THE Ochils Mountain Rescue Team (OMRT) descended on Alva Glen earlier this month to prepare for potential rescues over the summer weeks.

Around 25 members of the group spent a day either dangling from the popular canyoning site, or standing either side of the glen to map access and evacuation routes.

Afterwards, the group then treated their family members to a barbecue to thank them for their constant support when members are away on exercises and rescues.

Speaking about the training exercises first, OMRT's secretary, Ross MacIntyre, told the Advertiser: "We've had rescues at the glen in the past, and they present interesting challenges quite specific to the Ochils team.

"We don't have big high mountains, but some of the glens are pretty challenging.

"We were there for area familiarisation for certain members of the team that hadn't gone down.

"We were also checking out the terrain at various areas, to find access points for getting to a casualty and evacuation points as well.

"In the event of having to rescue someone from within the glen, we wanted to know what the safest and easiest place would be to extract them from."

Aware of the glen's popularity during sunny spells, Ross also encouraged anyone looking to tour it to do so using the services of a canyoning company – ensuring everyone stays safe.

He said: "Historically, we have had to rescue people that have fallen.

"There was a rescue a few years ago of an actual canyoner who had an injured leg.

"There's a number of canyoning companies that offer professional guided tours of the glen. We would advise people to use them – and to just be careful."

As well as issuing advice, Ross also took the opportunity to mention the OMRT barbecue held after their training in Alva Glen.

He said: "[We had it] to recognise the commitment families and partners make to the team.

"We have got the easy job to rescue people, but they're the ones picking up the pieces when people leave in a moment."