Rescue Team call-outs - November 2002 to November 2003

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team



November 2002 - November 2003  

This period [54] incidents

updated Saturday 8th November 2003

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Rescues Between November 2002 - Present       See below  
Between November 2001 - November 2002     
Between November 2000 - November 2001      
Between November 1998 - November 2000      
Between November 1996 - November 1998
Between November 1994 - November 1996
Between November 1993 - November 1994 
There have been no additional callouts up to 2100 hrs  8/11/03  when this page was amended       

 note the INCREASED hazard in Lord's rake  see here     potential major rock slip - updated photos 1/11/03

 Plus ...........INCIDENT    BLACK    SPOTS to read


There have been no callouts yet this month - end of reporting period 2002/03 is Monday 10th November when we hold the team's Annual General Meeting



3/54: 30/10/03 (0234 hrs) - Thursday   

Called in to support Langdale & Ambleside MRT (LAMRT) to search the Scafell range for a missing father and son long overdue.  Their car was in the Langdale Valley and they had set off early the previous day from Burnley to climb Scafell Pike.  They were ill equipped with no map or torch, light waterproofs.  The son was in his early teens and was asthmatic.

In addition to LAMRT, Keswick were mobilised along with Wasdale and SARDA Lakes [Search Dogs with their Handlers from the Lake District Search and Rescue Dog Association]

Our team covered the Scafell range along with SARDA handlers.  The missing persons were located above Greta Ghyll at around 0600 hrs that morning, cold wet and exhausted but safe.  They were walked off the fell via Styhead to Wasdale Head.  They were taken to the Wasdale Base at Gosforth where they were reunited with their family.

Weather conditions that morning were very good with generally clear skies, little wind and cloud above Mickledore ( 800m) 

3/53: 11/10/03 (1746 hrs) - Saturday   

Workington police paged the team leader concerning a walker with a broken ankle at Styhead.  There was some discussion with Keswick team who were also called out to a similar incident.  There had been two reports from the fell of what at first appeared to be two separate incidents.  When it was firmly established that there was only one incident and that Keswick were already well on their way to Styhead, the Wasdale team stood down.  The Wasdale advance party had got as far as the Gavel Knees footbridge and two team members were well up the Styhead path.  All parties returned to base leaving Keswick to look after the incident.

3/52: 15/10/03 (0900 hrs) - Wednesday   

Call from the Police at 0900 hrs.  A female informant at the Eskdale YHA, had taken a walk up Scafell while her friend was going to do a low level walk in the valley.  The friend hadn't turned up and was long overdue...  51 yr old female, only lightly equipped for low level walk, no torch or whistle or warm clothing.   All we could deduce about her intended route was that she would probably have gone for a walk described in one of three leaflets available from the YHA.  

We had search routes around Hardknott, Penny Bridge, Brotherilkeld, Low Birker, Stanley Ghyll, south side of the River, Fisherground, Dalegarth, Ravenglass and Muncaster Fell.

The missing person was found at about 2300 hrs, on the road near Fisherground.  She had taken the miniature railway to Raveglass and walked back over Muncaster fell, getting lost on the way and benighted - although with a good moon out, she'd been able to keep moving slowly and had managed to get herself off the fell.  She was hungry and rather covered in bits of bracken but unhurt. All teams recalled while she was taken back to the YHA and Mill Forge
closed at about midnight.

3/51: 11/10/03 (1800 hrs) - Saturday    

The police were called by a group of four lady fell walkers who were looking for advice on whether to proceed to Ennerdale.  They had started their walk in Eskdale, walked across to Wasdale and proceeded up Yewbarrow, red Pike and were on their way across to Pillar via Wind Gap.  The team leader spoke on the mobile to them and suggested that to continue over Pillar and onto Black Sail and down to the Blacksail Hut in low cloud, rain and with only a Maglite torch would be unadvisable.  They agreed to descend via Wind gap scree into Mosedale on the Wasdale side.  The team leader and three other team members opened the base and went up to meet the ladies via Fish Rock.  They were met half way down the scree and were safely walked off the mountain.  The Gosforth base was closed at 2230 hrs.

