Sights you see!

Slightly off topic but relates to hill/fell walking.

Whilst on top of Helvellyn on Saturday the weather conditions were far from perfect. Near zero visability, 50 knot winds gusting to 60/70 knots, horizontal icy rain. I was stood near the shelter when a couple arrived looking very wet, tired, shivering and obviously suffering from the prevailing conditions. He was dressed in jeans and a denim jacket with a t-shirt underneath plus trainers, she was wearing tracky bottoms and a white ‘puffer’ jacket with trainers! I started chatting to them and gave them some of my coffee. I suggested that they got off of the hill as quickly as possible and got dry and warm. They agreed that they shouldnt have attempted the hill today and started off in to the gloom. 5 minutes later they are back at the shelter asking me where the footpath was! On enquiring as to which path they came up their answer was dont know! Further enquiry indicated that they had come up the same route as me from Wythburn Church carpark. I asked them for their map and compass to confirm the route - guess what - they didnt have either. Being the good samaritan that I am and refraining from giving them a lecture I took them to the point where the path is obvious and pointed them in the right direction off the hill. As a final good will gesture I gave them my spare foil space blanket and explained that if they had any problems on the way down to stop and wrap themselves up in the blanket and I would be down that way in about an hour.

I never came across them on the descent but was very surprised to see my space blank tucked under the windscreen wiper of my car with a note saying ‘we thought this was your car because it had a CB aerial on the roof (2m co-linear)’ and thanking me for the assistance and a promise that they would buy the right gear next time.

This time they were lucky but it was a good reminder that the hills are dangerous places especially now as we approach winter where temperature can drop quite considerably from base to summit.

73 Glyn

In reply to GM4CFS:
Well done Glyn… your actions clearly saved the MRT a job!

73 Marc GØAZS

In reply to G0AZS:

Yes, well done Glyn, not only did your selfless actions possibly save the MRT a job, you may even have saved a life.

Hopefully, because winter is almost upon us, there will be a safety feature in the next SOTA newsletter, I’m just waiting for the details to arrive.

73 Mike

In reply to GM4CFS:

Excellent response Glyn! I just hope that I would have had the same presence of mind to assist in that way.

Like you I carry a spare foil space blanket at all times when on the hills as I am sometimes accompanied. The bothy bag is a two person one as well. These, together with other survival kit, reflective waistcoats, etc live permanently in the rucksack and are therefore available for use regardless of the season. For those of us that have been through at least one winter activation season this is all common sense, but we need to keep in mind that SOTA is attracting new activators all the time and the timely warning that Mike refers to is therefore essential.

Perhaps local authorities should be made to place suitable warning notices at all parking spots for the popular summits. Education is the key, but I wonder whether “it won’t happen to me” will continue to be the order of the day.

73, Gerald