To celebrate Christmas and the bumper snow fall already received in Chamonix, WMT has just released 10 places for UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL STUDENTS for our flagship Expedition Medicine course in Chamonix coming up soon 22-26 January at the foot of Mont Blanc. The normal price is £495 but the student price is just £250 for tuition and some refreshments only. Visit the course page for more details about this incredible programme and line up of speakers and to book online.
WMT’s Commercial Director has been out of action for a few weeks following an accident which explains why some WMT admin/loading of 2018 course dates is behind schedule. Sorry about that.
Here is an update and Bazza’s story:
On 24th Oct I crashed my paraglider in North India, after a week of brilliant mountain flying. I suffered serious facial fractures, a broken nose, 6 broken ribs (L 6-11) and bilateral collapsed lungs. I spent 18 hours on the mountainside at 3900m before being helicopter rescued the next day. It was a very cold night. Thankfully a Russian pilot saw me and landed near me at great personal risk to assist me. He bundled me into a depression out of the wind and stuffed pine branches around me to insulate me.
At dawn, the chopper winched me off the mountain and whisked me to the very close military hospital for stabilisation, then I was moved to the nearby state hospital. The next day I was flown to Delhi where I was operated on for 10.5 hrs to fix my face (base of skull fracture, smashed R eye orbit and broken upper jaw). No treatment for the rib fractures (ouch!) except a chest drain (OUCH!). Impressive xray though. I remained in hospital for about 3 weeks before all the air bubbles in my skull had been absorbed and I was deemed fit to fly. A UK doctor flew out to escort me home. Throughout this ordeal, my friend Ali Westle stayed by my side, having given up most of his flying holiday to do so and then vowing to remain with me for however long it took for me to be well enough to fly home. What an angel.
Miraculously, despite slamming into a granite rock wall, I didn’t injure my spine or any long bones. So I can walk but I’m weak and have a lot of muscle wastage from being bed ridden. My teeth are wired so I’m only eating via a straw. I dropped 14kgs at my low point; now about 5kgs under my ideal wt. Maybe no turkey dinners for me this xmas unless the wires come off.
Many people played a role in my rescue and treatment. I will be forever grateful to “the Russian”, the guys at SPOT, the Indian army for deploying the chopper, the diligence of my travel insurers, the British diplomats who kept tabs on me, Darren Hepple who came back to Delhi with me initially, the brilliant teams of Indian neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, dental surgeons, physios, dietitians and nurses at the Apollo Hospital who cared for me, my great UK friends Dr Harvey Pynn and Dr Ali Cobb who supervised the care I received in India and who helped and supported Eadaoin in making sense of it all, Dr A J who brought me home, Ali Westle my bedside angel and above all to my wife Eadaoin who held it together, once again, and who now has to endure my grumpiness! And lastly, thank you to my gorgeous daughters Anna and Sophie who appeared by my side in the dark on that cold horrible night and kissed my bleeding face and told me it would be OK. The Eagles were right; “Love will keep us alive”.
I next see the maxfax surgeons in Liverpool 12 December to see where I go from here in terms of further treatment.
Future WMT Medic course delegates can look forward to hearing the full story – with photos!
Take care everybody and happy holidays.
As the leaves fall in the UK we’re awaiting news of snow falling in the Alps! We’ve just published a punchy 10 reasons to attend WMT’s flagship Expedition Medicine course in Chamonix (and there are many more reasons!). Read the full CHAMONIX CALLING! newsletter or the 10 headings below.
1. The broad scope of the programme
2. Easy and cheap access to Chamonix
3. Academic accreditation
4. Free snowsports time
5. Expert tuition
6. Career advice and Kilimanjaro expedition opportunities
7. The skiing
8. Accommodation options
9. Local services and ski hire
10. Incredibly eye opening and no doubt will change my life. This is the insight I have been needing and waiting for. 2017 delegate
Last weekend saw a small, select group of WMT’s hardcore alumni return for Advanced Medicine refresher training and FFH Part 2 re-certification. Delegates included Woodsmoke’s Ben McNut, Ross Bowyer – just off again to work as safety officer to the TV ISLAND show in Panama, veteran school expedition leader Chris Boardman plus academics and other expedition leaders. Thanks to Medical Director Dr Harvey Pynn for leading this course.
WMT’s Morocco Mountain Medicine Expedition 23-29 September was another great success with all delegates and staff (35) reaching the summit of Mt. Toubkal 4167m safely on 27 September in unseasonably cold and snowy conditions. Delegates travelled from Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Sweden, Portugal and Australia to attend. The course kicked off with a special surprise – a briefing from the new British Ambassador to Morocco, Mr Thomas Reilly and it was all uphill from there! This year we asked delegates to bring a donation of used, high quality children’s winter clothing. An estimated 50kg of goods was collected and handed over to our local venue Kasbah partners for distribution to needy mountain children. Thanks to all those who joined us and the WMT teaching team – Dr Dan Morris, Dr Duncan Gray, Dr Charlotte Verney, MIC/IML Nigel Williams and Barry Roberts. See delegate Ricardo Gabriel’s well written blog about his experience including GPS tracklogs of the acclimatisation hikes. See more photos at WMT’s Instagram page. We’ll next be back in Morocco 29 September to 5 October 2018.
In this punchy newsletter there is news about research opportunities, event announcements, academic accreditation of WMT courses, grants for ski mountaineering training, the legendary Chamonix January Expedition Medicine course and much more. Read it now.
July was very busy with two Expedition Skills courses running in the sunny Lake District in partnership with Woodsmoke, headed by Ben McNutt. Many thanks to all who attended and to all instructors and camp staff who make it all look easy! 2018 dates coming soon.
Last week saw 60 international medics – doctors, nurses, paramedics and med students (and 1 layman!) descend on Chamonix during a heat wave with temps topping 32 degrees to join WMT’s 2nd biggest course of the year – Expedition Medicine and Field Skills. Scorchio! The programme was busy and intense and much enjoyed and praised by all – “Fantastic, enthusiastic faculty, just the right amount of medicine covered and I loved the practical hands on aspect to the majority of the course. Really inspired me to pursue career opportunities in expedition medicine!” wrote one delegate. The bivouac at 2300m was a highlight for many – the pictures below suggest why (though we did get a 20 minute intense hail storm as the clouds boiled over late in the afternoon). Thanks to everyone who attended and our great teaching team – Harvey Pynn, Lucy Obolensky, Nigel Williams, Barry Roberts, Charlotte Verney, Luc Bellon and Carron Crimgeour. This course (and the winter Expedition Medicine course) now count towards a PG Cert in Global & Remote Health from Plymouth University Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry. We’ll formally be announcing details of this partnership soon. Exciting stuff. Summer 2018 dates are now live – 18-22 June. Join us!
WMT recently spent time with Selside School, Kendal teaching first aid in preparation for the year 5/6 camping trip which involves some unaccompanied walking. They learned about scene safety, ABC’s, keeping patients warm and calling 999. One key lesson was – “no horseplay!”. Here they are proudly displaying their special WMT certificates. Nice kids.
Last weekend’s course group in Grasmere dodged some serious weather to learn about wilderness medicine and practice navigation, camp craft, rope work and other essential field skills. We even made some very tasty “bannock”. Feedback comment: “Enjoyed enthusiastic and straightforward style with informal advice crammed full of wisdom. Very enjoyable.”
We still have two more Expedition Medic courses coming up 15-16 and 29-30 July (also in the Lake District) and the Mountain Medicine weekend in Grasmere 9-10 Sept.