/ In the eyes of the rescuers when does adventure become folly?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Wonrek - on 26 Dec 2012
I've just been reading about the walker that had to be rescued fom Bodmin moor in the small hours of Christmas morning http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-20844044

And it's prompted thoughts on my own activities out on the moors, mountains and coast path. I like to think I am a fairly experienced trail runner with a high level of fitness gained through running some of the toughest terrain the UK has to offer.

Currently I'm increasing the distances I'm running and am starting to step up to the 60 mile mark which involves being out in fairly inhospitable places at very inhospitable times more and more. I like to think I'm prepared and am knowledgable about the terrain I'm covering and carry all the appropriate kit and emergency back up kit (I think I'm a bit overkill in this area but better to be safe and all that)

So given that I'm going to have to start running through the night to attain the distanc and others are already doing this as a matter of course how do the rescuers see this?

At what point do those that willingly give their time feel that the line between adventure and folly has been crossed?
deepsoup - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:
> At what point do those that willingly give their time feel that the line between adventure and folly has been crossed?

From what I know of MRT volunteers they're remarkably non-judgemental, even in private. They're also (of course) enthusiastic about the outdoors themselves, so they understand your passion for doing what you do.

I suspect you'd probably have to pretty much have your brain removed to come anywhere close to that 'line' - *way* beyond the point where you'd be roundly condemned as a complete numpty in the court of UCK opinion!
Turdus torquatus on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:

I don't run distances that big, so I'm curious to know - do you carry enough kit to keep yourself warm and dry if you're injured, until someone comes looking for you? I'm not suggesting that this is the MRT's definition of folly, just interested in how much stuff you carry on your back.
richprideaux - on 26 Dec 2012

>
> At what point do those that willingly give their time feel that the line between adventure and folly has been crossed?

This was deemed as being beyond reason by some of our lot:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-14793803

Most of the time judgement is withheld unless something monumentally stupid has gone on (Snowdon in slippers etc), and it's worth remembering that most MRT folk are the same as every other climber/runner/biker/walker etc - they make mistakes, try new things, have bad days, have bad luck. Most teams make an effort to communicate and educate on being safe, and don't publicly criticise rescuees.

Statistically those who are rescued have some experience in the mountains and have some basic safety gear with them. It's the ones who set off with 2 hrs of daylight left with no torch or try and navigate using an AA road atlas that stand out.
Wonrek - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Turdus torquatus:
> (In reply to Wonrek)
>
> I don't run distances that big, so I'm curious to know - do you carry enough kit to keep yourself warm and dry if you're injured, until someone comes looking

I'd like to think I do, as I said in the OP I think I'm a little overkill in the gear department. On a local run where I'm out on the coast path but within 10 miles of home I'd likely just have a wind proof jacket, water, a foil blanket, mobile phone, money and snacks.

If I'm going further afield or on less familiar terrain I personally would add in a bivvy bag and full waterproofs. If I'm likely to be out late than head torch and backup emergency head torch also (from experience this can be a godsend) first aid kit, pain killers, whistle.

Trying to think what else I carry, there's probably more maybe I am over equipped or maybe I have a self preservation gene after all?

But when I'm 55 miles in, exhausted and not thinking straight how well equipped am I or others like me? Are we pushing too far?
Wonrek - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:
>
> [...]
>
> This was deemed as being beyond reason by some of our lot:
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-14793803
>
Have I missed something or is there an in joke there? He had a genuine accident didn't he?

richprideaux - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:

Some in our team thought that he was just attention-seeking and could have dragged himself back home. Including his girlfriend ( a team member)...
Turdus torquatus on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:
> (In reply to richprideaux)
> [...]
> Have I missed something or is there an in joke there? He had a genuine accident didn't he?

Speaking as an over-equipper myself, I see the guy in that story carried a flare. Going to need a bigger pack.
Enty - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:

Strange one that. I'd never show myself in public again if I called the air ambulance when I could actually walk.
I know of a another case where a climber broke his ankle and got the air ambulance - AT A ROADSIDE CRAG!!
I'm glad these cases didn't occur at the same time as my mate who nearly died of a brain aneurysm waiting for the air ambulance at a remote Yorkshire grit crag.

E
richprideaux - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Enty:

In this case the idiotic biker didn't call for a heli - the responder for the team did. Suspected spinal blah de blah.

What the BBC item doesn't mention is that he was daft enough to shoot himself in the leg with said flare.

This is why certain folk now call me 'ND'.
muppetfilter - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux: Nothing being idiotic about being in an accident....Being a judgemental Pr*ck however is.


