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From Blind "rescued Irish Walker"

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Tony Maguire

Member
Camino(s) past & future
20th August 2014
Hi gang maybe some of ye read in the tabloid papers this week of the and I quote , the dramatic rescue mission of a group of irish walkers on top of a mountain while trecking the Camino. The papers declared that this rescue happened in severe conditions and that the rescued were suffering hyperthermia etc etc. Just to let ye know that wee the walkers never had such a great laugh at this reported dribble and astonished how a little story can run and eventually be blown out of all proportion. Yes we came into bad weather but nothing severe and certainly nothing to cause us hyperthermia or that it suddenly dropped from 32degrees down to 3degrees as was reported. yes we had reached the summit at 4,200ft when the weather became foggy and we had 3km left of a descent through some rockey terrain before reaching our hotel, so our extremely experienced guide may Iadd, made the wise decision not to take this route , but decided to call for back up in the collection of us getting into trucks. These same so call rescue trucks were able to drive to us on the mountain and pick us up which we could easily have walked but for the only reason it was another 10km adding another 7km to our walk. The only reason that I am hylighting this that after all the laugh we had reading and hearing how much this was blown out of proportion is that there is a serious side to this and that is how much of it was blown out of proportion and how so called investicated journalism can get it so wrong. Our two guides were quite concerned as so as well was the charity guide dogs as how this ridiculous story would reflect on them and their business. I know the month of August is referred to silly season and I know that tabloid papers should be taken with a pinch of salt, but some times it is ridiculous reporting like this that can cause untold damage to individuals, their livelihood and their carreer.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Dear Tony, first of all, I am glad to read everything finished nicely. Regardless of whether it was blown out of proportion or not, the fact is that you mobilized the fire brigade to rescue you from the mountains, and they came to your rescue, it is very easy to say now that you would have been able to walk the rest of the trek. The news reads "the pilgrims called because they were suffering effects of hypothermia and exhaustion. Who is telling the truth here is something I cannot tell; what I can tell is, you mobilized a whole rescue party, who went there to rescue you, fortunately everything went fine, but you should at least be grateful instead of mocking the press. News also read "none of the pilgrims required medical attention after the rescue", so I do not see where things were blown out of proportion, at least in the Spanish media.

Please, understand rescue teams are there to help you, and they did help you, I have not seen any reports about press blowing the things out of proportion, at least not in the Spanish media. They are firemen, they have risked their lives for other people at times, and they did their job, I think the fair thing to do would be to be grateful and not say it was not that serious after all. If it was not serious, why did you call the mountain rescue crew?

All in all, glad nothing serious happened!

Buen camino
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
Calling rescue while hiking is like the data on a first heart attack. Your only warning might be the heart attack. It may not be completely clear that a rescue is necessary until someone is in real bad shape.

I don't think anyone should avoid calling 112 for help. You never know when it is "life or death."

That is just my opinion. I could be wrong.
 

Tony Maguire

Member
Camino(s) past & future
20th August 2014
Dear Tony, first of all, I am glad to read everything finished nicely. Regardless of whether it was blown out of proportion or not, the fact is that you mobilized the fire brigade to rescue you from the mountains, and they came to your rescue, it is very easy to say now that you would have been able to walk the rest of the trek. The news reads "the pilgrims called because they were suffering effects of hypothermia and exhaustion. Who is telling the truth here is something I cannot tell; what I can tell is, you mobilized a whole rescue party, who went there to rescue you, fortunately everything went fine, but you should at least be grateful instead of mocking the press. News also read "none of the pilgrims required medical attention after the rescue", so I do not see where things were blown out of proportion, at least in the Spanish media.

Please, understand rescue teams are there to help you, and they did help you, I have not seen any reports about press blowing the things out of proportion, at least not in the Spanish media. They are firemen, they have risked their lives for other people at times, and they did their job, I think the fair thing to do would be to be grateful and not say it was not that serious after all. If it was not serious, why did you call the mountain rescue crew?

All in all, glad nothing serious happened!

Buen camino
I did not call any rescue service....I was not even on the route......the report is from one of the blind pilgrims who was there.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Calling rescue while hiking is like the data on a first heart attack. Your only warning might be the heart attack. It may not be completely clear that a rescue is necessary until someone is in real bad shape.

I don't think anyone should avoid calling 112 for help. You never know when it is "life or death."

