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By pistolrider on 27/11/13 at 9:03am

Just thought I would introduce myself. I'm Jim and I live in the West Midlands, my user name is my English translation of my favourite place, Pistyll Rheadher.

Errr! Thats me abseiling down the waterfall.

I was introduced to the hill as a Venture Scout, mainly walking in the Peak District and the Lakes. When I was 20 I joined the RAF and immediately on posting to my first permanent unit I became a member of the RAF Mountain Rescue Service. I was a team member for 12 years and reached the dizzy heights of Part-Time, Deputy Team Leader( I've never been very ambitious). I was always more interested in bagging a few hills or going climbing, than getting on a Team Leaders course. Anyway these were definitely the best years of my life, hills, hills and more hills.

Since leaving MR I've done very little on the hill. Now the kids are all gone I have taken it up again with a fervour that even I didn't know I possessed. In the past 2 months I've been to the Lakes, Peaks, Dales and Mid Wales. I shall be spending most of my time in Mid Wales as the Berwyns and Arans are the closest hills from home. Another advantage of these hills is nobody goes there. I used to get fed up doing Great Gable only to find 400 folks sitting around at the summit, when I got there. :roll:


By TallPaul on 27/11/13 at 10:01am

Wotcha Jim, welcome aboard. I'm suitably impressed by the abseiling down a waterfall pic. I tried abseiling once and failed miserably going down a six foot drop because I DON'T DO HEIGHTS (did I make my view on heights clear?).

But, like you I was a venture scout (also cub, scout and, latterly, cub instructor before going off to university).

Was the RAF MR stuff on the ground rather than with the fly boys?

P.S. I've moved your post from 'Announcements' to 'General discussion' - my fault: I've left ''Announcements' as writeable by anyone.


By pistolrider on 27/11/13 at 4:52pm

Hi Paul No problem moving the previous post. I wasn't sure where it should go!

Me driving an aircraft!!!! No way. I cant drive a car very well, the RAF would never have trusted me with something that can actually leave the ground.

A really funny thing I've found since going back on the hill is that I have lost all my navigation skills (Although I say it myself......I used to be brilliant, even in whiteout situations). I keep getting lost, so I have brought myself a Garmin Etrex 30. My mate is presently loading the free maps from Talky Toaster, on to it. I will use the modern technology to make my life a bit easier but back up with bog standard map and compass (you cant beat the simple and fool proof methods, unless you don't know where you are :D ).


By TallPaul on 27/11/13 at 6:59pm

I must admit I don't trust maps on devices: too easy to get lulled into a false sense of security and then batteries fail or (knowing me) I drop it. A GPS is a nice thing to have, not least to confirm your location in a whiteout (or, for my other recreational pleasure, to check where in the North Sea I actually am) but the batteries don't run out on paper charts and compasses.

Although I confess that what I do like doing with my GPS is setting up route1s (using our mapping software) so it then points me at the next waypoint as I walk. I use a wrist mounted Garmin GPS and it's ideal for that, both when walking and sailing. But I still follow where I am on a paper map.

  1. A route describes where you are intending to go, point by point. For more information click here.

By beth on 27/11/13 at 9:01pm

Hello Jim. I prefer simplicity of map and compass. As he says Paul puts in a route and follows the waypoints but I find I can't be bothered with the faff. One of those fancy mapping GPSs might be nice tho! - when my premium bonds come up! Mostly the GPS gets used to record my track, only occasionally have I resorted to looking at it for a grid ref to put on the map.

I'd have thought navigation would come back to you over time, the more you're out there the more accurate you get and you pick up on the subtle things that tell you you're heading the right way, or not.

That waterfall looks a bit, umm cold and wet! :lol:


By pistolrider on 28/11/13 at 7:27am

Hi beth

Just found this photo of me in the bottom pool, as you can see I was dressed for the occasion, in my caving wet suit That was quite a few years ago, probably the early 80's.

I was on my way up to Moel Sych, just 2 weeks ago and went via the top of the waterfall , I nearly poo'ed my pants when I looked over the edge. Oh! to be young and fearless again.


By pistolrider on 28/11/13 at 8:05am

And as far as the old navigation thing is concerned, I think I will make an effort to practice timing and pacing next time I'm out on the hill. These are invaluable skills, especially when used in conjunction with the altimeter on my GPS and of course map and compass.

Hell! I never realised navigation was so complicated :o


By beth on 28/11/13 at 2:10pm

Ha yeah, wet suit a good plan!

As for the nav practise, being able to do all the pacing/timing/bearings stuff is good for when the clag comes in as it inevitably does. Doesn't mean you have to do it all the time. Have fun!



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