3/50: 2/10/03 (1200 hrs) - Thursday   

A 22 yr old male scrambler had started up the front of Bell Rib on Yewbarrow when he tumble fell around 10 meters injuring his femur.  He was on his own but managed to call the police on his mobile phone.  The fracture was serious as it was at the very top of the long bone femur.  A helicopter was called in from RAF Boulmer due to the nature of the injury.  He was air lifted to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.  There were approximately 18 team members on the rescue. 



3/49: 28/9/03 (1805 hrs) - Sunday   

Callout to search for missing person in the Wasdale valley.  The team were mustered ready to go out when the person turned up safe and well.  The person lost was a male walker with a medical condition hence the concern about him being overdue when he became separated from his walking partner.


3/48: 20/9/03 (1153 hrs) - Saturday   

Call from the police to deal with a broken ankle at Catcove Beck, Scafell.  The male walker was slightly higher up the mountain than Catcove, 1km further on towards Slightside.  The team approached from Taw House Farm, Eskdale and stretchered the casualty back down the valley to the waiting ambulance which took him to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.  The team then returned to the Wasdale Head where the 106th Kern Knotts weekend and Auction was in progress.

3/47: 18/9/03 (1805 hrs) - Thursday   

Call from the police regarding 7 adults lost on Scafell Pike.  They had rung from a mobile phone and given a map reference for Cow cove / Esk Hause.  At 2200 hrs they were located at the telephone box, Hardknott.  Two team memebrs went to pick them up and transport them back to Seathwaite.  Wasdale Base (Millforge) was closed up at 0230 hrs the following morning.


AUGUST  2003

3/46: 27/8/03 (1208 hrs) - Wednesday           

Call from the police to deal with an injury on the Corridor Route to Scafell Pike.  A middle aged lady had fallen around 3 metres by the bad step on the corridor route, just above Greta Ghyll.  She sustained an injury to her left arm and side plus a bang on the head which had caused severe swelling around her left eye.  She was conscious throughout and was able to be stretcher carried back to Burnthwaite at Wasdale Head where she was transferred to an Ambulance and taken to Whitehaven Hospital.  Incident closed at 1700 hrs after a very hot rescue.  A good turnout of team members with around 20  on the hill.

03/45: 26/8/03 (1955 hrs) - Tuesday           

Whilst still dealing with the previous call, a second incident came in for a group of walkers lost on Great Gable, Beck Head.  Wasdale Head car parks were checked out and whilst arrangements were being made to organise a party to locate them, they managed to get themselves off the mountain.

03/44: 26/8/03 (1940 hrs) - Tuesday           

Call from the police to deal with a group of walkers on mobile phone lost on Scafell Pike.  They were quizzed by the team leader who continued to deal with the incident until it became apparent that they were at Esk Hause .  The rescue was handed over to Keswick MRT who sent a small group out to locate them and walk them back to Seathwaite. 

03/43: 25/8/03 (1242 hrs) - Bank Holiday Monday         

Call from the police to rescue a 10 year old boy who had fallen at Beck Head, Great Gable.  Due to the nature of the suspected injury a helicopter was called in from RAF Boulmer.  The helicopter arrived on scene jus as the advance team members arrived.  He was treated on the ground and airlifted to Whitehaven Hospital.  His walking group were escorted off the fell by team members.

03/42: 24/8/03 (1435 hrs) - Sunday            

Pager request from the Police to respond to broken ankle incident at Siney Tarn, Eskdale.  A female walker had stumbled and broken her right ankle.  Teams were sent up from two directions, Mitredale Forest and Diamond Crag at the back of the Outward Bound.  The casualty was quickly located and carried down by stretcher to the Mitredale side .  She was taken to Whitehaven Hospital in the team ambulance.  Photos of the incident will be attached once permission has been given by the casualty.  These photos were taken on site but do not require clearance.

03/41: 17/8/03 (1211 hrs) - Sunday            

Pager request from the Police to respond to a '999' call for an overdue group who were doing the three peaks.  They were overdue by 90 minutes!  They were contacted on their mobile phone and they were totally lost.  They could see a tarn in the far distance but had no idea where they were.  The Gosforth Base was opened up and the two walkers were given two more hours to get down before a search team would be put out.  When they were called up again they were safely down and drinking in the Burnmoor, Eskdale.  Incident closed.  

