/ Lost Scafell Pike walkers - MR waste of time?
People need to learn to help themselves.
They seemed so reluctant to do anything I think id have left them there.
Lazy fecktards. As a minimum they need a proper shaming.
> Lazy fecktards. As a minimum they need a proper shoeing.
My mate did the Cullins, with me, wearing trainers. :-)
As to the OP, does this mean that anybody who steps off a metal road has to undertake an extensive competency test and hold relevant paperwork to prove that they are allowed to move freely on the hillside?
We all start somewhere, and we've all made mistakes while learning how get about on the hills. I for one am glad that the MRT's aren't as publicly judgemental as you. Or would you prefer that the people who were rescued died of exposure and were then used as an example to others if they exercise their right to use our National Parks without first going on a Training Course and wrapped in cotton wool?
Hey guess what? My mates and I go out on the hills in the rain and the snow in shorts and trainers. It's called "going for a run". I've also wandered round several lake district hills in the snow in a pair of denim trousers and approach shoes without needing a helicopter. Do I "boil your piss"?
I've also seen several incompetent bellends in head to toe gore-tex with giant rucsacs looking like they're about to expire of exhaustion or walking in completely the opposite direction to where they thought they were going. But by heck they had good anoraks, so therefore they leave your piss at body temperature?
> Hey guess what? My mates and I go out on the hills in the rain and the snow in shorts and trainers.
Think your confusing hardy northerners and southern nancy's
On another note, there is no excuse for heading on without a map and compass in the lakes. I met someone lost on esk hause with a hand drawn map and nothing else, they'd been up Snowdon without a map so figured they'd not need one here. We got them close to their goal before turning back due to 1 meter visibility above 700m.
Unless its your local run around, get one of these
as for calling Mountain rescue, hold off until you are immobile. retrace your steps or take steady steps in any direction until you find an edge or a path. Mountain rescue are there as a last resort.
> Think you're confusing hardy northerners (AKA normal people) and southern nancys
There, fixed that for you :-)
> Hey guess what? My mates and I go out on the hills in the rain and the snow in shorts and trainers. It's called "going for a run". I've also wandered round several lake district hills in the snow in a pair of denim trousers and approach shoes without needing a helicopter. Do I "boil your piss"?
No, because I do the same. you obviously had a failure to understand my point.
People, wearing a polythene poncho, in shorts and trainers clearly have no idea what they are letting themselves in for.
There were plenty of these the other day too, and yes, they do.
I was once asked "Where is High Street?" as the party in question produced a map. "About here" says I, pointing to a location about 1 metre off the edge of the map!
I've been asked if "Haweswater" was just up the valley when the body of water in question was "Hayeswater".
Finally, I was about 100 metres from Esk Hause when a Frenchman asked me where the "mountain refuge (shelter)" was. He looked most disappointed!
> Finally, I was about 100 metres from Esk Hause when a Frenchman asked me where the "mountain refuge (shelter)" was. He looked most disappointed!
I'd have pointed him in the direction of the ODG.
“They were unwilling to move as their ‘legs were seized up’ even though they knew the team would take a further two hours to get to them.”
Did they get carried off in the end?
I'm not cruel :-)
Hmmm. 1 metre visibility ? A map and compass ain't going to help then because you won't be able to see your hands and feet.
"father was not willing to re-ascend to assist in locating his daughter and friend even though their location was now accurately known by the team leader and they were safe on a path although cold and wet."
And the Parent of the Year Award goes to...
> Hmmm. 1 metre visibility ? A map and compass ain't going to help then because you won't be able to see your hands and feet.
My arms articulate so that I can bring my hands to within 0.0000000000001mm of my eyes.
That is basically touching your eye. I hate touching my eyeball.
One can still navigate by contours though. 1 meter is enough to see a map (even if unlikely as a visibility measure).
Nah. I'm almost certain they were walked off. Funny how legs can manage downhill but not uphill....
The point is have you ever been out in 1m visibility ? I'd hate walking on a compass bearing if I couldn't even see my feet . I've never known visibility below 10m (and that was white out and that only momentarily and in Scotland).
Just like windspeed I think walkers tend to greatly exaggerate the severity of conditions which tends to undermine any point they tried to make.
