Rescue Team call-outs - November 1998 to November 2000

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team



November 1998 - November 1999  

This year [54] incidents

  updated Monday 30th October 2000

OCTOBER    2000

00/54: 28/10/00  (1445 hrs) - Saturday 

 Call from Whitehaven Police regarding a 20 yr. old male walker who had fallen over amongst boulders, badly lacerating his face.  The call had come from another member of the five strong Bradford University group, who had raised the alarm by mobile phone. 

The casualty was a few hundred feet down from the summit of Scafell, in an area known as Greenhow and their location was in cloud and subject to very strong winds and driving rain.  When we found the group, they did have an emergency shelter over the casualty but they were in a vulnerable position, due to the extreme weather.  A French girl with the group had also started to suffer from a "panic attack".  Both her and the original casualty were treated and helped off the hill.

19 members of Wasdale MRT were involved in the rescue, which was closed at around 1900 hrs. A team member transported the group members round to Eskdale Youth Hostel where they were staying.  


00/53: 23/10/00  (1600 hrs) - Monday

Two adult men had rung 999 (from their mobile phone) to report becoming lost while attempting to descend from the summit of Scafell Pike.

The team leader rang them back and asked them questions about the features they had passed and determined that they were probably on the footpath, at the top of Piers Gill.  At this point, another walker appeared out of the mist and appeared to know where he was.  The two men were told to walk back over to Hollowstones and to descend Brown Tongue - the third party was also able to point them in the right direction.

Phone reception was not very good, and a number of calls had to be made until the team leader was  fully satisfied that no further action was required.  Whitehaven Police were informed of the action taken the log closed on the incident about ten minutes after it started.

This incident again demonstrates a general trend of how walkers are starting to use mountain rescue teams (and their phones).  They are reaching out for assistance at the first sign of trouble, instead of using maps, compasses and common sense to get them off the hill.

00/52: 22/10/00  (2115 hrs) - Sunday

00/51: 22/10/00  (2115 hrs) - Sunday

(51) At about 21.15 hrs - call from Whitehaven Police.  

(52) In the same phone call as above, Whitehaven Police also passed on details of a group of four climbers who were reported to be long overdue, having gone to do a long rock climb on Scafell crag.  (Their ages ranged up to 74 yrs and information on medical history gave extra cause for concern.)

The full Wasdale Team was immediately called out followed by support from the Millom Fell and Search Team and SARDA Search Dogs.  The intention being to deal with the first incident before diverting attention to the second problem.  About 18 Wasdale MRT members and 10 Millom FSRT
members attended and started carrying out search routes on the mountain.  The fell parties were carrying enough equipment to cope with the two casualties when they were found.  The Wasdale members took additional ropes and climbing gear for the second incident.  This would allow them to deal with the group of missing climbers depending on how the situation developed on the hill.  5 search dogs and handlers joined the search for the injured walkers doing various routes from Wasdale, Eskdale and Keswick.  An RAF helicopter was requested due to the potential seriousness of the incidents but due to the severe weather conditions it had to return to base.  At about 2300 hrs. assistance was also requested from Keswick MRT, who fielded around 12 more mountain rescue personnel.

The two injured walkers were eventually found at around 0130 hrs. but not on the south side of Scafell Pike.  They had been totally lost when the incident happened and were found by one of the Keswick search dog handlers relatively low down on the north side of the mountain adjacent to Greta Gill..  Although the information we had received had suggested much worse casualties, both were able to walk, with assistance.  They were therefore helped to walk back down to their car on the Borrowdale side.  They were checked over and treated by a Doctor from Keswick.  One of the casualties was transferred for further checks and treatment at Carlisle Hospital.

The group of four missing climbers managed to get themselves to the top of their climb Moss Gill, which finishes almost on the summit of Scafell, and then used their two torches to navigate off the mountain.  Although they completed their climb and descent without Team assistance, it took them much longer in the poor weather conditions- heavy rain, thick mist and strong gale force winds.  They got back down to Wasdale safely and were fully accounted for and off the hill by around 0145 hrs. 

A small group of Wasdale MRT members met up with the two casualties and Keswick dog
handler and assisted them back to Sty Head, where they were handed over to members of Keswick MRT.  The Wasdale members left them there and returned to Wasdale and back to base.  All Wasdale MRT were back at base and the incident closed shortly before 0500 hrs. Monday morning.  Thanks to everybody involved from the Wasdale team - to Millom and Keswick
MRTs and to the SARDA dog handlers.

