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Hypothermia in Pap of GlenCoe

Hypothermia in Pap of GlenCoe


Postby Andrea Reis » Thu Jun 25, 2015 3:28 pm

Route description: The Pap of Glencoe

Grahams included on this walk: Pap of Glencoe

Date walked: 13/05/1997

Time taken: 3 hours

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Many years ago I was backpacking around Scotland and decided to visit Glencoe. I'm from Brazil, but I love cold weather and mountains, and I was in love with Scotland! :wink: I was staying at the youth hostel and the guy from reception told me about to climb pap of Glencoe...he said it was an easy path, and I was able to do by myself. The next day I went for it...It was a very typical scottish day, cloudy, cold and with a fine drizzle... In the top of the mountain there was a very dark cloud, I actually could not see the top at all...but I was so naive and unskilled that I decided to see what was inside that cloud...so stupid! I wasn't wearing real waterproof clothes,I wore two pair of gloves but they weren't made with waterproof fabric...The weather was getting worse but I didn't notice, I was very excited climbing...only when I arrived in the top I realized that I was soaking wet...I took my gloves off I could see that some of my fingers were completely blue...It was so frightening, bt I could not go back anymore..I was inside the cloud in the middle of a horrible storm...the wind was so strong that I fell in the rocks few times...then I could note that my knees and elbows wasn't answering in a proper way. I could not flex them....It was very hard to stand up and walk...even breathing was getting difficult...I started yelling to God that I woudln't die there...travelling to Scotland was a dream to me and I could not allow myself to die in such conditions...I was really scared and mad with God, it was crazy!Suddenly, I saw, some meters from there, a guy, in the midle of the storm, stopped...I will never forget him...he was wearing a pink jacket with hood and there was a lovely sheep near his feet. I started shouting for help but he didn't notice me...I went downhill, hiting my knees in the rocks...when I reached him I could barely walk and speak...I just showed him my hand and said ' youth hostel'....He was a young man, with very fair skin with freckles, dark hair and blue eyes....calmly he said: "wow, you are dying...you have to go as fast as you can" and he showed me a path over there...I wasn't thinking actually, I just knew that I wanted to survive... I took that path and was going down when I fell in the ground. It was hard to stand up but I could hear the guy yelling; " You will be ok, go!" I stood up andwent on...few minutes later I fell again and I was almost giving up...I did'nt feel pain, I was feeling anesthetized...then I heard the boy shouting so loud : You will be ok, just go!!! I looked back, but I couldn't see him anymore, I was already out of the cloud...but his voice gave me faith to keep on...and I made it, thank God! When I arrived at the youth hostel the man from the reception looked me and said "Jesus, you have hypothermia"... my face was freezing, red and blue...he put me in a very hot shower, with all my clothes, and told me that I would start feeingl pain as I started defrosting...I don't know how long I spent there...my mind was somewhre else...when I was able to take my clothes off my legs and arms was completely red as if they were burnt....I spent all the rest of day in bed...but I was alive... Most of people , when I said what happened told me why on earth the guy did'nt went down with me, as he said I was dying and how I could hear his voice...after few days, I started thinking as most of the people: he was probably some an angel...he did'nt touch me, but he gave me faith, he showed me an easier way and made me believed I would be ok. His face and his voice are unforgettable to me. But I didn't ggive up to climb the scottish mountains... :crazy: few days later I bought appropriate clothes and shoes and climbed Thee Sisters with two friends that I met in the youth hostel...even with my knees sore, it was a wonderful day!!!
Andrea Reis
 
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Joined: Jun 25, 2015

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