Author Topic: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia  (Read 3959 times)

Lost Soul

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Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2013, 07:59:11 PM »
My heart goes out to their families.

Heard some nut, member of the Scottish Parliament, on the radio saying the mountains should be 'out of bounds' on bad weather days. We have had 13 deaths so far this year on the Scottish hills (TOM 1957 02042013) out of millions of visitors, I wonder how many RTA fatalities have occurred in the same time frame?
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Lost Soul

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 08:39:34 AM »
I echo your sentiments to the families Lyle.

And don't forget the alcohol and smoking related deaths too.  It is said that in the UK we kill about one jumbo jet passenger load equivalent (approx 350 souls) a day due to largely preventable heart disease. Oh yes silly me I forgot.  Healthy activity, activity involving personal challenge and personal development all of which are of benefit to society doesn’t bring in much tax revenue so become an easy target for ignorant politicians.  Whereas vehicle fuel, alcohol and tobacco sales do in very large amounts. So any activity involving those substances no matter how life threatening is just fine.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 09:55:01 AM by Lost Soul »

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 08:58:12 AM »
Brilliant observation Lost Soul, I had never thought about it this way before.

I personally believe that the key to safety in the great outdoors is education and I witnessed a brilliant example of this on my last trip to Iceland. Prior to departing back to Scotland from Reykjavik I had enjoyed a meal with Siggi Sigmundson, former head of ICESAR, which is the Icelandic School of Search & Rescue, at his home with his wife and young daughter Luka, aged 5 years. After the meal Siggi kindly offered to drive me to the airport and Luka asked if she could come with us. As I gathered my belongings I watched in awe Luka start to put on her outdoor clothing, double sox, fleece, jacket, boots and the piece de résistance was when she took a small hand torch and put it in her pocket, not once did either of her parents tell her to get ready, it was all done off her own bat. On the way to the airport I complimented Siggi on the sensible behaviour of Luka and he replied that the extreme weather in Iceland can kill, especially children, so all parents teach children to be responsible in preparing to go outside from a very young age and when they go to school they are given lessons in being in the great outdoors.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

captain paranoia

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 12:30:01 PM »
> Heard some nut, member of the Scottish Parliament, on the radio saying the mountains should be 'out of bounds' on bad weather days

That will almost certainly be Dorothy Grace Elder, former SNP MSP, who keeps spouting ill-informed drivel about mountain safety that has been debunked by everyone from the BMC to your mate Dave Whalley.

But she seems to have the ear of the media, who, as we know, all love a bit of out-of-proportion risk scaremongering.  Won't someone think of the children!!!?

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/editorial-musings/debunking-the-mountain-safety-myths/10658.html

http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=5258

captain paranoia

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 12:47:59 PM »
Just listened to DGE on the 'You and Yours' programme, and what a lot of illogical stuff it was.  John Garside was far too polite, and wasn't forceful enough at rebutting the nonsense, or making comparisons with accidental deaths in so many other walks of life; I look forward to DGE calling for a bans on stairs, or beds, given the number of people who die falling down stairs, or getting out of bed, or calling for bans on motor vehicles, given how many people are killed or injured every day.

Oh, and it's us "English" making the Scottish mountains into an 'outdoor Dignitas', as we walk, lemming-like, off cliffs.

Yes, it's tragic when people die, be it in the hills, in a car crash, or in bed.  But let's try to think rationally about what we can do about it, because over-emotive responses are almost always knee-jerk, over-ther-top responses.

Pete McK

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 04:30:54 PM »
Emma teaches younger children, less than 11 years, and at Christmas they put on a nativity play for the parents which she had to complete a 6 page risk assessment for. Have we lost the plot? It is essential that we fight against this State intervention and ridiculous bureaucracy from people who believe they know best.

captain paranoia

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 06:17:28 PM »
The flip side of it, of course, is that people who kill due to careless or dangerous driving are routinely given their licence back after some piffling period.

One death in the hills from a genuine random occurrence leads to calls for hills to be closed, compulsory insurance (to serve no purpose), and yet 3,500 deaths per year, many caused by knowingly bad driving seem to have no effect, and are accepted as 'normal'.

Callum

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 07:47:34 PM »
Rock climbing with a group of youngsters who have not undertaken this activity before, I happily complete my risk assessment, an aide memoir in many ways.

Kids from a local school visiting us for an introduction to what we do and a risk assessment – required – for their meal in the canteen. Yes Pete, we have lost the plot.

Hobbo

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2013, 09:29:58 AM »
The problem really arises when H&S is used as a block to doing something by somebody who is very ill informed. I remember doing my police H&S training where we were told we had to constantly assess whether or not it was safe to do something. Some people took this to mean stopping to fill in a risk assessment, which isn't practical when chasing someone on foot over railway lines, or in the case of one of my duties, grabbing a guy before he could jump off a multi-storey car park.  Good H&S is about making sure everyone (especially those who are legally liable for certain situations) are aware of what the risks are. It's about managing those risks effectively and taking the necessary action to reduce the risk where possible.  It's not about saying "Ooo, that's dangerous, don't go anywhere near it".

That's why people who speak on a subject whilst being incredibly ill-informed should shut their bloody traps.  Good H&S knowledge really says "mountains are dangerous, be mindful of that and try to reduce the risk by taking the proper kit for being in those conditions that may arise, as well as the necessary kit to get you out of a mess (should you be able to)."