03/40: 11/8/03 (1405) - Monday            

Whilst the team leader was driving through to the base to deal with rescue 37 (see below), a second call came from the police to deal with a call for assistance from a group staying at the remote, Burnmoor Lodge, high on the fell, only accessible by foot, next to Burnmoor Tarn.  A young man had fallen, banged his head and was bleeding from a wound.  A small rescue group was mustered and dealt with this incident whilst the second small group dealt with the Lurcher.  The young man was bandaged at the Lodge and was happy to remain there, to carry on with their mountain holiday.

03/39: 11/8/03 (1400 hrs) - Monday            

Call from the police to respond to a call for help from the RSPCA and a dog owner whose Lurcher 'puppy' had wandered over the edge of the old brickworks clay quarry at Greenbank, Whitehaven.  The dog which was an adult size rather than puppy, was trapped and frightened 5 metres down the 30 m quarry face.  On arrival at the scene, 5 point belays were set using the steel posts and the allotment fence posts [wish I had taken the camera for the training record!].  Although relatively near the top, the location was covered in 2 m high, dense brambles and thorns.  It eventually required two team members to descend by lowering / abseil to eventually capture, then hoist the animal to safety.  On route to the scene the advance vehicle called in at Raymond Watson's Blacksmiths to have some steel posts quickly made up - thanks to Raymond for his immediate help (he is also a sponsor of the team see here).


03/38: 10/8/03 (2042 hrs) - Sunday 

Pager request from the Police to respond to a mobile phone call for help from two walkers who were lost on Muncaster Fell.  Although they could see the valley bottom, they were off the path, unnerved and needed help.  The team were mustered and groups sent in from both the west and east ends of the fell.  The two lost walkers were located on the ridge and walked back off the fell and taken to their car at Dalegarth railway station.  Incident closed at 2300 hrs.

03/37: 10/8/03 (1935 hrs) - Sunday 

Pager request from the Police to respond to a '999' for a party of young teenagers who were overdue on their climb up Scafell Pike.  The base was manned whilst more details were obtained.  The missing group turned up safe and well at 2005 hrs.

03/36: 9/8/03 (2248 hrs) - Saturday           

Pager request from the Police to respond to a '999' call from the father (who was not in the Lakes with them).  He had last spoken to his family (wife and three young children -youngest 5 yrs old) at 2100 hrs. and they were still on the mountain.  Nothing had been heard from them since then.  They had left their campsite at 1100hrs that morning to climb Scafell Pike.  They reached the summit at 1900 hrs and called the husband on their mobile to let him know that had got to the top.  At 2100 hrs the husband called them again and they were unsure of their location and "at the rocky bit".  They were not equipped for a night on the fells.  One or two of the team manned the rescue base whilst car parks were checked for their car.  The caravan sites were also checked out by the police.  At 0006 hrs the family finally walked safely off the mountains and called the father who then informed the police.  The team were stood down although preparations were well advanced for a full callout and search due to the age and limited experience of the missing party. 

03/35: 9/8/03 (1840 hrs) - Saturday         

Pager request from the Workington Police to support an ambulance crew who were called to attend to an injured person 300 metres from the roadside.  Although close to the road they were unable to carry him to the road.  He had sustained a serious injury to his back whilst swimming in the lake (slipped on the rocks by the water edge). 

03/34: 4/8/03 (1804 hrs) - Monday            

Call from the Police to rescue a female walker in her 40's who had stumbled on her descent from Styhead in the Spouthead Beck area and fractured her arm.  A good turnout of members and quick response was possible as the team were already mustering for the team practice due to start at 1830 hrs.  The lady's fracture was treated on the fell and she was stretcher carried back to Burnthwaite where she was taken to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.  

JULY  2003

03/33: 5/7/03 (1700 hrs) - Wednesday            

Call from the Police at about 1700hrs. Two people (man and wife) in their 60's had walked from Boot, over Burnmoor and along the Scree path on the southern side of Wastwater.  They'd got stuck on the scree, about 100 metres from the water
edge.  The team leader spoke to them (by mobile) but it was clear they weren't going to move without assistance, so a limited callout was activated.

Two team members went in from the Wastwater pump house at the west end of the lake, while four more members
launched the boat from cross walls.  Three or four other members also turned up and were therefore brought across the water to assist.

The two people were put in climbing harnesses and given helmets, before being assisted to walk down to the boat.  They were then taken to cross wall and given a lift back to their car in Boot, Eskdale.

