Rescue Team call-outs - November 2001 to November 2002

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team



November 2001 - November 2002  

This period [57] incidents

updated Sunday 17th November 2002

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02/61: 30/10/02 (1828 hrs) - Wednesday

Flashing lights seen high on Great Gable on the climbers traverse.  Six flashes were seen in response to the three flash call.  A limited callout was made to investigate the distress signals.  Thankfully no-one was injured and the family of five plus a friend were safely walked down to the valley bottom.  A clear night, cold with little wind.  Incident closed down at 2200 hrs.

02/60: 30/10/02 (1315 hrs) - Wednesday

999 call by mobile phone to the police requesting assistance.   The team were called to attend a walker on the summit ridge of Pillar with chest pains.   Due to the nature of the incident an RAF helicopter was requested.  The team were well advanced on the hill when the Sea King (Rescue 177) arrived from RAF Valley on Anglesey, Wales.  The casualty was winched on board on a stretcher and along with 5 of his colleagues were taken to West Cumberland Hospital for treatment.

Thanks to the family who were on scene and helped.

02/59: 25/10/02 (1950 hrs) - Friday

Call from Workington Police to advise that a family of adults and two children were overdue, returning from a walk up Scafell Pike.  They were last seen on the summit of the Pike at 1700 hrs. in low cloud.  Wasdale, Keswick and Ambleside teams were on standby.  Wasdale MRT sent a two small groups out to check car parks to locate their cars.  The team were just about to change the incident from standby to full callout when the missing group turned up at Taw House farm in Eskdale ( ~ 2100 hrs.) They borrowed a torch from the farmer and set off to their cars located at the Roman fort, half way up Hardknott pass.  They were finally intercepted by one of the Wasdale groups, reported safe and well, returned to their cars and the incident stood down.  All members were off the hill and back at Gosforth by 2230 hrs.  It was interesting to hear that the group had managed to get themselves off the mountain by using the night vision on their camcorder to show the footpath.  They had initially used the glow off their mobile phone to pick out the ground but this method was not effective.

(footnote: this was the end of half term week and weather conditions were wintry.  The first snow fell this week and some hard nevy and ice was already formed above 800 meters.  The earliest snow in Wasdale for 10 years - weather warnings for the weekend)  

02/58: 23/10/02 (evening) - Wednesday

The Deputy Team leader was called following a report of an overdue Mother and son who had been coming down off Scafell Pike.  Preliminary arrangements were being made to investigate the situation when they eventually turned up safe and well.  The incident was a well intentioned 999 call.

02/57: 19/10/02 (1745 hrs) - Saturday

Whitehaven Police called the team to attend to a lady with a suspected broken ankle on Brown Tongue, Scafell Pike path.  The team had only just finished the earlier rescue but were able to quickly divert.  The rescue was completed by 2100 hrs.

02/56: 19/10/02 (1600 hrs) - Saturday

Whitehaven Police called the team to attend to a climber who had fallen 10 metres in Eskdale and suffered multiple injuries.  The climber was climbing on Linbeck and fell from the top of the climb sustaining serious head, chest and spinal injuries.  The team doctors administered first aid on the scene and he was airlifted to west Cumberland Hospital then flown to Newcastle.

02/55: 6/10/02 (1305 hrs) - Sunday

Whitehaven Police called again to report a climber stuck on Yewbarrow.  The climber was rescued whilst the first incident was being dealt with.  These two incidents happened within 15 minutes of each other and effectively split the resources of the team in half.  Regardless of this, both incidents were managed effectively.

02/54: 6/10/02 (1251 hrs) - Sunday

Whitehaven Police called the team to assist a crag fast walker who was stuck above Broad Stand.  He was located approximately 60m above the Mickledore Col, at the top of Broad Stand but crag fast on the slippery surface, 30 metres across towards Mickledore Chimney.  He was lowered off the crag and flown back down to the Wasdale valley bottom by RAF Boulmer who were coincidentally flying in the lakes.  He was driven back to the Woolpack where his car was parked.

02/53: 5/10/02 (1700 hrs) - Saturday

Whilst the team were preparing to search for the missing man ( incident 48), a group of walkers approached with their colleague who had sustained a dislocated shoulder whilst descending Mickledore on Scafell Pike.  He had fallen four times during his descent but managed to get himself off the fell.  He was treated by the roadside, given analgesic and dispatched to hospital.

02/52: 5/10/02 (1500 hrs) - Saturday

The team was called out to help locate a distressed man who had left his car at Eskdale and gone for a walk on Harter fell. He was found safe and well at Cockley Beck bridge by a Langdale Ambleside SARDA Handler later that evening.  In addition to the team, a number of search dogs were deployed.



