At 17 I was travelling from Surrey by train to the Cairngorms to spend two weeks at a time camping at Glenmore and spending days bivvying at the shelterstone and climbing everything around. Were we reckless, ill prepared or plain stupid, I don’t think so? We had learnt the benefits of a team, looked out for each other, knew our personal limitations and yes on occasions pushed boundaries. We were risk aware, not risk averse, we minimised risk through learning and having the right equipment, but of course we could have had an accident. We had no mobile phones and no GPS, no goretex clothing or waterproof boots, tents without sewn in groundsheets, dachstein mitts and grey woollen socks!! We were loving every minute of our experiences in these wild places, we had our contingency plans, had left word with others and knew what to do in an emergency. The mountains were the making of us, the experiences formed us and the sense of team inspired us. We were not on the street, not on drugs and were not boozing to excess, we had a vision of a world brimming with adventure, of being at one with nature and being fit and healthly.
So to the media sensationalists, I say give those who venture into the mountains a break, accidents do and will happen and sadly so too will fatalities but restricting adventure will not reduce the death rates in those driven to the great outdoors. Obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, gang crime, etc all carry a heavier toll…………………….