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Remote Control Rescue

Remote Control Rescue


by Tomsie » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:22 pm

Route description: Stob Coire Easain and Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin

Munros included on this walk: Stob a'Choire Mheadhoin, Stob Coire Easain

Date walked: 26/01/2013

Time taken: 14 hours

Distance: 16 km

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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby pollyh33 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:31 pm

Once again John, thank you so much for being brave enough to post this report.

There is so much to be learned from this and other similar posts e.g. Scoob's.

It is only when there is this level of freedom in sharing information that we can learn very valuable lessons. God forbid people don't feel able to admit their mistakes!

Looking forward to seeing you out on the hills soon X
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby andy millar1 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:08 pm

Glad your back safe and sound ...both of you
I will look forward to walking with you and Dave as you sound like a couple of gid lads!!!
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby ceaser » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:49 pm

andy millar1 wrote:Glad your back safe and sound ...both of you
I will look forward to walking with you and Dave as you sound like a couple of gid lads!!!


we are all on roughly the same amount of hills done andy ,with plenty more to go ...im sure we can meet up for a wee dander :D
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby Tomsie » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:19 pm

Tomsie wrote:
Looking forward to seeing you out on the hills soon X


Me too Polly :thumbup:

andy millar1 wrote:Glad your back safe and sound ...both of you
I will look forward to walking with you and Dave as you sound like a couple of gid lads!!!


Will do Andy you and Kaiser
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby Tomsie » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:21 pm

Tomsie wrote:

Both of us will take a few lessons from this, in a way I'm glad to have experienced this,]


As I'm sure you still a learn a few things yourself.
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby fipriestley » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:57 pm

mgmt! wrote:...I think it very brave of you to post this report...

Indeed, but enough said at that. It was also very helpful to share experiences and personal lessons learned so that others can choose to take heed or not. 'Ifs and buts' or questioning the judgement of those who bravely choose to share all (along side all those who replied positively with encouragement) is less helpful in what is generally a hugely supportive on-line community :)
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby ScottishLeaf » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:48 am

Just came across your report Tomsie.
Can't tell you how relieved I was to see you two were both down safe and sound. First time I've encountered a situation where someone I've known has gotten in difficulty on the hillside. So glad it worked out OK in the end.

Those who know you and Ceasar know you are sensible walkers. You kept out of MAJOR trouble and when the going got serious you called those who could help. I'm sure MR would rather answer a phone call than have to 'locate' bodies. No doubt you'll be joining Scoob in raising cash for them at some point in the future. Look forward to walking with you two again.

Oh! PS Look on the bright side, you're adventure managed to get a confession out of Dawnfoth about having 'adventures' in somebody else's bothy bag!!! :D :lol:

PPS cheers for compliment on the TRs. :)
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby Paul Webster » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:16 am

It is worth posting a reminder at this point that personal criticism of other posters on the forum should be avoided.

Tomsie has as he says put out this report about his day for others to read and learn from. As many have said, this is a brave thing to do, the reason being that it does to some extent invite others to comment on what went wrong. At an earlier point in the thread someone did specifically ask what those reading the report could take away as lessons from it, and we have had a couple of messages from experienced hillgoers who were keen to see a post answering this for those who are unsure. None of the rest of us were present on the day so I would ask all posters who wish to comment on what can be learned to stick strictly to that and to avoid criticism of any particular case. Remember that the original posters and many readers will already have learned these things or thought them through themselves. It may be us that get into difficulty next time.

It is important - particularly in the winter time - not to rely too heavily on a route from a book, or a gps track, or in sticking to a predetermined planned outing.
Have a good look at the map and try to think what additional hazards winter may bring to a route - for instance, routes up and down corrie headwalls are likely to become corniced and may not be safe/practical depending on snow conditions. Other examples are that some slopes used by a summer route may be avalanche-prone on a particular winter's day. Another example is that a summer route may lie along a plateau edge above high cliffs - in winter you'd want to depart from any summer GPS track to keep a safe distance from the edge.
Try to think of escape routes before setting out which might be needed if conditions prove too difficult or if a problem arises. Check the map to see where it may be possible to leave the route safely and descend to lower, easier ground.
Keep track of your current position at all times - once you have lost your position in poor conditions it is very difficult to relocate. See the post on 'relocation strategies' in the navigator's dozen section. A GPS is of great use here. You may have to fall back on map and compass skills too. To keep track of your position in poor visibility, the trickiest skill is probably estimating distance. This requires practice.
Always think about when it is wise to continue in conditions or whether you should turn back. There are no absolute right or wrong answers here as everyone probably has a different point / level of difficultly of conditions at which they would want to take the hard decision to retreat, but always worth thinking about what yours is.
Carrying a bivvy bag / survival shelter can be a great help especially in winter if things go wrong (or even sometimes to eat your sarnies). Some people reading this report have bought one as a result which can only be a good thing.