That is just my opinion. I could be wrong.
I could not agree more, they are there to help, and it is better to call them too early than too late. This said, I can imagine how they feel after they have to do a rescue, a double rescue since they took two turns to bring them all down, and they ready after that "oh, it was not really that serious"... I would be furious!!!
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi gang maybe some of ye read in the tabloid papers this week of the and I quote , the dramatic rescue mission of a group of irish walkers on top of a mountain while trecking the Camino. The papers declared that this rescue happened in severe conditions and that the rescued were suffering hyperthermia etc etc. Just to let ye know that wee the walkers never had such a great laugh at this reported dribble and astonished how a little story can run and eventually be blown out of all proportion. Yes we came into bad weather but nothing severe and certainly nothing to cause us hyperthermia or that it suddenly dropped from 32degrees down to 3degrees as was reported. yes we had reached the summit at 4,200ft when the weather became foggy and we had 3km left of a descent through some rockey terrain before reaching our hotel, so our extremely experienced guide may Iadd, made the wise decision not to take this route , but decided to call for back up in the collection of us getting into trucks. These same so call rescue trucks were able to drive to us on the mountain and pick us up which we could easily have walked but for the only reason it was another 10km adding another 7km to our walk. The only reason that I am hylighting this that after all the laugh we had reading and hearing how much this was blown out of proportion is that there is a serious side to this and that is how much of it was blown out of proportion and how so called investicated journalism can get it so wrong. Our two guides were quite concerned as so as well was the charity guide dogs as how this ridiculous story would reflect on them and their business. I know the month of August is referred to silly season and I know that tabloid papers should be taken with a pinch of salt, but some times it is ridiculous reporting like this that can cause untold damage to individuals, their livelihood and their carreer.
Hyperthermia==too hot; hypothermia+too cold.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
I agree, it does not seem as a laughable matter to me.
And apparently, the "extremely experienced guide" did not know that it was possible to walk to Roncesvalles, quite easily, by the paved road.
The news is here (in Spanish). Judging by the photo, seems like a foggy and cold day, unusual but not unheard of in August, in Lepoeder.
Glad they are sound and safe.
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I'm sorry, but this report makes no sense, spelling mistakes or no.

If they got to 4200ft, then they reached the Col de Lepoeder. The picture in the newspaper looks like it was taken just below the summit. Yes, it's rocky up there on the col, but the path goes round one side, then there's a tarmac road down to Roncesevalles. It's a little longer than going through the beech woods - about a km or so - but far safer. Certainly not 7km longer as suggested.
Was their experienced guide intending to take them down through the beech trees? Seriously???
 

Tony Maguire

Member
Camino(s) past & future
20th August 2014
I'm sorry, but this report makes no sense, spelling mistakes or no.

If they got to 4200ft, then they reached the Col de Lepoeder. The picture in the newspaper looks like it was taken just below the summit. Yes, it's rocky up there on the col, but the path goes round one side, then there's a tarmac road down to Roncesevalles. It's a little longer than going through the beech woods - about a km or so - but far safer. Certainly not 7km longer as suggested.
Was their experienced guide intending to take them down through the beech trees? Seriously???
You saw the story in the paper or online same as most.....the report I posted is from 1 of the blind walkers. I was not there, I dont know who the organisers where....but if they where professional guides I would have no doubht they would make the right decisions and this I think would be proven by the fact the group where all safe. But as I said I know as much as you about the circumstances
 