02/51: 20/9/02 (1230 hrs) - Friday

The Wasdale team along with three of the other central lakes teams were put on standby to search for a missing aircraft.  The call had been made because there was concern that an aircraft had failed to report in whilst on maneuvers over the lake district.  The plane was subsequently accounted for and the teams were stood down.  A royal navy helicopter from Prestwick which had flown down to Carlisle was also stood down.

02/50: 19/9/02 (1800 hrs) - Thursday

A similar rescue but on the western side of the Witch Buttress - this sheep was not so lucky and fought free whilst being rescued, falling to the deck and injuring itself.  The animal was carried back down to the waiting farmer who was pleased the animal was still alive and repairable.

02/49: 17/9/02 (1900 hrs) - Tuesday

Called to rescue a sheep that had become cragfast high on the west facing craggs of second gulley, Buckbarrow.  The animal had been there for many days and all the possible food had been cleared down to the bare rock.  Two team members managed to get the animal down with minimal difficulty (lowered from the top).

02/48: 7/9/02 (2000 hrs) - Saturday

On the same day, whilst the team were at the Wasdale Head Inn auctioning off the 14,000 of mountain clothing and equipment, a call came in to help locate a group of four Duke of Edinburgh girls who had failed to turn up in Wasdale after setting off from Buttermere to walk Red Pike, Gillerthwaite in Ennerdale, Blacksail Pass and down into Wasdale.  There had been torrential rain showers that afternoon and the becks were up.

In addition to calling out Cockermouth Team, Wasdale MRT tasked four members plus a search dog to check out the Wasdale side up to Blacksail Pass.  The missing girls were found camping in Ennerdale having decided to shelter for the night rather than continue over to Wasdale.  A very sensible decision considering the prevailing weather conditions.

02/47: 7/9/02 (1530 hrs) - Saturday

As part of the teams Fern Knotts fundraising weekend, one of our team members had organised a new fell race ' the Lingmell Dash'.  One of the participants took a major tumble on the return leg a fractured her femur (upper leg).  Due to the serious nature of this type of fracture, a helicopter was requested.  RAF Boulmer who had only just left Wasdale 45 minutes previous to the accident on a training exercise, was called up and returned to the valley.  The injured runner was evacuated to West Cumberland Hospital.  The injured lady had organised the race, specifically to raise funds for the team and we all wish her a very speedy recovery.   For photos of the casualty being evacuated by helicopter see photos here. 

02/46: 5/9/02 (1245 hrs) - Thursday

The team were called to find a long overdue walker who had left Seathwaite to climb Scafell Pike and had failed to turn up.  Keswick Team and SARDA (search dogs) were called out and Wasdale put 5 search parties out on the Wasdale and Eskdale sides. He was found safe and well at Sampson's Stones in upper Eskdale safe and well however it did take over three hours to walk him back out of the upper Esk.  The last team member got home at 0615 hrs.

02/45: 3/9/02 (1410 hrs) - Tuesday

A 61 yrs old male had become separated from his walking partner en route from Ennerdale to Windy Gap (Great Gable).  The missing person was carrying two 25 lb rucksacks and had a medical history.  Keswick MRT and Cockermouth MRT were put on standby whilst further checks were made prior to a Wasdale full call-out.  The missing walker turned up safe and well at 1820 hrs.

02/44: 2/9/02 (1055 hrs) - Monday

The team were called to help two 21 year old girls who had become benighted on their way down from Whin Rigg on the Screes.  They were walking from Ekdale Youth Hostel to Wasdale Hall youth Hostel.  Two team members went up to find them and check their condition.  They were located at the top end of Great Hall Ghyll and assisted back down.

02/43: 1/9/02 (1630 hrs) - Sunday

The team were called to help a walker with chest pains on Dent whilst dealing with No. 37.  As the helicopter was already with the team they were used to attend this incident as well.  More details to follow when I get them.

02/42: 1/9/02 (mid afternoon) - Sunday

The team was called out to help a walker who had been seen fallen 30m whilst scrambling on Westmoreland Cairn, Great Gable summit.  Although having taken a massive fall, when he hit the bottom he stood up and slowly started making his way down Great Hell Gate scree.  One of the team members already walking in the vicinity went to search for the fallen walker and found the scambler injured but walking below Tophet Wall (Great Gable).  He was given a check over, but when tried to stand up he collapsed. In addition to the team being called out, a Sea King RAF helicopter was called which lifted the casualty just as the advance party got to him. 


AUGUST  2002

02/41: 29/8/02 (1908 hrs.) - Thursday

The team was called out to rescue a off road trials motorcyclist who had sustained an injury to his right knee whilst descending the fell at the back of Dent (Ulldale fell) with his work colleagues.  He was located approximately 1 kilometre up from Ulldale Bottom and was carried off the fell to the team rescue vehicle and evacuated to West Cumberland Hospital..

[Although in a lot of pain, the rider, 'Big John' , retained a strong sense of humour, fuelled by his mates who said it would be OK to refer to the steep grassy slope where he fell by its local name "The Widow maker".  We wish Big John a speedy recovery].

02/40: 28/8/02 (2140 hrs.) - Wednesday

41 year old male reported long overdue on Scafell Pike.  He turned up when a third party rang to say he was being looked after at a tent in Hollowstones.

02/39: 27/8/02 (0005 hrs.) - Tuesday

The team leader was called by the police whilst organising the previous rescue.  A male walker in his early 70's and his female companion had set off from Wrynose Pass to walk the Crinkles, Bowfell, Esk Pike and across to Scafell Pike and Scafell before descending to rendezvous with a car which had been delivered to Boot in Eskdale.  His brother had heard nothing from him since dropping him off earlier that day.  An Eskdale based team member was roused from sleep to check out the Boot car park to establish if indeed the pair were still on the fells.  

The car park was empty so the call-out was stood down.  Nothing else has been heard of since so it was logged as a well intentioned false alarm. 

02/38: 26/8/02 (2300 hrs.) - Monday

Team leader called by one of the team members who lives at Wasdale Head reporting flashing lights on Beck Head, Great Gable.  Following investigation, an adult plus two sixteen year olds were found at the foot of Ill Ghyll, Kirk Fell, making their way down to callout the team.  There were a further twelve sixteen year olds and an adult lost on Beck Head.  A limited call-out was organised and the group were walked down from the pass in safety.  They had left Gategarth in Buttermere to climb Haystacks and were then trying to descend back to the Buttermere Youth Hostel but had drifted across to Gable.  The hostel were also in the process of raising the alarm to callout the Cockermouth team. 

The group were transported back to the hostel at the end of a long night.

02/37: 20/8/02 (2010 hrs.) - Tuesday

Team leader called by police to deal with a missing lady overdue from a walk with her husband when they became separated.  They had walked up from Seathwaite, via Esk Hause to Scafell Pike.  They then descended to the bottom of cam Spout and made their way back up to Esk Hause.

They became separated and the alarm was raised when she failed to turn up.  Keswick MRT plus a limited Wasdale MRT were put on the fell.  She was found by Keswick team at around 2300 hrs by the Keswick team.  The Sea King from Valley RAF base was stood down along with the other teams.

022/36: 17/8/02 (1400hrs) -Saturday

The police contacted the team leader at 1400hrs to rescue two canoeists who had overturned on Wastwater and could not be seen on the surface.  A few minutes later, before the bleep was initiated, a further call came in from the police to say that the two canoeists were seen climbing out of the water on the far side of the lake.

02/35: 13/8/02 (0900 hrs.) - Tuesday

Two male walkers in their mid 30's were doing the 3 peaks event when they become lost on Scafell Pike.  They left Brackenclose, Wasdale at 2130 hrs the previous evening and their father, waiting in the valley bottom became concerned when they failed to appear later that night.  At 0730 hrs a standby call was put out on the team pagers.  At 0900 hrs a full call out was initiated.  Millom Team, Keswick Team and also the SARDA (Lakes) search dogs were mobilised.  Torrential rain had swollen the rivers and the cloud was down to 200 meters. 

They were located at 1100 hrs making their way slowly down from Mickledore ridge via Brown Tongue.  They had already been down to Cam Spout on the Eskdale side and then retraced their way back up and over Mickledore.  They had been walking all night.

JULY  2002

02/34: 30/7/02 (1850 hrs.) - Tuesday

Whitehaven police put out an incident alert on the pager system to rescue a father and his two teenage sons who had become disorientated on their descent from Scafell Pike.  They had a mobile phone so the team could ask a number of questions that helped locate their position.  They had set off from Seatoller (Keswick side of Styhead Pass) earlier that day, intending to return to their car that evening.  The cloud was down to 200 metres and very muggy.  The group were eventually found just to the south of Lingmel summit adjacent to the dry stone wall.  This wall is a very useful landmark.  They were safely walked off the mountain and transported back to Gosforth where they stayed the rest of the night before traveling back to Seatoller to collect the car the following day.

