Sunday, 28 October 2012

A Dozen More Turns

I seem to be getting lots of enquiry's for back country gear and to provide training at the moment.  Scottish MR has developed a very good course programme and is keen for me to stay involved. I have given lectures and helped a bit with this but they have such a good faculty and course setup now the last thing they need is war stories from an ex MR. With my wife just post treatment for breast cancer its been a hard 12 months and its become clear that I have given a lot of folk (including the MR avlx faculty) the runaround by being non committal when asked to teach or lecture over the last couple of years. Two lots of major surgery for my wife in 3 years have fairly taken it out of her and us and its made it hard to look beyond the next week never mind months in advance.  Sorry to you folks if I haven't been able to commit.

The bike has been a great solace and racing has mainly been at a local level with some great road racing this season.  Fiona has been doing the timing for a lot of local events which has kept her involved.  She has even been back on her bike clocking up a 46 mile road ride 5 weeks after chemo.  She was pretty exhausted after but it was needed to show she can get back to some of her old sports. Without lymph glands in one arm though she is restricted when mountain biking. She's amazing.

I hope now that the dust has settled a little to be able to take back on a bit more work.  A new beacon park setup for Glencoe Mountain and maybe some training for patrollers this winter and some off piste and avalanche training for BASP associates.  Alpine and touring I hope to be able to put folk over to Infinty Mountain Guides so they will be in good hands.  I have become one of BASP's three reps to FIPS on avalanche for ski patrollers.  Not sure where that will go but quite a lot of big names in the avalanche world in Canada might be involved so we need to have our shit together. I don't think this will take up much if any of my time other than a trip to Canada in two years.

I will be contacting MR teams and other groups in the next while to give them offers on beacons and back country rescue kit and off course Dynafit.  In the mean time here are three links worth a look to remind ourselves of the consequences of complacency and cognitive or thinking traps and how when shit happens its life changing  for survivors. As an ex MR and pro patroller I must have dug out a couple of dozen fatalities and not given it a huge amount of thought at the time although a couple of incidents are imprinted. One because it was tragic and one because the rescue was a cock up and mistakes were almost literally buried.

I guess many of the survivors of avalanches I have been at will have and will still be going through this survivor guilt as I think the folks in the film will be.  It's very poignant that there is a woman locally who moved to the area after her husband, son and his best friend were all buried in an avalanche and killed and she moved here to be near where their happiest times were. I guess I think about this stuff more now, knowing that surviving something doesn't mean its all over. I guess some of the mental boxes of stuff locked away from these tragic avalanche events can be opened now and looked at by me and some of the shit needs a good airing to see whats to learn.

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