Spring: the best time of year on the west coast. A bit of warm sun does wonders for the soul after the short, dark, rainy days of winter. A burst of spring green and sky blue gives the promise of endless warm sunny midge-free summer days ahead (ha!). The ice and snow clung on valiantly this year and the crampons and axes stayed in the rucksack for a while after the last snows of April’s training. Clear skies froze up the snow and ice and many of the team enjoyed the late season ice climbing on Ben Nevis, a few last turns on the skis in the spring snow, a bit of sunburn on the ‘alpine’ days out, and finally getting the rock shoes out again.
Of course, with thousands of folk out enjoying all that was on offer, there were also some busy spells for callouts. We had several trips up to Glencoe to assist with large multiagency searches, and also two callouts closer to home to look for missing folk in Oban that always seemed to coincide with a call up to Cruachan for those caught out by the ice conditions.
But after the snow it’s a nice yearly ritual to mark the end of winter and take the batteries out of the avalanche transceivers and finally lighten the heavy winter rucksack of the metal pointy things.
Of note in April was out first ‘social’ for years! Unlike some in Westminster as a team we had chosen abstinence during pandemic lockdowns. A fine effort was made by the chairman who had upped his game post-loch down with a mobile wood burning pizza oven. Perhaps a good addition to our next control vehicle?
Talking of spending money, after a few quiet summers we will be out fundraising and marshalling, and May is looking busy! We arelooking forward to the return of the Jura Hill race and the Kintyre Ultra and we hope the weather’s fair for the Scottish Islands Peak Race. If you’re a race snake and still havering about entering the Craggy in October, the Sunday solo is alreadywaiting list only, so get your skates on for Saturday.