02/33: 6/7/02 (2130 hrs.) - Saturday

Whitehaven police called the team leader to inform of a walker in his mid-sixties who was overdue.  His wife at Keswick had raised the alarm.  He had left his car at the pump house, Ennerdale to walk to Blacksail and return via Pillar, Haycock and Cawfell.  The team leader spoke with the Cockermouth MRT and handed the lead over (vehicle in their operational area).   The missing person was called up on his mobile and he confirmed that he was lost in cloud next to a dry stone wall, high on the 'ridge'. Both teams were mobilised, Wasdale MRT to cover the Wasdale side.  He was eventually found by the Cockermouth team at 0100 hrs. making his way slowly down through the forest near Cauld Fell.  20 Wasdale team members were involved and the rescue closed down at 0300 hrs.

[Footnote - during the rescue a second incident was starting to emerge involving a group of four 'Three Peakers'.  The support vehicle had tracked down one of the teams rescue vehicles at Netherbeck and asked for help.  The group, ranging in age from twenty to sixty years old, were overdue, most probably having descended into Eskdale.  They were well equipped and had survival gear so it was decided to let them make their own way out.  The police confirmed at 0700 hrs (Sunday) that the group were safely off the fell].  

02/32: 6/7/02 (1550 hrs.) - Saturday

Call from the police to investigate a report from an informant from North Hants who was descending from Scafell Pike when he witnessed a party on Flash Knotts (below Lingmell Crag on the northern side of Piers Gill) set off a red flare trying to attract the attention of rescue helicopter in the area.    RAF Kinloss were contacted who confirmed that an RAF Sea King helicopter from Leaconfield was operating in the area along with an RAF mountain rescue team and had picked up on the top of Scafell Pike.  Two team members were sent to investigate and the rescue base opened up but nothing was found.  Rescue closed as a well intentioned false alarm.

02/31: 4/7/02 (1500 hrs.) - Thursday

Call from the police to rescue two walkers in their twenties who were lost on Scafell Pike (adjacent to a stretcher box).  After giving advice over the mobile phone, the team leader walked up to meet them at the bottom of Mickledore making their way slowly, but safely down the mountain.  Two team members were involved in total. 

02/30: 2/7/02 (1756 hrs.) - Tuesday

Call from the police to rescue a walker with a broken leg below Lord's Rake on Scafell.  It turned out that he had more serious injuries.  He and his father were descending from Scafell via Lords rake when they took a wrong turn in the mist and started to descend Shamrock (a very slippery, steep crag).  They both fell but the son received a fractured femur (upper leg).  An RAF Sea King helicopter was called up from Boulmer to help ferry the back up members to the cloud base level (top of Brown Tongue).  The advance group and several back up members walked all the way.  It was a difficult evacuation on very steep ground using a series of near vertical stretcher lowers with barrow-boy. All 200 metres of rope were used.  The casualty and his father were airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital.  A heavy job with limited team members (around 16) was successfully completed and the base closed before midnight. 

02/29: 1/7/02 (1730 hrs.) - Monday

Call from the police to rescue a group of four Duke of Edinburgh children who had become separated by the beck (in flood) on the Scafell side of Brown Tongue. One team member walked up to assist the group safely off the fell.  Rescue completed by 1800 hrs.


JUNE  2002

02/28: 30/6/02 (1614 hrs.) - Sunday

Call from the police to rescue a 13years old boy who slipped on Irton fell and had a suspect broken ankle.  26 team members carried him off the fell to an awaiting ambulance.  He was taken to West Cumberland Hospital for treatment. He was on the Wasdale side of the valley, around two kilometres from the road and about half way up the fell.

He was the lightest carry down the team has had to respond to in a number of years so his evacuation was relatively easy although the weather conditions were appalling.

02/27: 22/6/02 (1100 hrs.) - Saturday

Call from the police to rescue a fallen walker on Scafell.  The man in his late 50's had been attempting the 4 x 3000 challenge and rather than take the Lord's Rake route from Mickledore to the summit of Scafell he joined another two walkers who were ascending via Broad Stand (see accident Black Spot above).  He managed to get up the rock step by using a rope that had been placed there for event runners and walkers.  He slipped at the top of Mickledore chimney and fell into the gulley and carried on tumble falling 50 metres down the steep gulley, coming to rest just above the chock stone.

He was conscious but had received several injuries to head and lower limbs.  Fortunately a group of mountain rescuers from Trough of Bowland and a member of Langdale Ambleside MRT was in the area and made him safe and provided shelter (he was dressed in shorts and trainers).  The weather was poor with cloud base at 500 metres and visibility on the crags down to 30 metres.  Temperature was 7 degrees centigrade and fortunately the accident site was sheltered from the strengthening winds.

