Fifty Years of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team

THE dreadful accident in Glasgow at the weekend has concentrated our minds on the vital work done by our various rescue services and I guess we’re approaching that time of the year when our mountain search and rescue teams are preparing for what could be another busy season.

A while back Willie Anderson, leader of the Cairngorm MRT, mentioned to me that the team was approaching their 50th anniversary and when I mentioned this to Richard Else he thought it would make a great subject for a BBC documentary.

Richard and I were both aware that it’s not easy making films about MR teams. We’ve done it in the past, with varying degrees of success, and it’s very difficult getting that fine line right between sensitivity and voyeurism.

MOUNTAIN RESCUE DVD CoverIn this case I think Richard has done a superb job, particularly in capturing the camaraderie between team members, and in this particular team there are 42 of them, that is so essential in any team activity. In the case of mountain rescue it’s even more vital – these guys often have to depend on each other in some of the most inhospitable weather conditions imaginable.

In the 50 years of their existence, the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team has attended over three thousand incidents and last year, when Richard filmed them, was their busiest winter in 30 years.

The film is compelling but unsensational, and is a great insight into the conditions the team operates in and the understanding they all have as to why people go to the hills in winter. It should be compulsory viewing for every couch-potato journalist who claims the hills should be closed each winter!

The DVD of the television programme will be released in the next couple of days and is available at the Mountain Media website for a specially reduced price of £12.99, plus pp. It’s essential viewing for everyone who enjoys Scotland’s mountains.

1 thought on “Fifty Years of Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team

  1. Apparently I was Willies doppelganger in the 80s.I spent a lot of time in Fort William when I was climbing a lot and on numerous occasions folk would start talking to me ,addressing me as Willie.
    One married couple in a bar were talking to me for around 10 minutes before I told them and even bought me a drink 🙂
    When the two of us actually met we decided that we looked nothing like each other.Mind you,Fort William is a very strange place 🙂

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