Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Spring into Summer

Wow! What a winter. Plenty of the white stuff and great skiing to be had.  Two months of skiing back to the car, and and three and a half months of ski patrolling, avalanche courses, and skiing off the beaten track searching for the fresh tracks.  We had a nice trip across to see our good friend Kate and a couple of excellent days at Glenshee before having to return home early as my mother was ill. We had a trip to Corvarra planned and sadly had to cancel this also as she passed away.  Next winter we have FIPS at Passo Tonale so look forward to that. As an ex MRT and Paramedic I seem to be still getting some first aid to do as a patroller, and this is rescue work without helicopters with casualties collapsed under cafe tables with serious medical conditions, or in steep gullys/canyons where patient care is tricky. Never underestimate the job of ski patrol.  It's just a mountain rescue on day shift and has the same challenges, but more of them on a daily basis. I have had nearly 40 years of doing both and often feel that MRT doesn't realise what we do and whats involved. I don't miss the MRT night shifts for crag fast eejits though!

At various times this winter I have been refered to as either an avalanche or rescue expert. I can categorically state I am neither, and I am still being taught harsh lessons by the mountains. Being refered to as an expert sets me up for a fall, or puts me into the armchair pundit category. I have not stopped "doing" and hope to not arrive at the point of being an expert until totally fucked and in no danger of making a mistake - which is some way off.

I owe a big thanks to Andy and his staff up at Glencoe for supporting avalanche education and also to the Glencoe ski patrollers who are a great bunch and who's company I miss through the summer months. However, we do have the annual attempt at burning Rannoch moor at the end of season BBQ to come. Rather than wax lyrical too much I have a few photos to put up starting with the AGM organised by Kate at Braemar and some general pics of the season. If this is partial retirement I can't wait until next season as its a blast, and I am enjoying earning my living in the mountains again.

Alan Bailly and a MacInnes Mk 2

"Teddy" Inglis before he dislocated his shoulder

Luke Regan talks HEMS down under

Glencoe Beacon Training System
Students learn in full conditions
Showing off the Tracker 3 and Ortovox S1+

ZAG ski's UK get some Beacon practice with me
Patrol hut welcoming light in the short January days
Ripping it up on the Flypaper
Casualties. A skier in a JAM
First and last turns of the day. The Ski Patrollers office privelidges

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