The rescue base was closed at 2100hrs.  One of the hottest days this summer with temperatures in the 30's

03/32: 23/7/03 (0100 hrs) - Monday            

Call from the Police to investigate a missing family group, four adults and two children who had climbed Scafell Pike.  They had left Coniston camp site at 1100 hrs the previous morning and had not turned up by 0030 hrs.  The husband of one of the missing persons called the police.  After speaking with the husband it was decided to leave it until first light as they were well equipped.   At 0550 hrs a full-call out was conducted to search for the missing group. A search dog handler and dog carried out a search up through Eskdale whilst a search team were sent up over the Pike.  The missing group were located near Sampson's Stones and were walking back out after having spent the night in Upper Eskdale.  Incident closed mid morning.

03/31: 15/7/03 (1228 hrs) - Tuesday            

The team were called to rescue a  lady in her early 40's who suffered a stumble fall into quite a deep ditch, a few hundred
meters from Bowderdale Farm, Netherbeck.  The team went in from the farm.  The lady had clearly broken her right tib and fib which was splinted with pain relief, before the lady was carried to the road by stretcher.  An Ambulance arrived
at 1415 hrs and transported her to West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven.

03/30: 13/7/03 (0900 hrs) - Sunday            

Wasdale team were called to assist a female with a knee injury on the Brown Tongue path.  She had been part of a much larger group tackling the 3 peaks when she became injured on the descent.  Her husband stayed with her whilst the rest of the group descended.  A full team call-out was implemented although she only required an assisted walk down.

03/29: 5/7/03 (1100 hrs) - Saturday            

Wasdale team were called to search for missing walkers on Scafell Pike.  Cloud level was down.  The full team were called out to search however the missing persons turned up safe and well before the search groups got out onto the fell.

03/28: 1/7/03 (0005 hrs) - Tuesday            

Wasdale team were called to assist in the search for a 59yr old male walker who had left the Old Dungeon Ghyll to tackle Bowfell / Esk Pike / Broad Crag / Scafell Pike / Scafell (via Broad Stand) and returning back to Langdale.  His car was still at ODG and Langdale MRT, Keswick MRT and SARDA dogs were called.

He was found in upper Eskdale by the search dogs having taken a wrong turn at Esk Hause and descended into Eskdale.  He was found in the area just to the north east of Little Narrowcove at around 0400hrs. He was walked off the hill as far as Sampson Stones (still a few miles from the valley bottom) where he required a stretcher and oxygen.  He had sustained a bump to the head in a fall earlier that day.  An RAF Sea King helicopter was called in from RAF Valley (Anglesey) and he was airlifted (at 0730 hrs) to Furness General Hospital, Barrow-in-Furness.  The helicopter re-fueled and returned to their base in Anglesey.

Around 12 Wasdale team members on the fell + radio relays, in addition to the Keswick, Langdale Ambleside and search dog teams  were involved in the night search in very wet and humid conditions.   


JUNE  2003

03/27: 23/6/03 (1705 hrs) - Monday                   

"8 incidents in 7 days, including 3 broken ankles"

Whilst tidying up and closing the base to incident 25, a further call came in to say a lady had broken her ankle below Pikes Crag on Scafell Pike.  There was some initial concern that this lady may have been the one heard in incident 25.  Also we were surprised that a further incident had occurred within1000 meters of the one we had just attended.

The team went out yet again and found the lady with a significant lower leg fracture 30 metres lower than the Woolworth Boulder, on the main descent from Mickledore.  Another helicopter was requested.  The Navy Sea King 177 from Prestwick arrived on scene at the same time as the advance group.  She was airlifted to Whitehaven hospital.

A group of six young men who were on their way up Scafell Pike as part of the 3 peaks Challenge, kindly stopped to help look after the group (father, mother and two young children) until the team arrived.  They had climbed Ben Nevis at 0200 hrs that day and were to carry on to climb Snowdon within a 24 hour period.  The incident had not dampened their enthusiasm to complete the challenge.  They have promised to send some of the photographs of the incident so watch this space

true story and photographs now added here 

03/26: 23/6/03 (1500 hrs) - Monday

As soon as the helicopter had left the location of incident 24 the team started walking down.  All team members then heard what sounded like a female in pain  and shrieking, high on Scafell around the Shamrock area.  The team split into smaller search groups and scaled all the gulleys in that area including Lord's Rake.  The Sea King helicopter was called back from the hospital to help in the search.  Following an hour of detailed searching, nothing was heard or found.  The team were stood down and returned to Base.  Nothing more could be done unless a further call came in that someone was overdue.

