MRT rescue MRT member


MRT rescue MRT member


MRT member needs to be rescued himself

MRT rescue MRT member 

Back in November 1999 I was climbing with good friends on Tower Ridge and unfortunately managed to break my ankle.


Bit of background first though...at the time I was stationed with the RAF in Scotland at Lossiemouth and I had been assigned to the rescue flight servicing the Sea King helicopters.  I was also a member of the local MRT in my spare time.


Back to the "event". Well, having made the climb to the top of the tower and having stopped for a drink and a bite we noticed the cloud was slowly changing colour and getting a wee bit darker that was forecast...so deciding to continue onwards towards "the gap" we collected all our equipment together and started towards "the gap". Unfortunately at this point, my colleague dropped the rope we were using this shot past my shoulder dropping down way past what we considered to be climbable and disappeared towards the valley below.


This startled me and I momentarily lost concentration and dropped approximately one meter down the tower towards the gap approach, jarring my left ankle in the process. Feeling slightly sore and not really weight bearing very well, I climbed back up towards the tower summit and decided to take my boot off and strap my ankle and continue to walk off...


So...this is where everything went really wrong...in my opinion.


As i removed the boot my ankle swelled quickly to the size of a cricket ball on the outside of my leg and I couldn't then get my boot back on...cue calling my friends back and saying I needed their assistance.


So a call to the 9s, thank goodness for a mobile signal and a device that was capable of receiving and making a call, we put in a call and a mountain rescue request was put out. Asking my friend for the grid reference, he looked at me in shock and said "I thought you had the map"!  So, quick check of my bag revealed I had remembered my GPS which thankfully had some power to it, I'd forgotten it  was in my bag anyway since my last hill trip a few weeks before...


So now having the correct grid ref passed to the MRT, they were mobilised by the police and we received a call that a helicopter was on its way as well.


With varying cloud cover the MRT were dropped in the corrie for the CMD arête and made fantastic time to the top of the tower...and on reaching the top I was met by my team leading with resounding laughter and the comment that, "this is going to cost you"!!!!


Well, helped over the gap and down out of the mist by the very team I was a volunteer with, only to see a bright yellow rescue helicopter waiting for me hovering just below the cloud line...helped inside and again only to be met by the crew that I handed over to some six hours earlier...cue more laughter and various comments that I really should never repeat...ever...


So what did I learn from this...always check SOMEONE has a map!


NEVER take off a boot holding a buggered ankle together.


Always have enough credit on your credit card to pay for two cases of scotch to those who helped...especially when those helping you work with...


Finally a sense of humour...you really need a sense of humour when dealing with some "odd" people...!


This story has been brought to you by a keen follower on Twitter, however he has asked that his name is witheld given that his wife doesn't know the full extent of the story that day!


Image of Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, courtesy of Glencoe Mountaineer