The Helicopter View

The Strathclyde Police helicopter hovering by The Brack with Captain Dave Traill at the controls. (Photo Pete Macpherson)

I received an interesting email from PC Kevin Brown from Strathclyde Police the other day.

“We were put on to your blog by a climbing Doctor from the EMRS (Emergency Medical Retrieval Service) and spotted the photograph of our aircraft, the Strathclyde Police helicopter at The Brack [see Exciting Times on Great Central Groove]. We were the crew on that day and part of the search. In the spirit of engaging with the climbing community can your blog handle video as we have the opposite view with footage of the two climbers midway in the climb?”

Kevin has now uploaded the video clip to Youtube. It’s 45 seconds worth – spot Pete Macpherson taking a quick snap of the helicopter with his G10 whilst belaying and Pete Benson powering his way up their new VII,9 finish to Great Central Groove!

“I take it the climbers are happy for this to go up as it does show their expertise!” Kevin stated. “The only things I can add about the call was that possible flares and light flashes had been seen by a passing motorist and climbers were possibly in distress, so we were actioned to search the Brack. We searched the whole hillside until the Strathclyde Police MRT team advised us that climbers may be found in the Gully called the Elephant so we searched there. At the same time the climbers were able to use their mobile to tell the Police all was well. The crew was PC Kevin Brown, PC Tony Collins and the pilot was Captain Dave Traill. A good exercise for us and the MRT and a very good casual snap taken by the belayer!”

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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3 Responses to The Helicopter View

  1. Ian Parnell says:

    That’s brilliant, this site gets better and better

  2. Erik Brunskill says:

    amazing story! and amazing view of the brack. Is it just me or does Pete Mac look like hes just robbed a bank when he sheepishly keeps looking at the chopper?

    if any of the police helicopter guys are reading this, I once got a lift when hitching from bridge of orchy back to Glasgow after soloing on Creag an Socach, the navigator of the strathclyde polis helicopter was the kind chap who gave me a lift, think it was tail end of the 90’s, if your reading this, thanks!

  3. stevef says:

    Just trying to work out where they are, and where this direct finish goes. I take it they are still in Great central groove and the direct finish is the thin crack starting about 3m left of icy overhanging chimney last pitch, correct?
    Their description seemed to diverge from GCG for 2 pitches, or did i read this wrong?

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