Triumph and Tragedy

I made a short post last night about my climbing yesterday, but it was late after I got in. I had succeeded on the Geordie Warcry, so went like any rock climber round to my friends house to say hello, and play ring-a-ring-a-roses with there 2 and 3 year olds. I try not to think of anybody outside the house watching me embarass myself, as I try to mime the words as not being a three year old anymore I couldn’t remember them.

My phone beeped, and a message from the police came through, a short and rather cryptic, but when someone thinks its important to add a note that the casualty is conscious, I headed straight for Base. Phil was there, and had a vague location, so I headed up the Pass having grabbed some O2, radio and a first aid kit. Not that i could have done much (I am only trained in basic first aid, however given that I have now been first on scene at a couple of nasty falls, I am thinking about further training, if only I could afford the time off work), but at least in my mind the O2 would help if the situation was serious and often there are doctors about on scene, who could use our advance first aid kit.

By the time I got to the cromlech boulders, Pete from the team was behind me, and we abandoned our cars on the road. I think I left the keys in the ignition, phone on the dash board, as i rushed to get up to the scene and Rob joined us, great because his fell running legs move quicker than mine on the appraoch to the cromlech.

With the helicoptor on the way, and members of the team starting to flood up the hillside it wasn’t long before everything we needed was there. It really amazes me how well the team works in these situations. Everyone seems to fit into a roll that they can do, and help out with whoever needs it. Given the steep nature of the terrain, it takes a lot of concentration to manage the scene.I ended up tying on numerous people and stretches to a hasty but well made belay, before the winchman decided that it was too time critical to lower her to a better winch position.

I returned to the base, and had to make a series of notes and sign over various pieces of evidence to the local police, due to the serious nature of the accident the team has to act for the police, should the worse happen later. It is strange but quite satisfying piece together what you find at the scene and trying to form a hypothesis on what happened.

I looked back at the times of the SMS messages and I took a little over an hour from start to finish. The latest news I heard is that she is stable but critical, the list of injuries is extensive, and I am keeping my fingers, arms and legs crossed for her.

The reason my post was so short last night is that in the aftermath of such a rescue, you have what can only be described as an adrenalin come down. I simply had to go round a friend’s and relax. Watching rubbish on TV, and try not to think the worse, as the injuries were so severe that even in hospital, I personal thought it would be touch and go. I am still a little ‘numb’ today, slightly shellshocked I guess, but who won’t be, live goes on and today I was climbing with five lovely people at Plas Y Brenin on a Discover Climbing Course.

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