Mountain Rescue was in the early days was made up of local keepers and climbers who came out to help injured climbers. In the 60’s there was an explosion in climbing standards. Great things were continuing on the cliffs around Scotland with a huge addition of new routes in all grades of difficulty. Transport was easier and roads were better the whole of Scotland was opened up to the climber.
The McInnes Stretcher was a great addition to the rescuers basic kit and many changes in gear were taken from climbing and caving and adapted for Mountain Rescue. It took over from the Duff Stretcher and became a classic of its time.
Simple devices were adapted with success and failure in improving equipment used for use solely for Rescues, some brave people about ! There was limited Health and Safety in this period!
Simple belays were used in lowering systems in this period. Single ropes were often used on rescues,note no helmets and snow belays.
Helicopters were starting to be used and the face of Mountain Rescue would change dramatically. The helicopters n these days were small but were used to great effect for casualty evacuation, lots of lessons learned by all at this time! We follow in the footsteps of giants.
Vast improvements were made by simple changes to equipment. A plywood head over for the casualty was made in these early days. Hanish McInness as always was at the forefront a genuine genius of invention.
These were still the days of big carry off of casualties took a long time there was limited helicopter assistance then and it took a huge amount of work to get a casualty off the hills. Still happens today in bad weather!
Glenmore Lodge receiving instruction from RAF Kinloss MRT in on the Tragsitz, the forerunner of th 1965 crag snatch we use nowadays – A book of this period over 50 years on. by a team member Jim Craig is available on Kindle at £3 – well worth a read!
These were the early days that teams were starting to do big lowers on Skye, Ben Nevis, Glencoe and on Lochnagar where two climbers had an epic on Eagles ridge. These were very basic lowers with simple gear and many lessons were learned.