The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Found It!

Unfortunately, it is not my head torch that is now found. That is still worryingly missing.

However, I have finally found the hill that is responsible for a small scar on my forehead.

I don’t recall the incident, but apparently when I was a very wee girl I was being carried up a hill in a child-carrier on my father’s back. All was going fine until my father tripped and fell, catapulting me out of the carrier. Having flown a short distance, my rapid descent was halted when my head hit a rock. I’m told that I screamed a lot – and I still have a tiny scar.

What I didn’t know until tonight was where I was when this incident happened. My mother told me (or at least what I heard, perhaps incorrectly) was that it was on Gunner’s Howe, but she couldn’t tell me where that was. A search on Anquet didn’t help and neither did Google.

Then tonight, whilst browsing various Mountain Rescue Team incident reports (as I do on a regular basis – the LAMRT ones can be particularly entertaining), I came across a reference to Gummer’s How.

It’s a small thing, but it’s nice to finally know where it was that I got that scar.

Whilst I’m on the subject of head torches and Mountain Rescue Teams (which I sort of was), it’s apparent from the MRT incident reports (again, particularly LAMRT) that a lack of torches and/or lack of navigational equipment/ability are an increasing problem.

Broken legs and ankle injuries are currently outnumbered by people who forget that it gets dark quite early at this time of year, or who can’t quite see the path and aren’t prepared to end up in the wrong place.

Back in October, LAMRT put it quite bluntly thus:
This is the 3rd incident recently and the nth of many, where the victims went up a mountain without any realistic possibility of getting back down without assistance.

This is entirely preventable with sensible and simple preparation.

Don't be too ambitious, set off early enough to complete the route before dark, take a torch, learn to navigate, and to quote Gordon Ramsey, 'get some balls'.

There aren't many hills in the Lakes that don't have a simple valley route down from, that in turn, won't lead you to a road, village or town. It might not be where you parked your car, but that's a minor inconvenience compared to the inconvenience of 18 team members giving up 3 hours of their lives to sort you out!

This may seem harsh, but the problem is getting worse, and will almost certainly continue to do so.

Unfortunately, the people they rescue are not generally people who read their website (or at least I assume not, because surely if you did read their reports you would have a torch in your bag or make absolutely sure that you were off the hill before dark?).

Since that warning was given 16 of their 27 call-outs have involved lost or benighted walkers. Quite obviously, and understandably, they’re getting rather fed up of this trend, so yet more good advice was given in yesterday’s rescue report:

Two men were unable to find their way off Red Screes after taking longer to complete their walk than planned, and became stuck in the dark. They were located by team members and escorted down. All returned to base in time for 2008. If you've still got any money left, and didn't get a headtorch for Christmas, go and buy one tomorrow.

Given where this post started, I think I’m going to have to fork out for a new headtorch, aren’t I?


  1. a fellow follower of the MRT incident reports. Entertaining, sometimes quite sad, but very tongue in cheek as well

  2. You can never have too many head torches!

  3. It amazes me sometimes, what people in the hills do. I once came across a family, walking toward Buckden Pike in nothing but cotton t shirts jeans and trainers.

    It is hideously boggy there, and a light drizzle was in the air. A sure fire way to get hypothermia.

    And dont even start me on the idiot that took a party of school kids up there