Footnote - following conversations after the incident it was mentioned by climbers who had spent the night out on the mountains that a very similar cry had been heard and that it was a vixen fox on the crags.  The cry that they had heard was similar to what the team had heard. 

03/25: 23/6/03 (1045 hrs) - Monday

The police called the team to respond to a male with a suspect broken leg on Scafell.  On questioning the informant (by mobile phone) it transpired that he was in sight and verbal contact with the injured man who had been descending 'D' gulley to the East of Pikes Crag with a female companion.  He had fallen down the chockstone ( around 10 - 15 metres) and she was crag fast on a ledge above him.  Due to the nature of the fracture and difficulty of evacuation, an RAF Sea King was requested.  The casualty was stretchered down the gulley (approximately 300 metres) and carried to the aircraft which set down in Hollowstones.  The casualty was airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

03/24a: 22/6/03 (2015 hrs) - Sunday

The police called the team whilst still dealing with the previous incident.  Two large groups were overdue following their walks in Langdale.  One group of 12 had been walking Crinkle Crags round to Bowfell and Esk Pike.  As groups can come down the wrong side into Eskdale the police had call WMRT.  Langdale Ambleside Team were called (who were also out on a rescue) but the incident did not develop into a full search.  I understand the group turned up eventually and the incident was close (but not recorded as an official incident). 

03/24: 22/6/03 (2000 hrs) - Sunday

Whilst dealing with the incident below a report came in from the police to deal with another incident.  The local ramblers had completed their walks in Wasdale and had returned to the coach by the lakeside.  One of their party, an 80 year old male had walked off  and had not been seen for an hour.  The advance vehicle was asked to respond to this as the priority incident due to the age of the individual.  The team located the elderly man quickly and the incident was closed.

03/23: 22/6/03 (1925 hrs) - Sunday

Team called to respond to a Father and young child overdue on their walk up Scafell Pike.  One child had already returned to the car at Wasdale Head earlier in the afternoon.  The team were assembled and the advance vehicle went up to commence the search.  The father and child turned up safe and well.

03/22: 19/6/03 (1923 hrs) - Thursday

Workington police paged the team to respond to a 999 mobile call from a group of students from Chitchester University.  One of their party was reported to have fallen into a bog, become stuck and was very wet, cold and agitated.  Initially a limited call-out was carried out followed at 2000 hrs.  The casualty was a young lady and the grid reference was south-east of Esk Buttress.  

When the team's advance party arrived on scene some 90 minutes later, the casualty was in a campsite accompanied by a number of other students and instructors.  She had stabilised and was able to remain with the group who would walk her out in the morning.  The incident was closed at around 0030 hrs the following morning.  Around 15 team members attended. 

03/21: 16/6/03 (1800 hrs) - Monday

The team was called by the police to respond to a mobile '999' call.  A middle aged male walker had a suspect broken ankle somewhere in the Hollowstones area on his descent from Scafell Pike back down to Wasdale Head.  He was with his two sons who had managed to carry him for about an hour.  A passing doctor was already on the scene and had assisted.

Around 20 team members turned out in the very warm evening sun and carried him down on a stretcher to the waiting ambulance at Brackenclose.  The incident was closed down at 2130 hrs.

Footnote - the injured walker has kindly offered to supply a photograph taken at the end of the rescue which will appear here shortly.  He has had his broken leg pinned and is comfortable and well on the way to recovery.  see photo


MAY 2003

03/20: 20/5/03 (2250 hrs) - Tuesday

The team leader was called by the police to investigate a father and son who were long overdue on a walk to the summit of Scafell Pike.  A check was carried out of the car parks and the bottom reaches of the fell path.  The father and son turned up safe and well at 2355 hrs.

03/19: 17/5/03 (1850 hrs) - Saturday

The team leader was called to attend to an alarm raised for overdue walkers.  The team were put on standby while more information was gathered.  Two team members investigated at Wasdale. The incident was stood down at 2018 hrs.

(Note - team policy is to record those incidents where the police are involved and team members are involved in preparation and investigation). 

