For several years Hathersage has, for one weekend in June, been the venue for the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and British Mountain Medicine Society (BMMS) joint course for lay mountaineers on all aspects of Mountaineering Medicine. Then Covid hit and for two years it was inevitably suspended. International travel was curtailed, expedition climbing drastically reduced and many of those with expertise were in the front line of caring for patients. Late in 2021 we dared to approach the BMC suggesting resuscitating the weekend and the concept grew.
At the same time as the weekend was being planned the UIAA Medical commission were looking for a venue for their first face to face meeting for two years. Where better than the UK? Hathersage is on a train link with Manchester airport and the local Adventure Hub offered a suitable venue so their meeting was grafted onto the Friday of the weekend. This meant that we had added expertise from all over the world and it also meant the international delegates could sample our classic gritstone over the following few days.
It dawned on the organisers that the weekend involves multiple workshops designed for non-medics on all the medical subjects that can cause problems in the hills. Medically why do we never concentrate on the benefits of being in the hills. This concept has grown during lockdown as more people realised how important relaxing in the outdoors is for our mental health. With this in mind Jeremy Windsor organized the Monday as a day for interested groups to look at the benefits of hill walking for our general wellbeing. Apart from formal presentations the day incorporated workshops and most importantly two and a half hours for small group walks in the area. It is amazing how well discussions simply evolve naturally when a group of well motivated people share time on a walk. Ideas were shared and flourished.
WATCH: The Mountain Medicine 2022 weekend on BMC TV
These weekends are primarily designed for the general mountaineering public but we do not deny that they also provide and excellent forum for professionals in the field to plan future events, new research and air new ideas. It was obvious during the BMC provided BBQ that there is a massive social side to these events. Our thanks to Nick Colton for his evening presentation on Alpinism in the 1970s. For some delegates an illustration of howthings have changed for others a trip down memory lane,
We plan to run a similar event in June 2023. Again workshops facilitated by national experts will run on both Saturday and Sunday. Topics are likely to include hypothermia, diet and hydration, altitude illness, mountaineering with chronic medical conditions, frostbite care, first aid and medical kits, splinting, scene management, working with a MR team and others suggested in the valued feedback.
Watch the BMC website for details of dates and book early since places do fill quickly.
Dr David Hillebrandt, Medical Advisor to BMC
Our BMC policies are loaded with the essential cover that you need for adventure.
*Policy details: £49.55 for a 7 day European Trek policy, up to age 69.
For full terms and conditions see our Evidence of Cover
Europe by Train
Seat61 has a plethora of information, ready-planned for you to make your train journeys to Europe plain sailing. We fully recommend checking out the routes available and booking in advance to get the best deals on cheaper tickets.
PLAN YOUR LOW-IMPACT TRAVELS: Find public transport routes across Europe
WATCH: BMC Travel Cover built for the mountains
This article has been read
Click on the tags to explore more