It’s great when you go through old photos and they can mean so much. It was a lot harder in the 70 when film was expensive to develop and cameras were not so cheap. I in the end took two cameras and have built up some collection. There is still lots on slides that I need to buy/borrow a slide converter any ideas.
In the 70’s the RAF MRT Team leaders course involved a phase of a two week walk. This was after all the technical rope and stretcher part was done in Wales. I think it lasted two months then It also involved some caving and then a Big Walk with some huge days. I helped support them on their journey on their walk as they had support at times and managed to get on the hill. It was interesting to see so how fatigue effected all those folk being assessed. As a young lad it was hard to believe that one day I would do a several Walks across Scotland and in the mid 80’s a Team Leaders course much shortened to two week on my Course. The gear looks so primitive compared with the modern kit. Breeks, gaiters and Karrimor bags, Henry Lyodd jackets, Dachstein mitts!
The photo above is of Glencoe. This is early morning on the Aonach Eag when one of our parties were benighted, it was a stunning morning and Don Shanks and myself went up to drop a rope to them. They were cold but okay. Note the kit I am sure that was my first Gortex Jacket that I bought, some of the others are in ventile jackets that we modified with full zips. Hard wearing but heavy. That was a magical morning we were lucky with the weather and the boys had roped most of the way coming from the Clachaig side I think. We all learned from that but as we reached the ridge as the summit cleared it was incredible. We were carrying two ropes and hot flasks. Hamish was aware of what was going on and just laughed.
I think this was taken in the big Easter grant in Skye 10 days on the hills mostly in winter garb. A young boy in this photo with my mate Tom MacDonald.
This photo is 46 years ago in Skye of to the Skye ridge, note the gear. Woolen jumper homemade, breeks, Bobble hat and small issue hill bag with radio in the back. Paddy has a hawser laid rope on his bag and the McInness Massay ice axe a heavy beast. The wagon was a 4 tonner where we sat in the back on boxes. No health and Safety then.
No Health and Safety again 1972 Longhaven sea cliffs – Stretcher lower techniques day Paddy with no helmet. Now its Crag Snatch and simple lowers a lot easier.
The old techniques were scary and practised a lot. Note the gear the Curly boots on Paddy the breeks and the classic hill jumper. The wire would nearly decapitate you coming off the harness. Keep taking these photos they will make you smile in later years.