The tale of  Teallach the two climbers and a snow hole in the Cairngorms

I once had a dog called Teallach, (the softest long-haired Alsatian you could ever meet) hefinished his Munros in 1985 and he had only twelve left for his second time around, when he unfortunately passed away. He had a life of adventures he loved winter where he knew when the snow was coming as his coat changed.  He was pretty hard core but what a companion, he was so loyal and easy going and he never let me down.

I spent many years snow-holing over 30 winters mainly in the Cairngorms it was the thing to do in the 70/80/90/2000 ‘s and still part of the syllabus of Mountain Training programmes. As RAF Mountain Rescue we would have an annual winter course which was 14 days winter mountaineering in Scotland. It was a great experience with a unique one to one ratio of pupil and instructor. The six teams and two overseas teams at one time  would send pupils and instructors and over 40 plus would attend. The experience of pupils would be varied and some of the pupils had never worn crampons or ice axes? This was their first taste of winter but we were very lucky to have some extremely  talented instructors. The course would be based at the superb Grantown On Spey  Centre home of the RAF PTI cadre who took leave and left us to their incredible facilities. Their bosses though wondered what they would come back to!

The first day started with a few lectures then off we went with huge bags to do winter skills then walk up on to the Cairngorm plateau to snow hole. Sounds easy but it is not, big bags are hard work and the arctic plateau in February is not the place to make mistakes. We always did a bit on skills and headed up to get sorted and pick a good site. I had a secret weapon my dog Teallach who joined in the fun but was aware all the time where we were. The troops always enjoyed the experience but that was because most had no clue of the dangers.  The snow hole sites are usually the lee slopes high up and sheltered and can be very busy in winter.  After the usual hard work and a hole can be built in 2 hours.  It is hard work  and you have to make sure all your kit is well-marked and away from all the snow you are moving. Big shovels and decent saws can make the job easier.  If organised you can soon you can be sorted and have a great night. We usually went out for a night navigating exercise on the plateau a  very interesting adventure and a key skill. We always mark your snow hole with an avalanche pole or ski pole at night with a light  as I once was making a brew when crashing through my roof came a well-known Glenmore Lodge instructor much to our amusement.  His name held for my book! A candle and a spacious hole makes living and cooking easier and is also a guide to how much air is available for breathing. My dog Teallach was even better  than a canary in a mine as soon as the entrance started to block he was out clearing the entrance. You have to keep checking that you have  fresh air in the snow hole at all times. I have so many stories of epics it is no wonder I never slept in a snow hole I was always prepared for the unexpected. During the night on many occasions the wind would move the snow and we would have to get out and dig ourselves out!

Teallach in a snow hole.

One night on the Cairngorm Plateau after the usual few drams in our snow – hole, we all drifted back to our own holes. Just as we were falling asleep, I heard a noise outside and thinking that it was a raid on our whisky store, sent Teallach out to chase them off. Even though Teallach was a big softy, in the dark and around the snow hole, he must have looked fearsome.  Imagine my consternation the following morning, when I went out and found two climbers curled up and shivering. They had left their sacks below Hells Lum Crag and the weather had changed drastically and could not find them.  They had staggered back onto the plateau and were in a bad way. They had seen our light and  they thought they were safe, only to be met by a huge dog, who would not let them in the snow hole.  I brought them in, gave them a brew and walked them off in the morning, meeting Cairngorm MRT, who was coming to look for our “lost” friends. (Another confession) I was reminded of this story by a photo I put up on socail media.

Be aware of what is happening outside! in the weather not easy when  in the shelter of the snow hole. Wind changes all the time and the entrance can get easily blocked. Get ready inside if its blowing heavily as when you get out life can get difficult!

Check the weather forecast and be aware that snow will move during the night in the form of spindrift and can easily block an entrance. Put all Gear not being used in a safe place away from where you are digging, mark it as it could be covered by snow fairly quickly. Wear as little as possible when digging it is hard work. Try to keep dry as possible. Use good shovels and kit.

 

Teallach on a wild day in the Cairngorms.

Check that there is enough snow to dig a snow-hole if planning to stay a night! Use an avalanche  pole to check depth and mark roof! The bigger the better, if in a big group link snow holes.  Make the ceilings as smooth as possible to stop drips. A gortex Bivy bag will keep you dry inside your sleeping bag and good sleeping insulation is very important! Remember when cooking you need air make sure the snow hole is well ventilated at all times!  Link snow holes by a rope that way you will ensure that if you have to move out quickly you can reach the other snow holes.

