Every photo tells a story. Always take them a savour them mark them up with dates people and hills.

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!

Ben Lomond after the end of the Team Leaders Walk – I was supporting them date approximately mid 70’s Heavy, Bob, Pete McGowan, Tom Taylor, USAF D Albridge, Pete Weatherhill, Don Shanks. Don Aldridge was the guy from the 67 ARRS USAF, 18 days on the hill, 349 miles, 113,870 ft of ascent 70 Munroes
A few years on 1976 the Aonach Eag Glencoe after one of our parties spent the night out on the ridge.

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.

1973 Skye ridge Easter . Tom MacDonald, Dave Foy, Paddy Allen and me the 5 Beatle.

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.

The Tragzitz.

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.

Comments welcome.

About heavywhalley.MBE

After dinner speaker Lecturer and Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Equipment, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Every photo tells a story. Always take them a savour them mark them up with dates people and hills.

  1. Donald Shanks says:

    Don Aldridge was the guy from the 67 ARRS USAF, 18 days on the hill, 349 miles, 113,870 ft of ascent 70 munroes

    Liked by 1 person

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