00/50: 15/10/00  (1715 hrs) - Sunday

The team were called by Whitehaven Police, regarding a diver who had tragically died in a diving accident in Wastwater.  Although the diver was reported to be very deep and at the bottom of the Lake, the team were asked to provided recovery support for a member of the Lancashire Police Diving Unit.  Having our own rescue boat for incident support on the Screes, opposite side of the lake, we were able to have the team's craft on scene within a short period of the callout.  The officer from Lancashire was being flown (by police helicopter) to the scene.

A small group "Committee Call" was made on the pager system, and 9 team members assisted in the incident. The police officer and dive team leader were taken out onto the lake in the launch and the diver was recovered to the shore. Incident support was concluded by 1930 hrs.


00/49: 07/10/00  (1715 hrs) - Saturday

Call from the Whitehaven Police at about 1715 hrs concerning a single 43 yr old man who was long overdue on Scafell Pike.  The informant was at Wasdale Head.  The man (from the North East) had last been seen near the summit at about 1535 hrs. when he became separated from his colleague.    He did not have a map with him and we were given information about his previous medical history which gave us cause for concern.

With incident 48 below, we now had two incidents on the go.  A full team callout was completed and we used the remaining nine team members and one search dog to start the normal search routes onto
Scafell Pike.  We received early reports of a single light seen to be descending the fell slowly so
we held off bringing further search teams into play until we had confirmation on whether it was our missing person.  Unfortunately, at 2130 hrs we got confirmation that it wasn't.  More search dogs were called but at about 2200 hrs. The missing person turned up safe and well, having taken a difficult descent route down the wrong side of Scafell Pike via Cam Spout.  He met up with another couple of walkers from Langdale who were also lost and they all walked out via Brotherilkeld, Eskdale.  A local farmer agreed to transport the couple back to Langdale and then brought the missing person back to Wasdale Head.

All the search parties on the hill were recalled and the Gosforth Base closed at 2345 hrs.

00/48: 07/10/00  (1840 hrs) - Saturday

Call from Whitehaven Police regarding a group (with a mobile phone) who were reporting themselves to be in difficulty and lost on the descent from Scafell.

The team leader spoke to the lost party on the mobile and was advised that they were a group of four adults, reasonably well equipped but lost, having been on the summit of Scafell.  They had been attempting to descend to Burnmoor Tarn with a final destination of Wasdale Head.  They thought they were somewhere on Eskdale Fell.  Their Global Satellite Positioning System (GPS) was "playing up" (but subsequently turned out to be wrongly pre-set).

They were prepared to continue walking if given some guidance.  They were asked to walk north until they could  find and follow a good feature - Oliver Gill.  That should have brought them down to a level where they could see Burnmoor Tarn and find their own way off the mountain.

However, 15 minutes later, they rang back to say that their way was barred by a large crag.   This information suggested that they were about two kilometres further north than they thought and that they were in fact at the top of Rake End Crags, a different part of Scafell.  The team leader suggested they keep moving but in a different direction.  However, due to the uncertainty of their navigation, they preferred to sit where they were and wait for the team.  Given that there had been very heavy rain and low cloud all day and fresh winds were prevailing, there was no real option but to locate them and escort them off the mountain. 

Eight team members were sent to find the lost party and bring them safely down to the hospitality of the Wasdale Head Hotel.  The group were taken back at the Hotel at around 2230 hrs.

   to see the personal account of the rescue and picture of the group see ...........

00/47: 22/09/00  (0900 hrs) - Friday

Team leader and a team member carried out a sheep rescue on Kern Knots.  A local farmer's wife had rung to ask if we could get two cragfast sheep out of the right side of the crags.

I'm afraid one jumped but we did get the other and lowered it to safety.


00/46: 17/09/00  (2220 hrs) - Sunday

Call via Whitehaven Police regarding three people stuck on the summit of Great Gable.  They had rung (by mobile phone) to report that although they appeared to be well equipped (bivi bags, waterproofs, GPS etc) they were cold, wet and getting very cold.  They did not believe they would be able to walk off unassisted if they had to sit it out until the morning. Conditions during the day had been very wet and they were not sure of their exact location as they were in cloud and darkness.

Seventeen members responded to a full call out to go and locate them and escort them off.  We
made sure we had the backup of stretchers and dry casualty bags but found that they were able to walk off under their own steam, even if slowly.  

Everybody was back at Base and this incident closed at around 0500 hrs. on the Monday

00/45: 17/09/00  (2100 hrs) - Sunday

Call via the Wasdale Head Hotel to report that a man who was walking from Elterwater had not turned up.  His girl friend had rung to see if he'd arrived and why he hadn't rung her.

