I had a long chat with Donald Watt one of the Old and Bold of Lochaber MRT. I did many call outs with Lochaber over the years and have always had great relations with the team. In the early days of Mountain Rescue the Lochaber Mountaineering Club (JMCS) and the RAF teams worked in tandem in many call – outs there is a huge bond between the teams. Many of the ex national Service RAF team members settled in the area and married local lassies and when I joined in the early 70’s many were a integral part of the team. The history is huge massive call -outs on Ben Nevis and many rescues and mountain tragedies in the history of this great mountain.
It was a great chat and so much information of these hard days on Ben Nevis and neighboring hills with poor communications and equipment. There are now massive change from the modern Rescue systems available. It is incredible to see how things have changed yet many of the incidents are so similar despite the difference in years.
In the 60’s it was in winter that the Castle area of Ben Nevis was a black spot on Ben Nevis with avalanches and since then Coire Leis and the easy Gullies on the Ben and of course the Red Burn Area and 5 Finger Gully, Surgeons Gully and recently Coire Euoghain. I also had a great chat with Norah his wife what a tale she has to tell of a lifetime of support for Mountain Rescue. It was a great few hours and I getting a few tales of some of the stories behind the Rescues for Scotland’s busiest team.