Out of interest what are people's opinions on taking inexperienced people up into the hills when they may be ill equipped but you are carrying enough spares for the and have the experience to get them safely up and down?
Example, yesterday me and a friend took a couple of American visitors up Tryfan, they had never done anything like it before, one wore jeans and they had basic jackets and boots. We carried enough gloves and hats, spare insulation and waterproofs for us all. Both of us had been up Tryfan before, the weather was cloudy with a bit of wind, no rain forecast but looked threatening. Are we irresponsible? Are they? Should you judge people in the hills based on what they are wearing?
I have seen my fair share of ill equipped people on Snowdon, and have recommended that people turn around due to the day running out or not appearing to be equipped well enough.
If the report is correct (probably isnt!) then as a group of 4 they had a map and compass between them, you could assume one person (the father) who knew how to use them.
I wonder if you did a quick survey of the groups of 3 or 4 leaving Seathwaite/Wasdale on a late summer saturday how many of those groups would show a similar kit and experience "ratio". That is, two or three people depending on the kit and greater experience of one of the party? Sounds a bit like the ratio I worked on when my kids were little and we walked as a family...(not that they would have ever left my sight!!).
In this case the wheels came off for a number of reasons but primarily because the group separated. I recall a similar incident in the last 18 months when the same thing happened to a group on a stag weekend, and they showed a similar disregard for the efforts to help the casualty.
Maybe MRT should be allowed to choose to charge people like this, ie where all encouragement for people to help themselves is refused, but how realistic is it to think that everyone going up is going to be equally equiped...experienced...competent??
We could also disband all MRTs so that people have to rescue themselves (or depend upon kind hearted passers by to assist) or we could form professional (as in paid) teams who would charge everybody.
All alternatives have their pros and cons but none would stop people getting into difficulties.
If you really believe that volunteer rescue teams should not respond to people in trouble - no matter who they are or what the issue is - then it does beg the question of what the MR teams are really about?
Are you actually suggesting that they are really just there for the 'unlucky competent' rather than the 'unfortunate incompetent'?
Who makes that judgement? Who levies the charge? Should we just stop being so bloody judgemental?
Be careful what you wish for.
You do realize that if they actually took your advice they would have to charge everyone as they would not be able to discriminate between what is a chargeable rescue or not.
Taking it a step further, I suppose you would also like to pay for the NHS as well, just because a few people have some stupid accidents.
The rescue teams exist to help those who find themselves in trouble in the mountains. Some would argue that the reason they are in trouble is immaterial. I would disagree; see my writing below.
As far as I'm aware, that's now the policy of the rescue chopper system in Courmayeur. If, in the opinion of the crew, you didn't actually need rescuing, or only needed rescuing because you were ill-equipped or under-prepared, you'll be billed.
MRT Team Leader, in conjunction with the Police.
If you have to be rescued and the MRT think your rescue was unreasonable, your details are taken. After a cold-light-of-day discussion with the Police, you are sent a bill - nothing astronomical, say £100-150 to cover diesel for MRT vehicles and W&T on team equipment. If you don't pay, small claims court. Think of it as a fixed penalty notice for being a tit.
There's a world of difference between the incidents that MRTs were set up to deal with decades ago (climbing accidents, accidental slips and trips, health problems showing up at a bad moment) and the type of thing above. They were founded on the idea that the hills are a place of independence and freedom (balanced with the corresponding responsibilities of self-reliance and preparation), but sometimes shit happens and you need help. It seems now that the freedom of the hills is being taken by some without respect for the responsibilities attached.
The MRTs exist to help, and will continue to do so no matter how many people get "lost" while actually on safe paths on mountains busier than motorways. Many members feel that, having the knowledge and experience to help, they have a moral obligation to help no matter what the circumstances (even if they have a moan in the pub later). However, I feel that the corollary of that is that those who seek help because they went out unprepared have a moral obligation to give something in return for the help that is so freely given. If I were ever rescued, I would be making a donation whatever the circumstances.
Should that obligation be enforced? Maybe not. It could be a short road from there to the compulsory rescue insurance that the DM comment threads yammer on about every time somebody slips off Stanage and has to be Seaking'd. But it might just make people stop and think before walking into 30ft-visibility hillfog in their trainers, carrying a Cumbria A-Z and a pack of Hobnobs.