His route would have taken him over Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell, Esk Pike and Scafell Pike, before dropping down to Wasdale Head.  He was described as being 52 yrs old, healthy and reasonably well equipped and experienced.  Having discussed the case with Whitehaven Police and one of the Deputy Team Leaders, we felt it appropriate to wait until first light before starting a search for him.
(Then we got the incident described above.)

                                     18/09/00  (0700 hrs) - Monday
Just before 7am on the Monday, I started getting other Teams involved, calling
on Millom, Furness, Keswick, Langdale and SARDA dogs.  At 8am I also put another
bleep out for Wasdale MRT.   I think we got 12 people from Millom, 12 from
Furness, 11 from Keswick, 11 from Langdale, 5 dogs and about 12 from Wasdale -
even though most of us had already been out all night.

The missing person was found at the Throstlegarth Gorge at 10am.  He had spent
the night high on Scafell Pike and was cold and wet, although he was able to
walk without assistance.  He had made a navigational error the previous evening
and had not intended to drop into Eskdale!

He was looked after by one of the SARDA dog handlers and the Teams were all
stood down again.  Wasdale MRT closed the Base at mid day.

00/44: 10/09/00  (1620 hrs) - Sunday

Call from Burnthwaite Farm.  Two people had reported someone with a broken leg and gave the location as between Beck Head and Gavel Knees. Being near the farm when the Team Leader got the message, he went directly to the scene of the incident and alerted the team through the pager system.

We found a 47 yr old woman from near Preston, on the path that leads down to Wasdale from Beck Head.  She had slipped on the path and had broken her right ankle. She was carried off the hill and transferred to an ambulance, before being taken to West Cumberland Hospital.  21 team members were involved and we finished the incident at around 1930 hrs. 

A warm, wet day with low cloud making it cold for anyone sitting still for any length of time.


00/43: 14/09/00  (1800 hrs) - Thursday

Call via Whitehaven Police regarding a man with a mobile phone.  He had rung 999 to report that his partner was suffering from exhaustion.  When the team leader rang him, he found that his partner was not seriously exhausted and that they were in fact near Esk Hawse.  We finished the conversation and agreed that they should continue towards Wasdale Head, while they still had 2 hrs of remaining daylight.  They rang to say they were off safely at 2030 hrs. .

(postscript - it would have taken the team several hours to have reached them, by which time
it was likely that she really would have been very cold and tired, sitting still waiting for us.  Even then, unless she had been a real stretcher case, she would still have had to walk down. The team leader got a strong feeling that they really wanted someone to make the decision for them.  He therefore advised them to eat what food they had left and continue down the mountain.)


00/42 08/09/00 (2000 hrs) Friday

55 years old lady was reported long overdue between Great Moss (Eskdale) and Hardknott.  The husband was at the Brotherilkeld phone box and then started to search up the valley towards Lincove bridge.  The lady was found by him just as the team were assembling at Millforge.  Incident stood down.


00/41: 07/09/00 (1715 hrs) - Thursday

Call from Whitehaven police.  Two informants were at the Wasdale Head National Trust car park and had reported a missing person.  He was last seen at 1300 hrs crossing the stream at the bottom of Brown Tongue leading up to Scafell.  The person had a history of mental health but did not have any medication with them. SARDA dogs coordinator was called at 1830 hrs and we were doing the team callout when confirmation came in that the missing person had turned up.  The team callout was suspended and SARDA was stood down. 


AUGUST    2000
00/40: 28/08/00  (1600 hrs) - Monday

The team leader was called directly from the Wasdale Head Inn by a Wasdale team member.  A lady was extremely concerned that her husband had not returned from a walk somewhere in Wasdale.

They were here on holiday (from Jersey) and were staying with friends at Bigrigg.  Her husband had left Bigrigg at 0830 hrs, intending to do a two to three hour walk and return by lunch time.

However, although his car was at the Green, we had no indication of where he might have chosen to go.  The police were asked to send an officer to Wasdale Head to talk to the lady and determine the answers to some crucial questions e.g. : where might he have gone. The police officer arrived at Wasdale at around 1730 hrs. and having spoken to the wife, determined that the missing person was indeed at risk. The team leader discussed the details with his deputy and agreed the Team should be called to do a search of the most likely areas, before nightfall.  At 1810 hrs. we were waiting five more minutes before doing a full call out - the Policeman was going to open the missing person's car, looking for notes or clues as to where he might have gone.

At 1815 hrs, as the Policeman was searching the vehicle, the missing person turned up.  He had gone for a longer walk than originally planned and was safe and well. 

A small number of team members were involved during the period up to the missing person turning up including numerous telephone calls.

