Tragedy in the Ukraine – What are we doing about it?

I am travelling back from a great trip down South after being with the Grand – kids and at a wedding in Barnstaple! It will be a very long journey over 630 miles in the car! It was a special time with the children who have so much trust and faith in the world.

I have had several kind messages thinking of me when the terrible photos of the Ukraine Plane Crash were shown on the news. The media is full of the tragedy with the horror tales making front page news day after day!

What a crazy world we live in!

What a crazy world we live in!

What a terrible event and what horror on the news. What happened ? will we ever find out? as governments try to hide the truth? To have the families seeing the photos of the scenes and their loved ones who are only now being moved after 2 days and the uncertainty of any investigation? So much money is tied up in our economy and especially London by Russians will this effect what our government does to try to find out the truth. The world is a dangerous place just and my thoughts are with all those who lost loved ones!

The similarity to Lockerbie were awful and it did bring back awful memories for me but I am lucky I can cope with it now!I feel for all those involved.

It is unbelievable that the bodies are being kept as a bargaining tool while the word watches, what a tragedy for the families who are in my thoughts and prayers.


My friend Pete Greening wrote this” I climbed a  new rock climbing  route,

Pete Greenings new route in Cornwall.

Pete Greenings new route in Cornwall. Photo Pete Greening.

named in memory of my friend, Stephen Anderson who was killed on Mayalsian Airlines flight MH17. Like Tweelie, it is like him small in stature, honest and friendly.

For those who are interested, it lies between Porth Loe and Carn Guthenbras, just beyond The Towers of Deception. The rock is good. Accessible from mid to low tide.”



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1982 Skye – Sgurr Na Stri F111 call- out a letter of thanks 32 years after – John Ellis Roberts RIP

The best view point in Scotland?

The best view point in Scotland? Stron Na Stri on the left of Loch Coruisk Skye.

Many people are effected after a Mountain Rescue call out especially if it has a sad ending. One of the most amazing things is that families always get in touch some many years after an accident . I was checking my emails when I received one from a wife of an American aircrew from an F111 aircraft that crashed on Skye in the winter of 1982.

“Thank you for replying to my email.  I felt my words of thanks may have seemed small and inconsequential after nearly 32 years, but they were heartfelt.  I never imagined events transpired as they did, I thank you again with sincere apologies that it was not sooner.” She had located the blog and after all these years hopes to visit Skye in the future.

2012 December walk in to the  JMCOS hut.

2012 December walk in to the JMCOS hut.


The F111 crashed on the diminutive Sgurr Na Stri is only 494 metres high, however many walkers reckon it is Britain’s finest viewpoint. Its ascent is a long and tiring but fairly straightforward walk. That is from Walk highlands – at night in winter it was a wild effort to find the crew after an epic flight into Camusunary (a bothy in Skye at Sea level) in a white out! I have written the story previously and in 2012 in December we visited the area after an epic walk in.   It was one of the hardest call -outs I had ever done and the hill though 0nly small involved a wild river crossing, a bivy and the hill is covered by steep cliffs and fresh snow but what an epic. I learned so much on that incident that was to be of great assistance in the years to come.

Some sad news from Alaister Haveron

Death of John Ellis Roberts MBE – 17th July 2014

John – Ex Head National Park Officer Snowdonia

Sad news again. John died/killed on Dinas Cromlech, Llanberis Pass. Near top of Cenotaph Corner. Received the bad news from Brian Jones, Capel Curig. No more details of what actual happened at present. I will let you know the funeral arrangements when I get them.

Alister Haveron
RAFMRA Welfare Officer
01766830511 or 07557403972.

John Ellis Roberts was the main man on Snowdon when I was at RAF Valley MRT in the early 80’s  – we had as you do a few discussions( I was a young gun then) but did many call- outs together. We ended up good friends in the end. I was hoping to meet him this year if I manged the RAF Valley re union.    RIP John.


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I am still down South the Grand-kids have gone on a camping holiday ( camp over to Lexi aged 4) I am a tidying up and leave tomorrow for a wedding in Barnstaple! I have had great fun but missing Scotland so much and the mountains! It makes me think of Arran and great times in this magic Island.

