Incident Report #24 2001

Are you sitting comfortably, because this is a good one!
(I suggest a beer and some crisps as a minimum) We were called to assist a 53-year-old male and a 47-year-old female who where benighted in the area of Harrison Stickle. It seemed a simple matter of finding them, and walking them down. They'd given us a fairly good idea where they were, and finding them wasn't difficult. In fact we located them about 11.30pm. The team members who got to them first were greeted by complaints that they had walked past, despite their shouts. It didn't seem to matter that their rescuers had to continue up the ghyll past them, in order to find a safe place to cross the ravine that forms the upper section of Dungeon Ghyll. The second part of the greeting was to 'instruct' a team member to carry the woman's bag.  This was a 'fashion' duffle bag, with a big coat hanging from it. The couple were fortified with drinks and glucose tablets and the
descent started. After a short distance the woman's newfound porter asked if he could put the coat inside the bag because it was in danger of tripping him. She reluctantly agreed, but said that he wasn't to squash the chocolate muffins that were in the bag. The porter opened the bag and found that it contained a 4-pack of chocolate muffins, a packet of famous brand caramel wafers, chocolate eclairs, a bag of toffees, bananas, apples, oranges, Twiglets, crisps, yoghurts(!), cartons of juice and a famous brand of reconstituted potato snack, in a tube. (Why do they give you a reusable lid, when they must know that once opened, you cannot avoid eating the lot?) This was only what was visible imediately by the light of a head torch, and there could easily have been more. The porter was excited by the prospect of a little snack, but the Tunnocks were only handed over reluctantly. What is normally a descent of around an hour stretched out until around 5am, on account of the woman's physical condition. Her husband was escorted to the valley floor some two hours earlier. Questioning revealed that the man was more than capable of navigating a way down, it was just that the woman refused to go down any of his chosen routes because they were too steep. She complained to her rescuers that the way they had chosen was also too steep, but they left her in no doubt that that was the only way she was going to be escorted down. She even criticised somebody she had seen many hours earlier for wearing sandals. She may have had a point, but the irony of the situation seemed lost on her. This team doesn't rescue people for gratitude or money, but , respectively one is pleasant to receive, and the other is quite useful for the development of the team, but on some occasions you feel well and truly screwed! This was one of those occasions., Sorry, I went on a bit then!

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