A night out in the hills

So with Suse signing up with the Fire Service and I’m not able to due to my parents selfishness in giving me bad eyesight without glasses, I was feeling left out. I’ve always had a huge passion for the outdoors and mountains so when the local Mountain Rescue Service advertised for new members I was quick to sign up.

I was invited out for my first training exercise which was to start at 2pm and finish at 9:30pm. So all I knew was I was going to be out in the dark for sure. We have a lot of stuff packed away in boxes just now and after opening hundreds of them and finding everything I didn’t need for my first day except my map case and compass which is what I did need! Luckily I got a cheap one from Amazon, it even came complete with a whistle, result!

Or so I thought, what a difference there is between a good quality Silva compass and a cheap one that comes free with a map case and whistle.

The day of training arrives, and so does Assynt’s worse snow for 20 years. Not a worry when you drive a trusted Land Rover. In fact it’s days like this that make the huge MOT bills and the fact that it can drink diesel faster than Suse can down a gin and tonic at last orders all ok.

At the bottom of School hill the back end took a little slide, it’s going to be fun getting back up this on the way home tonight I thought. The road was really bad all the way to the meeting point. But I made it and so did the rest of the team. Everyone was really welcoming and we were soon out on the hill starting our training.

This compromised of different search techniques while looking for a chocolate bar in distress. All fairly straight forward stuff, and as all good workmen do I got to blame my tools on my rubbish compass. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. I really better open another few hundred boxes to find my old one.

The next stage was night time GPS training. We were given a load of co ordinates, put in the back of a van and driven down the road before being unleashed into the night.

It was a really good time out and informative training, great to meet some other members and learn more about what it means to become a full member. In fact you’re a probationer for anything from 12 to 18 months. There’s a training day once a month. I’m already looking forward to the next one in January.

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