Hurry Krishna

Indian on the Way
Camino(s) past & future
2009 (from Sarria), 2014 from St Jean Pied de Port, 2016 from Porto, 2018 from Le Puy to Santiago.
Hi gang maybe some of ye read in the tabloid papers this week of the and I quote , the dramatic rescue mission of a group of irish walkers on top of a mountain while trecking the Camino. The papers declared that this rescue happened in severe conditions and that the rescued were suffering hyperthermia etc etc. Just to let ye know that wee the walkers never had such a great laugh at this reported dribble and astonished how a little story can run and eventually be blown out of all proportion. Yes we came into bad weather but nothing severe and certainly nothing to cause us hyperthermia or that it suddenly dropped from 32degrees down to 3degrees as was reported. yes we had reached the summit at 4,200ft when the weather became foggy and we had 3km left of a descent through some rockey terrain before reaching our hotel, so our extremely experienced guide may Iadd, made the wise decision not to take this route , but decided to call for back up in the collection of us getting into trucks. These same so call rescue trucks were able to drive to us on the mountain and pick us up which we could easily have walked but for the only reason it was another 10km adding another 7km to our walk. The only reason that I am hylighting this that after all the laugh we had reading and hearing how much this was blown out of proportion is that there is a serious side to this and that is how much of it was blown out of proportion and how so called investicated journalism can get it so wrong. Our two guides were quite concerned as so as well was the charity guide dogs as how this ridiculous story would reflect on them and their business. I know the month of August is referred to silly season and I know that tabloid papers should be taken with a pinch of salt, but some times it is ridiculous reporting like this that can cause untold damage to individuals, their livelihood and their carreer.
If you were not there, then perhaps best not to write as if there is only one possible interpretation of the situation. We want pilgrims to call for help only when they really need it and we want rescuers to take those calls seriously. It would be dreadful if the fire brigade’s time is seen to be wasted with unnecessary rescue efforts!!!
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
I'm sorry, but this report makes no sense, spelling mistakes or no.
It makes actually a lot of sense if you read it carefully and relate it to the topography that you must have seen both on maps and with your own eyes.

First of all, "the top" of the Route Napoleon is fairly flat: the first pass (Bentarte) at the border is 1329 m (4360 ft) and the second pass (Lepoeder) the end is 1429 m (4688 ft). 100 m isn't that much of a difference so "we reached the summit at 4,200ft" just means that the major climbing was behind them when the weather changed. It doesn't place the group anywhere specific.

"When the weather became foggy [...] we had 3km left [...] through some rocky terrain". That's the end bit before you reach road and forest. "We could easily have walked [once we had been taken to the tarmac road] but it would have meant "adding another 7km to our walk" and making it "10km" in total. The latter should probably read "adding another 4 km" and making it "7 km" in total from the point where they called for assistance. But I would not blame the pilgrim for it. Many people are not clear about distances when they are unfamiliar with an area whether they have perfect eyesight or not.

The guides acted very responsibly from the moment they realised that the weather had changed and the group had not progressed as far as planned and that the group might risk injury or worse in steep rocky terrain in rain and fog and that they could not wait until the weather got better again.
 
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Tony Maguire

Member
Camino(s) past & future
20th August 2014
If you were not there, then perhaps best not to write as if there is only one possible interpretation of the situation. We want pilgrims to call for help only when they really need it and we want rescuers to take those calls seriously. It would be dreadful if the fire brigade’s time is seen to be wasted with unnecessary rescue efforts!!!
I am not writing as if there is only 1 interpretation of the situation. Someone posted a report from the newspaper re rescue.....I posted a report from one of the walkers in the situation.
But I believe the professional guides where the right people at the right place at the right time to make what the believed to be the right decision.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (Sep 2020)
The guides acted very responsibly from the moment they realised that the weather had changed and they had not progressed as far as planned and that they group might risk injury or worse under the given circumstances and that they could not wait until the weather got better again.
I think this is a very important statement. It's easy for the pilgrims being guided, to downplay the situation. Even on a paved road, the decent can be very taxing on the body, especially at the end of a long day. Better safe than sorry. They should be thankful the guides put the interest of their clients first without worrying about their reputation.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
This is against my better judgment, but I am going to post it. First of all, the people in ‘danger’ are safe at home now. I think it is true to say that we know we can not take anything without a pinch of salt nowadays, so until or unless there is one of these super investigations, the facts are not going to be presented to everyone’s satisfaction. I actually pm’d Tony early on and told him this could turn into a riot. No one wants to see First Responders uselessly called out, and I trust that they were not, in this case. It is just another wonderful story of how the rescue services were there when needed. A second point: I have long since stopped commenting on spelling. I am a native English speaker, and a retired teacher. We on the forum come from many countries and languages, as well as having different keyboard skills. Let us have some patience with words that are not as we would have them appear!
 

Tony Maguire

Member
Camino(s) past & future
20th August 2014
This is against my better judgment, but I am going to post it. First of all, the people in ‘danger’ are safe at home now. I think it is true to say that we know we can not take anything without a pinch of salt nowadays, so until or unless there is one of these super investigations, the facts are not going to be presented to everyone’s satisfaction. I actually pm’d Tony early on and told him this could turn into a riot. No one wants to see First Responders uselessly called out, and I trust that they were not, in this case. It is just another wonderful story of how the rescue services were there when needed. A second point: I have long since stopped commenting on spelling. I am a native English speaker, and a retired teacher. We on the forum come from many countries and languages, as well as having different keyboard skills. Let us have some patience with words that are not as we would have them appear!
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
It makes actually a lot of sense if you read it carefully and relate it to the topography that you must have seen both on maps and with your own eyes.