03/18: 13/5/03 (1245 hrs) - Tuesday

The team leader was called to rescue a male walker in his late sixties who had collapsed near the summit of Kirk Fell.  Around 20 team members were involved in the subsequent rescue and due to the potential seriousness of the incident (suspect heart failure), an RAF helicopter was requested.  The helicopter from RAF Valley, North Wales was scrambled and arrived at the same time as the first team members.  Casualty care was quickly given and the man immediately airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.  Final diagnosis at hospital not yet known.  Millforge, the rescue base at Gosforth was closed at 1630 hrs.

03/17: 11/5/03 (1036 hrs) - Sunday

Workington police paged the team to attend an incident at Wasdale Head.  A male and female walker had become cragfast the previous day and spent the night on the fell.  In the morning the man had scrambled out of the Ghyll to raise the '999' alarm through another walker he met with a mobile phone on Brown Tongue.  From the description given it became obvious that the couple had spent the night in Piers Ghyll above the 15m waterfall pitch.  The team were mustered, successfully located the lady and lifted her safely out of the Ghyll using an assisted vertical rope winch technique.  25 team members were involved in the rescue which was completed by 1600 hrs.  The lady managed to walk down from the top side of Piers Ghyll with assistance from team members. 


APRIL 2003

03/16: 28/4/03 (1700 hrs) - Monday

The team leader received a call from the Police to locate a group of 4 adults and 10 children (14 - 15 yrs) who were lost on steep ground and poor conditions with no lights and limited, suitable clothing.  Initially a limited call-out was undertaken to establish more information on their location.  As the incident became more complex a full call-out was made and the missing persons were located near the summit of Broad Crag.  They were escorted off the fell with one teenager close to requiring a stretcher carry.  They were all brought down the fell to their transport which had to be driven round from Seathwaite.  The incident was closed around midnight. Approximately 20 team members were involved  

03/15: 27/4/03 (0111 hrs) - Sunday

Police received a mobile '999' call from two male walkers in their 40's via an informant in the south of the country.  It was a group of three who were doing a recce of Scafell Pike for the 3 Peaks challenge.  They had become lost as a group of three earlier in the day and then became separated.  The group of two were lost, in cloud on a cobbled route and had also lost their third member who was walking much slower than them.  He was in his 40's and had limited equipment.   It was raining and the wind was gusting.  6 Wasdale team members were deployed to search up Eskdale whilst the remaining 10 searched the Wasdale side.  SARDA were called out to cover upper Eskdale and Keswick MRT were also called out to open their base and provide communication and control from the east.  The missing persons were found safe and well but cold and wet. The part of two were found at the top of the Brown Tongue path, 3rd man was located at the Mickledore stretcher box.  The incident was closed at 0400 hrs   


03/14: 18/4/03 (1233hrs) - Friday

A father and son were both injured whilst ascending Blacksail.  The father in his 60's sustained a dislocated shoulder whilst the son (early 20s) collapsed from shock and sustained a gash to the head and was reported to be in a confused state.  The alarm was raised at the Wasdale Head shop and the team were called out.  21 team members were involved in the rescue.  The father was stretcher carried back to Wasdale Head whilst the son made his own way down.  They were transferred to West Cumberland hospital via the team's own minibus ambulance.  The request for an ambulance could not be provided within a practicable timescale due to a number of emergency incidents across the county on this Easter Friday.  Whilst Wasdale MRT were carrying out their rescue, Langdale Ambleside were attending a serious leg fracture on Crinkle Craggs and Patterdale were attending two cragfast climbers in their area of operation.


MARCH  2003

03/13: 29/3/03 (1434hrs) - Friday

The Wasdale team was called by the police to respond to a male walker with serious muscle spasms in his leg.  His location was the summit of Scafell Pike.  Around 18 team members were involved in carrying him back down to Brackenclose, Wasdale Head.  The team returned to the road head just as light was fading.  The casualty was sufficiently recovered to return to his colleagues without further treatment.  

03/12: 28/3/03 (1434hrs) - Friday

The Wasdale team was called by the police to rescue a lady with a suspected broken ankle on the Brown Tongue path descending from Scafell Pike.  Her husband has raised the alarm on his mobile phone.  20 team members were involved, carrying her down on the stretcher after administering casualty care and analgesic.  She was taken by ambulance to west Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven with a badly broken ankle.  The rescue base was closed at 1815hrs.



