Lost and found hikers

T4tomo

Guru
Just been watching this on BBC breakfast

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...ng-two-shivering-nights-in-scottish-highlands

Seem to be a lot of focus on lucky it was mild and great job by mountain rescue, but how on earth if there are two of you, do you allow yourselves to become separated? Walk at the pace of the slowest, don't plough on regardless and leave you're mate behind, and if you are trailing you tell your mate to slow up a bit.
That's just basic isn't it?
The brilliant mountain rescue service should be for when someone is injured or a whole group gets caught out by weather / lost... Not the "I left my mate behind" call out
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Just been watching this on BBC breakfast

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...ng-two-shivering-nights-in-scottish-highlands

Seem to be a lot of focus on lucky it was mild and great job by mountain rescue, but how on earth if there are two of you, do you allow yourselves to become separated? Walk at the pace of the slowest, don't plough on regardless and leave you're mate behind, and if you are trailing you tell your mate to slow up a bit.
That's just basic isn't it?
The brilliant mountain rescue service should be for when someone is injured or a whole group gets caught out by weather / lost... Not the "I left my mate behind" call out
We don't know the details, so it's very easy to criticise.

If you've been in a sudden whiteout, you'll know how easy it is to get disorientated, and then confused, and then make poor decisions .

Even those of us used to hill going and navigation , can get into bother occasionally.


Large areas of the Cairngorms are trackless, it's not easy terrain even for the experienced.

It does seem strange though that he didn't at least have a bothy bag.

And only had GPS nav.

Personally I'd not go without some sort of shelter and map and compass, even if it was only a day walk..

But we don't know the details.

As an aside a woman on an outdoors group I'm part of described how , after getting disorientated, on a hill walk, trouble partly caused by an encounter where she had tried to help others.

She then sat herself down in her own bothy bag, and made a hot drink and called MR..

Not for 'rescue' but for a calming chat.

They gave her some pointers, and reassurance.

She got herself off the hill just after dark, and was fine.

MR said she had totally done the right thing, and would far rather get a call like that, before a disaster, than have to come out looking for casualties.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
Its easy to criticise - im trained to expert level in land SAR, one of only about 70 people in the UK trained to that standard. Technical, oplanning, ops, techniques, water...

No one is better qualified to criticise than me...and I broadly agree with T4tomo. SAR personnel risking their own life and limb (remember, an MREW member was seriously iniured earlier in the year and is now paraplegic) to save the well prepared in the event of accident or emergency is one thing. Doing so to save idiots is quite another, and while they dont grumble much to the media about it you can be damn sure the hikers will have received both barrels.
 

Baldy

Über Member
Location
ALVA
The press reports are incredibly inaccurate on these sort of situations, they weren't even on Ben Macdui as the report says. Don't go by what you read.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
I don't need to speculate.

Im on all the Alsar, MREW, BCRC, SMR, and UKSAR planning email groups, so I see it first hand. I receive them for mutual aid and planning assistance purposes.

I won't divulge any info, but suffice to say im nodding sagely at much of the OP.
 
OP
T4tomo

T4tomo

Guru
The press reports are incredibly inaccurate on these sort of situations, they weren't even on Ben Macdui as the report says. Don't go by what you read.
I didnt baldy, I added the press link for reference, I was listening to them being interview on TV this morning. as was @mudsticks it seems.

it is dead easy to get lost and it may have been foggy etc, that wasn't really said, but its also dead easy to keep together, they may have still needed rescuing. As ever presenters glossed over and didn't ask how / why the heck one had walked away from the other....
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Its easy to criticise - im trained to expert level in land SAR, one of only about 70 people in the UK trained to that standard. Technical, oplanning, ops, techniques, water...

No one is better qualified to criticise than me...and I broadly agree with T4tomo. SAR personnel risking their own life and limb (remember, an MREW member was seriously iniured earlier in the year and is now paraplegic) to save the well prepared in the event of accident or emergency is one thing. Doing so to save idiots is quite another, and while they dont grumble much to the media about it you can be damn sure the hikers will have received both barrels.
You may well be right -

- i'm all for preparedness - like the good girl guide i am - map n compass n good equipment etc etc.

And i have on more than one occasion been that irritating older woman suggesting to people who seem a bit inexperienced at the bottom of a hill that they don't seem to be wearing suitable clothes - "Its freakin cold and windy up there "

or intervening when it looks like a less than hill fit youngish couple are about to attempt a 'short cut' via steep crags - " Probs best go via the path"

However for general public consumption i suspect MR would far rather have it be known that they'd prefer people did continue to call them out - idiots or not.

And lets face it any of us can look like idiots some of the time, however hard we try not to do so..


Better than not calling because of potential 'embarrassment*' a 'ticking off' or for fear of not seeming 'gnarly' enough.

And then having to fetch a body down.

* i wonder how many people have actually died rather than risk being embarrassed..

I try to be super prepared, and 'on it' so as not have to call anyone out - partly because i would be embarrassed at having to do that.

But i'm sure ultimately MR would far rather i called than not yes ??

As @ baldy says - the press reports weren't even accurate as to which part of the Gorms they were in, its often sensationalised reporting along the theme of ' look at these idiots' from reporters who have never even been in those conditions in those sorts of places. .
 
