Andy explains how a typical call-out goes: “Due to the mountain rescuers’ knowledge of the area, it takes us an average of just 15 minutes to locate the lost or injured person and get to the site of the accident. One team sets off in their own cars immediately, a second sets off in a van afterwards. If necessary, we send helicopters.”
For almost any terrain
But even when it’s not necessary to make an emergency call, the glen’s terrain can still be challenging – and not just for climbers. Within the space of a few hours, the mountains can be covered with snow, an avalanche can roll over the roads or thawing ice from the mountains can suddenly flood the route. As a result, road conditions are highly variable. Surfaces can be slippery, wet, or completely icy. Often, you simply have to turn a corner to find totally different road conditions ahead.
Andy carefully tests what the car, made in the Portuguese town of Setubal, is capable of. He drives at high speeds, slams the steering wheel to the right and left, and brakes abruptly. It’s the same approach that, as an experienced mountaineer, he takes to climbing: testing the surface and then going as far as possible.