This week has seen a large number of rescues in the British Mountain, in particular Scotland. If you’re going out please make sure you check the Mountain Weather Information Service and if you’re a hill walker, skiier, mountaineer or climber become familiar with the Scottish Avalanche Information Service. Survival isn’t about grizzing the bad weather out, it’s all about not getting into a survival situation in the first place. It’s also about having the right equipment with you and choosing a suitable route according to weather and topographical features. Attached to this post is our equipment list for our 3 day winter courses (this list doesn’t include crampons, ice axe, ski’s or other safety gear that we supply to our clients) it can be found here; snowholing
With a total of 3 deaths this week and 2 climbers having gone missing since Sunday (14th Feb 2016) The media are doing their usual, bringing up the questions “should the mountains be closed to people in the winter” and “should everyone venturing out into the wilderness have insurance”.Our personal opinion is absolutely not. The statistics for deaths in the mountains are relatively low VS the number of people participating in the activity. This doesn’t comfort the loved ones of the mountaineering accidents, but the majority of serious outdoor hobbyists understand and accept the risks and try and manage them as best they can……sometimes accidents happen.
Should we be insured to enjoy the freedom of the mountains? If I’m ever out in the Alps climbing, I make sure my insurance covers climbing accidents. The European system works differently from the British way of doing things though. The rescue services in Britain are partially government funded with many of the Mountain rescue teams raising money for themselves through donations etc. All members of mountain rescue teams are volunteers, many of whom know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of a rescue. Lets put it this way, how many Saturday/Sunday football and rugby players each week are taken to hospital (via ambulance or helicopter)? How many accidents occur every month from Horse riding (one of the most dangerous past times you can participate in)? The answer is many more than mountaineering accidents!! So why don’t we have the media demanding these sports are stopped, or to play them you need private insurance?
Regardless of the rights and wrongs, the most important thing to do is keep yourselves safe out there “work your weaknesses”, if you know your navigation is poor, book on a course….”the more you sweat, the less you bleed”.