Wasdale Mountain Rescue from ‘Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’

Enjoy this short clip from ‘Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike’ featuring Wasdale MRT. I’d have dearly loved to have made their scene a great deal longer in the film’s final edit but alas the running time wouldn’t allow me to do so.

Like most chapters in the programme, I had hours of footage to go through and whittle down into something cohesive and to complement the film’s whole. My interview with Bill Pattison MBE who is currently the team’s president was fascinating and insightful. He shared many stories and thoughts on the past, present and future of MRT – including concerns with the idea of insurance to cover the costs of MRT and the difficulties of dealing with the ‘Three Peaks Challengers’ season.

Another scene I had to cut involved Duty Team Leader Mike Gullen taking us on a guided tour of the team’s HQ in Wasdale – pointing out which kit they used and why, the costs involved and time spent on individuals training. Folks who supported my film on Indiegogo and are entitled to the ‘extras’ DVD will hopefully get to see these and many more deleted scenes.

I have to say, working with these heroes and heroines was extremely humbling and I hope to work with them again in the future. They’re a top bunch of folks who honestly do a fantastic job which most of us (including myself I must add) will never fully understand or appreciate. Much like any other emergency service we have here or anywhere!

And now the warmer months are beginning to kick in, I’m increasingly mindful of what they’ll be up to as thousands of people in the name of charity begin to descend on Wasdale attempting to ascend Scafell Pike as part of the notorious ‘Three Peaks Challenge’ (which is covered in the film).

Having spent so much time in the area (feels like home in fact) and witnessing the havoc and general mess such charity walks leave behind without contributing anything to the valley, my view has changed from being open-minded and on the fence about such activities to being all for licensing and controlling the numbers of people on these charity walks up on the Scafells now.

I’m as easy-going as they come. I’m all up for folks with any excuse (even for good causes) to be outdoors but such events need to be controlled. It’s not like fellrunning races happen willy nilly up there and the same should be said for charity walks – no matter the best of intentions folks participating have.

I can certainly emphasise with the ever increasing dread some folks have in the area as the season approaches, be it the local MRT (and all they have to contend with) to the local rangers and of course the locals themselves. I could go on and on about in truth but that’s for another day – I’m digressing enough as it is.

So, please raise your glasses, put your hands together and praise be to the Wasdale MRT and every other team about the UK. They do an extraordinary job in some extraordinary circumstances and are deserving of all the help and recognition and much more they receive.

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