Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021





The month-long crowdfunding appeal helped raise the £80K the team urgently needs to buy a new Incident Command Vehicle. By December, they had raised £18,108, plus an estimated £3690.25 in Gift Aid). Their current trailer has been with them for over fifteen years, but time has taken its toll. It’s difficult to manoeuvre, requires specialist driving skills, is time-consuming to set up and requires more and more maintenance. They concluded the best solution was to replace the trailer with a vehicle which would offer greater flexibility and reliability and are looking to convert a Volkswagen T32 van to do the job. The vehicle will be something of a multi-purpose workhorse. Besides acting as the team’s communications and IT hub and liaison point with other emergency services, it will help transport team members to call-outs, house built-in welfare facilities for team members and carry additional equipment when required. It will be fully liveried as a mountain rescue vehicle with blue lights and sirens and the hope is the new vehicle will enable the team to respond to and manage operations more effectively, and ultimately provide better care for casualties. ‘This new Incident Command Vehicle will be a vital piece of equipment for the team,’ said Ian Speirs, the team’s chairman. ‘Recent call-outs have shown how critical it is we have a modern command and control centre with communications, mapping and IT resources readily available to assist use. It also allows the team to ensure we can effectively integrate with partners in the multi-agency environment.’

DECEMBER: ALAN ZOOMS IN TO BOOST SWALEDALE FUND Alan Hinkes OBE is well-known for his tales of high peaks conquered and his work with mountain rescue as an MREW ambassador. Covid-19 might have forced

He was mostly interested in getting some rock climbing done — and a few pints in the pub, with a bit of banter and storytelling. I kept in touch after that, and later went on a couple of expeditions with him, to Makalu in 1988 and Nanga Parbat Mazeno Ridge in 1992. Scotty was always good value on the hill, although after the Ogre incident he often had pain and trouble with his knees, especially on descents. I remember a great winter day out with him on SE Gully Great End. We easily climbed the route together, but on the descent back down Grains Gill he was suffering with his knees and it was a slow almost hobble back down to Seathwaite. Doug was indomitable. Knee pain never put him off and we climbed a few more routes together. One of the last times I saw him in action, rather than at events and gatherings, such as mountain festivals, was at Shepherd’s Crag, two years ago, still getting to grips with the rock. Recently he took up gardening at his North Cumbrian home. I remember visiting and Scotty proudly showing me his raised vegetable beds which he was tending with great zeal, while he cracked a few anecdotes peppered with his wry sense of humour. There is no doubt that Doug Scott has left an indomitable mark on British and world mountaineering. ✪

Back in April 2020, Penrith Rotary welcomed Alan as an honorary member having supported the club’s efforts for several years on social media. Rotary guests were enthralled for about an hour as he presented photographs and video clips of his exploits in the high mountains of the Himalaya and Karakorum. ‘Clearly, Alan has an amazing story to tell,’ said District Governor Welma Robinson. ‘His chosen charity for the night was the Swaledale MRT Command Vehicle Fund. Hopefully, we will have helped in some small way towards this goal’. a few changes but, thanks to Zoom, he was still able to speak at Penrith Rotary’s 74th annual charter party, with 57 members and guests, distributed across three screens, and raising £435 towards the Swaledale trailer fund.

Above: Alan (centre) with Steve Clough (left) and Graham Brown of Swaledale MRT © Swaledale MRT.

NOVEMBER: SWALEDALE FANS GO TO THE THEATRE Swaledale fans had a treat in November when the team staged a lockdown theatre production of Pete Roe’s play, The Shout, via YouTube. Written and directed by team member Pete, the play tells the story of the sometimes complicated lives of mountain rescue team members, with humour and emotion. Part of the Swaledale festival programme in 2018, it was filmed by Mike Barker, and the online premier was organised as a fundraiser for the team’s ongoing effort to raise funds for a new control vehicle. You might have missed the premier but, the last time we looked, it was still available to view at



Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker