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Mountain Resuce Strain


Foinavon

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These links took a while to load for me but I am sure you will find the same news stories elsewhere.

 

Mountain Rescue Team feels strain

Mountain Rescue Team resists calls to go professional.

 

If you can't get the links then the Mountain Rescue teams in the Lake District are becoming under an increasing strain with record numbers of people getting lost. Most of the rescuers are volunteers and they are getting more aggro from their employers about the time they take off rescuing people. I think geocaching has little (if any) bearing on this but I do wonder if the increase is partly down to owernship of gps units. Do some people think that owning one means that you don't need to know how to read a map or use a compass? Any MR volunteers on this forum (or are you to busy rescuing people to comment!).

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These links took a while to load for me but I am sure you will find the same news stories elsewhere.

 

Mountain Rescue Team feels strain

Mountain Rescue Team resists calls to go professional.

 

If you can't get the links then the Mountain Rescue teams in the Lake District are becoming under an increasing strain with record numbers of people getting lost. Most of the rescuers are volunteers and they are getting more aggro from their employers about the time they take off rescuing people. I think geocaching has little (if any) bearing on this but I do wonder if the increase is partly down to owernship of gps units. Do some people think that owning one means that you don't need to know how to read a map or use a compass? Any MR volunteers on this forum (or are you to busy rescuing people to comment!).

 

There was an interesting piece on this topic on BBC Breakfast News this morning, with an outside broadcast featuring a volunteer. He was very critical of people who go unprepared, and it was also interesting to see mention of GPS units, which you need to know how to use. The reporter said that following a route as suggested would have taken him off a cliff!

 

I suspect a lot of people are trying to use car sat-nav or phones with GPS built in, which are generally not suitable for outdoor activities due to not being weatherproof and poor battery life. Technology can lull people into a false sense of security, and it's vitally important not to rely on it, but to treat it as a bonus if you get into trouble.

 

The SAS Survival Guide points this out - you need to be prepared and need to know how to look after yourself without hi-tech gadgets, because if they fail, you're a bit screwed.

 

Lee

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I heard something about it on Radio 4 last week. Search and rescue teams do a fantastic job all over the UK, but I think sometimes people forget that they are volenteers.

 

One story in paticular shocked me though. A group of people on the mountains actually called for help because they were going to be late for dinner! Very selfish and potentially dangerous if a genuine emergency had come in at the same time. :lol:

 

Something that might be of interest to other geocachers though, was mention of coordinates in lat/long. The mountain resue teams find it far more helpful if your coords are in British Grid. I'm sure most people already know how, but if you don't then you should make sure that you know exactly how to change your GPSr from one format to the other.

 

On the whole I think us geocachers are a pretty sensible lot and carry all proper equipment that we need when we're out on the hills and know how to read a map properly (previous posts about what people take out with them support that). Hopefully none of us will ever have to call for help, but I'd like to think that if we did, it was because of a genuine accident rather than our own lack of preperation.

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Not quite the Lakes but a possible reason ......

 

Last June while in the Peak District (caching of course) near Back Tor I came across a couple with their teeange daughter puzzling over a map of the area (at least it was the right map). They asked if I knew where on the map they were.

 

I pointed their current position and asked where they were heading for. They told me and so I pointed out they needed to go back up to Back Tor and turn left (North) and follow the marked path.

 

They had no compass - just the map, and so I watched them walk off towards Back Tor and when they got there they turned.... yep you guessed it - Right !!

 

No wonder Mountian Rescue get called out :lol:

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Back in May 2004 I was returning from finding a cache (now archived) in Cairngorm's Northern Corries. The weather was pleasant enough but there was still snow on the ground in the sheltered places. I'd got back to within a 1/4 mile or so of the Ranger Station when I met a group af Asians coming up the track towards me. There were about 8 of them, ages ranging from about 10 up to grandma; probably three generation of a family. Anyone who's been up there knows that the terrain is a bit rugged, to say the least, with boulder fields and wet, boggy areas to cross and not much in the way of paths or trails.They were very excited as they could see the snow off in the distance and they asked me if they could get to it. I told them that is was possible but that there was no way they were equipped to reach it. They were wearing T shirts, saris, fashion sandals, trainers and were carrying nothing in the way of food, water or wet weather gear that I could see. I made it very plain to them that it would be very foolhardy for them to continue but continue they did. As I got back to the Ranger Station, the weather changed in an instant, as it does up there.... It got as black as your hat, the wind came up and the rain was slashing down, hitting you almost horizontally. I told the Ranger where I'd met them and which way they were heading and left them to it. I don't know if they ever reached the snow but I do know that they would have been very cold, very wet and probably very, very miserable.

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Last year while walking up towards bristly ridge in the fog we met some Spanish people asking which way to thier car in shorts sandals.

 

They were on the wrong end of the lake.

 

We pointed them towards the end of the lake and said follow the shore to the outlet and then walk down.

 

Hopefully the fog cleared enoght for them to see the road from there.

 

Never feel comfortable without a map and compass in the hills.

