Yesterday was an awful day with the killings in France showing what a crazy world we live in. “Man’s inhumanity to man” left 12 dead and so much hatred about? Later in the day in the dark I heard the RAF Sea King helicopter heading of from nearby RAF Lossiemouth into a wild, windy night and knew that someone would be in trouble for them to fly in these conditions on such a night. ( That helicopter was going out to a Sea incident at that time)
Night Rescues never easy especially in wild conditions
There was a party of missing mountaineers near Ben MacDui that had called in and asked for help, in such weather would this be possible. My grapevine told me that it was a wild night with high winds in excess of 80 mph thunder and lightning forecast I was glad my days of Rescue are over. I did not envy the Cairngorm Team, Breamar and the others involved in such a Rescue. During the night Cairngorm MRT announced that ” A wee jaunt to Ben MacDui in some pretty testing conditions. Good result with hill party now safely off the hills. A huge thanks to Rescue 177 RNAS Gannet who managed to fly out the Larig Gru in horrendous conditions, land on the plateau and waited for casualty extraction to their location. An Outstanding piece of flying”
As usual the Mountain Rescue Teams will play down the drama that would unfurl that night. To battle extreme winds and to fly in such conditions is incredible and to ensure all return safely is a huge compliment to all agencies involved and their training. In a big search in the Cairngorms a lot of the time the teams not only from Cairngorm are called out but also Braemar and Aberdeen who come in from the South and as always SARDA. Last night I would imagine there was plenty of people out in the wildest of weather and what a job they did. There will be several families very happy today that the Rescuers have pulled off another incredible Rescue in the wildest of conditions.
I am now past my days of being battered in a helicopter at night in the Larig Gru or getting hammered by high winds on the plateau and my thoughts at times were of survival for me and my hill party. We nowadays take flying at night in the mountains for granted, it takes great skill to fly with night vision goggles but add high winds, snow and other factors and we have some incredible people about. A huge well done to all concerned and I am sure everyone involved will be feeling a bit proud of what they have achieved.
These are not lost or in trouble hill walkers these are people’s families, sons and daughter that have been caught out. The men and women who risk their lives to assist people in the mountains they do not in most cases even know is an incredible thing, We may live in extremely troubled times but there are still so many good and caring people about.
Well done all and have a safe winter!
Before the incident in the Cairngorms I spoke to 26 young members The Mountain Rescue (MR) Service at Gordonstoun.
Gordonsoun MR Service , It was an enjoyable couple of hours and you never know some of them may end up joining the Mountain Rescue Teams throughout the country. aims: to foster a knowledge and appreciation of the mountains of Scotland; to train students as future mountaineers; to use this trained body as a support group for other School expeditions; and to assist the Police with searches and evacuations in the Grampian Region and the mountains of the North.