When inside the snow hole it is easy to forget where you are remember the wind and temperature are static inside and a big storm could be brewing  outside. If going out wear your kit. One of ours went out in inner boots and could not get back in. THE SNOW HAD FROZEN AND WAS TOO STEEP TO GET IN WITHOUT BOOTS AND AN AXE! Only the dogs barking woke us, he was lucky. He was an officer so maybe that explains it. Worth carrying a pee bottle to save you going out at night! Always tell someone you are going out, if you have to!  Leave nothing outside apart from Skis bring everything in and be ready to move in the event of a problem!  Have all your kit  really handy right beside you.

There are many more tips.

 

Teallach a cool dog and great pal

I have not snow holed for a long time and may do it again before I get to old?   I have been involved in some massive searches one where we searched the snow hole sites looking for two pals. The holes were covered under 20 feet of snow and we had to dig them out just to find the roof. It is amazing how wild and deep the snow can be in these sites after a hard winter. It has been a while since we had a hard winter but they may be back so be careful.

Missing the old dog.

 

 

 

 

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The Skye Sculpture John MacKenzie and Norman Collie 

I love Skye after over 40 years of adventures on this magical Island . I love its history and it people and have so many incredible days on these hills and all over the Island.  I was involved with the Mountain Rescue for many years supporting the local Skye Team on many rescues and learned much from Pete Thomas and Gerry Ackroyd and many of the locals that make up incredible team. There is no mountains like them in the UK and I learned so many lessons on these great mountains. I was always in awe of those who opened up these hills for us to share, what experiences they must have had in the very early days of mountainering.

I was on the way back from Skye after a wet weekend on Saturday and I was asked to stop in at Sconser and meet Morag and Hector who along with others are trying to hard to get a Sculpture Commisioned of two of my heroes of Skye John MAcKenzie and Norman Collie. John MacKenzie is a special man Skye born and bred as it says below a hero of a time when Skye was remote as the Alps and many of the hills were not climbed. many of the local schools are involved and huge effort has been put in by so many locals over the years and I feel this needs supporting . These two men from the Golden age need recognition  by future generations and what a finer way to celebrate than this Sculpture. Can you help by donating and passing this on please. 

JOHN MACKENZIE: A SKYE HERO
Born in 1856, John MacKenzie, of Sconser on the Isle of Skye, loved to explore from an early age, first climbing Sgurr nan Gillean aged just ten. He went on to be the first ever native Scot to work as a professional guide and was hugely significant in early ascents of the Cuillin.
We are looking to commemorate his achievements and indeed his friendship with mountaineering pioneer, Norman Collie, with a bronze sculpture of both men to be erected at Sligachan on Skye. We hope to gain public appreciation for their pioneering climbs of the Cuillin and to celebrate their connection with the place, and their appreciation of the significance of the landscape within Gaelic culture.
The sculpture will sit alongside interpretation panels with more information about MacKenzie and Collie, and the surrounding area has been developed to make it accessible to all.
At the moment, we are looking for your support to go towards the building of this iconic structure in its equally iconic setting.

They are trying so hard to raise the cash to have this iconic Sculpture built overlooking the Skye ridge opposite the Sligachan. One of the most iconic views in the U.K.


   
The Heritage Group seeks to celebrate the achievements of Norman Collie and John Mackenzie with a larger than life size bronze sculpture set against the backdrop of the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye. 
To gain public appreciation of the achievements made by Collie and Mackenzie during their pioneering climbs of the Cuillin.

To promote the value and connection of the local landscape, wild places and the Gaelic culture

Charity No: SC038527

Find out more
Website

http://skyesculpture.wordpress.com

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Support-the-Skye-Sculpture-Group/133723183309837

Twitter

Flickr

YouTube


DONATIONS 2017 every penny counts please if you can help donate to this iconic Sculpture that will recognise these two true men of the mountains from another era.
Mary Crabtree, great grandniece of Norman Collie Donation £12,500
Local business Skye Donation £500
Scottish Mountaineering Trust Pledge £2000
Galloway Mountain Rescue Team Donation £100
Members of the Glenelg Mountain Rescue team Donation £500
Blairgowrie Ramblers Association Donation £100

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Sadly another wet day on Skye – The Fairy Pools a “honey pot” and Bruach Na Frithe in the wet and misty wander.

