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Training Weekend 14/08/2015

It has been a couple of months since our last hill based training exercise and I’m glad to say that everyone was still looking sharp and focused after the summer break. We had a plan to run through some of our usual rescue skills including search management, navigation, wilderness first aid and casualty packaging/carrying. 

The forecast was looking great for the weekend, so when we woke up to heavy rain on Saturday morning some of us were questioning (or cursing) the MetOffice… Our day began with a quick run through of our new Mammut Pulse avalanche transceivers, these recently bought units are superior to our old ones with the main difference being the third antennae which improves the ability to pick up a transmitting signal. Training with avalanche transceivers in August may seem a bit eager, but we like to hit the ground running once the snow falls so it is vital to familiarise yourself with any new piece of equipment prior to using it in anger.  A full, physical day of stretcher carrying and search management was ahead of us and as we set off from the bothy in the unrelenting rain, some of us looked back longingly at the warm bothy and the pot of tea on the stove. Once we were moving however, everything was looking good – the Team was working well together as we made good time up the Glas Alt and the rain had eased from torrential to merely bucketing. A good way of searching a large area in a relatively short time is with a line search.  We had a main group of 12 conducting a line search and a stretcher party following on behind. Our scenario was a downed aircraft and the Canberra wreckage on Carn an t-Sagairt Mor provided realistic debris which, when found was reported back to search control. We are fortunate to have doctors and paramedics in our team and they are an invaluable resource for teaching first aid. Two were on hand to run through some scenarios on Saturday and all those in attendance showed high levels of competency.  This is mainly thanks to our ongoing medical training which has been a big part of the training calendar for the past eighteen months. A full team scenario was played out where we found, treated, packaged and evacuated a casualty.

This weekend’s training had it all – teamwork, bad weather, search, medical and good fun!


Words and photo by Billy Lindsay