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Snowdon Rescue

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--- Quote from: captain paranoia on January 28, 2014, 06:59:10 PM ---I suspect, in most cases, it's simply a lack of understanding of what mountain climbing actually entails.  I'm sure these people don't deliberately set out to endanger themselves, but merely get caught out inadequately prepared, because they simply didn't expect/didn't understand the conditions they encountered.

--- End quote ---
Hmm, might be so... but then again I sometimes compare these incidents with drinking and driving. Agreed that some might still be unaware of the risks, but the advice and the warnings are ubiquitous, so why do they ignore/disobey it all?

Just a thought...

Lyle Brotherton:
I agree Boogyman, a fellow MRT member looks at it as Darwinism in practice ;) From my perspective, they waste the time of volunteers and add costs to the team.

captain paranoia:
> but the advice and the warnings are ubiquitous, so why do they ignore/disobey it all?

Because it's only ubiquitous if you go looking for it.  If you decide to 'go for a walk in the country', how are you to know that things are a bit different at altitude and in winter conditions?

We know this stuff from long experience*. Those who have never done anything like it before don't, and some might not even consider that their planned activity poses any more risk than they've experienced before. "Experience in the mountains is the sum total of near misses".

I put most of these incidents down to ignorance and the inability to imagine, rather than deliberately ignoring advice.

* After I graduated, I went Inter-Railing with my mates.  One of the places we visited was Interlaken in Switzerland.  In the valley campsite, in August, it was scorching hot.  We decided to take the train up the Jungfraujoch (3454m).  Now I put on my long trousers, but my mates wore their shorts.  All was fine until we stepped out of the train at the top, when we found it was rather chillier and windier than in the valley...  We had to wait for the next train going down.

Now, was that deliberately ignoring advice, or ignorance/stupidity?  BTW, no-one operating the train warned us about the conditions at the top...

As it happens, I've stumbled upon a 'Navigation on Foot' Special Interest Group within the Royal Institute of Navigation.  They're trying to come up with a 'Codes of Practice' (sic) for 'Navigation on Foot', to cover everything from urban to mountain environments in the UK.  Which might be a laudable goal, but there are already plenty of such 'bon mots' around in the form of bullet points and checklists.  But if the target audience doesn't go looking for the Code of Practice, it's really not a lot of help...

I'm sorry to say that this effort looks more like an attempt to provide a mandate for 'professional training' and assessment/pretty certificate as a prerequisite for anyone venturing on foot, rather than as a genuine attempt to provide simple guidance for the uninitiated.  The SIG is meeting today to ratify the draft, and I sincerely hope that it gets modified from its current form, since I think it's overly prescriptive (minimum requirement OS 1:25k map (I'll let Hugh comment on the OS coverage of the UK...) 10cm baseplate compass, 'professional training' and assessment, etc.), and yet inadequate (missing fundamentals such as thinking about the physical effort, weather, terrain etc, and what they might require, or the concept of abandoning an objective or taking an alternative route if things get unpleasant).

Unfortunately, since I'm not 'learned', I'm not qualified to make submissions to the NoF SIG, and the Draft document wasn't made open to public scrutiny and comment.


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