However advertising the fact you are a member of a voluntary rescue organisation on your companys website is a little sleazy dont you think ???
richprideaux - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:

Who is being judgemental sorry?

deepsoup - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to muppetfilter:
> Being a judgemental Pr*ck however is.

Awesome. Its as if Eric Pickles is telling him he should lose a bit of weight.
deepsoup - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:
> Who is being judgemental sorry?

You are. Calling that poor biker an idiot. You don't know maaaan, you weren't there! er...
red.stiletto - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to deepsoup:
Surely he was, if it was him?
deepsoup - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to red.stiletto:
Should I have put a smiley at the end of that? ;O)
franny on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:
> (In reply to richprideaux)
> [...]
> Have I missed something or is there an in joke there? He had a genuine accident didn't he?

I think the joke is that rich prideaux and the mountain biker are the same person...

richprideaux - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

I think I was being too subtle and left myself open to abuse. :-p


Anyhow, back to the OP's question... If I'm out for a short run in the forest or the hill behind the farm then I'll take a phone and not much else. If I am heading out for a couple of hours then I'll add an extra layer for top and legs, a chocolate bar and some water. Maybe a map and a headtorch. If I'm going up a mountain I'll take a small pack with a 2-person shelter and a few other items as well as the stuff listed above.

On the bike I carry the same pack if I'm out for an hour or a day - mostly repair kits and weather/first aid stuff, plus food water etc.

When working I tend to carry more than I need, but there is the duty of care to those in your group (big group shelter, big first aid kit, spare hats/gloves etc).

Something that requires a bit of forethought but is invaluable and free is telling somebody where you are going, when you are back. Carrying a big pack of gear is of less use if you are immobile on some cold hillside with no phone signal and no way of raising the alarm - but if somebody will raise the alarm/come looking for you if you are an hour or more overdue then your chances are greatly increased.
Wonrek - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> I think I was being too subtle and left myself open to abuse. :-p
>
>
> Anyhow, back to the OP's question...

> Something that requires a bit of forethought but is invaluable and free is telling somebody where you are going, when you are back. Carrying a big pack of gear is of less use if you are immobile on some cold hillside with no phone signal and no way of raising the alarm - but if somebody will raise the alarm/come looking for you if you are an hour or more overdue then your chances are greatly increased.

That is a very valid point and not something I do, but then living alone its a bit harder than just telling your o/h or housemates.

Might have a think about that one as I really don't want my adventure to spill into folly and m planning some remote solo runs in the New Year.

deepsoup - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:
> On the bike I carry the same pack if I'm out for an hour or a day - mostly repair kits and weather/first aid stuff, plus food water etc.

And a flare, usually, or did it just happen to still be in your pack from another time?
richprideaux - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to deepsoup:

Was in there from another time. The TL stitched me up with that quote to the press...

Flares (smoke or otherwise) aren't of much use to the average hillgoer. They don't tend to get treated as a genuine call for help (same as "I've seen a headtorch and it's after dark so they must need help" - types of calls) and if a helicopter is on it's way to you then at night a headtorch pointed at the ground will be more than sufficient, and in daytime something like a hi-viz vest would be more visible.

MRTs use smoke flares for marking LZs and giving information on wind direction.
DancingOnRock - on 26 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek: Most sensible people gradually gain experience and push themselves a little bit at a time and learn by making lots of small mistakes over a long period of time.

Folly, is where someone completely inexperienced goes out without the knowledge or equipped to deal with a situation they would reasonably expect to find themselves in.

Most of the people going up Snowdon in flip flops shouldn't, but I suspect a fair few of us here could do it quite safely.
needvert on 27 Dec 2012
If I were in some sort of rescue organization, I think I'd be rather bored if we never rescued one.

Though, the kind of rescue matters. Some would be fun, others mundane. Ergo, needing rescuing on a beigeist 'adventure' would probably annoy me.

However if it was those ill prepared kids who tried to rap El Cap, that sounds awesome!

[I'm not sure if emergency Drs feel the same way about people with stomach pain vs can you reattach my arm kind of injuries]
needvert on 27 Dec 2012
[Caveat: long as significant suffering wasn't involved, that wouldn't be a fun job bringing back bodies, or cripples]
Wainers44 - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:
> (In reply to richprideaux)
> [...]
>
> [...]
> ....telling someone where you are going...
> That is a very valid point and not something I do, but then living alone its a bit harder than just telling your o/h or housemates.
>
> Might have a think about that one as I really don't want my adventure to spill into folly and m planning some remote solo runs in the New Year.