Skye Day 2 – I was staying at the fantastic BMC hut in Glenbrittle in Skye with the Moray Mountaineering Club. I had already had a short day previous on Sgurr Na Bannadich before the weather broke. I had an early night after my early start and a broken sleep as the others arrived late to the hut and some stayed up late. I was away early just after 0800 and the weather was not great the forecast was windy on the tops low cloud and rain.The hut is right among the hills and the rain was pouring down and the mist was heavy down to about 1000 feet when I left. It was not a day I would have chosen to be on the hills but I was in the heart of the Culllins and I needed some time on the hills.  My plan was another Munro and Bruach Na Frithe and there was no one up so I left on my own. This suits me as I had a busy two weeks travelling and lots going on in my head so the wind and rain would sort it out.

I had decided to walk in from the famous Fairy Pools car park a few minutes from our hut and as it was early there was only one other car there at 0815. The Fairy Pools are a honey pot nowadays and on the infamous bucket lists of most folk. I wanted to see at first hand the impact of so many visitors, this had been a regular way in and out off the hill for many in the past. It is a lovely place but I never imagined the change due to the popularity and media int rests. Popularity has its problems and this place as you will see later is extremely busy with so many coming to see these now famous pools. Yet Skye has so many other wonderful places so many hidden pools and Glens to visit but this is the most popular.  The parking is crazy the small forestry car park  with no toilets cannot cope so the single track road to Glenbrittle is now very busy.

Sadly later on the cars on my way home were parked along the tight single track road making this road fairly hazardous. It was still quite early and I met two girls walking in they left at 0600 as they had heard how mad it can be here. They were from Australia and we had a chat in the rain, they loved the mist and the colours of the bracken, things we take for granted.  On the path the erosion and mud was terrible especially by the river, where many take their photos from. The many thousands of feet have done so much damage and the peat is fragile and near the path a mud bath and needs so much tender loving care. What a mess it is in.I was not hanging about and followed the river up into the Corrie past the signs telling me I was entering a wild environment.

The river was my companion it was noisy and the ground soaking and boggy and it was head down in the rain that along with the mist was constant.The path was hard going higher up the rain, mist and slippy rocks meant I had to take it easy. The path also a bit battered higher up due to the heavy rain and footfall. I was soon up on the Corrie and into the wind it got colder and then onto the main ridge. The visibility by now was awful even worse wearing specs  the rain made the task harder. I had all my gear on yet everything was soaking after 2 hours walking and the last bit to the summit on the main ridge a bit sporting. I did not stop for a break it was freezing, my camera stopped working as the rain got everywhere. From the top I just turned round and fled of the hill. I had seen no one and the hills were not feeling friendly. My hands were cold and my gloves soaked time for the winter gloves.

On the way up a wet wander the river was battering down there was no one else about away from the Fairy Pools.

There was no break on the summit, no photos and no one to look after just get down in one piece. I found it hard going, there was little visibility and the route down hard to follow. I took care as you have to when on your own. It took a while to get down of the rocks back onto the main ridge and the slippy scree and back to the river and the easier ground. I was soon back at the Fairy Pools in among the crowd many with posh trainers in the mud?  Despite the weather it was as a local said “Like Lourdes” a constant stream of folk heading to these now World famous  Fairy Pools. To me it is  strange to see so many folk in a place that used to be very normal and now they are so special?  Many times in the past I have cooled of in the Pools when this was a place few knew about!

A muddy mess

This place will need so much work done if it is to continue in its popularity ! What can be done but there are so many bus tours visiting maybe there should be an “environmental tax” to help sort it out. Am I being elitist or not seeing things from the tourist view? All comments are welcome.

I was soon back at the crowded car park , there were so many mini buses and tours packed in all making a living and I wonder if they give anything back to the local area. The cars and people were everywhere the rain teeming down. I decide not to linger and then headed back to the hut and straight into a warm shower as I was freezing . A change of clothes some tea and then ate my lunch that I was supposed to have on the hill. I was the first away and the first back it had been a short but strange day?  There rest headed back few had been on the high peaks many happy with a walk round into the corries or the lower hills.

The  Fairy Pools in Skye parking over-spilling onto the single track road on a wet miserable day ” but still they come”

After getting sorted I was heading home after a Meeting with the Skye Sculpture Group at Sconsor it would be a late night and I headed home. The hills were still mist covered and I got few views until the Sligachan.

A wet wander , some time to think and some wet wild hills.

 

 

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A short morning on Sgurr Na Bannachdaich the Isle of Skye 965 metres! 

