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Lochnagar Training Weekend 14th / 15th Feb

Sat 14th Feb:

Two parties of team members each set off from the bothy at the Spittal of Glenmuick to the corrie of Lochnagar with the intent of getting some winter routes in. On arrival one of the parties heard cries for "help". A stricken ski tourer had fallen down Black Spout and thankfully (& amazingly) sustained only minor injuries. The injured ski tourer was given a medical assessment and once able, he and his friend were escorted off the hill by one of the team, where he was advised by the Team Doctor to attend hospital for a further check up.

Its worth noting that throughout the day the weather had significantly deteriorated with very low visibility. A good reminder to all to ensure that when heading out to remember your compass and know how to use it.

That night the team celebrated the contribution to the team by Iain Powell and Damon Powell (not related) in the local Lochnagar Indian. Both members were leaving due to work commitments. Both team members will be greatly missed and we wish them both the best of luck and success.

Sun 15th Feb:

This was a full team training day which began with three Land Rovers departing from the Spittal to Glas-allt-Shiel with team members, equipment and stretchers. The team then moved up to the small bridge over the Glas-Allt. Here the team practiced using avalanche transceivers, probing and digging – yes there is an art to digging efficiently! The team then moved up onto the SE slope of Little Pap to begin a line search whilst two lucky team members moved the stretcher to higher ground. The team line searched over Little Pap in very windy and misty conditions (excellent practice) before joining up with the stretcher party on the saddle. The team then simulated finding an injured walker on the SE slope of Cuidhe Crom and evacuating him by stretcher. This allowed members to practice skills such as first aid, snow belays and communicating in high winds. The simulated casualty was stretchered down the streamline of Allt na Guibhsaich and the Land Rover track – a useful stretcher route for team members to know.

Words and photos by Stuart Gillan