Thanks again to Tomsie for posting the report and for everyone's comments. None of us know whether it might be us that need to call mountain rescue next time. Be safe!
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby gammy leg walker » Wed Feb 06, 2013 11:00 am

Paul Webster wrote:It is worth posting a reminder at this point that personal criticism of other posters on the forum should be avoided.

Tomsie has as he says put out this report about his day for others to read and learn from. As many have said, this is a brave thing to do, the reason being that it does to some extent invite others to comment on what went wrong. At an earlier point in the thread someone did specifically ask what those reading the report could take away as lessons from it, and we have had a couple of messages from experienced hillgoers who were keen to see a post answering this for those who are unsure. None of the rest of us were present on the day so I would ask all posters who wish to comment on what can be learned to stick strictly to that and to avoid criticism of any particular case. Remember that the original posters and many readers will already have learned these things or thought them through themselves. It may be us that get into difficulty next time.

It is important - particularly in the winter time - not to rely too heavily on a route from a book, or a gps track, or in sticking to a predetermined planned outing.
Have a good look at the map and try to think what additional hazards winter may bring to a route - for instance, routes up and down corrie headwalls are likely to become corniced and may not be safe/practical depending on snow conditions. Other examples are that some slopes used by a summer route may be avalanche-prone on a particular winter's day. Another example is that a summer route may lie along a plateau edge above high cliffs - in winter you'd want to depart from any summer GPS track to keep a safe distance from the edge.
Try to think of escape routes before setting out which might be needed if conditions prove too difficult or if a problem arises. Check the map to see where it may be possible to leave the route safely and descend to lower, easier ground.
Keep track of your current position at all times - once you have lost your position in poor conditions it is very difficult to relocate. See the post on 'relocation strategies' in the navigator's dozen section. A GPS is of great use here. You may have to fall back on map and compass skills too. To keep track of your position in poor visibility, the trickiest skill is probably estimating distance. This requires practice.
Always think about when it is wise to continue in conditions or whether you should turn back. There are no absolute right or wrong answers here as everyone probably has a different point / level of difficultly of conditions at which they would want to take the hard decision to retreat, but always worth thinking about what yours is.
Carrying a bivvy bag / survival shelter can be a great help especially in winter if things go wrong (or even sometimes to eat your sarnies). Some people reading this report have bought one as a result which can only be a good thing.

Thanks again to Tomsie for posting the report and for everyone's comments. None of us know whether it might be us that need to call mountain rescue next time. Be safe!


Fine words indeed Paul,and in the end all that really matters here,and I"m sure everyone will agree is both Tomsie & Ceasar are both safe & well and not another sad winter tragedy.
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby Bushbaby » Fri Mar 22, 2013 1:39 pm

Glad that you made it off safely. Fantastic read and thank you because I learnt a lot from it.

Would you think of posting this story on the MCOS website. They have page for mountain rescues to help others learn from your experiences. http://www.mcofs.org.uk/mountain-safety-lessons.asp
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby Tomsie » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:17 am

I dont see why not since the main reason for doing report is for others to take something from our experience.
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby scottishkennyg » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:41 am

Tomsie wrote:I dont see why not since the main reason for doing report is for others to take something from our experience.

Glad that you and Cesar are sound and well done for posting the report. I agree that we can all take something from reading it. These two hills in the winter can be very tricky to negotiate as I also discovered on a fine October day so I can relate very closely to your experience. Well done to the LMR volunteers for guiding the guys down safely.
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby spiderwebb » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:04 pm

Must be memory loss as Ceasar said as for the life of me I don’t ever remember reading this account of that night until I saw the link in your latest repeat report :?

