Drones and me droning on?

I am going to moan a lousy weekend with lots of  pain now on more pretty strong pain killers and the daily walk is out for just now. I had to phone the  Medical help line at the weekend  get a bit of help.  The bowel is place we do not think about much but we dearly need. Enough I managed to watch the sport but the walking for three days does not help I cannot manage it just now so seeing Scotland getting thumped was not good medicine.



There was an article in the Times about the use of   drones on Everest they are going to be used in Nepal to assist in a route up the Khumbu ice fall. This is a very  dangerous area as it is loaded with crevasses and overhanging seracs. Yet every year a route has to be found through this area to allow the Sherpas and climbers to find a safe way through this maze of danger.  Lat year 16 died in the ice fall and was a huge tragedy and though the ice fall will never be safe maybe this will help. I am so glad we went to Everest in 2001 from Tibet and had  other dangers like the North Col but nothing in compassion with the ice fall on the Nepali side. We used  Yaks to take the kit to 21000 feet at Advanced Base Camp just below the huge North Col. The ascent to Col had to be watched as it has a big potential to Avalanche  A fixed line is put up by the Sherpas to assist all climbers.

Drones in mountain Rescue

Drones in mountain Rescue

I spoke at a Search Management weekend several years ago about the possibility of using drones on Rescues many laughed at the time. Things are changing and so do we  have to keep up with technology are they being used now. There is a use for drones without a doubt but people on the ground are always needed.

Any thoughts?

Yaks take kit up 21000 feet on North side of Everest.

Yaks take kit up 21000 feet on North side of Everest.




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 Articles, Equipment, Expeditions - Alaska - Himalayas etc, Friends, Mountain rescue, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Drones and me droning on?

  1. Davy Gunn says:

    Drones will certainly have some place Dave. They are being tested with RECCO as well. RECCO is so good from the air and although not as good as companion rescue it astounds me that its uptake by SAR in Scotland is so low compared to the rest of the world. No transceiver culture in the UK nut RECCO reflectors are cheap as chips and a lot better than not being found or waiting until stabbed by 3m javlein!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am sorry to hear about your health set back. I am glad that you got help with pain management.
    Take care of yourself!
    Your friend,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Progress is without exception,is frowned on but progress will always win so we should always without exception, embrace it.There will as you say always be a need for Troops on the ground but the drone is just another tool , like radios and choppers…..get well soon Loon :o))

    Liked by 1 person

  4. D Hodgson says:

    Being trialled in NZ right now http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/67567869/trade-me-helps-test-rescue-drone
    There are already some CAA type concerns generally around the number of drones and their operators (news teams, couriers etc), mainly focussed around cities and flight paths, not unreasonably, but in the back country these should reduce due to density I would think.
    I cant see how they would ever replace people on the ground, unless I suppose they can give 1st aid, carry them out, while watching for rock fall/avalanches, provide human reassurance and all the other things a ground team does beyond just location. The operators should probably have significant ground experience to be able to understand how best to help ground teams as well. The flip side I guess is not end up with no remote spaces because of a proliferation of private drone search outfits, but the CAA type concerns could help manage that.
    Its one more tool to help; would I rather be laid up with a broken leg somewhere and see or not see a drone come over the ridge line…not a tough choice really.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lyndon Jones says:

    I think that Drones can only be good another tool in the box the amount of area that can be covered should be significant, in every search there is always a limit to and aircraft asset and it’s it’s time on scene and other responsibility’s with the new aircraft coming on line will the availability be as good who knows? SARDA Wales have one on trial at this time an I will be interested to see what happens. The technology available I’m sure that they will and should if used appropriately become a valuable resource to search managers .
    I don’t know if anyone saw the footage on the news regarding the ice sculpture done overnight on the summit of Snowdon I think most believed the filming was from a helicopter, however it turned out to be a Drone look it up on YouTube the clarity was outstanding.
    My regards to you Dave I hope your health is improving. Lyndon

    Liked by 1 person

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