an emergency. To register, text ‘Register’ to 999. You will get a reply and will then need to follow the instructions you are sent. The text system is meant to be used only when voice calls cannot be made and the system does not guarantee that texts will be delivered, so users should wait until they receive a reply from the emergency services before assuming help has been summoned. Further details, including guidelines on how to register, can be found at www.emergencysms.org.uk.
We sheltered by the summit tors and enjoyed lunch, then split up into two groups as a real cloudburst came in. I took half the group to the remains of an aircraft crash just below the summit. It was wild heavy rain as we descended and very cold we did not stop long and soon back onto the ridge and met up with our group again. As normal the sun came out and we had great views and dried of on the way down. It was a great few hours and even those who were a bit intimidated enjoyed their first Corbett and all seemed to have fun.
I was amazed that few knew about this service please pass on to all your friends who go to the mountains.
999 Emergency Text Service How do I use emergency SMS?
You will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first.
Register now: don’t wait for an emergency. To register, text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent. In an emergency
> Text 999
We need to know:
Police, Ambulance,Fire and Rescue, MRT or Coastguard.
Briefly, what is the problem.
Exactly where the problem is happening –
give the name of the road,house number, postcode. GRID – REFERENCE NAME OF HILL ETC or nearby landmark, if possible.
What happens next?
The emergency service will either ask for more information or will tell you that help is on the way.
Don’t assume that your message has been received until the emergency service sends a message back.
It will usually take about two minutes before you get a reply. If you don’t get a
reply within three minutes, please try again or find other ways of getting help