And anyway, bas H&S results in poorer knowledge (i.e. not learning from your mistakes or not learning from the mistakes of others).

Never underestimate the power of a stupid person in an otherwise intelligent group of people.
I don't know it all and when I think I do, I tend to find karma is just around the corner...

Lyle Brotherton

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2013, 10:27:50 AM »
Really well put Hobbo.

In defence of H&S: Standard Operating Procedure for all UK MRT’s when they arrive at the locus, is to risk assess the area before entering, such as are there rocks above likely to fall, is the slope prone to avalanche etc.,

This was not always the case, naturally for all responders when you find/arrive at the locus your first instinct was to go straight in and treat the casualty/ies. The practice of allocating locus risk assessment to one of the hill party (a group of usually 5 responders, each with defined roles i.e. navigator, first-aid etc.) is an excellent measure to reduce impulsive behaviour and encourage measured behaviour.

The other change that H&S rules have brought about that I have witnessed is when a large group meet in a building unfamiliar to them is that at the beginning of the meeting to clearly indicate to the group exactly where the fire exits are and whet the fire alarms sounds like. This most certainly not the case in my early days at work/rescue.
“Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance” - Plato

Paul Hitchen

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 08:29:48 AM »
Fellow Navigators and Hillbaggers, I find my self on the other side of the mirror.  Having spent many years enjoying the hills and helping folk in distress, I too have wondered how say, someone can pull up at the side of the road in a car to build a snowman, then need MR. The snowman was 50m from the car, the family dressed in Marks and Spencer's best, were eventually found 9km away deep onto snow covered moorland. How?...

However now, I am seeing how this and similar things happen. Please let me explain...

My number one favourite perspective daughter in law is a lovely lass, 24, bright, and works for an International Major Corporation as a professional with a future.

But, her idea of wilderness is somewhere where there is only 3 bars of 3G signal on the mobile. Survival is having to to be more than 3 feet from a mirror. To her great surprise then, her company sent out a 3 line whip. Everyone is climbing Snowdon for charity ( a good charity can't ague with that ).  The girls in the office started discussing what Snowdon was.  What equipment did they need, flats or heals, leggings or jeans, hair up or down.  You get the gist.   She tells her favourite future father in law about it.  Me.

I showed her the weather forecast and handed her this funny handbag called a rucksack. It wasn't Gucci. Did I have one in dusk pink? No.  The jacket is Goretex not Prada. Goretex, is that by Top Shop? No.

What is this daft old bloke talking about? She did spot the waterproof battery pack for the iPhone5 - that can come, it means more Facetw****g power for the mobile.  She can tweet and text and facetime all day now.

I love her to bits but we are from separate worlds, even ages.  (Me stone age, her facebook age).

Because she is a bright lass she did accept the kit, trust the old man, but she was clearly worried that she will look daft getting on the coach with her work mates dressed in Prada and she is in this Goretex thing.  I tried to point out that it is they who will look daft as they are stretchered off Snowdon as their Prada jeans have frozen their legs to lumps of lard. 

I am sure they have commissioned a respectable company or experienced members of staff to lead it, but there did not seem to be a mandate on kit. And as they are doing for charity, no one wants to put a dampener on it, and wants to make it happen.  I feel sure they will all be looked after, the company is too professional not too.

But at least I can now see how an incident develops in weeks before and the type of thing that leads up to it....  I have had a look through the mirror to their view of our world. 

Callum

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 10:33:14 AM »
As you say Paul, people are who they are. Our two youngsters, both still in their teens, highlight this contrast magnificently. Both their Mum and me are very outward bound, at work and at leisure and as a consequence our kids, when they were younger, always joined us on our adventures. However, football and computing games now much more interest my son and I have stopped telling him to wear warmer clothes to go to training in and he sometimes comes back really cold (he is 16), the fashion bug has caught him but interestingly not his sister who is only 18 months younger.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 11:11:47 AM by Lyle Brotherton »

Skills4Survival

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 10:43:30 PM »
I think...two things, basic course in urban survival and basic course to prevent coming into trouble in the outdoors. Both..at school. It is not a luxery nor meant for die hards, same reason why you would do a course in first aid and pass the traffic exam.  If you know some of the basics and concepts you have enough to not end up dead and look stupid at the same time.

Let move the forum to facebook and twitter, I know Lyle loves these things.

:-)
Ivo

Paul Hitchen

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Re: Sadly More Grief in Snowdonia
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 08:07:02 PM »
Hurray. Fav Daughter in law successfully made it up and down snowdon today. The weather was 50mph wind, driving rain and thick Clag. Just as Mother Nature intended Snowdon to be.

Now I know for members of this blog, this climb could be started at 10 wearing a blindfold and tied up in a sack, and you'd all still be down and in the pub by noon.

But for a lass from planet X factor she's earned good money for cancer research and now seen our world. So fair play to her. I think the ferociousness of the weather really took her by surprise. Seeing a forecast on paper then getting the full trip head on are 2 different things.

She now thinks the old man is 3 sarnies short of a picnic for wanting to go out in the hills, but at least we now have an understanding. I did snowdon as a boy on my duke of Ed, back when men were men and sheep were nervous.

So now we have a bond her and I, created by the hills. The hills, got to love em.  And when I go out to a cas on the hill wondering how they ended up here looking like stunned rabbits, I think I'll have a slightly different view of them and what they are going through.

 ;D