By: Blonde Two

While Mr Blonde Two and I were “going dark” in Shropshire (this does not refer to a drastic hair dying session but merely to the fact that we had no internet or mobile coverage), we visited the fabulous Aardvark Books’ barn in Brampton Bryan.  Second hand books are always an adventure and I was pleased to find this one (signed copy!)

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Countdown to Rescue is a fascinating read for anyone who goes out on the hills.  It covers the work of MRTs (Mountain Rescue Team) and SARDA (Search and Rescue Dog Association) in Snowdonia across a span of fifteen years.

I have only climbed Snowdon once (it is big) but intend to do so again before too long (maybe a slightly less Blonde route). It is really nothing like walking on Dartmoor but the safety messages are the same;  make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back, take the right equipment for the possible conditions and (this one would appear to often be lacking) know how to use your equipment.

Bob’s book covers a wealth of different scenarios, makes fair criticism of some of the victims and gives excellent advice.  One particular favourite section of mine was where he discusses the issue of taking risk – he puts it very well …

“The human body can be likened to a ship.  When the vessel is tied up in harbour it is safe, but that is not what it was built for.  So the human body should not be wrapped up in cotton wool and kept indoors.  We should follow our natural instinct and go out and strive, but aspiring mountaineers should get all the experience they can, and by taking care, preparing properly, and always acting in a responsible way, they will stand much more chance of surviving to enjoy the mountains for very many years.

Apologies for the long quote here but I think it delivers the message well.  The Two Blondes have survived Dartmoor so far and are off to have another “incident” again next week.  We will be brushing up our acting skills to take part in our second training session with Ashburton Dartmoor Search and Rescue (what a lovely bunch of red-jacketed volunteers).  We were once involved in a real incident on Dartmoor and although it is a great story to tell, it wasn’t that much fun at the time.  This time, however, we have the advantage of already knowing what terrible accident is going to befall us.  I am enjoying the sense of power that is giving me … just as well we can’t always foresee the future, otherwise we might never venture out anywhere.