In an emergency call 999 and ask for Police then Mountain Rescue
This weekend saw two, one-day Avalanche Companion courses run in the northern Cairngorms. The course is designed to educate mountain rescue volunteers on how to be safe, prepared and competent in winter conditions when heading out into the hills, whether it be socially or on a mountain rescue callout.
The usual format for the courses was changed this year to ensure that all face to face training was conducted outside on the hill. A pre-course meeting was held over Zoom and attendees were asked to complete a “Snow and Avalanche” online training course, created and delivered by Mountain Training Scotland.
The practical skills day included transceiver work (how wear a transceiver, how they work and how the units should be looked after, as well as pre-use key transceiver checks with companions). The groups were able to use the transceiver park at Glenmore Lodge to hone their skills before heading onto the hill and accessing the snow sites. The walk-in was used to assess conditions and understand ‘the journey and key places’ elements of Be Avalanche Aware. Discussions took place around Heuristic traps and human factors in the triggering of avalanches. Whilst on the snow sites the attendees undertook transceiver searches and probing techniques, as well as the digging out and extraction of a casualty. Finally, time was spent on the different techniques to employ if they had to cross ‘a dodgy patch of snow’.
As you will see from the photo, both course days were blessed with excellent weather, good snow patches to use and bags of enthusiasm from both attendees and instructors.
If you would like to know more about Be Avalanche Aware, please go to www.sais.gov.uk. SAIS also provide daily avalanche forecasts for various mountain areas across Scotland.