Telling someone where I am going is one I really struggle with. I know it makes sense, is the responsible thing to do etc etc but I normally just cant bring myself to do it. Often even I dont know where I am going for a start.

I cant be the only one on here who finds the freedom to change a plan, or to not have one in the first place, a key part of going for a long run/walk somewhere a bit wild?

I do think about what would happen if I took a bad fall, and yes I probably either dismiss it without thinking it right through or play my invincibility card and decide that I would still drag myself to safety with two broken legs...

As for the kit to carry, its what a proper (rather than a paper "theoretical") risk assessment is all about, so the answer is "depends"

Carolyn - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:

Certainly in our case, the majority of the team do some fell running, so it wouldn't be seen as an outrageously stupid thing to do. As for being out at night, well, we're pretty used to that (on rescues and just doing stuff after work).

I am always pretty nervous when shouts come in for an "overdue fell runner" in bad weather, though, as it's rare they'll be carrying enough kit to survive long if immobile. Most of us have been there, so we know what it's like.....
ceri - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Enty:

> Strange one that. I'd never show myself in public again if I called the air ambulance when I could actually walk.
> I know of a another case where a climber broke his ankle and got the air ambulance - AT A ROADSIDE CRAG!!

Casualties don't call the air ambulance, the rescue team do. A friend of mine was rescued from a peak district campsite with a broken leg and one of my mum's Guides was rescued from an outdoor centre by the air ambulance. May seem like overkill, but its not up to the casualty or people on the internet to decide who gets a free flight.

ceri - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek: A family who had to be rescued 2 nights running were regarded as fairly foolish: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-19456070
Wonrek - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Carolyn: Maybe there's a difference between a fell runner and a coast path runner, I always think what if I break something and have to wait x amount of time for rescue, how will I stay safe and warm in the meantime?

In the gear stakes I think it's become my safety blanket, I felt naked running the Snowdonia marathon(a road race) without my kit on my back!

And it keeps you a little warmer :)
Wonrek - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to ceri:
> (In reply to Wonrek) A family who had to be rescued 2 nights running were regarded as fairly foolish: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-19456070

Scary! I feel tremendously sorry for the rescuer who suffered a broken leg going after these Poole but then I'd feel that for any MRT who suffered injury or loss whilst out helping others.

I haven't said it before but you guys (and girls) are the best! You all deserve praise and accolade for the work you do!
DancingOnRock - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Wainers44:
> (In reply to Wonrek)
> [...]
>
> Telling someone where I am going is one I really struggle with. I know it makes sense, is the responsible thing to do etc etc but I normally just cant bring myself to do it. Often even I dont know where I am going for a start.
>
> I cant be the only one on here who finds the freedom to change a plan, or to not have one in the first place, a key part of going for a long run/walk somewhere a bit wild?

I usually say I'll be over there and back before a certain time.

You don't need an exact plan if you've got enough experience. It's all about probabilities. How likely is it that you're going to get lost, would you be in trouble if you had to come down in the dark, could you stay out comfortably all night? They're all questions that you probably unconsciously ask yourself and decide on who to tell what.

John Rushby - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:
> (I
>
> This is why certain folk now call me 'ND'.

Arise Sir Norbert Dangler
John Rushby - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonrek:

In my experience, the MR guys keep their opinions to themselves (ish).

The Daily Mail of course, makes all sorts of accusations about the cost of rescue and has never in my knowledge, made a donation upon being told numerous times that MRT is staffed by climbers and is a charity.

Carolyn - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to ceri:

Ah yes, that lot.......
Carolyn - on 27 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:

> What the BBC item doesn't mention is that he was daft enough to shoot himself in the leg with said flare.

Sorry, but this is class (and I like the team leader's style, making sure it made the press release.....). I take it the flare was being held upside down?
richprideaux - on 29 Dec 2012
In reply to Carolyn:

Kind of. Lying down, not able to move much and decided to fire it away from my face. Forgot my leg was there...
IainRUK - on 30 Dec 2012
In reply to richprideaux:
> (In reply to deepsoup)
>
> I think I was being too subtle and left myself open to abuse. :-p
>
>
> Anyhow, back to the OP's question... If I'm out for a short run in the forest or the hill behind the farm then I'll take a phone and not much else. If I am heading out for a couple of hours then I'll add an extra layer for top and legs, a chocolate bar and some water. Maybe a map and a headtorch. If I'm going up a mountain I'll take a small pack with a 2-person shelter and a few other items as well as the stuff listed above.
>
> On the bike I carry the same pack if I'm out for an hour or a day - mostly repair kits and weather/first aid stuff, plus food water etc.
>
> When working I tend to carry more than I need, but there is the duty of care to those in your group (big group shelter, big first aid kit, spare hats/gloves etc).
>
> Something that requires a bit of forethought but is invaluable and free is telling somebody where you are going, when you are back. Carrying a big pack of gear is of less use if you are immobile on some cold hillside with no phone signal and no way of raising the alarm - but if somebody will raise the alarm/come looking for you if you are an hour or more overdue then your chances are greatly increased.