Due to the nature of his injuries, and the time of the call when many team members are difficult to find, an RAF Rescue Helicopter was scrambled from Boulmer in the North East.  The helicopter lifted team members as high as it could and returned to Wasdale Head (after refueling at Carlisle), shut down and waited ready to evacuate the casualty.

It was technically a very demanding rescue in an extremely hazardous location with slippery rock and steep slabs.  The evacuation route took a number of hours and involved a pendulum's horizontal stretcher lower followed by vertical stretcher lower over the 10 meter rock wall above Mickledore and down the scree to Hollowstones (around 2 hours lowering using the 200 metre rope).  RAF Stafford mountain Rescue Team provided strong support throughout the lower.

Finally the helicopter came in to land on the shoulder of Brown Tongue so the casualty could be airlifted quickly to West Cumberland Hospital.  This in itself was a remarkable bit of flying by the helicopter pilot as he slowly worked his way up the fell (through the cloud) at a height of 6 metres to a suitable pick up point.

The team were off the hill and back at base by 1930 hrs and then tidied up. resorted all the crag gear, put the ropes up to dry - all ready for the next rescue which we all hoped would not be for some time.

Fortunately we did not have to rescue / search for any of the 200 to 300 'three peakers' who we passed in separate groups of 3 to 20 going up Scafell Pike (many in shorts and trainers with no gear), as we came down from our rescue.  Many thanks to the RAF for all their help, also to the Trough lads (we have their kit - give me a call 01946 62176)

[P.S. - the walker I spoke to who took the photo of the helicopter evacuation , kindly offered to send the team a copy of the photos for this report - please email, or hard copy 8 Foxhouses Road, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 8AF]

Postscript - see following extract from an email sent to the team which gives a little insight into conditions on the tops and it's impact on the 4 x 3000s......

    "I was doing the safety sweep from Seathwaite to Steel End (although ended up continuing to Keswick via Helvellyn) for the Ramblers Association event on Saturday.  Conditions were pretty bad on the Scafells when we set out from Seathwaite at 9.30 am and quite a few people in the event were unable to locate Lords Rake.  When we got to the checkpoint on Scafell it was like a version of the Marie Celeste mystery.  There was no event checkpoint (the marshall had been unable to find his way to the summit.  Also the marshall for Scafell Pike failed to reach that checkpoint) and the Bowland teams bivvy area contained all their kit including the remains of their breakfast cooking.  

We collected all the competitors tags which had been dumped in a heap to pass on to the race organiser.  Then we bundled up the kit and weighted it down with more stones.  After that we waited for half and hour to see if we had passed any stragglers on the way up, and not seen them in the mist.  We had earlier heard the helicopter trying to get in.  Four of your team members came by, one of whom was panting
pretty impressively, and one who invited us to your evening fund raising party at the Screes. (Sorry we couldn't make it!)  Glad to hear you were able to safely evacuate the casualty after what seems like an epic.

Out of 170ish starters for the event about 50 finished.  The last 4 coming into Keswick School about 11.30 pm, after setting out at 2 am."

02/26: 3/6/02 (2340 hrs.) - Monday

Call from the police to search for two missing men on Scafell Pike.  The two men had left Wasdale Head at 1700 hrs to climb Scafell Pike.  When they failed to turn up at their vehicle and waiting friends at the car park the alarm was raised.  The informants advised us that the two walkers were not equipped for poor weather and only had limited experience.  In addition to the Wasdale team, Keswick Team were called in to assist along with a number of search dogs from SARDA.  

Weather conditions were cold and wet with poor visibility due to low cloud.  At 0400 hrs, first light, most of the search routes had been covered and by 0630 hrs most team members were off the hill.  The situation was re-assessed at the Base and at 0800 hrs the team were re-assembled to carry on the search.  Millom rescue team were mobilised along with four more search dogs from the lake District and the RAF Sea King Helicopter from RAF Valley in North Wales.

The two walkers were found at the bottom of Mosedale (between Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass) by a Langdale MRT member and brought to Gosforth.  Both were well but extremely wet, tired and cold. One had taken a number of tumble falls but his injuries to hid knee and elbow were minor.  The two walkers had become disorientated when coming off the Pike and walked along the ridge to we believe, Esk Hause before descending a gulley into upper Eskdale.  They sheltered behind stones and walked out across upper Eskdale at first light.


MAY  2002

02/25: 18/5/02 (1800 hrs.) - Saturday

A fell walker ran into the shop at Wasdale Head saying that his friend was injured at Hollowstones.  A small group of team members who were already around the Head went up to look for him but found nothing.  The Deputy Team Leader believes that the injured person must have either got himself off the fell or it was a hoax.  This report will be expanded once more details have been obtained. 