I know, I know, they love it really. But the teams are charities and subsist entirely on donations to pay for equipment, repairs, vehicles and petrol. If you cause a call-out by being ill-prepared, I don't think it's unreasonable to be asked (told) to make a contribution.
> Out of interest what are people's opinions on taking inexperienced people up into the hills when they may be ill equipped but you are carrying enough spares for the and have the experience to get them safely up and down?
Happens all the time, and it's not a problem if you prepare for it / expect it. Husband and I were leading teenage scouts in Snowdonia last weekend. Horrible conditions, driving rain, low vis, gusting winds. However, between us we had 3 maps, 2 compasses, and enough spare kit to hand out when it appeared that an affirmative answer to "do you all have your spare hats and gloves?" actually meant that one hadn't brought any, and another thought fingerless fashion gloves counted. If you take on a position of responsibility, be prepared and responsible, then dramas are averted.
> I don't think it's unreasonable to be asked (told) to make a contribution.
And don't most people make a donation when they get helped? I had to call CRO out a few years ago because a couple of blokes I was with were too fat to get through Slit Pot - apart from being roundly mocked by all my brother's mates and Jack Pickup making dire predictions about what'd happen to a bloke who was sat in a sit harness for half an hour, it was all very jovial and there was no mention of costs. They said they were only too pleased to get to go out, and we all stuck twenty quid in the pot to say thanks (and bought them all a beer). I'd be amazed if the majority of people who get helped don't make some sort of donation.
However many of the incidents MRT report on concern groups of mates or peers. "Responsibility" or leadership in these cases is less clear and often this is where the problem starts.
Turning up for those types of informal walks many of us might keep one spare set of "stuff" in the pack, but enough to kit out everyone tagging along??
That's great, and I'm sure CRO were really grateful for your donation and to be rescuing such a co-operative and (relatively) happy bunch of guys. But you're part of the mountain culture that understands and appreciates the great work the MRTs and CRO do. Some people in the hills aren't.
Honestly, I don't think this what I outlined above is something that would ever happen, but I enjoy the reasoning and I think that, if MRTs had that option in exceptional circumstances, it might encourage a little more thought among those who want to get their first experiences in the hills.
Simple solution would be to charge ANYONE who uses the MRT.
Insurance be made available for those who want to cover themselves.
Experienced walkers climbers who can show a certain level of competence get a reduction on their premiums.
Ill equipped feckers who think that the Nevis pony track is a half hour , evening stroll and then phone for help when their open toed sandals cause a broken ankle pay full costs.
Actually I've no idea and that's quite a fair point. Does anyone know? I have some vague ideas and suppositions.
makes me think about the loss of the Solomon Browne (aka Penlee Lifeboat). Would a cost make some reluctant to call for help, maybe until its too late, maybe too late for them and their rescuers?
It's an oft-repeated suggestion - usually from outraged armchair potatoes or walkers/climbers who believe that they're too competent to ever make a mistake.
One of the likely consequences is a sharp drop-off in people taking up hill-walking. The need to arrange insurance prior to getting out is likely to be a serious disincentive to participation. A case of pulling the ladder up behind us.
Also - given MR help with a lot of off-road, countryside incidents, where will the charging system start - 1m off-road, at the back of the field, 250m elevation?
There is a system which works, run voluntarily by people who, in general, are not asking for it to change. It's a source of constant wonder, and no small irony, that there are members of the outdoors community who seem so keen to feather the nests of insurance companies because of a few idiots.
Particularly impressed with Dad who opted to not re-ascend to help look for his daughter. Well done there chap.
For what its worth, I think the clothes you're wearing only really makes a difference when things go tits up, the chances of which would seem to be proportional to your hill skills. Unless its the depths of winter most people will be able to put up with being soaking wet in jeans and trainers if they're on the move. If its crap weather and your lost then you're less likely to be moving. Better hills skills means you're less likely to be lost and be able to keep moving. True?
This case goes to show what modern society has become though. Mobile phones save the day, father shirks his responsibility, everyone expects someone else to pick up the pieces, "it's not my fault" attitude. Insurance on the hills would only make this situation worse by (I suspect) adding an "I've paid for it, where's my damn helicopter" attitude creeping in.
