The very first trip of KCLWMS was held over the weekend of the 18th of June in Patterdale in the Lake District. Passing briefly over the not so brief journey we all eventually arrived in our camping barn. Camping barn is an inadequate way to describe the beautiful little cottage, and we will definitely be using it again!
The weather was fairly awful when we arrived so everyone went to bed with fingers crossed that the weekend would improve. And we were very lucky; the weather on the Saturday was perfect for an ascent of Helvellyn. Well perhaps not perfect, by the time we got to the top you couldn’t actually see the top but that’s part of the fun. We had a great scramble up Striding Edge and came down via Swirral edge.
Mountain Rescue Day 1
There was just time for a quick cuppa before heading over to Patterdale Mountain Rescue Centre to meet John Ellerton the doctor attached to the MR who had arranged this weekend for us. We were shown around the centre which was currently hosting the local fire engines as well as the two MR landrovers kitted out as ambulances and a speedboat which allowed the team to carry out rescues on Ullswater. The tour and the talk which John gave was a really interesting intro into how Mountain Rescue UK works and the important work that they do. Then it was back home and time for some much needed chilli con carne, courtesy of our chefs Martin and Andy, washed down with apple vodka, mmm, thank you Sarah!
On Sunday we got a little taste of what it is like to be part of the mountain rescue team. First at the centre we practised dealing with a couple of scenarios and familiarised ourselves with the equipment the teams use. Next we headed out to run a couple of scenarios in the hills. This involved carrying all the equipment we would need including the stretcher which broke into 2 halves and was carried on our backs, an oxygen tank and two pretty hefty rucksacks of medical and climbing equipment.
The first scenario involved a fallen climber who we had to assess, stabilise and transport down the hill using the stretcher. It was a pretty tough job even with 8 of us to carry and only going 100m! In the second scenario there was an unconscious climber still attached to his rope who needed to be assessed, given treatment while in that position and lowered to a safe place. These were both very common situations the team had dealt with many times.
Mountain Rescue Day 2
That was it for the day and we headed back to London and exams! This was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend with a great hike, the opportunity to practise new skills and a fun social get together. The same weekend will be run again in 2012 and I thoroughly recommend it to all our members.