2/24: 12/5/02 (1710 hrs) - Sunday

The team were called out to help an injured male walker in his late fifties.  He had fallen and was reported to be falling in and out of consciousness at the bottom of the rock step.  His location was given as half a mile south of Styhead.  The advance group was split into two search parties to check out the bad step on the corridor route and also the rock step on the Piers Gill path.  He was located on the Piers Gill path.  He had fallen around10 metres and sustained injuries to his arm and lower leg in addition to a minor head injury.  

Due to the nature of his reported injuries and the location, a Rescue Helicopter was requested.  The casualty was winched in a stretcher into the Royal Navy Sea King from Prestwick and taken to West Cumberland Hospital at Whitehaven.

02/23: 4/5/02 (2145 hrs) - Saturday

A call came in from the police to attend to a young lady who was exhausted below Cam Spout waterfall, Upper Eskdale, at the foot of Scafell Pike.  The full team was called out yet again.  Many of the team members having still not been home since the first rescue earlier that day.

The Deputy team leader and another member went up the valley to question the informants.  Once established that the group with the exhausted walker were well equipped to stay out overnight, and there was also a little confusion over whether the group actually wanted to be rescued that night, the decision was made to stand down the team and to go up in the morning if required.

This was obviously a good decision as we were not recalled the following morning which would mean the group got themselves safely down the mountain the following day.

02/22: 4/5/02 (1825 hrs) - Saturday

The team was called to rescue a lady with a broken ankle on Harter Fell, Eskdale.  The team were already at Gosforth tidying up from the previous rescue so it was a quick turnout.  The casualty was relatively high up on Harter just above the col.  Fist aid was administered and the lady she was carried back down to the bottom of Hardknott car park to the waiting ambulance and transferred to west Cumberland Hospital.

02/21: 4/5/02 (1415 hrs) - Saturday

The Wasdale team was called to rescue a climber with a suspected broken foot on the Great Gable traverse, just below Tophet Wall.  He had successfully completed his climb and was descending the mountain when the accident happened.  A RAF Search and Rescue helicopter was in the area and was tasked to assist.  The advance team, fresh from the rescue on the Screes arrived on scene, made the casualty safe and administered first aid.  The casualty was winched into the helicopter and flown to West Cumberland Hospital.  Around 18 team members were involved.  We received a very nice letter from the climber since the rescue with a donation and to say that his foot was not broken but badly bruised and he is still limping but hopefully will be OK in a couple of weeks.  He asked us to mention this rescue as a warning to others about the loose descent from the climb in that area. plus see photographs of the actual rescue here.

02/20: 4/5/02 (1230 hrs) - Saturday

The team was called to rescue two ladies who were stuck on the Screes path.  A limited call-out was undertaken and the two ladies were transferred across the lake by the team's rescue launch.  Whilst half way across the lake the second call came from the police to attend to a injured walker on Great Gable.  See rescue details above.


APRIL  2002

02/19: 13/04/02 (1650 hrs) - Saturday

The Wasdale team was called to rescue a lady climber who had fallen off Eagles Nest Ridge, Great Gable and suffered head injuries.  A helicopter in the area was called to assist and following an aerial search of the craggs found no casualty.  The lady had made her way down to the valley bottom with a climbing partner and was attended to by the team doctors before being taken to West Cumberland Hospital.  Full details to follow when the team leader passes on his report.


MARCH  2002

02/18: 30/03/02 (1430 hrs) - Saturday

The Wasdale MRT team leader was nearing the top of Brown Tongue on Scafell / Scafell Pike ascent when the Police rang, reporting that someone had fallen between Scafell and Scafell Pike and was known to have
head injuries.  A helicopter was requested on the basis of the initial information.  The casualty had indeed fallen from Broad Stand.  He had a head injury, broken ankle and a finger and multiple cuts and abrasions.
Three members of the Brecon Beacons MRT came on scene. The group used the Mickledore stretcher to move the casualty out from the crag and he was subsequently picked up by RAF
Helicopter from Leconfield and flown to Carlisle hospital.  There were 13 other Team members on the fell who would have been needed had the helicopter not been successful in carrying out the lift. An RAF MRT who were climbing in Borrowdale at the time of the incident also attended to provide support if required. Many thanks to Peter and his colleagues from the Welsh team.

Broad Stand is Wasdale's accident black spot ....see here for details of a similar rescue with pictures 

02/17: 25/03/02 (1320 hrs) - Monday

Call from the police to go to the help of a male who had broken his leg on Cold Fell.  When the advance got to the walker they found that he had dislocated his knee cap.  The dislocated knee cap was corrected on the spot after administration of analgesic and the walker was carried down to the road where he was transferred to Whitehaven hospital.