Depends.. I have no hard and fast rules.. I'll run up mountains in winter with no safety gear, map, compass, food.. just depends on the route/weather..

ON longer runs, like the winter paddy buckley I actually felt a tad of responsibility towards fell running.. if that makes sense. I like the long runs to see what is possible/safely.. for me any need for a rescue or outside help totally flies in the face of why I was attempting the run..
ice.solo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Wonrek:

i do a bit of rescue.

its rare to question the rescued party unless an incredible level of ignorance has been displayed. to my mind folly is just folly and just as rescueable as serious adventure (tho not everyone may concurr).

who we DO sometimes criticize tho are the third party who raise the alarm.
its amazing what some people do in the face of a potentially bad scenario.

Wainers44 - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to ice.solo: What sort of things or actions do you mean??
ice.solo - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Wainers44:

'i figured one more night would be ok'
'he took his phone'
'i checked the news'
'we waited a few hours in the pub first'
'my grand dad said hed go take a look first'
'we thought youD rather we waited till the rain stopped'
'if there was a problem theyd have called'
'he didnt have much gear but hes into bear grylls'
'we didnt want the papers to know'
'we hired a group of guys from america first'
'we thought you monitored these things'

And my favourite:

'first we tried vigil'.

Several of those cases turned out to be less favourable than just SaR.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Wonrek - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ice.solo: Unfortunately living on my own would mean I've got to rely on myself to raise any alarm.

I was out at the weekend on a very long coast path run half of which was in the dark. I felt prepared and no you can't gain experience in an armchair either. One hairy moment when head torch went out without warning on the cliff.

Learnt a new lesson though, the batteries in my flipping ace head torch can be changed one by one without it going back out (the outage was a warning that batteries wer running low but still had some juice)

I always carry a Petzl e-lite but would've had as much fun finding it in my bag as changing batteries in the dark!
Wainers44 - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Wainers44)
>
>>
> 'first we tried vigil'.
>
I read that as first we tried virgil, presumably and the other Thunderbirds pilot's also!!

Shocking though really. As some of the mountain areas get better and better are marketing themselves as all year round destinations this situation, ie number of rescues etc is only likely to get more difficult I suppose.
ice.solo - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Wonrek:

honestly, i reckon a good person to be your informant, someone who takes notice where you are going, what you are doing (ie, can read a map) is the best thing you can have. someone who wont f*ck around, but will just call without getting hung up on what the teams might think.
a 'blank call' is no shame or big deal.
mikekeswick - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Wonrek: In reply to richprideaux:
>
> [...]
>
> This was deemed as being beyond reason by some of our lot:
>
>
Have I missed something or is there an in joke there? He had a genuine accident didn't he?

Experienced mountaineer eh?? Looks like a bit of a porker to me!! Well done with the flare lad!
ice.solo - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Wainers44:

i like to think im virgil at times...
i have my opinions, but keep them to myself unless asked, but theres times when some folks beliefs are not quite appropriate.
that said, the call out in that example ended ok - the two who were lost themselves went into prayer-mode, which kept them stationary and so easier to find.

its a strange world we live in.
Wainers44 - on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to ice.solo: very strange.

when the pooh hits the fan I find chanting can help, but normally most of the words are particularly non-religious.

The casualty can be the most sensible one present. At christmas I tried skiing for the very first time at Cairngorm (I was easy to spot...30 exhire skis and wearing a climbing helmet!). In front of me a lady took a really bad fall as her skis caught in the chestnut paling fence, stopping immediately with her doing a neat full somersault landing on her head/back about 5M away. She was obviously in pain and an off duty ski patrol lady was passing, told her to stay still (back injury??) while she got help. Despite us trying to keep her still her other half ski'ed up, told her it couldnt be that bad , to MTFU, dragged her to her feet and left her to stagger/limp away!! Wonder how her back is??!!

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.