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As it turns out I know the fallen climber Ray Hall who runs an ad hoc climbing instruction and guiding business and she’s a client on a course. He’s dead, its messy but that has to be isolated and revisited later. I get her safe and rigged for easy release. I have his rope isolated so move down to him and make another belay for me to clip into with an adjustable sling. I come off the lowering rope, lean out and hook his rope and pull him in, put a sling on him at the chest and to the harness to level him off and attach the long static lowering rope I was lowered down on, onto him. Then holding his rope against the rock face I bash it with my peg hammer. One hard blow is all it takes. He gets lowered about 60 metres to the foot of the corner where Hughie, Ronnie and a couple of co-opted climbers have come to help. They get him off and bagged, and I get the rope pulled back up to me and then get lowered down to the bottom and clear of the corner. Sounds easy. None of it was. Rockfall, upset belayer who is at risk, and the victims trauma and hard physical work.
SAR 134 then comes in at a hover and ever so slowly gets closer to the corner dropping the winchman slowly down and inching into the cliff. They get to her, put her in the strop, knife cut my sling and take her up. Very impressive mountain flying and crag rescue. She gets flown down and SAR 134 comes back up and takes us all down to our base at the Pipers Lay bye in a couple of lifts. Its surreal as there are cars and tourists blocking the A82 and hundreds of folks, some with binoculars have been watching the whole rescue.
|Dennis the treasurer on right. Hughie kneeling by the woman. The pair either side of Hamish were lost skiers on Sron a Creise and Wull (arms akimbo) and I saw them get Avalanched into Cam Glen. Picture circa 1980|