The Fall , Part 1 Feb 1994 – the story of a big call -out in the Cairngorms with some interesting consequences.

13/2/94 – 16/2/94 Cairngorms – Derry Cairngorm


Missing walker – found after a 3-day search in appalling weather- KMRT videoed the CAS who had mild hypothermia and frostbite. This proved a PR nightmare as the walker Told/sold her story to a tabloid, upsetting most of Mountain Rescue and blaming the RAF Kinloss team for the video. A big learning point in PR.

This is a podcast in two parts about a huge incident at the time

SARDA and a few characters including Graham Gibb

My notes -Media Changes –  This was noted after Lockerbie in 1988 and a few did a Media Skills Course to try to give a more professional insight into Rescue. The Police still had the responsibility but the media wanted  a Mountain Rescue input  and many vital lessons were learned.  A few teams wanted little to do with the Media but in time we have learned to work together and many lessons learned. A few went badly wrong like the call out for Jackie Greaves in the Cairngorms where MOD released a RAF team video that caused mayhem throughout Mountain Rescue.This was a very hard time after the release of the video and it was instantly used by the the media these were the early days of instant news and huge lessons were to be learned. I have pushed the use of the small videos as they had huge value especially in plane crashes as they gave the investigators instant knowledge of a crash site and the conditions on scene. They were also of great use for training and showing exactly what conditions were like in the mountains in these incidents. This was the nasty 90’s they were many fatal accidents some that involved friends that we were involved in. It was a hard time and when we recovered a casualty alive after several days this was pretty rare. The weather was as bad as any I can remember and there were huge efforts by Braemar, Aberdeen, SARDA, and the RAF teams and helicopters bare that in mind as you sit in the warm and listen to this.

#19 The fall, part I

February, 1994. The Cairngorms are in the grip of an Arctic storm. Alone and in a whiteout, Jackie Greaves strays out on to a cornice. Seconds later, the snow collapses into air.


Ascent by Jon Luc Hefferman, La Brise by Circus Marcus, Little Black Cloud by Poddington Bear, Tentative Steps by Kai Engel and Planet BCosmic Drifting and Planet E by Lee Rosevere.


Thanks to Jackie Greaves, Graham Gibb and Willie Fraser. Research help for this episode was from David “Heavy” Whalley, Bob Reid and Bob Sharp. A special thanks to Alistair and Maria Hearn for putting me up while I was reporting this story. Editing help was from Huw Williams.

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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 Avalanche info, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, SAR, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

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