03/11: 10/2/03 (1815 hrs) - Monday

The Wasdale team leader was called by Keswick MRT to assist with the rescue of two female walkers who were lost, most probably in the corridor area on their way to Scafell Pike.  There car was parked at Seathwaite.  One of the ladies was reported to have a broken leg.  A search through the night until dawn proved unsuccessful even with a number of SARDA dogs and three rescue teams.  The search was continued at 0700hrs the following morning with assistance from an additional four rescue teams including the RAF MRT from Leeming, North Yorkshire.  Sea King helicopters were brought in from both RAF Valley and RAF Boulmer.  The missing persons were spotted early afternoon making their way very slowly towards the bottom of Eskdale by the RAF Boulmer helicopter .  They were both suffering from mild hypothermia, one had an injured ankle.

Having left Seathwaite at midday, they had become disorientated in the low cloud on the way up to Scafell Pike in the Esk Hause area.  It would appear that they made their way down the stream bed into upper Eskdale where they both slipped on snow, one injuring her hip, the other her leg and arm.  The weather conditions were very poor with heavy rain and high winds so they had sheltered.  Over 140 MRT rescuers were involved throughout the incident including search dogs and the two helicopters.  The two ladies were flown back to Seathwaite and then onto Carlisle Hospital.

see photos of the rescue 



03/10: 27/1/03 (1130 hrs) - Monday

The team leader was called by the police to respond to a call from a group of three walkers who had been lost on Scafell Pike since late afternoon the previous day.  They had left the top of Scafell Pike at 1500 hrs. on the Sunday afternoon and got lost returning to their car at Seathwaite.  They had taken a wrong turn and headed down little Narrow Cove into Eskdale.  After spending all night  out in the poor weather they had retraced their steps to the summit and called for help on their mobile.  The alarm was also raised by their B&B at 1000 hrs on the Monday.

A committee callout was made and four team members went to find the missing group, two males and one female in their twenties.  They were in contact with the Team Leader via their mobile.  They were found by the slabs on the descent to the corridor route.  Cloud base was the valley bottom.  They were very cold and wet but otherwise unscathed.  They were walked off the mountain back to Wasdale Head and driven back to Seathwaite by a team member.

03/09: 12/1/03 (2000 hrs) - Sunday

The team leader received a request from Langdale Ambleside MRT to open Mill Forge for a radio relay.  Single 37yr old male missing on walk over Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.  Langdale were searching north side and to the summits of those fells and putting search dogs into Green Hole etc.

Dog Roger - Mosedale, Adam Cove, Long Top and Crinkles
Dog Nick - Brotherilkeld, Ling Cove Beck, Three Tarns
Dog Paul plus a Wasdale MRT navigator - also up Ling Cove but going to Ore Gap.

Found the missing person, cold and wet but able to walk, 0100 hrs. near summit of Crinkles, by Dog
Roger and LAMRT people.

Closed Mill Forge about 0300 hrs. as soon as the two Wasdale members were off the fell.

03/08: 5/1/03 (1855 hrs) - Sunday

The police called the team leader to investigate the where-abouts of two male climbers who had become long overdue.  The informant was waiting for the two climbers in Gosforth car park.  They had set out that morning to winter climb on either Great End or Pikes Crag (Scafell Pike).  They were expected back at 1500 hrs.  The car parks were being checked out at the Head in advance of elevating the incident, when the two climbers turned up safe and well at the Gosforth Base.  A well intentioned false alarm. They had been climbing on Central Gully, Great End and taken much longer on their walk out than they had planned. 

03/07: 3/1/03 (1900 hrs) - Friday

When the team were setting off from Brotherilkeld cattle grid (previous incident), they were approached by a male and female in some distress and totally lost.  They had left their car at the Old Dungeon Gyll, Langdale earlier that morning and set off to walk the high fells.  They had become disoriented and eventually came down on the wrong side.  They were driven to the Woolpack to be warmed and fed before setting off by local taxi for the long drive back to Langdale (not over Hardknott Pass).