First of all, "the top" of the Route Napoleon is fairly flat: the first pass (Bentarte) at the border is 1329 m (4360 ft) and the second pass (Lepoeder) the end is 1429 m (4688 ft). 100 m isn't that much of a difference so "we reached the summit at 4,200ft" just means that the major climbing was behind them when the weather changed. It doesn't place the group anywhere specific.

"When the weather became foggy [...] we had 3km left [...] through some rocky terrain". That's the end bit before you reach road and forest. "We could easily have walked [once we had been taken to the tarmac road] but it would have meant "adding another 7km to our walk" and making it "10km" in total. The latter should probably read "adding another 4 km" and making it "7 km" in total from the point where they called for assistance. But I would not blame the pilgrim for it. Many people are not clear about distances when they are unfamiliar with an area whether they have perfect eyesight or not.

The guides acted very responsibly from the moment they realised that the weather had changed and the group had not progressed as far as planned and that the group might risk injury or worse in steep rocky terrain in rain and fog and that they could not wait until the weather got better again.
If that is the correct, then the guides were absolutely correct to call for help. And they must also have done a good job in keeping everyone calm, seeing as the call for assistance was made quite late, just after 18.00. I doubt that the 'rescued walker' is aware of quite how much potential danger they were in.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Lepoeder = Beautiful Pass in Basque language
Interesting...
"lepo" means nice in Slovenian. Now I know where I crossed Pyrenees although it didn't seems that "nice" at the time I was there. I had everything apart from snowstorm on that day :D
But since I was used to ever changing weather in Alps I was OK.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Interesting...
"lepo" means nice in Slovenian. Now I know where I crossed Pyrenees although it didn't seems that "nice" at the time I was there. I had everything apart from snowstorm on that day :D
But since I was used to ever changing weather in Alps I was OK.
I had fog in Lepoeder and couldn´t see anything.:(
In this case "lepo" is pass. In Basque the name goes before the adjective.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
Lepoeder = Beautiful Pass in Basque language
In this case "lepo" is pass. In Basque the name goes before the adjective.
Thank you from me for clearing this up, @Pelegrin! For some reason I always thought it was the name of a military guy of the 19th century or so, like General Lepoeder. 😅
 

Kazibar

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I think this whole thing is alarming. What did the "guides" think they were doing leaving SJPP at 11am with a group of un-proven walkers including visually impaired people. And to do so without waterproofs etc.... Ireland is a wet, cool country. You wouldn't go walking in the hills there without waterproofs.

I wonder if this really come from one of the walkers. If so, its damn rude of him. People came to HELP what their guides said was a a party in trouble. If they were not in trouble and they were just tired, they could have taken a break, then walked on. Or called a cab to meet them at the top of the road out of Roncevalles.

I honestly blame the guides here.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago and beyond (own way - voie de Tours - camino francés - Biskaya - Manche)
This really did come from 1 of the walkers....was it 11am when the group left ?
No, it was 8am when the group left SJPP and it was 11am when they left Orisson. There are unfounded assumptions and speculation and frankly wrong conclusions in some of the messages in this thread and in the other thread on the forum about the same topic. There is enough detailed reporting in the local Spanish media (print and TV including interviews with guides and members of the rescue team) to get an accurate picture but few posters bother to read it or watch it to inform themselves properly and instead they are jumping to their own wrong conclusions on the basis of what they read in one single thread or even one single post.

In defense of the Irish walker whose comments you quoted and posted here on the forum: he is referring to the news reporting in the Irish media some of whom dramatised the wire news that they had received, and that is what he criticises and not their guides or the rescue team. In today's hectic and cost conscious news world, national newspapers don't do investigative reporting, they just take the news from international news agencies like Reuters, AFP, Euronews etc and rewrite and embellish them and pad them out quite a bit.

And let's face it, the Irish walker is right, it wasn't that kind of a dramatic rescue.
 