00/39: 20/08/00  (2130 hrs) - Sunday

Three males set off to walk up Scafell Pike as part of their 3-peaks challenge late in the afternoon.  They left Burnthwaite heading for Styhead then turned to the south, crossing the beck and proceeding up Lingmel crags.  Two turned back due to the 'steepness of the rocks'.  The third male carried on but failed to return.  He was dressed in shorts and 'T' shirt.  The full team were called out but he turned up safe and well after coming down Brown Tongue.  The team were stood down and the base closed before midnight.

00/38: 16/08/00  (0230 hrs) - Wednesday

The team leader was asked for a dog handler and navigator to search upper Eskdale (Green Hole area) and up to Bowfell.  Having opened the base and got the search team organised he then found that the two missing people (aged 72 and 16) had left Langdale earlier the previous day, with the intention of doing Scafell Pike and returning to Langdale.  They had made a series of mobile phone calls between 1700 hrs and 2300 hrs, reporting that they were stuck somewhere on "the band", Bowfell.

Langdale MRT were leading the search effort and had employed a number of dog teams as well as both Langdale and Kendal MRT members.  They were concentrating their efforts around Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.  We therefore felt it prudent to undergo a small search with four WMRT personnel, in upper Eskdale and the Cam Spout area with a view to doing as full callout if necessary, first thing in the morning.

As the early hours progressed without "a find", at 0700 hrs we called out the rest of Wasdale MRT and due to the now extended search area, the Millom FSRT.  Our intention was to search a
number of areas surrounding the Scafell range, particularly Broad Crag and Great End.  A further 8 WMRT and 7 Millom FSRT members attended.  At this stage a further 8 dog handlers had been requested from the Lancashire area.

The two missing people (grandfather and grandson) were eventually spotted and picked up by a Royal Navy Sea King helicopter which had been called into the search effort at first light.  The two missing persons were found part way down Glaramara, towards Keswick. They were on a different mountain to that they had indicated.... a problem which we've experienced before.

They had been out all night and were very cold but otherwise unhurt.  The helicopter transferred them to Langdale for further treatment in the valley bottom.

All members were back off the hill and Mill Forge closed at around 1300 hrs. on the
Wednesday afternoon

00/37: 03/08/00  (2300 hrs) - Thursday

It started with a call from Whitehaven Police, reporting three people missing, having not come back to their hotel in Eskdale.  The Team Leader spoke to the hotel manager and found that the three missing people were one female (aged 31) and two males, aged 30 and 74 !  They were probably going to walk up Scafell and had left after breakfast that morning.  They hadn't actually left details of their intended route at the hotel but were reported overdue when the wife of one of them hadn't been rung that evening.

By 2320 hrs. their car was found to be parked further up Eskdale (at Wha House car park) and it quickly became apparent that they must indeed be on the hill.

We chose to call in the help of three search dogs and got a further group of 4 WMRT people to search towards Ling Cove Bridge, Cam Spout etc.  We did not do a full team callout, intending to keep the team in reserve until first light, if necessary.

Well done to "Dog Roger", his search dog and the two navigators, who found the missing group of three in the vicinity of Silver Bield, at about 0200 hrs..  They were assisted to walk off the hill and helped back to their hotel (getting back at around 0330 hrs.)  Apparently the group had climbed Scafell Pike via Cam Spout and Mickledore, then returned via Little Narrowcove.  They had become very tired and eventually got benighted. 

There were mechanical problems with the clutch on our "K" Reg Landrover (Mobile 1) which meant they could only drive back slowly in second gear.  Our WMRT personnel finally got back to Gosforth just after 4am.....adding urgency to the idea that we should complete a lottery application to fund the purchase of new vehicles.

00/36: 30/07/00  (1900 hrs) - Sunday

One of the Deputy Team Leaders was called shortly before 1900 hrs. regarding a report of a 52 year old man from Dunblain, who had collapsed part way up Harter Fell, Eskdale.  The man's son had raised the alarm, having run down to the nearest farm to summon assistance.

16 members of the team attended the incident and also requested the help of an RAF helicopter.  The casualty was transferred by helicopter to the West Cumberland Hospital for further diagnosis and treatment.

All members were back at base and Mill Forge closed by around 2200 hrs.

JULY    2000
00/35: 25/07/00  (2400 hrs) - Tuesday 

Call from the Team Leader of Keswick MRT, regarding a 30 yr old male walker who was
doing the 4 x 3,000fts.  He had completed Skiddaw in the morning and left Seathwaite
approx 1330 hrs.  Although he had originally been with others, they had left him
on his own and had last seen him at the top of Lord's Rake, just below the
summit of Scafell, at 1630 hrs.  He was reported long overdue, having not turned up at the next check point at Thirlmere.  His route would have been down Foxes Tarn, to Mickledore and over
Scafell Pike.