03/06: 3/1/03 (1800 hrs) - Friday

The team were asked to respond to a two vehicle 'accident' on Hardknott Pass.  The police were unable to get to the vehicles due to ice and snow.  The team vehicles were parked at the bottom of the pass and team members walked up.  The two vehicles were in fact ice-bound above the 1:3 section  rather than crashed and the family of 4 adults and three youngsters plus dog were resigning themselves to a night, high on the pass, when the team arrived.  They had managed, with some difficulty, to drive up from the Eskdale side in their 4x4's but could not descend the Cockley Beck side.  When they turned back the steep section was too severe for a descent.  They were slowly and carefully walked back down to the bottom of the pass and driven back to Gosforth where they hired a taxi back to Silloth where they were staying on holiday.  The two vehicles will have to be recovered after the thaw, sometime next week. 



03/05: 21/12/02 (2321 hrs) - Saturday               see Truestory 21 December written by one of our team members

Keswick MRT called in Wasdale MRT to assist in a search for two missing walkers.  The male and female walker had failed to turn up at their hotel and their car was still parked at Seathwaite.  A number of SARDA search dogs and handlers were mobilised along with the Keswick and Wasdale teams.  By chance, two walkers closely fitting the description of the missing persons had been spotted by two Wasdale MRT at 1630 hrs., looking unsure of their location and heading up Lingmel which was unusual at that time of night with darkness falling.

A search of the main footpaths that night in very wet and extremely windy conditions failed to find anyone.  The teams were stood down at 0530 hrs with a restart planned for first light.  At 0800 hrs the following morning team members were recalled (with a shower, some food and an hours sleep) and the search recommenced supplemented with additional manpower.  Keswick MRT, Penrith MRT, RAF Leeming MRT, Wasdale MRT, Millom FSRT, Furness MRT and the arrival of a Sea King Helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

The missing persons were found safe and well at around 1130 hrs. still lost in the corridor route area.  They were spotted by members of the Millom team who had been tasked to do a line search on the Northern flanks and crags of Lingmel.  Members of the Wasdale team climbed the fellside to their location and once checked over, were airlifted back down to the Wasdale Head Hotel, tired and chilled but otherwise OK.  They were transported by Wasdale MRT back to their car at Seathwaite.

[Postscript: From speaking with the missing walkers after the event, it's believed that they followed the dry-stone wall on Lingmel Col down to the top of Piers Ghyll where they came across the bank of snow covering the main Corridor Route.  They proceeded upwards towards Broad Crag then contoured round and spent the night somewhere between there and Lambfoot Dub.  They thought they might have seen lights briefly during the night but had put it down to hallucination].

03/04:18/12/02 (1430 hrs) - Wednesday 

Two Wasdale team members on Great End were asked to lend a hand to Keswick MRT who were responding to a '999' call for an elderly man with a broken ankle at Styhead stretcher box.  They administered casualty care until the Keswick team arrived and stretchered the gentleman back down to the Keswick side.  They were back down by 1730hrs.

03/03:17/12/02 (1700 hrs) - Tuesday 

Following a call from the Wasdale Head Hotel, the base was manned whilst two team members investigated shouts and flashing lights on Lingmel Nose.  They found four young men making their way slowly down the fellside in the dark.  They had been trying to attract the attention of their friends in the valley bottom.  Base closed down at 1800 hrs.

03/02: 3/12/02 (1755 hrs) - Tuesday

Following a mobile phone '999' call, the team were called by the police to locate and rescue four walkers who had become benighted at the top of Stanley Ghyll, Eskdale.  Due to the close proximity of the track to the stranded party, a limited call-out was organised and a small group of five team members were dispatched to help the walkers down.  The rescue was completed relatively quickly and the rescue base closed by mid evening.



03/01: 22/11/02 (1300 hrs) - Friday

Following a mobile phone '999' call, the team were called by the police to rescue an injured walker high on Great Gable.  He had been descending from Beck Head across the front of Great Gable and Little Hellgate when he slipped and fractured his lower left leg.  The team carried out first aid casualty care at the scene before carrying him down the mountain on the stretcher.  A relatively lengthy rescue due to the weather conditions, location of casualty, the need for treatment on the way down and having to carry the casualty all the way down to the Wasdale Head Hotel, pending arrival of the ambulance.  The last vehicle was back at Millforge by 1830 hrs.  The casualty was taken by ambulance to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.

Up to this point in time (20 November 2002) there have been no callouts since the Annual General Meeting held Monday 11th November 2002 when the callout register officially starts - however the last few rescues of the 2001 / 02 year have been included below.  For full details of the 01/02 year see history at top of page.


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.

see Truestory written by the cragfast walker 

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.