I was speaking yesterday to a pal (from a safe distance) he is a keen mountaineer and misses the hills like me so much. Yet we both adhere to what the government says about staying away from the places we love. Its a small loss in a World were folk are losing their lives, families are broken, life has changed. The NHS are doing so much work as are many others and folks are losing their livelihood. To think about the restrictions on me and others to me is selfish. I have beaches and forests on my doorstep and lots of folk looking after each other in my little village. Yet its to me good for the soul to dream about when we can get out again and be all out together?
The NHS and other agencies will need time to recover as will so many folk who are working flat out to save lives. It will take time but we all have to do our part to help and keeping away from the hills is a small part of it, so please follow the advice given by the government and various organisations.
It did not stop me dreaming last of leaving early for the hills, driving through Inverness as the day breaks and heading for the hills I love. I could see the journey so vividly, passing through a quiet Inverness the Beinn Dearg hills. Stopping at the Aultguish past the great Dam to get a photo of the wilderness and drinking it in. Hills and places I love The Fannichs, The Road of Destitution and walking into a special place that I love. The smell of the trees, the river and the gradual pull into a wildness that is unsurpassed. Yet it was all a dream brought on by my chat yesterday.
We live in tricky times but we must adhere to what we are asked to save lives and help those who are looking after us.
PLEASE NOTE – COVID-19 –All MBA maintained bothies are CLOSED to visitors until further notice.
All work parties are cancelled.
The journey to Shenevall
Cars fly by as you cross the road, to another world,
Then silence, the traitor’s gate.
The track wynds through the trees,
The river breaks the silence,
The glaciated slabs hide the cliffs, then:
Views of An Teallach open at every turn.
Midges and clegs abound here but not today,
too cold, its winter.
Cross the river, is that bridge in the wrong place?
Muddy and wet, back on track,
Steep hill, upwards towards the top,
the wee cairn, stop, no rush, drink it all in.
An Teallach. Snow plastered, familiar, foreboding.
Open moor, contour round and round, special views,
Every corrie on that great hill has a particular thought. Memories
Fisherfield, these great hills, the light changing, to the West
Youthful memories of companions, some now gone.
Epic days, trying to impress?
Pushing it and nearly, losing it?
Descent to Shenevall, steep, slippy and wet,
Eroded now by so many feet.
Collect some wood. The bothy, the deer:
They are still there; Sheneval.
It never changes, only the seasons.
Fire on, primeval.
Tea in hand:
Alone with thoughts.
The Deer rattle the door, time for sleep.
Thanks to the MBA!
Staying of the hills – Scottish Mountain Rescue
Questions and Answers🔹
Firstly we would like to thank everyone for staying local or at home and for keeping our rescue teams quiet.
Over the last couple of weeks we have received a large amount of messages and comments with questions regarding what individuals can and cannot do in the current lockdown period, so we thought we would answer some of these recurring questions, to provide some clarity.
Can we drive to the hills for our exercise?
There is some confusion in England and Wales but the advice from the Scottish Government is clear, essential travel only, no driving for your exercise.
What if I live local to a hill can I go up then?
Slightly more complicated but essentially no, not up a larger hill, the advice is to stick to paths and tracks low down.
There will always be grey areas, but please do not try to interpret the advice in such a way as to enable you to continue with your hobby at the moment. Don’t look for loopholes, think more of the spirit of what we’re trying to achieve as a community.
I’ve never needed to be rescued in years of being in the hills?
No one sets off for a day in the hills expecting to be rescued. However experienced and knowledgeable you may feel you are, there are always others with greater knowledge and experience and they are staying off the hills, many at the cost of their livelihood. Most rescues are the result of simple slips and trips.
I am as likely to get injured at home doing DIY than in the hills?
Yes, but the consequences of an injury are significantly greater in the hills. It’s a question of resources required. Mountain rescues are resource intensive.
If you are injured at home either you can transport yourself for treatment or if more serious you will be attended by 2 fully equipped ambulance crew in one vehicle.
It only takes one slip, trip or fall and our teams services will be required. That means 10, 20, 30 team members (depending on the incident) coming to help, a helicopter crew coming to assist, an ambulance on standby, Police coordinating and before you know it you have brought up to 50 or more people out all because individuals could simply not stay at home or stay local.
Even if teams have sufficient PPE, it is not designed for use in the outdoor environment and when undertaking hard physical activity. So you, the MR team and their household when they return home are at greater risk.
So ask yourself two questions about your activity and where you undertake it:
- Have I increased my level of risk unnecessarily?
- What are the consequences of a rescue from this location?
When this is all over we are very much looking forward to seeing you back in the hills.
Stay Safe, Stay Local, Stay Well