According to many sources guide books “Sgurr Na Bannadich Munro 190 is one of the easiest Munros on Skye and a fine viewpoint ” it is the most westerly of all the Munros! It is usually done with several others like: Sgurr a’Greadaidh (973m, Munro 185) Sgurr a’Mhadaidh (918m, Munro 277)  or Sgurr Mhic Choinnich (948m, Munro 217) Sgurr Dearg ‘In-Pinn’ (986m, Munro 164) Today it would be only the one unless the weather changed.

I had been watching the forecast and the weather was coming in early just after midday!  It would be misty and wet so I left home very early at 0430 and was in Skye by 0730. It was a bit dark but what a great moon that I chased all morning yet there was not a great light show as dawn broke. I stopped just before Skye and could hear the stags barking a sign I love and appreciate and that never changes as the seasons come and go!

Early morning light in Skye

It is always great to be back in Skye and it did not disappoint. I met a mate who is in the club Andy Lawson with his new van at the BMC hut and he was happy to come with me! We met one of the locals guides who agreed with my thoughts on the weather and was off to the In pin before the weather broke. A hard way to earn your cash.

Now Andy is a fine hill companion but dresses in black so the photos will not be great. We did not mince about and took my car up to the Youth Hostel. There was only another car in the car park and we set of I have been off the hill as Andy has for a few weeks so we took it easy.

Andy the Man in Black at this unusual boulder can you guess its nickname?

We took the easy way into the Corrie the Western Shoulder via Coire an Eich. The terrain above the Coire can be confusing in mist and this so called easy Munro is not yet today we had good viability. I have done a few call outs in this place it can be very tricky with false paths in the misty or snow covered ground can lead you into trouble.

Some great views.

It was a good path though wet in places into the Corrie base then steep scree takes you into the ridge! There were some great views of the wild Corries with the weeping cliffs and ledges wet from the previous days rain. This can be a wild place in the mist when area knowledge is key. There was one person ahead they must have been up early, we saw him in distance? The path even on the way up in clear weather is tricky to locate in places and easy to get onto the big scree. The rocks were greasy and I was wearing my trainers trying them out on Skyes rough ground  they were fine.

Rough scree Andy with his big camera.

We had a few stops for photos ( please change that Black gear Andy)) so reluctantly  I posed so with the yellow jacket they may be okay. As we broke onto the Western shoulder the mist came in and out and the tops were covered. It got cold and it felt like winter was not far away.

Misty summit.

On the top it took 3 hours of easy walking we caught up with the lone walker. He was staying in the BMC hut as was a Warden at one time and Andy had met him before he is areal character. At age 75 with new knees he was moving well and a great example of how to go and enjoy the hills whatever your age.  He introduced himself as Tom Anderson of the Fell and Rock Club and we had a good laugh. Sadly we said goodbye as it was cold on the top with the mist now in no views  so after a short break we headed down.

Our hardy meeting with the man from the Fell and Rock Club. He was going well at 75!

It was a shame we had no views at all of the great ridge or Loch Coruisk. Sgurr Na Bannadich was a great way to get onto the peaks in a good day. The classic in the RAF Team was W.H. Murrays great wander in the Cuiliins. I always loved doing the Dubhs from this side along with Bannadich dropping down again back to sea level, having a swim and then up onto Sgurr Dubh Mor by the Dubh Slabs . The descent into Coire A ‘ Ghrunda and then back to Glen Brittle made it a hard day. I look back and did this great day 6 times what a privilege  that you only appreciate as you get older.

The mist coming in no views and then back to the hut.

Today it was now no view and cold so we headed down and we took it easy it warmed up on the way down and rained for the last 20 minutes. We were soon back at the hut and get my kit sorted it was a short 5 hour day but so worthwhile.

The BMC hut we were staying  has been refurbished and is superb t in Glen Brittle with great facilities and I am watching the rain and mist descend. I had some soup and tea and a short “catnap”. Some of the club are arriving as the rain and mist hide the hills but many will come after a days work and not be here till 2200. It is a long way as the dark nights are now with us.

 

We will see what the weather tomorrow brings it does not look great? It was cold on the tops, I must put my winter gloves in my bag and my hot flask.

Andy has written a piece on his blog well worth a read  http://www.mountainsofscotland.co.uk

 

 

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A superb video on Skye starring Spike Sykes and an early start.

