This photo is of a training day with the fire service and with Troll who made climbing harnesses and other safety equipment. We had been asked by I think Dave Alcock the “Troll guru”of his era to show the Edinburgh fire Service cliff extraction. The late Al MacLeod is in the photo. Sadly Al one of my closest pals was killed on the North Face of the Matterhorn. He was such an incredible man.
Looking back it’s amazing that we were at that time acknowledged as experts in our field. We advised and worked with many organisations.
At that time as we had done over the years teams had been using minimum equipment on call outs over the years. 500 foot ropes and figures of eight descenders were the simple gear then. Doing serious rescues in Skye and other areas we had learned to adapt to what we had with us at the time. Also how many folk we had to carry the gear.
Nowadays things are very different with all the crag gear available and it’s a lot safer. Yet depending on the weather often you have carry all the gear to an incident. Two lowering ropes, crag gear all the latest gadgets. A stretcher, first aid kit, casualty bag and your own gear it was never easy . Hamish helped by making a folding stretcher that could’ve used on on the crags.
As we climbed a lot then we came across many accidents in the cliffs and had to lower folk to safer ground with what we had. Climbing ropes were often used as were body belays on steep grass.