Kick-off was at 7.30 Friday evening [25th Jamuary] with the usual night-time navigation exercise. It wasn’t cold, but it was a tad wet and windy. As part of 'Team Ady' we managed to find our points without encountering too much mud, of which there was quite a lot around. Supper next, shepherd’s pie (at 11pm!), followed by socialising (AKA... a few non-habit-forming halves) rumour has it that at least one person didn’t even make it to bed!
Saturday was a day of skills training – first aid and stretchers. There were three first aid stations with exercise casualties. My section leader, Sophie, decided who would do the first aid for each station so different people got an opportunity to practise. We didn’t know what we would find at each station until we got there. Jonathan, Nick’s son, had a suspected spinal injury and was in danger of slipping down the hill. Jonty was a very noisy casualty with various fractures, while Robin had suffered a heart attack and despite 30 minutes of CPR died.
Lunch was a warming spud and then it was off to stretcher training on a very windy hillside – an opportunity to try out the new harnesses as well as practising steep ground lowers.
After tea (a choice of chicken curry or butternut squash, pea and lentil curry) – the evening’s entertainment began – “Baa”low’s famous quiz, followed by a variety of games, hosted overall by Vicky. Our members demonstrated their competitive sides in a variety of silly games. Ian Y introduced the brilliant chair game (maybe something to try at work on a Friday afternoon?). Unlike Friday evening, everyone was in bed by 1am, which apparently is quite unusual, according to Paul Barlow.
Sunday dawned with a glorious sunrise, a dusting of snow and a cold, cold wind. Ideal weather to go tramping up Blackden Brook searching for the supposedly lost Simpson family. Logistically it was tricky getting us all to the start and by the time my section were all in situ and ready to move, Vicky, her baby, Chris and Mike had all been located. Sarah, as section leader, remained calm and flexible, adapting her plans as new information trickled in.
Finally, a social media picture from the remaining missing Simpson, taken near a shooting cabin, and we were off. Bob was soon found with his bottle of Vodka, treated for stage 1 hypothermia and a nasty cut to the head and escorted off the hill. However, within sight of the team vehicles, Bob got overexcited and had a suspected heart attack! Redeployed members rushed to get an AED to Bob, but before we got a chance to use it, Bob made a miraculous recovery (it was, after all, nearly lunchtime).
So, lunch (homemade bread and soup – yummy), debrief time, clean up (we got the “gender-neutral” toilets – joy!) and back to Derby to clean and dry kit and restock the vehicles.
Once again, this was a fabulously well-organised weekend – many thanks to Paul Barlow and all the contributors. The food was just what was needed, the entertainment entertaining and the company warm and welcoming.
Roll on next year!