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Meet the Teams: Lomond Mountain Rescue Team

Meet the Teams: Lomond Mountain Rescue Team

22nd March, 2023

Lomond Mountain Rescue Team was formed in 1967 by a group of interested folk living in the Drymen and Aberfoyle areas, just north of Glasgow.   

Over the years, the team has developed skills and equipment like other Scottish Mountain Rescue (SMR) teams to allow it to provide as professional a rescue service as possible given the voluntary nature of its membership. In the early days, the team and its single Landrover 110 operated out of a lock-up garage in Balfron and trained in the Church Hall in Drymen. Now the team has a purpose built Post, largely funded most generously by St John Scotland, and now houses the team’s three vehicles, a Hilux, a Landrover 130 and our newest acquisition, a Mercedes 4×4 Sprinter van. The latter is converted into an Incident Control van with modern communications equipment. The post also has a large meeting room, kitchen facilities and, in the garages, provides good space to conduct small group training.  

The team trains two Thursday evenings and a Sunday per month and topics include search management, casualty handling, first aid, technical rope work, use of radios, line searching, navigation, off-road driving, to name some of the multitude of skills demanded of the modern mountain rescuer. We train in all weathers – “it’s not training if it’s not raining!” – as invariably it is cold, wet and dark when we are called out by the Police. 

Lomond’s patch, measuring nearly 1000 square miles and covering much of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, extends along the east side of Loch Lomond to just south of Inversnaid, eastwards to Ben Venue in the Trossachs, southwards to the Campsies and The Queen’s View. With nearly 4 million visitors per year to the National Park it is clear to see why the team is kept busy! Amongst the ‘hotspots’ are, naturally, Ben Lomond – the most southerly Munro – Conic Hill, Dumgoyne, Ben Venue, The Whangie and Finnich Glen, known locally as the Devil’s Pulpit and made famous by TV’s Outlander series, amongst others. Also, the internationally renowned long distance footpath West Highland Way (WHW) starts in Milngavie and passes up the east side of Loch Lomond. Every year, we get called to help walkers on the WHW who underestimate its seriousness. The section from Inversnaid northwards towards Inverarnan is particularly rough and we are often called out to this area. Due to the remoteness of this section and lack of access, we frequently call upon the Loch Lomond Rescue Boat for assistance. They are a tremendous asset and we value the good relations that we have with them.  Other organisations that we work closely with are our neighbouring Mountain Rescue teams Killin and Ochils. We are pleased to have strong relationships with the Coastguard SAR helicopter operating out of Prestwick. Many of the crew we knew from the days when the Royal Navy Sea Kings were based there so that continuity is pleasing. 

The nature of callouts tends to be lower leg injuries, lost walkers and, pertinent to this time of year, being caught out with the onset of darkness without a torch. We have also had our fair share of animal rescues and false alarms. Notable rescues include evacuating the well-known Scottish Broadcaster and write Tom Weir after he had come unstuck climbing on Ben A’an in the Trossachs. In another search looking for a stalker who had got lost, the pilot of the Navy Sea King brought in to help search was less than impressed when the stalker was firing his gun to help locate his position! Very occasionally, we have been involved in searches that have ended with locating a fatality. Whilst never an outcome any of us would wish for, it is quietly comforting to bring a loved one home to their family. 

At the time of writing, Lomond has 33 members on the Call-Out list and like all SMR teams; all members are volunteers, ready to give their time and energies 24/7. Each brings their own particular skill set and character but all share the same goal to work together in the best way possible to help someone in need in the hills. Accidents can happen even to the most experienced at any time and we are always ready to respond to that Police call-out text! 

You can find out more about Lomond MRT at or follow them on Facebook and Twitter 

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