Today I was part of the team that evacuated an injured walker from high in Wadi Ghalila and I feel fortunate to have witnessed such selfless hard graft and co operation from the large team that completed the task so successfully.
Yesterday (30/1/2011) in the early afternoon a walker took a tumble on a scree slope while descending from the well know Stairway to Heaven in Wadi Ghalila, RAK. He sustained a lower limb injury as well as other knocks and scrapes. He was a member of a well equipped party with experienced leaders and they were able to stabilise him. They decided they would not be able to move him without help so they made a call to a member of the UAE mountaineering community they knew and he inturn rang around. By 5pm that evening there were 20+ mountaineers heading up the mountain to assist.
It was decided that because the casualties injuries were not immediately life threatening that an evacuation in the dark was not the best option. Some climbers stayed up with the casualty while the rest descended with the remainder of the walking party. They then gathered together food, water and more equipment, grabbed a couple of hours sleep and then reascended in time to start the evacuation at first light.
The ground below the Wadi Ghalila Headwall is steep, broken and uncompromising, it’s very difficult to evacuate an injured person through. To evacuate through ground that a fit able person could ascend in 1.5hrs took 6hrs and 29 people! It is easy to under estimate just how difficult the task was.
The large expert team worked impressively hard throughout the whole task. I can’t recall a better example of teamwork I’ve ever seen and for no other reason than to help a fellow mountaineer.
Well done to all involved today, mission accomplished!