Tributes to Peak District 'inspiration' and Derbyshire mountain rescue pioneer

Tributes have been paid to a former mountain rescue group team leader and Peak District ‘inspiration’ who has passed away.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 9:22 am

Mike Hammond, an ex-team leader and chairman of Edale Mountain Rescue Team (EMRT), passed away on Friday, March 19 aged 83.

Mick Blood, one of the team’s honorary life members, who knew Mike for almost 50 years, said Mike had been an ‘inspiration’ and pioneer.

Mike Hammond, former team leader of Edale Mountain Rescue Team, has died aged 83. Image: Edale Mountain Rescue Team, via Facebook.

"Talking about Mike with people over the last few days has reinforced to me just how much of an inspiration he has been to so many people,” Mick said.

"His approach to people, his belief in them and his support and encouragement in helping them achieve great things is immeasurable.”

The mountain rescue team’s obituary said Mike and his family moved from Glencoe in Scotland to the Peak District in December 1969, when Mike became district ranger for the eastern area of the Peak District National Park.

Mick said that in Scotland he had served in the Glencoe MRT and had been involved in the early days of using search dogs in mountain rescue.

"Soon after his arrival in the Peak District, Mike became a member of Edale Mountain Rescue Team, which was then a ranger service only team and he became team leader in 1971,” Mick added.

"As team leader Mike introduced many new techniques to the team including the rapid rope rescue techniques (The Hammond Lift) that are still in use today.”

Mike left the role as EMRT Leader in October 1977 to become team chairman until September 1985.

He remained a part of Peak District Mountain Rescue well into the 1990’s mainly as a regional controller but also though his role in the ranger service where he was ‘frequently at the sharp end of rescues’.

“In 1977 Mike formed the Polar Exploration Group that involved several members of Edale MRT and Derby MRT,” Mick said.

"Under Mike’s leadership the group undertook a number of expeditions to Svalbard (Spitsbergen) involving both scientific research and mountaineering adventures and resulted in Mike becoming a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).”

EMRT said they would like to pass on their condolences to Mike’s family.”

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