1960 Arran - who needs kit to enjoy the mountains?

1960 Arran – who needs kit to enjoy the mountains?

The photo above is on Goatfell  on Arran in the 1960 look at the gear we were wearing!

1976 West Flank route Cir Mor

1976 West Flank route Cir Mor

Great days when we were young on a short ferry from Ayr and an Island of memories for me all great ones.

1998 Arran Achir Ridge

1998 Arran Achir Ridge

Great days climbing and a winter traverse many years ago a a magic day, great rock climbing on the Arran Granite.


Labyrinth Cir Mor.

Labyrinth Cir Mor.

All kinds of climbing some very unusual!

In the depths of the Chimney!

In the depths of the Chimney!

Early start tomorrow the weather is forecast to be 30 degrees in Henley – I hate driving but it will be great to see Nic, Kari, Lily, Dave & Sue who have come over from Canada.

When I get home the Blog will continue!






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Some ideas/ thoughts?

Leave nothing but footprints - take nothing but photos?

Leave nothing but footprints – take nothing but photos?

Leave Nothing but footprints take nothing but photos?

1928 Callout before Rescue Team Photo Ray Sefton

1928 Cal – lout before Rescue Team Photo Ray Sefton

The Search for Baird & Barrie – Cairngorms 1928 – all that could helped!

Adavanced Base Camp Everest 21000 feet - life is  a spoon?

Adavanced Base Camp Everest 21000 feet – life is a spoon?

Life on Everest on the Tibetan side the Yak herders and their families go to Advanced Base Camp at 21000 feet. Life is a spoon!


Posted in Bothies, Enviroment, Equipment, Expeditions - Alaska - Himalayas etc, History, mountain safety, Mountaineering | Leave a comment

Mick Anderson RIP

Just to let people know the Mick Anderson – RAF Helicopter Winckelmann and MRT troop had a private family funeral a few weeks ago. It was Mick’s wishes for a low – key affair.

On Friday Mick’s ashes were scattered over the Cairngorms by 202 Sqn helicopter and 4 friends who walked up the hill. A fitting way to celebrate a great life in an area where Mick loved the mountains and did many rescues.


I was away down South so I missed the day but it was as Mick wanted low-key event. When I return home I will be out on the hills and will remember Mick’s with a quite time as most of his friends will do!

1984 Mick Anderson

Mick’s family’s have been in touch and loved the tributes written by so many of Mick’s friends on my blog . They are going to produce an album for the family from all the stories and photos. Mick was a very private man and  said little they all are amazed by some of his friends tales. If you have any memories of Mick could you please could you contact me and I will pass them on.

Farewell Mick thanks for so many great memories of magic days on the hills, helicopter pick ups in wild places, great political debates, expeditions, mountains and wild times.

These were the “Golden Years of SAR”  what a part you played, it was a privilege working and knowing you.

Heavy ( My Blog on the 10 June has a tribute to Mick on it)


Posted in Friends, Views Mountaineering | 2 Comments

Heatstroke on the hills


No hills for a week and I am enjoying the break with my precious grandchildren down South. The weather had been incredible but very hot, with wee ones you have to watch. I spent 13 months with the Desert Rescue in 1974/1975 in the Persian Gulf on Masirah Island and I am aware of the effects of the sun it can kill . EVERY YEAR WE GOT CAUGHT OUT BY TEAM MEMBERS AND THE EFFECTS OF SUN STROKE!

Desert Rescue I chose to pose - note the hat

Desert Rescue I chose to pose – note the hat on my head!

When I was in St Kilda we nearly had a big problem with the heatstroke on the hills. Heatstroke is serious and on the top of the Chambr a local hill about 3 hours from Village Bay one of the walkers I met felt really bad on the summit. He had run out of water and was not really dressed for a very warm day on the hill. It was about 20 plus degrees with no wind and the sun was hot! I had not been with him all day  but met him near the summit by then he was 2 and a half hours into the day. He was still wearing a huge jumper, heavy trousers and  a heavy cloth bunnet.  I mentioned the heat and he said he got cold on the hill? Anyway on the top he looked awful and dizzy and it took about half an hour to sort him out! All I could do was get his jumper off open his shirt and cool him down with my bandanna soaked in water.

