Thursday, 2 February 2012

Old Slide Scan - Deep Burial!

I started climbing when quite young, or least what was young back in 1969 when I was 12 and as a local an anomaly because I wanted to go up the hills. Strangely I didn't buy a camera until I was 30.  Fiona my wife took many pictures of climbing and skiing in the interim with her Olympus OM1  a great SLR. Once I had my little compact camera I would snap away, running off the 36 slide frames then sending it off and waiting with excitement until the little yellow box would come back with at least 34 duffers and maybe 2 good pictures.  Some of the early ones are in cardboard mounts. Old or what!  I tried different films such as Kodachrome 64 which was a rich colour format, or Fuji with its green hues, but Ektachrome 200 or 400 always seemed to give me the best slides in a variety of conditions, especially poor light.  Like most of my age reading this you will no doubt have many boxes of old slides.  It's fun if you have time going through them.  Some of the duffers actually seem quite good when scanned, and they don't half awaken memories.  I new I had seen lots of drama, and climbed and skied a fair bit. Some memories have been gladly brought back, and others that must have been buried into pandora's box also creep out, particularly when the victims were folk you new.

Here's a picture from not too long ago I just found that was consigned into a duffers box. The lad in the background is from an RAF team and helping on a search below "Summit Gully" Glencoe.  Myself and John who is on the Left lined up gloves and crampons of the victims on the surface and suggested a search area to the RAF lads while the Glencoe lads probed up higher.  This RAF lad used his initiative as others were getting organised and joined two 3 metre old fashioned steel probes together to see how deep it was and on his first few strikes at full depth got a hit on one.  The actual victims are under his feet.  So the depth was about 5.5 metres which in old money is about 17 feet.  It took a lot of digging to get the victims out.  This was November 1993 I think, and by April 1994 I had been on a further 7 fatal victim recoveries from avalanches in that 5 month period.

On my lectures I use pictures such as these to emphasise that victim recovery from an avalanche does not make anyone in MR an avalanche expert.  It merely made us experts in recovering victims, and is neither rewarding or educational other than it's best to avoid getting avalanched.  Anyway have a look at a duffer pic and be amazed at the RAF lads good thinking.

Bottom of Summit Gully ScnBeith Glencoe 1993

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