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Cicada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances St Jean -Santiago April -June 2017
Portugues September 2018
Hi gang maybe some of ye read in the tabloid papers this week of the and I quote , the dramatic rescue mission of a group of irish walkers on top of a mountain while trecking the Camino. The papers declared that this rescue happened in severe conditions and that the rescued were suffering hyperthermia etc etc. Just to let ye know that wee the walkers never had such a great laugh at this reported dribble and astonished how a little story can run and eventually be blown out of all proportion. Yes we came into bad weather but nothing severe and certainly nothing to cause us hyperthermia or that it suddenly dropped from 32degrees down to 3degrees as was reported. yes we had reached the summit at 4,200ft when the weather became foggy and we had 3km left of a descent through some rockey terrain before reaching our hotel, so our extremely experienced guide may Iadd, made the wise decision not to take this route , but decided to call for back up in the collection of us getting into trucks. These same so call rescue trucks were able to drive to us on the mountain and pick us up which we could easily have walked but for the only reason it was another 10km adding another 7km to our walk. The only reason that I am hylighting this that after all the laugh we had reading and hearing how much this was blown out of proportion is that there is a serious side to this and that is how much of it was blown out of proportion and how so called investicated journalism can get it so wrong. Our two guides were quite concerned as so as well was the charity guide dogs as how this ridiculous story would reflect on them and their business. I know the month of August is referred to silly season and I know that tabloid papers should be taken with a pinch of salt, but some times it is ridiculous reporting like this that can cause untold damage to individuals, their livelihood and their carreer.
How does it go?
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story! !!!
Glad you all made it down safely buddy !
 

sambajammer

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Camino del Norte 2018
Great to know we have such dedicated and efficient rescue services on the Camino! Just another wonderful aspect of this special journey.
Pilgrims used to need Templars to save them from bandits, so we can now count ourselves lucky that the fire department and other waiting responders come to our aid when we may have hurt ourselves. I would always choose the over-zealous rather than reticent to be responsible for saving me.
 

Tucan_learn_english

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked the full camino in 2002. Planning to do it again next year
This is against my better judgment, but I am going to post it. First of all, the people in ‘danger’ are safe at home now. I think it is true to say that we know we can not take anything without a pinch of salt nowadays, so until or unless there is one of these super investigations, the facts are not going to be presented to everyone’s satisfaction. I actually pm’d Tony early on and told him this could turn into a riot. No one wants to see First Responders uselessly called out, and I trust that they were not, in this case. It is just another wonderful story of how the rescue services were there when needed. A second point: I have long since stopped commenting on spelling. I am a native English speaker, and a retired teacher. We on the forum come from many countries and languages, as well as having different keyboard skills. Let us have some patience with words that are not as we would have them appear!
I couldn't agree more. I'm a Native English teacher teaching in Spain and I cringe everytime someone brings up spelling mistakes. Let it goooooooo
 

Felice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Santiago Sept 2014
I couldn't agree more. I'm a Native English teacher teaching in Spain and I cringe everytime someone brings up spelling mistakes. Let it goooooooo
If you are referring to my post (no 11) in which I said:

"I'm sorry, but this report makes no sense, spelling mistakes or no."

then you should know that I was referring to the post immediately above, by Tony, the OP, in which he said:

"And by the way the report above was written by one of the blind walkers, so I am sure you can forgive the spelling errors. I was not there"

and I was definitely NOT criticising spelling mistakes.

Katherina understood exactly what I was referring to in her post (no 14), when she pointed out the topography of the ridge. Her comment made sense in a way that the OP did not.
 

blamoca

Camino Frances Sept 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
should this post be closed? ..it no longer seems helpful and has strayed from the point. I think we can do better....to share and care for fellow pilgrims given the combined experience of all those in the forum. This seems to be occurring more often across the broader forum(s), which I think is a shame. Are there criteria for moderator/administrator governance and/or do we need reminding?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Just before this thread reels away to the storage area, my friend from Pamplona told me that her cousin, who has some kind of official post in Espinal, reported that the rescue people were very impressed by the fact that the group who had called for help - and they did that because although they knew bad weather was due, it arrived much sooner than they had been led to believe - did not move from the position they were in when they called for help. That can often be the cause of delay in rescue operations, when the subjects change their location. Now maybe this thread can go to bed!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I'll follow members inclinations and lock this thread now. A potentially unpleasant incident was avoided thanks to the responsible actions of the participants and the prompt actions of the rescue services. No matter how much we might all like to poke this story with a stick (just to see if it growls) its time to let it rest. "No wrecks and no body drownded, in fact nothing to laugh at at all".
 
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