Keswick MRT and Search Dogs were going out to look for him.  Wasdale MRT would
cover the Scafells.

A light was seen in Wythburn valley and Keswick MRT were able to confirm a find
(safe and well) by 0030 hrs.  A recall was sent out to team members and Mill Forge closed.

00/34: 23/07/00  (1620 hrs) - Sunday

The team leader was called by Whitehaven Police, regarding a 48 yr old
woman from Middlesborough who had tumbled down boulders/scree near Lord's Rake,
Scafell.  She was reported to have suffered significant cuts to her head and
also had bruising and cuts to the rest of her body, arms and legs.

Although the incident had been reported by mobile phone, the informant was no
longer at the scene.  It was not possible to maintain up to date information on
the casualty's condition (particularly conscious level) so a helicopter was
requested.  16 members of the team attended.  Our "advance" group got to the
casualty at the same time that the helicopter arrived on scene (approx 1745 hrs.)
The lady was treated for her injuries at the scene and transferred by helicopter to
West Cumberland Hospital.

Team members were all back at our base in Gosforth by around 1930 hrs.

00/33: 2/07/00  (0015 hrs) - Sunday 

Call out for a 28 yr old male walker with a reported ankle injury part way up Scafell Pike.  He had been taking part in a 3 Peaks Challenge event and had in fact been suffering with a knee injury as he ascended the Pike (having done Ben Nevis earlier in the day). The pain in his knee had got worse and he become unable to walk any further.  He was on the footpath, half way between the top of Brown Tongue and Lingmel Col.

His leg was splinted and he was carried down to Brackenclose by stretcher, arriving at around 0400 hrs.  His colleagues used their own transport to either take him to hospital or continue on there way to Snowdon.   The Mill Forge rescue base at Gosforth was closed down around 0500 hrs.  13 team members on the hill and 1 at base. 

There were many other people out doing the 3 Peaks event that night and many of them were having real difficulty on the extremely slippery path down Brown Tongue - Not much sign of people sticking to the code of practice, which does ask them not to do the mountain during the hours of darkness.

00/32: 30/07/00  (1400 hrs) - Friday

Call from Whitehaven Police asking for assistance to an Ambulance crew at Woodend, Egremont.  A woman from Egremont had been walking in Clints Quarry, with her husband and their dog.  She had slipped on the path, fallen over and broken her right ankle.  A short carry using the Bell stretcher  but over steep banks and through trees got us back to the road relatively quickly....  Just a little further and slippier than would have been sensible for two ambulance people to do on their own.  We are always happy to assist them in such situations.  (It shows a good spirit of co-operation exists between
the Ambulance crews and the Team )

10 team members were at the scene and three more at base.

00/31: 26/06/00  (1800 hrs) - Monday

Call from Whitehaven Police at 1800 hrs.  They had received a 999 call from two lads (18 and 19 yr old) who reported being stuck on steep ground on the West side of Yewbarrow.  When the Team Leader eventually managed to get in touch with them (by mobile phone) they gave me what appeared to be a map reference (from their GPS) but in a format which was new to the team - i.e.: North, 54 degrees, West, 3 degrees etc.  They also described where they had left their car and what route they had taken and told me what lakes etc they could see from their location.

The team leader believed they were on the side of Yewbarrow and given that there is no easy way off, that doesn't involve going down craggy ground, he thought it best to ask a small group of team members to go and assist them.  He therefore did a committee group alert and 11 members attended (4 on the base/radio relays and 7 on the hill)

Fortunately one of the team members managed to interpret their map reference and determined that they might actually be on the side of Lingmel - a different mountain!  Further telephone conversations managed to glean enough information to suggest they were on the side of Kirkfell, yet another different mountain !!

We finally managed to sight them not far down from the summit of Kirkfell and got to them at about 8.30pm.  They were simply frightened to continue without assistance and were on steep loose scree.  We put them in helmets and harnesses and assisted them to walk down.  Very slow going, with us getting back to Wasdale Head at 10.30pm.

The moral of the story : we are seeing an increasing trend that when people use their mobile phones to summon assistance, a lot of them don't actually know where they are!   We can cope better if those people admit to being lost, rather than give us what appears to confident information on their
location, only for us to find that they're on a different mountain.  This same situation has occurred several times over the last few months and it potentially makes the time taken to find and help people much longer.

