Wedding to Wilderness

Wow what a week.

Working with truly inspirational people in the French Alps above La Clusaz.

Being a filmmaker takes me all over the world.

I love the mountains and when Sophie and Jan-Willem, whose gorgeous wedding I filmed on Midsummer’s Eve, asked me to film their Wilderness Training Course in La Clusaz I just couldn’t turn the offer down.

And boy. I’m glad I agreed.

Sophie and Jan-Willem’s Wedding Day

Sophie is an expedition medics and Jan-Willem an expedition leader – together they run FarAway Medicine, teaching medics how to deal with acute emergencies in the wilderness.

Along with other fabulous doctors and instructors with expedition training, they mentor the students throughout the week …

The back drop … The surrounding mountains of La Clusaz. What a stunning classroom.

Processed with Moldiv

With the highlight everyday a staged emergency scenario from snake bites in the Alpine Woods to a simulated multi-vehicle road accident and a camp fire blast in the forest.

Processed with Moldiv

At times it was such hard work.

The instructors and medical students were all physically fit. I felt like my heart was going to explode out of my chest on the first day when I had to walk up the mountain to film the training exercise.

By the end of week, I wouldn’t say it was easy but it was easier and I felt a real sense of achievement.

The filming was challenging … No rehearsals … I just had to capture the scenarios as they unfolded gathering as much exciting footage as I could.

It was fast moving and adrenaline-filled but absolutely amazing.

Luckily there were no real snakes or spiders to contend with. The only thing nature threw at us was some very spectacular lightning storms.

For me these guys are so inspirational. They don’t just treat you and I in an NHS hospital but they travel the world helping others.

The students waved Sophie and I off when we left together to fly home. It was a sad moment because it had been an amazing week.

But I know that soon these students will be following in their instructors’ footsteps …

The NHS is a tough place to work. And these brave students will be embracing their future with further vigour after this past week.

Thanks to all the team for looking after me.

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