Welcome to "On Belay With..."! This is a series of short interviews with all sorts of folks involved in mountain medicine. Joining us at the belay today is Dr Dan Wride. Dan is an F2 doctor with a passion for pre-hospital and emergency medicine who's aiming to go into ACCS training in 2023. His ultimate aim is to combine his loves of medicine, skiing and expeditions into his future career...
What was the last mountain you climbed?
Ben Lomond in Scotland. Many more planned when it becomes possible!
What does the perfect mountain day consist of?
At least 2 good coffees and a filling breakfast beforehand is a must. The ultimate day would then be hiking or heli-ing up a snowy mountain as the sun comes up, before anyone else has laid tracks on it. Spending the rest of the day skiing and hiking with friends. A beer and a burger to round it all off. I couldn't imagine anything more perfect!
What's been your worst mountain mishap?
I have not had too many thankfully! Having to extricate my brother (and his skis) from a rock field in France was probably up there.
What's been your best mountain day?
Skiing in the French Alps with a group of friends from medical school on a perfect bluebird day, after a huge dump of snow the day before.
At an elevation of 974m, Ben Lomond is the most southerly of the Munro's. The mountain is situated on the Scottish watershed that separates river systems that flow to the east and west. The surrounding area has become popular amongst mountain bikers who tend to make the long approach from the Lochard Forest in the east. For the walkers and runners, a steady 10km clockwise loop from the west, is also highly recommended!
What mountain changed your life?
Staring at the northern side of Mont Blanc was the first time I realised my obsession with mountains.
What's been your best bit of mountain kit?
My trusted hiking boots kept my feet warm, dry and supported for just over 10 years. They have sadly recently succumbed but they have taken me to many wonderful places.
What makes a great mountain partner? Has anyone come close?
The most important characteristic for me is being able to put up with my abysmal jokes and sense of humour for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately nobody has fulfilled this as yet, and I don't hold out much hope for the future. A love of coffee and an abundance of snacks is a close second!
The north face of Mt Blanc (4809m) from Chamonix. The popular Gouter Route takes the right skyline to the summit
What's been your biggest mountain disappointment?
Probably climbing to the top of Snowdon in lovely weather only for the mist and cloud to roll in about 5 minutes from the top, not a thing to be seen!
What is your "dream" mountain objective?
Ski-touring the Haute-Route from Chamonix-Zermatt is probably top of my list at the moment. Everest Base Camp is also very much up there.
Give us a mountain tip!
The old adages of 'fail to prepare, prepare to fail' and 'there's no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing' have served me very well so far, even if my friends do tend to chuckle at the contents of my backpack even for a short hike across Dartmoor...
What do Karen Greene, Stuart Allan, Edi Albert, Abigail Forsyth, Jon Morgan, Tom Yeoman, Marika Blackham, David Cambray Deakin, Jon Ellerton Chris Sloan and David Hildebrandt all have in common? They have all taken part in "On Belay With...". If you would like to join them please get in touch!