OP
T4tomo

T4tomo

Guru
As an aside a woman on an outdoors group I'm part of described how , after getting disorientated, on a hill walk, trouble partly caused by an encounter where she had tried to help others.

She then sat herself down in her own bothy bag, and made a hot drink and called MR..

Not for 'rescue' but for a calming chat.

They gave her some pointers, and reassurance.

She got herself off the hill just after dark, and was fine.

MR said she had totally done the right thing, and would far rather get a call like that, before a disaster, than have to come out looking for casualties.
yes exactly the right thing to do. and also if unsure of a route or conditions or whatever, MR would much rather have a chat from the warmth of home than have a "proper" call out to the hills. My niece & her partner do MR.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I see plenty of folk up mountains without proper gear or clothing. Doesn't take much for the conditions to change.
 
Unless we introduce competency testing before you're allowed away from the road, or above 300m ...
there will always be a few idiots on the hills.
Since COV#D, millions have probably been out hiking in the UK; fortunately almost all of them avoid serious incident.
It's right for the rescuers to give them a talking to, but pointless acting surprised/outraged about it. I doubt the MRS want everyone to stay safe in their cars 24x7.
 

mudsticks

Obviously an Aubergine
Unless we introduce competency testing before you're allowed away from the road, or above 300m ...
there will always be a few idiots on the hills.
Since COV#D, millions have probably been out hiking in the UK; fortunately almost all of them avoid serious incident.
It's right for the rescuers to give them a talking to, but pointless acting surprised/outraged about it. I doubt the MRS want everyone to stay safe in their cars 24x7.
Agree.

If we want more people out and about, in the hills appreciating nature and getting enjoyment out of the wilder side of life..

And then hopefully wanting to look after it more, we need more and better education , and more encouragement to participate.

Basic navigation skills, and first aid in every school for instance .

And same easily available for grown ups.

The snootiness, and exclusivity you come across in some supposed 'friendly outdoors communities' is pretty horrible.

It just plays into that 'them and us' mentality, that puts a lot of people off from even giving it a go.
 

Craig the cyclist

Über Member
It happens, anyone who has been outdoors has been a step or two from losing someone, stepping over a cliff or walking away from their map which they put down while they adjusted their rucksack. Anyone who says otherwise is a bloody liar.

I have been doing this stuff for years, and consider myself extremely experienced, but along with lots of others with equal or better skills we spent a very draughty and shivery night in a slate mine in 2008! Everyone starting the OMM that year must have checked the forecast and went anyway, but our skills, kit and fitness saw us through.

No-one should have to pass a test to go outdoors, and everyone who has the skills should just gently encourage and teach as the opportunity arises.

The riskiest situation I have found myself in is probably take a route through a very dark forest on Dartmoor in December to get back to a snowy camp quicker by cutting through. I had a big old Petzl Zoom (anyone remember them!) on my head. I looked down to check the map, looked up and smashed the lamp on a branch, leaving me in pitch blackness, in the snow, in a wood, on a moor, on a pretty much moonless night, very much pre-mobile phones. That raised my pulse let me tell you.
 

ColinJ

Puzzle game procrastinator!
I see plenty of folk up mountains without proper gear or clothing. Doesn't take much for the conditions to change.
I was up in Scotland late in May 2011, to scatter my mum's ashes in her home village. After that, the family stayed on for a holiday. Some of the group decided that we should all go to Fort William and walk up Ben Nevis. I immediately got my laptop out and checked the forecast - gale force winds, freezing fog, and blizzards. I persuaded everyone to forget that plan!

A couple of days later I discovered that a couple of French tourists had gone up the mountain that day and got into difficulties. One of them died of hypothermia - newspaper report HERE. :sad:
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
I was up in Scotland late in May 2011, to scatter my mum's ashes in her home village. After that, the family stayed on for a holiday. Some of the group decided that we should all go to Fort William and walk up Ben Nevis. I immediately got my laptop out and checked the forecast - gale force winds, freezing fog, and blizzards. I persuaded everyone to forget that plan!

A couple of days later I discovered that a couple of French tourists had gone up the mountain that day and got into difficulties. One of them died of hypothermia - newspaper report HERE. :sad:
In April when I came across a lass impaled on her bars. Yes it was a reasonable day, but it's not warm lying on the floor on the side of a windy Welsh hillside. They had no other gear with them so gave them my waterproof. I now carry two survival blankets and a survival bag - cost peanuts & weigh nothing.
 

DRM

Guru
Location
West Yorks
When I did the hill walking modules for scouts it was impressed on us that summer and winter conditions didn’t just happen in those respective seasons, it’s quite normal to set off in sunshine in august only to find it blowing and rainy on the tops, having some basic navigation skills with a map & compass, knowing how to pace count, and using it, as well as appropriate clothing is essential, even more basic is going as fast as the slowest member of your group, sticking together, and planning an escape route back to civilisation, should it all go belly up, as well as having something warm to drink, even a bit of water and a camp stove along with those 2 in 1 or 3 in 1 coffee sachets can be a life saver, carrying a survival bag should be minimum, as is if you think you’re lost, stop, try and orient yourself and take it from there
 
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