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There was a piece on Radio 2 today about the same subject, OK I'm old and listen to Radio 2!!! They seem to get a lot of calls from walkers "people" who are simple tried or their legs ache. :huh:

 

The late for a dinner party call was also mentioned, seems they got lost in the mist. When the MRT said it would take a few hours to find them they asked for a helicopter as they would be late for the dinner party B)B)

 

As they are purely a volunteer service and don't get ant central funding they do a wonderful job. The main message was don't go out unprepared and don't put all your faith in your GPS, take a good map and compass, and know your limits.

 

The MRT guy did actually say that they had come across a man using a Tom Tom and another carrying a notebook, using Microsoft Autoroute, to navigate on the Lakes "fells":lol:

 

Like Pharisee I've come across people totally unprepared, while doing the cache on the Pyg Track up Snowdon the mist came down out of no where. I was close to the old dissued mine and came across 4 teenagers (about 15-16 years old) dressed in trainers, shorts and T-shirts, this was in early April and it was cold and wet. They asked me for help, so unsure what to do I thought about calling MRT as I didn't fancy trying to bring them down on my own. Luckily 2 other walkers appeared and we helped them back down, they were wet and cold and this was only from about 700 feet up. B)

 

Never did do that cache, can't remember what is was even called!!! :lol:

 

Cheers

 

Nick

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I spotted this remark from The Mountain Rescue on the beeb web page, 'The organisation says there is a rising problem with people without the correct equipment or who cannot read a map.'

 

This imediatley brought to mind my quad trip on 29th Dec 2007. I was out bagging a couple of caches, one of which I turned back on as I didn't have the kit or a companion. I was heading back along what used to be a drove road. At a location I often use for a brew up I was flagged down by a group of, dare I say 'Hill Walkers'!

 

This place is about 1km from the nearest farm and 4 Km from the nearest village. These hills are nasty while riled but they did have some gear, rucksacks, poles, maps and compass.

 

The conversation was on the lines of

 

Them "Hello"

Me "Hi, how goes it? Nice day for a walk."

Them " Yes it is, could you do us a favour and tell us where we are!" B)

Me " Wholehope Cottage " (Not that it has any walls LOL LOL )

Them " No, I mean show us on the map" :lol::huh:

Me taking map " Your right there just by that little square"

Them " Ah! Thanks, can you tell us how to get back to Alwinton?" :DB):lol:

Me " Turn around and follow the track"

Them " No I mean a different way "

 

So me being the kind gent I are showed them two different routes back. I could not belive they were lost even just following a track in good visability and loads of reference points.

 

As we used to say .. All the gear No Idea!!!

 

Just makes you wonder what goes through some folks minds! 6 people and not one could map read. And this was going to get worse as the weather was failing and so was the light!!!

 

Ah well I made it back safe B)

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I was walking along a footpath, when I heard a voice saying "Hey, you!" I looked around but I couldn't see anyone. The voice repeated "HEY, HEY!". Eerily, there was still no-one there. "Up here," he said, "look up!" I looked up, and there was a hot air balloon hovering a few feet above me. Oh. Ah.

 

"Where am I?" he said.

 

"You're in a balloon basket", I told him, "about ten feet above the ground."

 

"You're in computers, aren't you?" he asked. "Yes," I replied, "how could you tell?"

 

"Your answer was completely accurate, and totally useless."

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I was walking along a footpath, when I heard a voice saying "Hey, you!" I looked around but I couldn't see anyone. The voice repeated "HEY, HEY!". Eerily, there was still no-one there. "Up here," he said, "look up!" I looked up, and there was a hot air balloon hovering a few feet above me. Oh. Ah.

 

"Where am I?" he said.

 

"You're in a balloon basket", I told him, "about ten feet above the ground."

 

"You're in computers, aren't you?" he asked. "Yes," I replied, "how could you tell?"

 

"Your answer was completely accurate, and totally useless."

 

This goes on:

 

"Well you must be in management then."

 

"That's right, how can you tell"

 

"Well you had no idea where you were, no idea where you were going, and no idea how to get there. You asked me a question and I gave you a perfectly correct answer. Now you're still in the same trouble but all of a sudden it's my fault."

 

Martyn (I work in IT :D )

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On the subject of this thread, there's a story here about two experienced climbers stranded on Mt Hood in Oregon in a whiteout. They got in touch with rescuers, but did not have a GPS so could not give exact co-ords. As it happened they found a nearby geocache and reported the co-ords to the rescuers.

 

See this thread http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=182571

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I heard that a number of problems caused by 'walkers' lost were due to the fact that they had left too late in the day to undertake the walk they had planned.

The experienced fell walker who made the point added that he would see numerous people walking up the fell after lunch when he was returning after setting out earlier in the day.

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Keep on walking...we'll keep on turning out to find you......advice will be happily dispensed..........

 

Having spent 10 minutes in Blacks in High Holborn during lunch hour and listened to some of the conversations with the assistants.....it's going to be a busy year for us MR boys.

 

Anyone fancying the IoM, please look me up...maps marked up and advice happily given

Edited by whitingiom
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