No water at all about carry enough to cope with a hot day!

No water at all about carry enough to cope with a hot day!


He drank over a litre of water and cooled down . I was worried there were no Phone comms and a long way out. Nearest help maybe 2-3 hours away and no water on the hills at all.   Lucky I had a spare hat with me and two litres  of water. I carried all his gear of the hill and we struggled back. The ground was fairly steep l was really worried how he would be but we made it back to the sea. We stopped paddled in the cooling sea and cooled down. I now had a blazing sore head as I had given all my water away and the streams on the hill were very dry after a hot few days!  (A sore head is a sign of dehydration!) Every year heat exhaustion cause problems on the hills what can we do?


Cooling Off at the end of the day!

Cooling Off at the end of the day!

Simple Precautions.

Stay of alcohol and drink plenty of fuid before  you go!

  • take and drink sufficient water / check your urine during the day clear means plenty of hydration!!!!
  • drink when thirsty (and drinking a little often can prevent dehydration)
  • do not drink to excess just because it’s hot
  • take appropriate food (peanuts, Complan)
  • wear shorts/ long thin trousers/ watch out for sheep ticks/clegs,
  • wear a short sleeve base layer/ have a light long one available.
  • wear a hat/ bandanna the neck must remain cool.
  • use sun cream and re-apply periodically. Be aware of the dangers of sunburn!
  • wear sunglasses
  • consider carry a rehydration treatment?
  • plan a route that is appropriate to the forecast, i.e. shorter less strenuous one for a very hot day – go early out of heat of the day.
  • cool down at streams by swilling your face and forehead in cool water, or even dipping your hat in the water to wet head.

Always drink plenty on the way home and all will be fine – when you need a few pee stops all is back to normal.

Posted in Enviroment, Equipment, Friends, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, mrdical, Weather | Leave a comment


It was a long drive from Scotland to Henley stopping to see my family in Ayr. Lots of memories walking about in Ayr

Next day it was on to Henley past Bill Shankly memorial (the Great Liverpool manager) at the deserted village of Glenbuck to the manic motorway driving. This area was a hard mining now all the pits are closed and Glenbuck is no more, some great footballers came from these humble places. Nowadays it is all history and sadness, is this progress?  The M74 was festooned with Wind-farms not turning ? Then crazy busy M6/M5 M40 to Henley. How do people live like this, needs must but what very busy places and so expensive £3 for a cup of tea!

Bill Shankley Memorial Glenbuck

It was all so different from last week in St Kilda the peace and solitude to a busy world. It was great to arrive in Henley very busy with the Festival in full flow ! The town is busy and so much to see and do a very different way of life- no recession in Henley!

The kids are magic Lexi 4 a bundle of energy and Ellie Skye 6 months a smiling baby! I am having special times. We walk to Nursery every day Lexi singing “Ali Bali Ali Bali Be” all the way!

Lexi running at Sports Day - worth the drive!

Lexi running at Sports Day – worth the drive!

Life is busy and few speak as they commute to the city – I am so lucky where I live but it is a wonderful place. The river is ablaze with flowers and the boats are everywhere. The walking is lovely away from crowds and you can get peace at times. We have a play and an ice cream in the meadow most days and yesterday had a great visit to Greys Castle just up the road. We had some real fun here with a fantastic place for the kids to play and the most magnificent gardens on full bloom!

Ellie Skye a lovely happy child.

Ellie Skye a lovely happy child.

That night Brian Ferry was playing at the festival and you could her him on the garden incredible music. I babysat last night as Dave & Yvette went out in a boat on the Thames. They had a fun night but both kids woke to the sound of fireworks ! Lexi went back to bed but I took Ellie downstairs as she would not settle. She fell asleep on me and it was lovely being with her looking out at the sky and the fireworks with the wee soul fast asleep.


Today I will be out tonight on the Thames with Dave & Yvette it will be a fun night! They have hired a boat and it will be a wild night. This time last week I was on lonely St Kilda a wonderful place that few visit. I am so lucky and I know it!

henley 1

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