02/16: 24/03/02 (1910 hrs) - Sunday

Call to rescue a lady in upper Eskdale.  She had sustained an ankle injury following a stumble fall at Scar Lathing.  24 team members carried her down to the valley bottom.  She had made a navigational error descending from Scafell Pike.

02/15: 18/03/02 (1700 hrs) - Monday

A rucksack was found at the bottom of Shamrock on Scafell by a person exiting Lord's Rake. Gear was strewn for 20 meters down the crag. A limited callout was made to check out the situation but as no missing person call had been made the search was stood down.

02/14: 15/03/02 (1945 hrs) - Friday

Call from the police to rescue two males who had become lost, most probably on the southern slopes of Scafell Pike.  The two male walkers in their late thirties had become disorientated on their descent from Scafell Pike back into Wasdale.  They were in contact with their mobile but were on steep ground in snow, low cloud and were very cold and wet and unable to move.  They had a compass but their map was wet and torn.

Four Wasdale search groups were sent out, SARDA were involved and Keswick MRT were on standby at their base.  The missing pair of walkers were eventually located high on the slopes of Scafell, just to the west of Pen.  They were safely escorted down via Eskdale and back to Gosforth.  All team members were safely off the fells by first light.



02/13: 22/02/02 - Friday

Son and father lost in Wasdale and reported overdue by mother and daughter to the manager of the Wasdale Head Inn.  Found safe and well by the manager and his dog (Sam).

02/12: 8/02/02 (1900 hrs) -Friday

Call from the police to rescue a male walker who had become lost in Upper Eskdale.  He was on a mobile phone and told us that he was on flat boggy ground to the south of Scafell Pike and he could hear a waterfall nearby.

Although a mild night, he was tired and wet through.  Search groups were sent up Eskdale on both sides of the river which was in heavy flood. The Wasdale MRT search dog, handler and navigator found the gentleman along with a second person.  Both were safely escorted off the fell to Taw House farm, Brotherilkeld and transported back to Ambleside in the dog handlers own car (taxi would have cost ~50 if one had been available).

A successful rescue with all team members back at Millforge Base, Gosforth by 2300 hrs.



02/11: 26/01/02 (1605 hrs) -Saturday

Call from the police to rescue two walkers stuck on the Screes by the lake.  A limited call-out was made with the rescue boat launched from the lakeside whilst the advance vehicle went directly to the pump house.  The walkers had managed to get themselves safely off the Screes by the time the team had arrived on scene. 

02/10: 13/01/02 (1530 hrs) -Sunday

Call from the Police at 1740 hrs regarding two people reporting themselves "lost" and in thick mist/dark on
Great Gable.  They had also said they were at map ref 218 095 and standing by a stretcher box  (in other words, most probably at Sty Head.  The Team leader spoke to them on their mobile and established that they did have torches and intended to go back to Seathwaite, on the Keswick side.  They were given directions,
relative to the few features they could see and describe and they did find their own way off the hill without further MR involvement.  They rang me to confirm they were down at about 1730 hrs. and were very grateful
for the guidance given.

02/09: 8/01/02 (2000hrs) -Tuesday

Call from Whitehaven police to search for a 22 year old male who had become lost on his way from Wasdale to Seathwaite.  The full team were called out when details of the incident became clearer.  Keswick team and SARDA search dogs were also called out.  Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Green Gable and the Corridor routes were searched but nothing was found.  The search recommenced at 0800 hrs. the following morning which included use of the rescue helicopter from RAF Valley.  The missing walker was found safe and well by a Keswick dog handler, just to the west of Greta Gill.  The missing person had descended probably from the Great End / Lamb Foot Dub area.  He was airlifted by the helicopter and returned to his  car at Seathwaite.  The Base was closed at 1130 hrs. 


02/08: 2/01/02 (1800hrs) -Wednesday

Call from the Police to report a single female (44 yr old) long overdue on fell run.  Last seen at
Sty Head, at 1000 hrs. and intending to continue up the corridor route to Lingmel Col and descend to Brackenclose.  She was then to cycle back to a vehicle at Greendale and pick up her husband at Dunmail Raise.  She was an experienced fell runner (and member of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club) but would be wearing light weight clothing and running in fell running shoes (Walshes).  Conditions were extremely icy and
there was a realistic concern that she may have slipped on ice and the delay due to an injury.

The team leader asked a local team member to check out the car park at Greendale.

The Police rang back at about 1845 hrs. confirm that she'd turned up OK.  Incident logged due to involvement of police, team member and a number of phone calls.

