The Human Factor – lets go and have a look?

More bad weather on the way and many who love the wild places are stuck inside waiting for the weather to break. This week the Mountain Rescue Teams in wild weather manged to Rescue two mountaineers in the Cairngorms, they were extremely lucky. It was a great team effort by all concerned and a superb outcome to a sad week. Team work by all Agencies was the key to success as was the incredible training, drive and effort by all concerned and I wrote a piece on my blog this week.   January is a wild month shortage of daylight and big storms are part of a Scottish winter and many are sitting impatiently for the weather to break. It is never easy as in these days of a busy lifestyle time off is usually planned in advance and many are resigned to go and have a look despite the weather.

Wild weather - check the forecasts and Avalanche Reports daily!

Wild weather – check the forecasts and Avalanche Reports daily!

Today’s weather for Cairngorm – Another day of widespread storm force upland winds. Frequent squally and heavy snow & hail showers for Scotland and northern England.
Brighter further south, but heavy bursts of rain move south across
northern England & Wales just after dawn.

Cairngorm Weather Westerly, in the range 70 to 90 mph most of the day. Gusts possibly topping 100mph. Close to or below freezing from near glen level up.
-5 dropping to -8C Occasional bursts of sun, most toward Deeside and the Lecht.
Visibility often good, but suddenly appalling in cloud and snow. Slight haze.
40% Cloud base rapidly changing. Occasionally dropping to 700m during heavier
precipitation, but intermittently lifting above 1000m. Rarely clearing higher areas
Sudden heavy, squally snow and hail showers, perhaps one after another for several
hours. Intermittent whiteout. Risk thunder, mostly toward north.
Frequent snow and hail; risk lightning. Walking conditions very difficult from low levels up; any mobility tortuous on higher areas. Severe wind chill.

The wind here is only about 35 mph

The wind here is only about 35 mph

It is easy to see how many things affect your attitude to going on the mountains. The wild weather and like me being unwell can make you very impatient. It is three weeks since I have been out in the mountains due to my long wait for an operation. I am now back on penicillin so there will be a delay in me getting out on the hills for some time. This can lead to great impatience especially for someone like me. This weekends forecast as you can see is still pretty bad with more high wind and heavy snow forecast.

There will be few who venture out but many waiting for the weather to break and feed their need to be out in the mountains?
It is this human factor that makes us very susceptible to start pushing it in variable conditions in the mountains and patience and  care is needed to take into when going into wild country after such a storm.

It will be interesting to see what has happened high up with the wind and fresh snow and we are lucky to have experts about to advise us!

The Scottish Avalanche Information Service  SAIS) and the Mountain Weather Information Service ( MWIS) give us so much valued

information on what is happening in the mountains! Please use this advice and be careful ” the mountains will always be there the secret is to be there with them! ”

Worth noting – Familiarity with a place or situation allows us to function efficiently, as we do not have to figure out from scratch what to do each time we encounter it. We simply behave as we have always done. Unfortunately, in avalanche terrain the effect of prior experience can lead us to take chances we might not take in unfamiliar territory. No matter how familiar you are with an area bare this in mind.

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 36 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 4 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, SAR, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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