The tragedy of when a loved one goes missing in the wild. Missing Walker in Glencoe – Can you help ?

One of the worst things about being involved in Mountain Rescue is not finding a missing person. As the Team Leader I got heavily involved at times  with the families of the missing person (MISPER).It was part of the job and though the Police were the first contact the family would be drawn to the Mountain Rescue expert to answer their many questions on the search and your experience.. I would draw on my knowledge of the area and gaining more information on the MIPER trying to work out in my head with others what could have happend to their loved one.  When they are not found after a huge search it is an awful feeling and the teams and others agencies feel for the family of the missing person. Some times these searches can go on for months and I was involved in a good few, though we always got a result and the missing  person was located in the end. Years later I still have contacts with the relatives and loved ones, many who have limited knowledge of the mountains and  few who understand the passion of those who love the wild places.  Please see the following article from the Press and Journal appealing for more information on Robert Garton, of Devizes in Wiltshire, was last seen after setting off for a walk in the area on Friday, September 25 in Glencoe.

Missing walker

Missing walker – Robert Garton in Glencoe any sighting may help the huge search.

A north mountain rescue team leader is “baffled” and “frustrated” with the search for a hillwalker who went missing in Glencoe 10 days ago.

Robert Garton, of Devizes in Wiltshire, was last seen after setting off for a walk in the area on Friday, September 25.

The 69-year-old was reported missing last Monday after failing to meet up with family and friends in the Kinlochewe area.

Searches have been ongoing through the week, and yesterday 21 members from Glencoe and Lochaber mountain rescue teams were out from 9am to 5pm.

Glencoe Mountain Rescue’s team leader, Andy Nelson, said: “We have had such good conditions with the weather and there has been about 1,000 man hours completed this week. In 50 years of rescues, everywhere that people usually fall in to has been searched and more. It is very frustrating and baffling. Either something is very different or we need more information.”

Yesterday searches took place on both sides of the A82 road, with the focus on the north side of the Aonach Eagach ridge which runs east to west along the north side of Glencoe.

Mr Garton had been staying at the Kings House Hotel at the southern end of Glencoe and he had indicated to staff at the hotel that he was planning to walk on this ridge.

His car has since been found a few miles further north at the Achnambeithach car park.

On Saturday, Glencoe Mountain Rescue team were joined by Arrochar Mountain Rescue members, police search teams and the Search and Rescue Dog Association.

A meeting will be held with police and rescue teams this morning to discuss the ongoing search strategy.

On Friday, Mr Garton’s family issued a desperate appeal for information. His son Will said yesterday that his family had not given up hope, but admitted the odds were against finding him alive.

Mr Garton is an experienced mountaineer who has trekked and climbed several times in Nepal in his work as the founder of The Glacier Trust.

He set up the charity in 2008 to help understand the effect of climate change at altitude in Nepal, having retired from his work as an international art dealer. ”

Please share this with anyone who was in the area and please if you are going in the hills no matter how experienced you are leave a message please!  It will help the teams and other Agencies in their search for a missing person. My thoughts are with the family and those involved in the Search.

999 Emergency Text Service.


The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) is urging everyone who walks climbs and skis in the Scottish mountains to register with the 999 emergency text service. This service has been set up to allow people to text 999 when mobile phone reception is intermittent.
However, you will only be able to use this service if you have registered with emergency SMS first. The MCofS is promoting the service to mountaineers and suggesting that we register now rather than wait for an emergency. To register, text ‘Register’ to 999. You will get a reply and will then need to follow the instructions you are sent. The text system is meant to be used only when voice calls cannot be made and the system does not guarantee that texts will be delivered, so users should wait until they receive a reply from the emergency services before assuming help has been summoned. Further details, including guidelines on how to register, can be found at www.emergencysms.org.uk

About heavywhalley.MBE

Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist
This entry was posted in Equipment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

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