Thursday, December 6, 2007
Heavy coming to USA
David “Heavy” Whalley, MBE BEM
“Heavy” Whalley was a member of the RAF from 1972 to December 2007. He has been involved with the RAF Mountain Rescue Service (MRS, or just MR) for 35 years. He has been Team Leader of RAF Leuchars and RAF Kinloss MR Teams in Scotland and Deputy Team Leader at RAF Valley MRT in North Wales. He was the Senior Team Leader on scene at the Lockerbie Air Disaster, and has been involved in over 1000 mountain rescues, and over 80 aircraft incidents in mountainous areas. Heavy spent the last four years as a Controller in the Rescue Coordination Centre at RAF Kinloss, giving him a unique insight into general rescue and emergency response organization in the UK. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland for over 20 years, also serving for 3 years as Chairman. He is now the Accident Statistician for this important national body. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for Service to Mountain Rescue by the Scottish Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland in 2002. He is also a recipient of the British Empire Medal (BEM) and a Member of the British Empire (MBE), both important UK national awards given for service to rescue. He was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for his service in the aftermath of the Lockerbie Air Disaster.
Heavy is also a consummate outdoorsman. Mountains and mountaineering are his life. Heavy has completed the Munros 7 times (all Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet are called “Munros” after the cartographer who first mapped them), once with his dog! He has also completed four traverses of the Scottish Highlands, two in winter. He has been on over 30 official expeditions, including to the European Alps, Iran, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Tibet, where he was the Base Camp Manager of the successful RAF MRS 2001 North East Ridge expedition to climb Mt. Everest. He especially enjoys winter climbing and has been winter climbing in Canada several times and has even practised this sport in the Falkland Islands while on tour there with the RAF. Scotland is his love and he particularly enjoys the islands, especially Skye and Rhum.
He is a member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, the Moray Mountaineering Club, the John Muir Trust, and the Mountain Bothies Association, and believes passionately in looking after our wilderness for the future and passing on his experience and love of the mountains and wilderness to others, especially young people. He is planning to join the Torridon Mountain Rescue Team in Feb 2008. He is now retired and hopes to write a book on his life and lecture on his experiences. Heavy lives in Burghead in Morayshire; he plays golf, enjoys watching football, practising photography, and he climbs or walks in the mountains at least twice a week!
Heavy is planning a US and Canadian lecture tour to cities and towns where there is strong interest on mountaineering, mountain rescue, and emergency response. He will give a slideshow of his photography relating to rescue and mountaineering in general, and talk about his mountain rescue and emergency response experiences. Heavy is an animated and passionate speaker, and his photography is superb. Tour dates are tentative, but roughly mid-April to mid June 2008. This is a not-for-profit tour intended to boost SAR, mountain rescue and mountain conservation in general. Tour venues will be asked to contribute to Heavy’s travel expenses, and to provide a night or two’s lodging.
Contact Mick for details