During the 1950s and early 1960s a group composed largely of shepherds, stalkers, foresters and the like formed a rescue unit in Kintail and Glenshiel to help those in trouble on the local hills. By the mid-sixties, records show that the Kintail Mountain Rescue Unit was an established rescue organisation with appointed office bearers.
The Kintail Lodge Hotel provided space to store equipment as far back as the fifties and this continued, on and off, for many years. There is a record of a MR Post at Morvich from the mid-sixties, but this did not truly become the team's base until later. Morvich is also the scene of the team's long association with the National Trust for Scotland.
As the growth in the popularity of mountaineering gathered pace through the seventies and eighties it brought an increase in the number of incidents. The eighties saw another influx of recreational mountaineers to the area and to the team. Press and television attention increased and the team appeared in both an entertainment programme and a documentary - check the team out in action in the 1989 STV production series "Rescue", about the work of D Flight 202 Sqn RAF:
The early nineties saw several plans come to fruition. Extensive preparations to deal with potential incidents at the Falls of Glomach were completed. Money was raised to buy a four-wheel-drive ambulance. Further fundraising boosted the purse to allow the team to extend the existing MR post at Morvich to include a garage, a storage area and a briefing area. During the same period, a book of local walks was published and soon became a valuable part of the teams fundraising efforts.
The last twenty or so years have been characterised by transformational developments in the communications technology available to teams, as well as the emergence of a co-ordinated funding and management structure at national level. In parallel with the emergence of the outdoor industry itself as a professionalised sector, the MR community has engaged with developments in Health and Safety, GDPR, and other areas.
Up to present day, we've continued to develop our capabilities through recruitment, engagement with local communities and our involvement with Scottish Mountain Rescue. The team has long harboured the ambition of building a new rescue base, as the current base is becoming difficult to maintain and the facilities are inadequate for training and storing the range of increasingly sophisticated equipment needed for operating a modern rescue team. The money required for this purpose is well beyond the normal funding levels of the team. Additional fundraising and a benevolent partner will be required for success.