One of my mates Ian “Spike” Sykes has made a video filmed in Skye at the JMCS hut a Coruisk it is only short and is well worth a watch. I hope you can get it with the link attached. There is some great filming in it of the ridge and the story of a huge callout in the 60’s

https://t.co/vINPnMavw2

I love going to Skye I am going today  an early start before the weather breaks it is a 3 hour drive to Glen Brittle  and I  cannot wait it has been a long time coming. I hope to get a day out on the hill before the weather breaks. Skye  is a place dear to my heart and a climbers and walkers heaven. I first went in Easter 1972 there was a lot of snow and it was wild. I was with John Hinde about 100 feet from the top of Sgurr Nan Gillean in a winter storm. There were few on the hills then and Skye was an eye opener. In that summer in 1972  I tried the ridge with a group of two others, Tom MacDonald and Kas Taylor.

They were far better climbers than me and on the final abseil on the Drums I nearly killed myself  when I abseiled of a makeshift harness clipping the gear attachment not the strong point. I owe my mate Tom my life as he  noticed it. After Am Basteir I came off Tom should have continued as we only had Gillean to do but walked off with me as I was struggling. I was very fit but the ridge was mentally wearing and yet I was so near from a great day. I was very fortunate and have had the great privileged of doing the ridge in one go in a day several times and longer expeditions with a bivy many times with young Team members.

It is the finest mountaineering day in the UK.

Posted in Friends, Hill running and huge days!, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, Recomended books and Guides, Rock Climbing, SAR, SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering | Leave a comment

As the winter draws in on the hills, a reminder.

Are your boots up to a winter?

Let’s all look after each other? Todays weather from MWIS 3 Oct 2017

SUMMARY FOR ALL MOUNTAIN AREAS

Gale force westerly winds across most mountains. A frontal wave will affect S Scotland & N England, producing a zone of persistent rain, which will become increasingly extensive during the afternoon. Showery for the Highlands; snow on higher summits, but eastern areas often dry.

HEADLINE FOR CAIRNGORMS NP AND MONADHLIATH

Mountain gales. Scattered showers, snow high tops. It is coming!!!!

Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team at night! Photo Cairngorm mrt

As the days draw in from a great summer it is a good time to look at what we carry and wear when we venture out in the hills. The long summer days of shorts and tee – shirt (did we have any) may be gone but the autumn is a funny time of year anything can happen and the weather can change so easily. We all love the wild and the mountains and it is maybe worth having a look at what we carry and how useful it could be.

Practice map and compass work in good weather no matter how experienced you think you are..

I try to ensure that I go as light as possible but the kit I have should allow me to cope with an emergency on the hill if that ever happens. Unfortunately it can happen so please have a read and maybe even the expert can pick up a few gems? The mountains over the years have taught me that you never stop learning and every year I learn new skills and ideas.

Preparation

Before you go out try to ensure that you have done some preparation, eat well before you go and ensure that all your kit is serviceable. It is good to have a plan of what you want to do and no matter what your experience it is great to get the map out, guide books or look on the web for ideas and routes. Try not to sucked into doing your days objective no matter what the weather. The hills will always be there, the secret is to be there with them. It is also very important to look at the weather forecast and remember it is a forecast a guide but gives you a good idea to what is going on. If the winds are forecast for 80 mph maybe An Teallach is not a good idea!  In winter the Avalanche report is critical as is the previous day’s weather. You may become a bit of a weather anorak but the knowledge gained is power? Pick a route/climb suitable to your abilities and your companions. In a club this can be difficult and it is always worth asking about experience, fitness, and medical conditions in a group.  The daylight hours are less so be prepared to be away early

What do you need? Late – Autumn

Waterproof / windproof outer layer (including protection for the legs)

□       Warm inner (base) & mid-layer(s)

□       Suitable footwear 

□       Map, (in plastic waterproof bag) compass and watch, phone spare batteries.

□        head torch  spare batteries and whistle ( many now carry another torch as it is easier)

□       First aid kit – lightweight and simple

□       Adequate food and drink – drinks bottle – flask of hot drink in cold weather

Hat / balaclava and gloves

□       Spare warm clothes (extra layers for cold conditions or emergencies)

 

□       Survival bag or lightweight bivvy shelter for group use (highly recommended if there is a chance of being caught out overnight.

□       High energy emergency food – only intended for use in an emergency

□       Wet bags or Resealable plastic bags to keep equipment dry

□       Rucksack to carry it in?

