06/05/10 - Linn of Dee
Simple rope airway over the Linn of Dee at recent team training session
25/04/10 - Call-out to Ben Macdui
Working with the RAF Search and Rescue helicopter is a common and very fortunate occurrence in Scottish mountain rescue. Countless lives have been saved across the country over the years by having access to the RAF helicopters; either directly or by them speeding teams and their equipment up to the site of a rescue. Long may this continue. Here team members are waiting to be uplifted back to Braemar after a walker had fallen through a cornice descending Sron Riach in poor visibility.
25/04/10 - Corrie Feragie & Morrone
Vehicle centred training session including recovery techniques and off road driving best practice.
07/04/10 - Glas Maol/Creag Leacach avalanche
On or around Saturday 3rd April a full depth avalanche occurred on the ridge running South from Glas Maol to Creag Leacach (starting at NO158764). The crown wall is an impressive 300m long and over 4m at its high point. Debris slid up to 400m from the crown wall and one large block gouged a trough through the vegetation and peat. This block is an estimated 8m x 5m x 5m which Alan Dennis from SAIS estimates conservatively weighing 80 tonnes. Pictures show team members investigating the debris field.
30/03/10 - Fords of Avon
Genuine Cairngorm blizzard conditions during a recent Call Out in the Fords of Avon area.
24/03/10 - Jock's Road
Members of the Grampian Police MRT took part in a double training day involving ski touring and an overnight bivy at elevation. Conditions on the way onto the hill were poor with often heavy rain, strong southerly winds and mist from 500 m making locating a suitable overnight site more challenging. Overnight a frost aided the drying process and firmed the previously thawing snow for a four-top ski tour on the route off the hill.
21/03/10 - Glenshee hills
Sunday training day saw 13 members out refreshing ourselves on snow anchors and personal winter skills in the Glenshee hills. During the day we constructed bucket seats, horizontal axes, snow bollards, stompers, confidence roping. Then moved onto ice axe arrests and finally some transceiver searches and emergency snow shelter construction. On the way back we lowered a loaded stretcher down one of the remaining snow filled gully lines. Lots of snow has disappeared in the last week but there’s still plenty on the higher hills and still fantastic cover for a ski tour.
20/03/10 - Carn Dubh
On Saturday afternoon, five members of the team climbed the west flanks of Carn Dubh from the old military road looking for a likely snow-holing spot on north-facing slopes overlooking the burn. Snow cover had been disappearing fast in the recent early spring sunshine and rain shower activity, and slopes between 450 - 600m height, that had been skiable only a week earlier, were now almost bare. The day's mild air temperature and sunshine had turned the morning frozen surface of the lingering snowfields soft, sugary and water-laden.
A previous day’s reconnaissance, however, had revealed significant depth (2-3m in places) of wind-deposited snow remaining in depressions on lee slopes above the burn. Unfortunately, no likely spot had been identified where it would have been possible to burrow into the side of a sufficiently deep drift to enable easy disposal of excavated snow. A decision was made to dig a single entrance down into a deep snow accumulation on less steep ground; from which a chamber could be excavated and enlarged around 2m under the surface – A much more time and resource consuming project!
Some 20 man-hours of sawing and shovelling through consolidated snow and ice layers later, a spacious and comfortable space had been created; with sleeping shelves for those three team members staying out for the night. Clear starry skies overnight and a few degrees of frost ensured a largely drip-free sleeping experience!
06/03/10 - Carn an Tuirc
Parked at the Sean Spittle car park and skinned up onto Carn an Tuirc, weather was like pea soup and we considered cutting the day short. On the top of Carn an Tuirc the weather cleared to wall to wall sunshine. Headed over Cairn of Claise, Tolmount, Fafernie and finally over to the Stuic before descending down through the Ballochbuie to Keiloch. Snow conditions very good on the tops but heavy the lower you got, Snow cover is however still exceptional. Long tiring but fantastic day!!
11/02/10 - Corrie Kander
Six members of the team took the Flex (Kassbohrer) and two snow mobiles onto the plateau at Corrie Kander. From there we decended and inspected a 40m ice pitch on the right wall. Three of us climbed that wall onto the plateau and the remaining three practised party leader techniques on steep ground. Climbing conditions were excellent and despite the poor visibility the snow conditions were perfect for training with the machines.
05/02/10 - Glen Clunie
Members from mountain rescue teams across Scotland attended an Avalanche Search Management Course in the Braemar area. Training included search, resource & scene management, working with multi-agencies and trauma - hypothermia and casualty management.
08/01/10 - Cabrach
On 8th Jan 2010, the team were asked to go to the assistance of a family who had been snowed in at their croft on the notorious Cabrach road, near Dufftown, since 18th December 2009. Our track vehicle drove over the Rhinie - Dufftown road which was blocked with snow drifts and took the familly out to stay with friends.
07/01/10 - Morrone
Avalanche rescue training exercise on Morrone.
19/12/09 - Lochnagar
Team makes its way to Lochnagar plateau and prepares to lower a rescuer to two climbers cragfast on Polyphemus Gully, a grade 5 ice climb.
17/12/09 - Coire Sputan Dearg
Today was the last training day of the year and coincidentally the start of the SAIS season. Team members met with Alan, the SAIS Avalanche Forecaster for the Southern Cairngorm area and headed up to Derry Cairngorm and into Coire Sputan Dearg where micro-navigation skills in the winter environment were practised along with safe movement on steep snow.
Winter is certainly on the high tops and full winter gear was required. Gone are the days of light sacks! It's one thing carrying the gear but more important is the ability to use it when required. Slips and trips still feature heavily on mountain rescue call out statistics and ability to competently use ice axe and crampons is essential for safe winter travel.Time spent brushing up your skills early in the season is time well spent and if you don't have these skills in the first place, there are penty of providers able to teach you.
Here's hoping it's a good winter, and a safe one.
17/12/09 - First Aid Box Checking
Breaking the ice in order to check the contents of a first aid box in the Cairngorms.
10/12/09 - Cairn Toul
The day started with the short drive to Derry Lodge
and a brisk walk through Glen Luibeg. The exposed path around the shoulder of Carn a' Mhaim provided excellent views along the Lairig Ghru and Glen Dee. Once at Corrour Bothy we proceeded up through the snow in Coire Odhar and onto the Cairn Toul plateau. Despite the (mostly) good visibility we appeared to have the hills to ourselves.
03/12/09 - Corrie Feragie The evening training session was night navigation to the south of Creag Choinnich. Small groups of team members were tasked with locating a number of natural features spread throughout the woods.
03/12/09 - Carn an t-Sagairt Mòr
Three team members walked from Loch Callater over Carn an t-Sagairt Mòr and Carn an t-Sagairt Beag to Loch nan Eun. This was followed by a climb up The Stuic.
22/11/09 - Water Rescue Training
Today saw the team in even wetter surroundings than usual as our day concentrated on water rescue techniques. Jas Hepburn from Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team kindly came across the mountains to offer instruction and himself as a person to be rescued. After practising rescue line throwing techniques on land some of our team members bravely entered the River Dee and were duly rescued from the cold water.