Group shelters well worth the weight ? Good result in the Cairngorms- Mountain Safety Lecture dates.

From Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team Facebook.

Cairngorm MRT - Have a safe winter.

Cairngorm MRT – Have a safe winter.

“Full team call out last night. 2 climbers encountered vicious winds on the plateau resulting in abseiling back down their route and being unable to extract themselves. Weather was too wild and cloud too low for the helicopter to assist. Team carried out line searches and using SARLOC located the casualties who were able to walk themselves off the hill. Being well equipped with a group shelter and spare clothes, and making good decisions contributed to a good outcome for the climbers.” Well done all concerned.

  • “Experience is gained through making sure you learn from your experiences both good and bad.”
Shelter in action.

Shelter in action. A Lifesaver in so many cases.

When I joined mountain Rescue in 1972 the RAF Teams had very basic group shelters made by Safety equipment on the camp. They were in these days heavy but on a wild call -out let us re group together usually on a windswept  plateau like the Cairngorms. It was the first time at times that on along search we could get together and re – look at our plans and more important see how everyone was coping, especially in a wild winters day. It was great as soon as the shelter was up you were in another world of steaming bodies and a respite from usually an incessant wind. We then went to individual bivy bags (plastic wet and heavy)and this especially for a group leader meant that you had limited control of what was going on with your party and an injured walker in a wild day would feel a bit better with company beside them? After an epic in winter on a call -out in Skye in 1982 when on an all night bivy in sleet and snow we recognised the need for group shelters and thank fully went back to them. Today we are spoiled for choice with so many on the market.  They are a great asset and well worth the weight?  They are fun to use on a wild day and give a break out of the weather  so if you buy one use it. I have a few pals who are hill runners now carrying lightweight ones on their big runs? I will get some information on them!

The trusty bothy bag

The trusty bothy bag

The Bothy Bag one of many on the market – A lightweight emergency shelter that allows users to create a ‘microclimate’ without the need for poles. This is invaluable for mountain trips or adventures where the weather conditions can be adverse. With a bothy bag, it is simple to stay dry in the outdoors. With included ‘sockets’ in the roof the shelter can be held up by walking poles or even your own body. They provide a warm and dry, closed environment that helps shut out the elements and allows a group to read maps, enjoy lunch or just stay dry in bad weather. The Bothy bags have welded PU windows that are suitable for temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees. The brightly coloured bags are great for survival and can keep you warm, safe and dry in harsh climates across the globe. The Terra Nova Bothy Bags are excellent shelters that are great in a pinch and could potentially save lives.


  • Easily assembled shelter
  • Warm and dry
  • Extremely light!


  • Sleeps: 2
  • Packed Size: 22×11.5cm
  • Dimensions in use: W = 64cm, H = 98cm, L = 121cm
  • Weight: 370g – well worth carrying.
  • Person: 2
  • User range: Emergency Shelter for all Outdoor Activities
  • Warm and Windproof Shelter

There are many other on the market and well worth the weight and cost.

2002 Call -out on Skye on a wet day.

2002 Call -out on Skye on a wet day. The joys of a wet search individual bag! We located the casualty by his whistle another great bit of kit?

Want to learn a bit about Mountain Safety ?

The Munro Society is pleased once again to sponsor two of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s Winter Safety Lectures.

These will take place once again at The Mountain Cafe in Aviemore.

10th February: Heavy Whalley

Thanks to the Munro Society for sponsoring the lectures.

Thanks to the Munro Society for sponsoring the lectures.

17th February: Heather Morning

The lectures commence at 8 p.m and are FREE. The Mountain Cafe provides a meal for £12 if required at 7 p.m. Places for the meal need to be pre-booked with the Mountain Cafe on 01479 812473 .

I would book now as these are fairly busy lectures  and it is a good night!


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 Enviroment, Friends, Hill running and huge days!, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Scottish winter climbing., Views Mountaineering. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Group shelters well worth the weight ? Good result in the Cairngorms- Mountain Safety Lecture dates.

  1. David says:

    They should make Storm Shelters mandatory equipment !!! Never leave home without it when you’re heading in the Mountains.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. KragRags says:

    Good call. I always take a bothy bag into the mountains. Quick and easy to deploy – even if it’s just to pause briefly to eat a snack and check the map in a two man bothy bag when it’s blowing a hoolie. They can make a huge difference to the comfort and safety of a casualty and/or first aider/rest of the team if you have to stop for a longer period of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KragRags says:

    Reblogged this on kragrags and commented:
    A group shelter is always well worth the weight


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.