On the hill

When I worked in the Rescue Co – Ordination Cell I was speaking direct to people at times on the phone who were lost. There mate had fallen or they had split up and yes the mate had the only map and compass in the party. It could be harrowing at times lost in the mist or unable to help your friend who has fallen, a nightmare scenario but very real.  If you go out in the hills I feel then you have a duty of care to each other.

Who navigates in the party? Never leave it all to one person we should all be able to assist. Do you carry a map and compass, is the map protected from the weather? We all should and be able to use them? Could you get yourself of the hill safely to go for help? Many accidents are caused by navigation mistakes, which can lead to more serious incidents. This is the time of year to learn and sharpen up on your navigation skills and fitness.  I am sure more experienced friends will help teach you the basics of navigation. You do not need  mountains to practice this.  It can and is fun to do some navigation.

If you use your phone remember that it will have a battery limitation, ensure it is covered for bad weather lots of cases protection about.   Do you use a GPS and do you carry spare batteries for it? Is your torch serviceable, do you check it every time you go out, do you have spare batteries,  many carry a spare torch it is easier?

Mobile in a protective case and a spare battery essential.

Try a walk at night it is completely different and navigation is not so easy. Could you cope with a minor accident in the group, do you carry a first aid kit and could you use it? Help may be a long way away. All worth looking at as it takes time for a helicopter or team to come and assist maybe 2-3 hours or more and if the weather is poor longer.  Hang about for an hour on a summit and see how cold you can you get. What would you do in this situation? How would you summon help, all worth looking at before as it could happen?     Do you carry any survival gear a bothy bag, bivy bag well worth thinking about, just google them and see? Is your phone registered with the emergency 999 service?

Be aware of the rivers at this time of year.

I lecture regularly on Mountain Safety and about 10% of mountaineer’s phones are registered, it’s free and works. It is a necessity.  Make sure your phone is fully charged before you go!  Why not spend some money and go on a course and learn brush up on some simple skills there are lots available and they will cost less than that fancy jacket you may have.

Get out and have some fun it is a great time of year.

 

Any views?

More tips next month ?

Posted in Equipment, Gear, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, People, Recomended books and Guides, Scottish winter climbing., SMC/SMT, Views Mountaineering, Weather | Leave a comment

Dick Tough RIP – A long standing member of Lomond MRT and of the Mountain Rescue Executive.

This is from the Scottish Mountain Rescue Facebook page:

Dick Tough RIP Oct 2017 Photo Lomond MRT

” SMR were saddened to hear of the passing of Dick Tough. Dick was a long-standing member of Lomond MRT, serving on Lomond’s committee and holding posts of Training Officer and Deputy Leader. Nationally he held the post of Treasurer for MRCofS for about 12 years up until the AGM of 2008. He continued to be a supporter of Lomond MRT and attended their 50th birthday celebrations earlier this year. He had a sustained and deep commitment to MR, locally and nationally; operationally and through national work.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

I knew Dick well through my work with the Executive of the Mountain Rescue when I was the Vice Chair and then the Chair.  Dick was the Treasurer a huge voluntary task and one he did with true professionalism. We got to know each other well these were long meetings that seemed to go on and on! We always had a laugh and shared some stories with John Hinds  often into the wee small hours. Looking back we even had a few walks between the many meetings we attended as Executive members and shared a lot of time together.

Dick was an ex Navy  Officer and with me being RAF we worked well together during our time,there was a lot of banter. He will be sorely missed and my thoughts are with his family.

This is from Lomond Mrt

 

Dick Tough – “It is with sadness that Lomond MRT mark the passing of team member Dick Tough. Dick was a Team member since 1979, Faslane Royal Navy Officer, Dick, was the team’s first ever official Training Officer. In six years transforming the nature of our work. Later to step into the role of Deputy Leader, proving to be indispensable. Nationally, Dick was appointed as Treasurer for The Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, serving for twelve years until 2008, always showing a sustained and deep commitment to the cause of Mountain Rescue in the United Kingdom.

“He always knew what to do in difficult circumstances and never wavered. He was a master at delegation (perhaps stemming from his military background) and was highly skilled at persuading others to lift, carry, fetch etc! But it was a gentle touch that endeared everyone to him. Dick was a professional, disciplined, effective and committed team member and he will be remembered fondly, not least for his memorable mulled wine each Christmas” (Bob Sharp, former Team Leader)

Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this time.

Thanks to Lomond MRT, Scottish Mountain Rescue and Bob Sharp for the use of their words and photo.

 

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