00/30: 26/06/00  (1140 hrs) - Friday

Call from Whitehaven Police at 11.40 am.  They had received a 999 call from someone (with a mobile phone), reporting that a 44 yr old man had collapsed with hypothermia, somewhere between Broad Crag and the summit of Scafell Pike.

As the Team was en route to Wasdale, further conversations with the informant advised that the casualty had now become unconscious and that he was very cold. Weather at the scene was cold, windy and extremely wet, and they were in thick cloud.   There were a total of seven adults at the casualty site and a further seven members from the group were descending towards Wasdale Head.

We found the group near the top of Piers Ghyll and worked on re-warming the casualty for about an hour, before carrying him on a stretcher down to a point on Lingmel Nose, where an RAF helicopter could get in to lift him to safety.  He was flown to West Cumberland Hospital, where he made a full recovery.  (Although he did make a quick recovery, he had been unresponsive prior to the Team arriving and had got so cold that he'd stopped shivering - i.e.: a sign that his body core temperature was below 30 degrees C.  He certainly required assistance !!)  As well as being warmed, he was treated with oxygen and his condition was monitored with the Propac.  We also had a portable Automatic External Defibrillator with us, just in case he'd gone into Ventricular Fibulation.

Due to the high winds, rain and low cloud, the helicopter had some difficulty getting near the casualty's location (at Piers Gill).  They were only able to get in to the pick up point during a break in the clouds and had to get him on board as quickly as possible.

One of our team members twisted his ankle on the way down and we did think we might have to also carry him off.  However, to all our relief, he managed to walk down under his own steam.

Most team members were back at base by around 5.30pm but I think it was about
6.30pm when it was finally closed.

also see newspaper article with picture......

00/29: 20/06/00  (1640 hrs) - Tuesday

A 50 yr old man was reported to be suffering a "panic attack" and to be stuck in
a gully (in thick mist) somewhere on the descent from Great Gable's summit.
....probably around White Napes.

The team leader put out a full team call out and 17 members attended.  We were not
entirely sure whether they were on the slope above the Beck Head path or on the
Napes but found them part way down Arrowhead Gully, Great Napes.  We put him in a harness and helmet and belayed him back up the gulley (about 200ft) while we assisted his climbing.  We
then used tape slings either side of the harness to assist him to walk back

Back at Mill Forge just in time to see the penalty!!  England v Romania 2:3 - European Cup (Probably a mercy that we hadn't had to watch the whole match)
00/28: 18/06/00  (1600 hrs) - Sunday

Call from Whitehaven Police regarding a man (28 yrs old) who had fallen approx.
15 ft while trying to climb up Hardknott Ghyll (to the right of the road, looking up Hardknott Pass
from Eskdale).

20 team members attended and dealt with his injuries before carrying him down
the gully bed, to a point where we could then raise him out of the gully and
back to the road.   (A wet carry through pools and over greasy rocks, with the
stretcher being passed between members rather than being able to carry it.  Just as well it was a fine, warm day - hottest June day on record in the UK)

The casualty was treated for a back injury and possible internal injuries by team members/doctors (including an A&E Consultant, an Anaesthetist and a nurse). The casualty was transferred to
West Cumberland Hospital by Ambulance.

The rescue was completed and Mill Forge base closed at about 1900 hrs.
00/27: 17/06/00  (2110 hrs) - Saturday

Call from Howard Christie at Wasdale Head, reporting that organisers were worried about
four participants in a three peaks challenge event.  Three men and one woman, all
late twenties / early thirties had left Wasdale Head at 1400 hrs, wearing light
clothing.  One member in particular was reported to be very experienced but one
member of the group had not been feeling well, probably not fully recovered from
doing Ben Nevis.

They had waterproof clothing with them, torches, map and compass and a rope and
even had a radio, although no contact could be made.

The Wasdale Team Leader decided to wait until 2300 hrs before asking Search Dogs etc to go and look for them and expected that they had simply made a navigational error, probably
going down on the Eskdale side of the fell.  (Logic that a group of four could
split up if one had suffered incapacity for some reason.  Also that hundreds of
people were already searching the paths for us - doing the  peaks event).  MRT's do not
guide people off the hills and only respond if they consider, given the specific
facts of each situation, there is a realistic probability that someone is at risk of coming to harm.