People can be educated, or employ a leader perhaps. Attitudes, such as those found in this case, will be much harder to change as that's a wider problem with society today.
Assuming his daughter is grown up then I don't blame him. 100m from the summit but refusing to get off her backside to get there? Yet somehow miraculously able to walk again as soon as mountain rescue arrived. I'd have left her there too.
I can see exactly how this happens, with headstrong kids trying it on with their father and their father calling their bluff. Most times kids stomping off on their own or having a sit down protest (in the case of my daughter)don't have these consequences. Its not necessarily a father abdicating his responsibilities
> The point is have you ever been out in 1m visibility ?
At night, with cloud cover and no moon is pretty damn close.
> At night, with cloud cover and no moon is pretty damn close.
I recommend investing in a head torch ;-)
> As far as I'm aware, that's now the policy of the rescue chopper system in Courmayeur. If, in the opinion of the crew, you didn't actually need rescuing, or only needed rescuing because you were ill-equipped or under-prepared, you'll be billed.
Indeed, in Italy this is now the official (and enforced) policy of mountain rescue for all VdA and Trentino/Alto Adige (Dolomites). Piedmont still rescue people "no question asked" but this will definitely change soon
MRT volunteers do it as their hobby. They love the call outs, that's what it's all about. No call outs, no fun.
Many teams are very rich indeed, esp in the Lakes. I can't see why they should charge us for their fun.
If they don't like it, they can un-volunteer whenever they like.
I've served in 3 teams (Peaks, Lakes and Scotland) and left the last one when it became apparent that politics and competition with neighbouring teams were hindering rescues. Teams were almost coming to blows over who should do the rescue and who got the credit, with accusations of poaching casualties (!!!!)
If not they could make a judgement on whether people actually needed rescuing in a similar way that 999 services prioritise calls to them. They could ascertain if anyone was actually injured or ill and taking into account the weather and the forecast offer "helpful advice" as to how they should get themselves off the hill.
Once people realised that nobody was going to come and hold their hand a lot of people would realise their legs did work afterall. Perhaps some helpful advice might actually offer enough reassurance to some people to realise the world isn't about to end.
Of course on very rare occasions they may go on to have an accident but then that's the risk anyone takes when they set off into the hills. The role of MRT's is not to prevent accidents.
In lowland, survivability from the environment is far higher as there's usually higher temperatures, lower risk of exposure and less nasty weather generally.
To put that into a highland context, a tired, ill-equipped and poorly managed group calling out MRT because they're lost is frustrating - however - those people are promoted to a far higher level than in the lowland environment because they could quite easily have been deceased within 18-24 hours because the environmental factors are so different.
The press coverage in this instance is used to try and discourage this sort of behaviour so MR resources are focused on those who genuinely are in serious trouble in the future.
Despite some earlier comments on this thread, teams aren't always desperate to dash out on the hill, and what you describe above is a fairly frequent occurrence (perhaps more so with the busiest teams?).
Eg another Wasdale callout...dealt with by the team leader from the comfort of his home.
Not sure you can justify comments about the parent - the MRT report says the lost ones were in their 20s and therefore what age was the father? What do we know of his fitness or health, or whose idea the day out was? Surely the young adults should have looked after the dad rather than separating?
That the MR report saw fit to mention the father's unwillingness (rather than inability) to reascend (and his snoozing in the car as they sorted his kids out without him) tells me everything I need to know.
Sleeping in the car could suggest emotional or physical exhaustion in these circumstances. Not enough facts to condemn, and remember the relative age gap in the party.
It tells me everything I need to know as well - he was so exhausted that he fell asleep, so was clearly in such a state that if he'd gone back up the hill he'd have risked making things worse.
I still can't understand how poor behaviour on the part of the two adult women has ended up being blamed on their father.
I generally trust the MR comment on these things. They don't normally go out of their way to make adverse comment about people involved in incidents, let alone describe them as "a less than helpful group leader – the father" in the press. When they do, it's usually because the person concerned has thoroughly pissed them off.
Of course, I wasn't there, so it's possible the MR team was being utterly unfair on the poor bloke.
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