Tuesday 5 January 2016

Kendal Mountaineering Services. In the run up to Christmas 2015.

Once again, its been a while since we've posted anything, however, there are a number of reasons for that.

The first and main one concerns the first photo showing the River Kent in Kendal on Saturday December 5th. Taken from near Stramongate Bridge, the river had inundated the flat grass field known as Gooseholme next to the river. This was taken at around mind-day on the Saturday during the height of "Storm Desmond".

Water levels continued to rise until around 10:30 pm that night. A number of areas around town which had never been flooded before were inundated including our area; and our home.

You can read a report on Facebook showing many more photos taken by us. The flooding wreaked havoc on our property and it has taken  a long time to get back to some sort of normality, but it will be many months before our home is restored to its original condition.

However, we are still open for business!

Immediately after the flood we found ourselves clearing up. Much of the outdoor equipment stored at our premises was soaked by dirty water and covered by a fine layer of silt. All of this had to be removed and cleaned before removal  to nearby storage where it could be dried. This task took up much of the following week.

Next Friday, Iain made his way to the 2015 Jagged Globe Leaders forum - run this time from the YHA's premises at Losehill Hall near Castleton in Derbyshire (photo two).  As in last year, this was another great opportunity to "network"with outdoor professionals from all over the country. Saturday started with Jagged Globe's Managing Director Simon Lowe discussing how the 2015 Nepal Earthquake had impacted the business and what had subsequently been done to repatriate clients who were trekking or climbing with the company in Nepal at the time. There were also presentations by a number of expedition leaders who were working in country at the time - sobering stuff. As always, Jagged Globe had put the well-being of their clients first & foremost and had acted with absolute professionalism and sound judgement.

After the presentations surrounding the earthquake, three separate workshops had been set up for attendees. The first one for Iain's group was an opportunity to discuss any aspects of expedition medicine with Doctor David Hillebrand and other doctors associated with Jagged Globe.

Lots of topics were discussed in an hour. Aspects of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) how to deal with clients suffering emotional & behavioral difficulties as a result of AMS and the success rate of CPR in the mountains were amongst the topics. Very interesting indeed!

After lunch, our next session was spent with BMG member and IFMGA Guide Alun Richardson who talked about aspects of glacier travel and crevasse rescue.

Alun showed us the system he uses when working on glaciers with clients in order to help him conduct rescues where required. Photo three shows Alun demonstrating rescue techniques - clearly on non glaciated terrain in "the Morton Room", but very informative; and very interesting all the same. Thanks Alun.

After our Crevasse Rescue Session, we went outside briefly for a GPS Training Session run by Max Hunter. The weather outside during Saturday was wet & windy and pretty lousy at the time of our session. Put it this way - we didn't stay outside for very long at all!

The latter part of the afternoon was designated an open forum where any topic one wished to broach could be discussed. In our earlier first aid session, Iain had noticed a Hyperbaric Bag which is what is used to aid recovery from AMS and had asked if it could be demonstrated at the open forum later.

The doctor who had the bag readily agreed to demonstrate its setup and use of the bag in the open forum and in photo four it has been set up complete with a "victim" inside the bag and the bag is now being inflated up to it's operating pressure of 2 psi.

What impressed Iain is how one of these devices work. He assumed that someone suffering from AMS was sealed inside one of these bags and then pure oxygen was then pumped on from a cylinder. This is not the case at all!

By inflating the bag 2 psi one actually increases the atmospheric pressure around the casualty artificially, in effect, lowering the altitude. The atmospheric pressure decreases at altitude and there is less oxygen in the air. By increasing the atmospheric pressure (artificially in this case), the amount of oxygen available to the casualty is increased and often the casualty will make a good recovery.However, as soon as a casualty is removed from the bag then they will start to deteriorate. Anyone suffering AMS to the extent that a Hyperbaric Bag is needed, should be removed as soon as possible to a lower altitude where they can make a normal recovery. Read about the particular type of Hyperbaric Bag seen in the photo here. It makes interesting reading!

The open forum finished  at around 5:30 and the Christmas Dinner started around 7pm. A great evening ensued - an evening of great frivolity and fun. On Sunday Morning, all that remained to do was to return home. The Sunday was markedly different to the Saturday in so much as there was a frost at Losehill Hall first thing; and on his return to Cumbria, Iain noticed that the Lake District Fells were fairly well covered in snow - bring on the Winter!

Thank you to Jagged Globe for another great forum  and thanks to the staff at Losehill Hall for looking after us.

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