02/07: 1/01/02 (2200hrs) -Tuesday

Call to assist an overdue party.  A father and 16 year old son had left Brotherilkeld at the bottom of Hardknott Pass to walk up Eskdale and over to Wasdale, with a planned overnight camp.  Having made good time they phoned his wife at 1500 hrs. from the summit of the Pike and said they would continue down to the Wasdale Head Hotel and stay at the hotel.  They failed to turn up and by 2200hrs the wife raised the alarm.  A group of 4 Wasdale MRT rescuers spent the night searching the key routes to the summit of the Pike and by 0510hrs returned to base.  The missing couple were well equipped. It was a very cold night it was very clear.  

The following morning a RAF helicopter was brought in to check the normal walk out routes.  The missing walkers were located making their way back up to Mickledore after spending the night under canvas at the bottom of Cam Spout on the Eskdale side.  They had made an all to common navigational error and turned south at the Mickledore stretcher box instead of north.

They were safely returned to Wasdale Head.




02/06: 30/12/01 (1220hrs) -Sunday

Call to help a crag fast walker and his dog on Pikes Crag, Scafell Pike. Alarm raised by the stranded walker mobile phone to the Police station.  He was crag fast on the buttress just to the side of pikes Crag on Scafell Pike.  He was approximately 50 metres above the foot of the buttress on ice and snow.  The dog had already fallen 15 meters onto a ledge below.  The Team Leader along with 7 members of the team already at the Wasdale Head carried out the rescue.  The Team Leader had to carefully climb up to the casualty using ice axes and crampons before lowering him down to safety.  They were transported safely back down to the valley bottom by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley, North Wales.  The RAF had been notified by the police and attended but was unable to fly above Hollow Stones due to low cloud.  Both walker and dog were safe and well.


NOVEMBER  2001  --   + see Remembrance Sunday pictures 

02/05: 22/11/01 (1325 hrs) -Thursday   

Call to investigate cries for help on the Screes path.  Limited call-out undertaken but it turned out to be a well intentioned false alarm.  Found farmer gathering sheep. 

02/04: 19/11/01 (2040 hrs) -Thursday   

Single male reported overdue between Keswick and Wasdale YHAs.  He was found by Keswick Dogs at Esk Hause and escorted back down.

02/03: 15/11/01 (1800 hrs) -Monday   

Report of a large fully packed abandoned rucksack at Styhead.  Two team members investigated and found it to be a small sack of firewood left for a camping party.  No further action taken. 

02/02: 10/11/01 (1830 hrs) -Wednesday   

Call to rescue a man who slipped on Brown Tongue path by Lingmel Gyll crossing. Stretchered off to car and driven to West Cumberland Hospital

02/01: 19/11/01 (2155 hrs) -Tuesday   

Call to support Keswick MRT searching for a missing male walker traveling across the tops to Netherwasdale.  Full details of the rescue to follow from the team leader shortly.  Missing person found safe and well sheltering at Esk Hause shelter in the early hours of Wednesday morning.  rescue base closed down at around 0330 hrs.



Last two rescues for the 2000/01 period - (total 35) ..  for full record click here

01/35: 10/11/01 (1830 hrs) -Saturday   

Call from Workington Police.  19 yr old man from Halifax had slipped on the path, descending Brown Tongue and had sustained an ankle injury that prevented him from being able to continue.  There were only around 14 members in total but the casualty was just below the Lingmel Gyll stream crossing (approx. 280 meters up the fell) and the small group managed the carry reasonable easily.

He attended West Cumberland Hospital for a check up.  We closed Mill Forge rescue base at about 2200 hrs.

01/34: 9/11/01 (1700 hrs) -Friday

Call from Workington Police at 1700 hrs regarding a report of two "elderly gentlemen" who were unlikely to be able to walk down without mountain rescue assistance.  The Police didn't have an accurate description of the location but knew it was somewhere in the vicinity of the Burnmoor Tarn path, from Wasdale.

We found the two men (in their seventies and from the Derby area) part way up the path to Ill Ghyll Head (approx. 250 meters).  One of the men was just too exhausted to continue and was carried by stretcher back to the Fell and Rock Climbing Club (FRCC) hut at Brackenclose, where he was revived with warmth, food and drinks.  The other gentleman was able to walk with little assistance.

There were around 25 team members called out (including 3 at the rescue base).

The team had planned a night navigation exercise in that part of the fells anyway that night, followed by a tatty pot supper at the Burnmoor Inn.  As it was, we did the call out and still got back in time to make sure the tatty pot didn't go to waste.



Page created 14th November 2001 - by