At 2235 hrs the Wasdale team leader was on the phone to Howard Christie when they turned up.  They had indeed made a navigational error and had eventually been assisted onto the correct
route down by other 3 peaks participants. Several phone calls were involved, checking Eskdale and speaking on two occasions to the informant resulted in a good  hour and half workload for the team.  This was therefore logged with Police and listed as an incident (standard rescue team policy to ensure that all incidents are properly recorded for statistics and insurance purposes)
00/26: 17/06/00  (1745 hrs) - Saturday

Call from Whitehaven Police regarding shouts for help and whistles from the
Screes.  Informant was at the Wasdale Youth Hostel.  This report was quickly followed up by further
999 calls from two others with mobiles, who reported they could hear shouts that someone was unconscious, reason unknown.

14 members attended and carried the woman (in her twenties) off the scree path
and into the team's boat.  She was transferred across the lake to a waiting
ambulance and taken to West Cumberland Hospital.  She had suffered a "funny turn" and been
unconscious/unresponsive for about an hour, although when treated by the team she was conscious although very cold.  The lady had experienced similar symptoms before.

Members were back at base and Mill Forge closed by around 2000 hrs.

00/25: 15/06/00  (1750 hrs) - Thursday

Call from Howard at Wasdale Head.  A woman (approx 35 yrs old) had slipped while
descending from Ill Ghyll Head, towards Wasdale Head, National Trust car park at
Brackenclose.  She had either broken or badly sprained her ankle but had managed to get
part way down on her own, until her husband felt it better to get further

13 members attended and carried her down to a waiting Ambulance, for transfer to
West Cumberland Hospital.  Her left leg was splinted but no analgesic was necessary.  The lady was not far bellow the old huts on the Burnmoor Tarn path when we the team reached her.  It wasn't a
long carry and members were back at base by about 1930 hrs.

00/24: 04/06/00  (0930 hrs)  

Call from Whitehaven Police at 09.30 am.  Three women (aged between 35 and 45) had used a mobile phone to call 999 for assistance.  They reported that they had lost the path in thick mist and were lost, probably somewhere between Broad Crag and Scafell Pike.  They were apparently well equipped but were worried about how they would get back to a mini bus (and husband) at the Old Dungeon Ghyll, Langdale.  The Police had advised them to stay put until they were contacted by the MRT.

Julian Carradice, WMRT Team Leader tried to contact them but could only get an answer phone service (a common problem !!!)  Without any further information he told the Police that he would not immediately turn the Team out.  He would only initiate a call out if he believed there was a reasonable likelihood that people were at risk.  He guessed that they were not far off the path and that once people started to walk along what is a main route to Scafell Pike, they would probably be able to contact somebody who would be in a position to assist
them navigate. Julian kept trying to contact them every 10 to 15 minutes and eventually got through at about 10.30 am.  During his conversation with them, he got them to get their compass and map out and to tell him in what direction certain features lay, relative to their position.  e.g.. they could see
Sellafield, they could see a valley to their north (Wasdale) and they could see crags in front of them, to their west (crags above Piers Ghyll/corridor route).  Julian told them to walk south east for no more than two hundred meters until they came across the path on Broad Crag.  (They had been going from Langdale and were still heading for the summit of the Pike when they got off route)

Julian rang them again after 10 to 15 minutes and confirmed that they had regained the path.  He then convinced them to head back towards Langdale and that they would warm up as they did this (they had been out since 05.30 am and were very cold and wet.)   Julian had further contact with them on  two more occasions until he knew they were safely back at Esk Hause.  At this point the three ladies were now much happier and knew where they were going.  (Last contact with them at 11.30 am).

May 2000

00/23: 06/05/00  (2100 hrs)

Call from the police that a walker doing the three peaks had failed to return to the main party at Seathwaite at 1730 hrs.  The police provided further information at 2115 hrs to advise that the missing person had turned up safe and well.  No team members were put out onto the fell.  Whilst this incident was being dealt with the second one came in.

00/22:  06/05/00 (2038 hrs)

Team received a call from the police to say there was a lady with a suspected fractured / sprained ankle below Wind Gap, Pillar in the Mosedale valley.  She was located just over the stream crossing below the main scree.  She had a very badly dislocated ankle which was immobilised in an inflatable splint before she was carried out by stretcher to Wasdale Head.  A very warm and clear night but wet underfoot.

APRIL    2000


00/21: 24/04/00 (1245 hrs)

A group of three team members out for a days walking were planning to check out the ascent / descent routes on Broad Stand, Scafell due to it being one of the Valley's accident black spots. When they appeared at Mickledore they were approached by a group wanting to borrow a mobile telephone to call out the local mountain rescue team.  A man was cragfast below the corner on Broad Stand.  Although well equipped and with a rope, he had realised that the route was too dangerous and could not move either up or down.  The man was lowered off the crag without further problems.

