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Mountain Rescue

Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Giant Stoneater » Tue Feb 16, 2021 4:43 pm

Maybe a compulsory navigation course for people who are rescued off the mountain by MRT that have a self reliance on the use of phones etc but fail to grasp how to navigate.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Sunset tripper » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:07 pm

gman wrote:When exactly was this golden era of self-reliant mountaineering experts on the hills? I know a few guys who hitchhiked to Arrochar and Glencoe in the 50s and 60s, they'll gladly tell you how clueless they were when they started out. Must have been before then?


I totally agree but I think the difference before mobile phones was that you had no option but to get yourself off the hill or sit it out in the hope help arrived, whereas now people know they have the option to phone for help (signal dependant of course) and some maybe factor that in to what they get up to.
MRT even recommend you take a fully charged phone just in case, because it is a great assist for them in pinpointing your position and getting you off the hill or even just talking you down.
But yes people always did daft things and were underprepared, probably even more so way back, but there would have been more of a feeling of being on your own and in charge of your own survival - if that makes any sense. :D
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Lightfoot2017 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:08 pm

Not a supporter of this proposal tbh.

Importantly, as has been said above, MRT themselves don't support this proposal.

I wonder how many people, after having been rescued by MRT, make a donation to the Team that rescued them? Or undertake a wee bit of fund-raising (sponsored walk or whatever) to show their appreciation.

That seems to me to be a more positive (and less punitive) approach.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Coutts94 » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:40 pm

Disagree with the charge, this would probably cost lives as people would probably be less likely to phone.

There has been an increase in call outs due to mobile phones yes, but there has also been a huge increase in the amount of people going out into the hills.

The number of people that mobile phones have saved due to navigation could also be added there, so it could easily be proportionate.

Technology has also improved the Safety of MR in the last few years. I have previously volunteered for Scottish Mountain Rescue and was involved in there latest radio upgrades. Mobile phones are not the problem, its more down to lack of preparation and experience.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Sgurr » Tue Feb 16, 2021 5:43 pm

Daughter was rescued from a rock out in the sea (back in the day....1979) when someone banged on the Office of the Links Trust and pointed out that there seemed to be 2 girls stuck there. He phoned the police who said "It's a wind up, " to which he replied "I am the Secretary of the Links Trust and do not participate in Wind Ups." helicopter came, and we gave a donation. To my surprise they hadn't expected said donation and said many people didn't even thank them as they were too ashamed at their nearest and dearest calling out MR. They kindly told my daughter that if they hadn't rescued her and her friend they would have had to drop one of them into the sea so the winchman could keep up his skills.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby gman » Tue Feb 16, 2021 6:21 pm

I was climbing with a guy from Lakes MR a few years ago and asked about mobile phones, he thought they were a good thing - people could tell relatives etc they were going to be late so there were fewer false alarms, some people who were lost could be given directions over the phone so there was no need for a call out. It was also easier to contact team members, he said it was common to phone round local pubs to find them before mobiles were popular.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby davekeiller » Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:46 pm

I understand the sentiment, although I think it's misguided.

Part of the problem seems to be the way that newspapers fill the weekend pages with "Brtiain's 10 best walks" and "20 mountains to climb before you die", leading to people going out and doing things that are beyond their capabilities because it was in the paper or on TV so it must be all right.
The ease of calling out MR probably does lead to more frivolous call-outs, but also likely saves just as many lives. It's a bit like cricketers wearing helmets - the safety afforded by the helmet probably means they take more risks, but it also means that batsmen don't get their skulls fractured.

Personally, I think a better approach would be some kind of publicity campaign to remind people that MR are all unpaid volunteers, coupled with skills training for those that want it.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby weedavie » Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:10 am

So is that a no, then?

I'm still mildly enchanted by the idea. As I said, the whole idea is a thank you to the volunteers rather than a punishment. The sum is nominal but might at least make people think about whether they need to invoke callout.

I did consider whether it would lead to insurance but I felt the low amount involved would be insufficient to attract sellers into the market.

The really weak point, which nobody touched on, was collection. The worst outcome I saw of that was handover to one of those third-party organisations that chase people for overstaying their time in supermarket carparks. My app idea was glib at best.

I think a number of people do make a donation to thank the MR voluntarily. But I remember the degree of surprise from the team that rescued the foreign kids off Ben Nevis last winter when they did exactly that. It's not common.

As for the dangers of the Cobbler, I've been very trepidatious up there in winter. But at 3pm on a misty afternoon in May, the instructions are easy. Don't try to go down crags. Find a path. Sorted. Instead they called out the MR and paid £200 a head.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby matt_outandabout » Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:43 pm

The sum is nominal

That depends on how much money you have.
To many that is simply unaffordable.

Overall it goes against the grain of a voluntary rescue service who do their job without prejudice or judgement.

The Cairngorm John book has good insight into this if I remember correctly.
https://uk.bookshop.org/books/cairngorm-john-a-life-in-mountain-rescue-10th-anniversary-edition/9781912240647
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Marty_JG » Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:16 pm

weedavie wrote:But at 3pm on a misty afternoon in May, the instructions are easy. Don't try to go down crags. Find a path. Sorted.


Please don't ever volunteer to staff a mountain rescue helpline.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Sunset tripper » Wed Feb 17, 2021 8:32 pm

Lochaber did tell one guy who phoned for help because he was wet, that they wouldn't be coming for him and to make his own way down.
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby rgf101 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:02 pm

What about phoning up for advice, or to ask for rescue but they end up just helping you walk out over the phone? Would there be a premium rate number?
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby Gordymck » Thu Feb 18, 2021 3:19 pm

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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby chasegrisby56 » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:44 am

matt_outandabout wrote:
The sum is nominal

That depends on how much money you have.
To many that is simply unaffordable.

Overall it goes against the grain of a voluntary rescue service who do their job without prejudice or judgement.

The Cairngorm John book has good insight into this if I remember correctly.



oh thanks for sharing, never heard of this book before. I'm just starting my mountaineering journey.
I think it will be useful to read!
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Re: Mountain Rescue

Postby simon-b » Fri Feb 19, 2021 1:28 pm

What costs the economy, health and emergency services more out of:
1. Accidents among the active population
or
2. Lifestyle related diseases among the sedentary population?

I'd have thought any financial disincentive to be active would cost society more overall.
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