Sunday, September 3

Lakeland Rescues & the Three Peak Challenge

I see Wasdale & Langdale Mountain Rescue Team has had a busy time recently dealing with Three Peak challengers and what sounds like some poorly equipped people.

Checking out the MRT Incident reports themselves there are at least half a dozen reports during the last week alone for the Scafell/Crinckle Crags area (Here & here)

Wasdale MRT comments are very pertinant.

All charity challenges with which I've been involved in the past, demanded full foul weather gear and map/compass checks before entrants were allowed to start. As a team organiser I made sure that the need for this gear had been drummed into my teams long before the event, and a preliminary training weekend was organised to ensure that the physical challenges would be properly appreciated.

I can only assume that some of the less formally organised eventers either lack the foresight, or just don't really understand the type of conditions that they may come across.

In the past I'd been on the receiving end of harsh criticism in newsgroups when trying to discuss such events, and I do understand the dislike from some committed walkers to these events. And from the local population's viewpoint they are a real intrusion into their personal lives throughout the summer months.
But realistically they are unlikely to stop anytime soon.

In defence our challenges raised over £15k and introduced the fells to a number of people who have since continued with their hill walking. However if the type of attacks that I recieved are typical they can easily dissuade any of the less formally organised groups from trying to find the right sort of advice and information.

It's a balance, and I hope that advice remains freely and sensibly provided, otherwise these incidents may increase.

With my recent experience on Bowfell still quite fresh in mind, I can see that even with the right gear and and suitable experience, it can still be a difficult situation to cope with, and quite scary at times. I felt bad about coming down off the fells last week, but looking back over the MRT incident reports I know it was the correct decision at that time.

In hindsight I could probably have muddled on through. But I prefer to see the MRT when I put money in the collection boxes in the local pub, rather than calling them out to come and get my donation personally, when I'm on trouble on the hills.

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