I am regularly asked to find information on past incidents. Sadly few teams have a complete record of all the incidents they attended. Over my years in the RAF I took it on to collate all the incidents RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team since 1944 to the teams move to RAF Lossiemouth in 2012. It is a rich history of incidents all over Scotland where the team assisted local teams on many of the biggest incidents of this era. Sadly the Stats at RAF Leuchars MRT were gone by the time I arrived and most of the historic information on incidents lost.
I started collection SMC Journals many years ago they have some outstanding information on all aspects of Mountaineering. Yet they have a unique history of mountain incidents. Over the years I was honoured to meet Ben Humble and John Hinde who put all the information in there annual SMC Journals. It seems a very modern thing to have a clear out sadly in the military this happened regularly as Bosses changed every few years. Most was binned lost for ever and with it many pieces of interesting information. I was lucky to become the Mountain Rescue statistician and got much of Ben Humble and Johns work on accidents digitalised and put in the Scottish National Library. It’s safe there for future generations. I wonder if this still happens today ?
Over the years I poured over the incidents and often found that incidents that occurred many years before recurred again. Sadly as the old and bold retire or pass on to that Munro in Skye some of this information is lost. It’s well worth looking at these incidents finding trends etc that have not changed over the years. This was especially relevant as the RAF team at Kinloss assisted many teams all over Scotland.
Due to the big changes in privacy there was a spell when incidents were vague. No one can judge a incident unless they were there and much can be learned from each incident.
I did a lot of work on avalanches in the past and hopefully helped to add to the good work by Blyth Wright and Mark Diggins. Most of the information was taken from the SMC Journals. Over the years I spent a lot of money getting them but they are so worth having.
I have just helped a friend with information on an incident in 1981 it means a lot to some folk having closure many years after a tragedy. Sadly the only way we could find the information was through the SMC journal.
Sadly a lot of the information is gone many Police Forces when they went digital got rid of past incidents. We are lucky to have at least the majority of information within the journals for the next generations.
The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal is produced Annually.
The SMC Journal has maintained a continuous record of mountain activities in Scotland since 1890. The Journal emerges annually and may be found in any good quality climbing & walking shop, and the larger bookshops. For members of Mountaineering Scotland affiliated clubs, copies can be purchased at a discount through your club’s Secretary.
If you are interested in picking up an older edition of the Journal please contact our Journal Archivist.
Maybe there is a need for an MRT historian ?
Comments welcome as always.
Download of SMC Journals .