The unique nature of the hills and mountains of the Southern Cairngorms means that many of our mountains are a long walk from the road to the base of the hill. It can be as much as 10 miles. The hills are fairly rounded, on one side at least, which means that we have the opportunity to utilise both wheeled and tracked vehicles to assist us with getting into the mountains to aid those in difficulty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To that end we have been at the forefront of vehicle use in Mountain Rescue since the inception of the Teams. We use a fleet of four Land Rover Defenders, which are split between the Braemar MRT and Police Scotland MRT. The land rovers are used all year round and, depending on the snow cover, will take us very close to the casualty, which speeds up the rescue process immensely. It also means the casualty is so much closer to a warm environment and they will not be expected to continue further than necessary, on foot, when they are already exhausted.

 

 

 

 

We use tracked all terrain vehicles to continue to give us close access to the mountains in winter. These include two Kassbohrer personnel carriers, road going versions of the piste bashers that you see in the ski areas. One is now over twenty years old and still giving good service. A second was purchased in 2003. These machines, given the right conditions have been to the top of Ben Macdui, Scotland's second highest mountain, and into the Corrie of Lochnagar. Being able to get into these areas with a machine can mean the difference between life and death, not only for a casualty, but for the rescue team too. They have been used as a mobile 'bothy' on many occasions, by many people and teams, during some horrendous winter storms over the years.

 

 

 


Other machines we have, are a Glen Almond all terrain vehicle which is capable of carrying heavy loads onto the top of a mountain under almost any conditions. We also have two Ski Bikes which are also used for fast response checks of areas but are limited to getting good snow cover to be effective.

 

 

 

 

The purchase and upkeep of these vehicles is a hugely expensive undertaking but we believe that it is money well spent if they can save one life by getting us that bit closer to the casualty in extreme conditions.     

Click here to see more photographs of the vehicles in action

Scottish Charity SC008652
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