Was this the quickest response to a call-out? On the scene within 3 minutes of the call for help... rescue completed within 20 minutes.   See true life rescue story........

00/20:  22/04/00 (2130 hrs)

Call via Whitehaven Police.  A lady at Kendal police station reported that her husband and daughter were long overdue from a days walking on Scafell Pike.  The last contact with them was by mobile phone at 1440 hrs. when they were on their descent from the summit.  Team were mobilised but the missing couple reported in at 2300 hrs. before the groups got out onto the fell.

00/19:  22/04/00 (1725 hrs)

Lady suffered a broken ankle near Eel Tarn, Eskdale.  Her ankle was immobilised in a Sam splint and she was carried down to the ambulance at the Woolpack Inn and transported to West Cumberland Hospital.

00/18: 17/04/00  (1615hrs)  

Mobile telephone call from an informant, two females in their late 40's were lost on Scafell. A glorious day but they had no idea where they were, they could see a lake with buildings in the background.  Incident was closed at 1715hrs. as they didn't really need the team.   


00/17: 16/04/00 (1445 hrs)  

Party of three males set out to climb the grade 2 scramble, Eagle nest Gulley.  One climber went ahead of the others and became cragfast.  The alarm was raised by mobile phone.  Under the wet and slushy snow conditions  it was a serious scramble for the team.  He was helped out of the gulley and safely returned to Seathwaite.  


00/16: 10/04/00  (1500 hrs) 

Report came in from Whitehaven police of a 46 yr. old male walker hit by a boulder, 200 m below the summit of Scafell Pike.  Whilst mobilising the team and getting up the valley, locations changed to Lingmel col then to the Woolworth boulder before we finally established that the group were located 100m below Mickledore just down from Rakes Progress.  The casualty had a deep wound just above the left hip..  He was placed in a vacuum mattress and stretchered down to Brackenclose.  A&E Whitehaven later confirmed the injury as a puncture wound with significant muscle damage. 

(Note: two team members were hit/hurt by falling rocks during the rescue due to the very poor condition of the scree in this area.  One of the team members received a nasty gash but it was not serious)   ....................See true life rescue story........ 

00/15: 05/04/00 (0115 hrs)  

Call received from Whitehaven police that a man returning from the Woolpack had seen a green flare on Slightside.  It was a very clear night and no further action was taken. Well intentioned false alarm.  


MARCH   2000



00/14: 26/03/00 (1240 hrs)  

Call received from Whitehaven police to rescue a 25 year old male cragfast on the Wastwater.  The walker was removed from the bottom of the Screes Gully and assisted back down to the Wastwater pumphouse. 9 team members involves for a duration of 3 hours.

00/13: 4/03/00 (1500 hrs)  

Call received from Whitehaven police to attend a lady in her mid fifties who had slipped and broken her ankle whilst descending path from Whin Rigg.  18 team members involved for 2 hours.

00/12: 4/03/00 (1300 hrs)  

Two sheep stuck on the crags on Buckbarrow.  Successfully retrieved without loss or injury.  4 members for 2 hours.




00/12: 25/02/00 (1700 hrs)  

25 year old male fell but was reported overdue then turned up 30 minutes later from walking on Scafell.  He sustained a gashed head.  2 team members were involved in the early stages of the investigation.



00/06: 01/01/00 2400 hrs  

Father and 4 children reported overdue from a walk up Scafell Pike.  They were reported as well equipped and experienced but had to spend the night on the fell following a navigational error.  They were found returning to their vehicle at the NT car park at 1000 hours 02/01/00.  Warmed and fed at Wasdale Head Inn.

00/05: 01/01/00  approx. Midnight.  

Received a request to assist Langdale/Ambleside in a search for a couple doing Crinkle Crags from the Langdale campsite.  Were found ok in the three tarns area at approximately 0300 hrs. 


00/04: 30/12/99 1730 hrs.  

Two men were reported overdue having set off from Irton Pike quarry intending to walk over the Screes to Brackenclose by 1530 hrs.  Howard found them near Cross Walls walking back along the road.

00/02 20/12/99 1510 hrs.  

A 57 years old male suffered an ankle injury between Burnmoor Tarn and Wasdale.  His wife descended to Burnmoor Inn to raise the alarm.  Was carried off to safety. 



00/01 28/11/99 2200 hrs.  



A father and son had not returned to their vehicle at Burnthwaite.  Route not known but it was known that they were inexperienced. and not well equipped.  They were eventually found at 0250 hrs in Calf  Cove by Keswick team.






AUGUST   1999




JULY  1999

JUNE   1999

MAY   1999




APRIL  1999

MARCH   1999

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