I had a great visit yesterday from Willie MacRitchie from Lewis or is it Harris ! He is the now main man in charge of the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams working from RAF Valley in North Wales. He was just back from a few days training with the RAF teams in the Cairngorms and was in great form! He was my first foot and brought me some wood kindhearted man.
Willie joined Mountain Rescue when I was at RAF Leuchars in the 80’s and I had the privilege of taking him on his first day on the hill with the RAF Leuchars Team. The day involved a scramble up Castle Ridge on Ben Nevis and then a wander along the Carn Mor Dearg Arête. A young Willie smoked on these days but was a strong lad and had been brought up on the hills of Lewis and had as he said “cut the peat”. That day he was great company on the hill from that first day. He was a natural and loved the day out and became a incredible team member and later Deputy and Team Leader. Now he is the main man at RAF Valley and the system is in good hands. We have climbed all over the World and he has been a pal for over 30 years it was great to catch up.
It was great to hear how the teams are doing and I hope the team has a quite time over the New Year. He said he had a great day out with the young troops in the Cairngorms and it was a full on day at the top of the route. As he said the full on Cairngorm adventure and great training for all the winter may throw at the Teams.
So to those in the NHS, Police, Ambulance Sevice,the Coastguards, Mountain Rescue Teams the miltary and those who are working looking after out every need from the roads to the shops that are open many thanks. I did it for many years so I know how you feel but always made good of my time when the time was over and everyone else was back at work. The hills are quite and enjoyable then.
I had a quiet New Year and just need my car fixed asap but maybe I needed a break to shake the cold off. I save my New Year for Clavie Night in my village the 11 Jan its a great evening.
Happy New Year to you and yours.