My own recollection of that day, a day I had headed up Creag Pitridh with the intention of then continuing to Geal Charn (which became a bit of a nemesis for me :( ). Geal Charn had to wait as despite it being superb weather, the deep snow took its toll ascending Pitridh and about turn from the summit. My last pic of that day was at 1420 hrs on descent showing heavy weather coming in and no doubt encroaching already on the Easains. Seen below.

WH1.jpg


I was back at the car when the call came in from Tomsie, ‘you’ll have to call MRT as we’re lost !’ ‘Your joking’ I replied. It sounded serious. I made the call, and made my way to Fersit, a short hop down the road. It was already dark and I received a call back from the police asking me for Tomsies phone number which I had, but without glasses in the dim light from TB1’s internal light had trouble reading it, but got there in the end.
The FB chatter had started and I kept that up to date, having found the guys cars parked a short distance before the car park at the road end. By now the weather was raining heavily on top of deep snow covered ground. Despite the FB chatter I knew I couldn’t just sit there and headed up finding footprints at least as a clue to the start given I was without map for the area. I guess adrenalin kicks in, as I moved quickly despite abandoning my planned walk for the day. The heavy rain made it heavy going, in the dark and I plotted points on the GPS en route to secure my way back.
After some time I got another call from the police, asking me to come off the hill, which I obliged and was met back at the cars by the police who gave me a talk on what would I have done had my GPS failed, both compasses got lost etc etc. :shock:
Some hours later the police returned with Tomsie and Ceasar in the car.

From discussions with the police on the guys location when traced via mobile signals by the MRT, it appeared I was within half a mile of the guys, although didn’t know it at the time I came off. Ceasar recognised me when they arrived but it took Tomsie a while before he did, the cold and no doubt hypothermia taking its toll, or maybe I’m just not that memorable :lol:

But has been said, relieved that you both came off relatively unscathed.
I’m sure you learnt from this having gone over it many times. Each has their own limitations, governed by their own choices, experience, equipment etc. Many folk will walk all the Munros barely getting their waterproofs out or ever veering off a well-trodden route, that is by choice and nothing wrong with that. For myself I have gone out regardless of weather, forecast or not, preferring my own judgement on what is achievable or not. I have always believed that you only gain experience by being out in a variety of conditions as weather can be fickle and unless you choose and determine correctly to walk on blue sky days, you run that risk of being caught out when the ‘experts’ are wrong. Such experience will help prepare for the worst, and no shame in that. In your case a number of seemingly irrelevant events culminated in a more serious affair.

But as I said you will have learnt, although knowing you guys well enough as with others, you probably knew all this already.

Key one for me is study of the map before any walk. I’ve said it a few times, came easy for me as I had a fascination for maps from an early age, well before I started walking. But by doing so, not only gives you an intimate knowledge of your route, but safe escape routes by which I don’t mean a specific path or whatever else but just a general direction towards safe terrain. For anyone unable to grasp this, try marking the map for obvious dangers, escapes and even your proposed route etc, but practice until you can practically have an image in your head, so that you could virtually do it without a map.

The conditions that night would have made objects appear further away than they were, a feature of snowy ground in poor visibility, but again something that cautionary practice can only improve.

There is no such thing as lost, just temporarily misplaced, but as with any form of navigation, you cant know where to go if you don’t know where you are. You guys have walked in various conditions and I’m sure you will again. I know I did, Geal Charn was trying to tell me something that day, it tried to tell me again on the second failed attempt and again on the third successful attempt. Familiarity doesn’t need to breed contempt, it can help to improve techniques, and a deep understanding of your individual capabilities, more so when walking alone as you are most definitely more acutely aware of your surroundings.

Good on you guys for persevering and getting through it and big relief I recall, although not sure a pint of Guiness was what Tomdie needed :lol: and not at quarter past midnight :lol:

WH2.jpg
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby Tomsie » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:48 am

Haha good photo, frozen solid. :D
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Re: Remote Control Rescue

Postby BobMcBob » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:11 pm

Bloody hell, that sounds terrifying. Thanks for posting that, as someone who has never done anything serious in winter conditions it served as a timely warning for me never to underestimate the hills. Thanks for sharing, I reckon it took some balls.
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