Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mount Harris in the snow

I took a ride on some muddy dirt roads up to our Mount Harris training area. Mud season is definitely upon us. Click on the picture to enlarge it and get the full effect.

This is why we bought that 4 wheel drive king cab rescue truck. The college vans are roomy and reliable, but when we have to drive dirt roads to get to a call-out in mud season, they are a liability.

And an accident that put a van out of commission would create difficulties for the college's field trip scheduling.

As it turns out, we may be getting a second SAR vehicle soon, a Ford Bronco six-pack, donated by a college supporter.

The snow was hard, and so Haggis (a failed search dog trainee) and I could walk more or less anywhere we wanted without snowshoes. Not that Haggis has any. When the snow is deep he just plows through. I plan to go back today to try to get to the high lookout.

I also dropped in on the landowner to renew our access permission, which was readily granted. We won't mention your name on this public web page, but we are very pleased and grateful to have access to such a great training area.

Check out our most recent letter from Heavy, our Scottish Mountain Rescue buddy (a member of the Scottish Mountain Rescue Committee and Torridan MRT). Torridon had a very exciting, slightly technical call-out, with a great result. Heavy sent pictures and a summary (below).

It's always great when everything works well and you save a life. This guy would certainly have died without the technical and medical skills, and the hill fitness, of the several teams involved.

So the next time one of you is slogging up Mount Harris in the mud and rain, lost and weary and scratched by trees, and cursing Mick, remember, the real thing is much harder!

Then curse away!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Postcard from Heavy

A 62 year old went off to climb his 100 th Munro Sgurr Na Sgine on the South Clunnie, he never returned to his car.

Kintail MR searched all night with team and dogs, called in my team Torridon and RAF Kinloss, I got there at 1000 we found him alive but in a bad way at about 1245. He had had a heart attack and crawled off the hill to a burn where he collapsed. He was very cold and nearly a goner but we had him off within an hour and will survive hardy old soul!

Great result and I was in at the thick of it. Young RAF guys found him and were fanatastic with their care and kept him alive. The Kintail boys ran down to the road for Oxygen and back up helped by some of the RAF Kinloss, that helped keep him alive, great team work and wonderful too see. In all a great callout with a fantastic result, the helicopter evacuation was scary, I have some good photos.

Great to have good news in this awful crazy time in the world!