Rescue Team call-outs - November 2005 to November 2006

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team

List of Call-Outs  


November 2005 - present  

This period [50] incidents as detailed below

updated Friday 5th April 2007 



(incident 23 & 48)




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2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 1998 /00 1996/98 1994/96 1994

   Callout Locations 2001 to 2005   see here  

Preparing the stretcher and casualty for a carry down, or in this case a cableway lower. A carry down is the normal evacuation arrangement. Helicopters are sometimes perceived by the fell walking community as the norm for mountain rescue but in truth they are only requested for the more serious situations. 
There have been no additional callouts up to 7.00 a.m.  16/11/06 when this page was amended  

Helicopter training added 16/4/06 - photos  here  

 INCIDENT    BLACK    SPOTS to read    and location map click to view

plus Rescue Photographs page - click on photo       

Number of '999' calls to date =  61 which includes 50 with the team on the fell and 11  where assistance was either given over the telephone or the incident was reported as a '999' but there was no need for any major team involvement and therefore not officially recorded as an incident
November  2006

There have been no incidents so far this month 

Even remembrance Sunday 12/11/06, with over 500 people on Great Gable there have been no incidents reported  apart from an asthmatic young girl who was advised to turn back with her Scout Leader at the start of the day when seen to be in some distress climbing Gavel Knease.

Books closed 13th November at the team's AGM - new page will be started shortly which will include the last ten rescues of 2006


October  2006

6/50: 26/10/06 ( 3.44 p.m. ) - Thursday

Whitehaven Police called out the team to assist in the search for a missing male in his mid thirties who had left his family earlier that morning to walk on his own.  They were on holiday from Oxfordshire.  The last sighting was near Devoke water earlier in the day.  He was not equipped for a day on the mountains.  Around 22 Wasdale team members searched the area along with Duddon & Furness team who came in to assist.  By nightfall the man had not turned up and it was decided to stand down the teams until the following day.  Search dogs from the Lakes and from SARDA England were also stood down.  The search would continue at 9.30 a.m. the following day but we were hoping the man would turn up safe and well before we had to go out again.  Weather conditions were showers with very strong winds.  Base was closed at 7.00 p.m. and would re-open in the morning.  

Update 6.00 a.m. Friday - still scheduled to continue the search at 9.30 a.m. with air support from RAF Boulmer (if available) and search dogs on the ground.

Update 4.00 p.m. Friday - The team re-convened at 9.30 a.m. as planned.  Air support was requested and Rescue 177, RN Prestwick was tasked with ETA 10.15 a.m.;  SARDA (Lakes) tasked 3 dog handlers and RAF Leeming MRT were in area and volunteered their support.  Duddon & Furness MRT were again providing search support for the south-westerly search areas.  Wasdale were preparing to leave the base in vehicles with around 15 team members when the police reported that a man fitting the description of the missing person had be found, in a confused state but safe, outside the search area.  The incident was stood down at around 10.30 a.m.  Base closed at 11.30 a.m.

Thanks go to all the team members and handlers who attended with apologies for those handlers who had made alternative work arrangements, traveled a long way and then had to turn back as soon as they arrived.


6/49: 25/10/06 ( 10.35 p.m. ) - Wednesday

Team were paged by the police to search for a missing walker on the Scafell Range.  The man in his early fifties was up in the Lake District on holiday with his wife and daughter.  He had left Wasdale Head earlier in the day on his own to climb Scafell Pike.  Although reasonably well equipped, the weather was poor with heavy rain and strong winds.  He became lost in the mist and made a mistake, descending into Eskdale via Little Narrow Cove.  He made his way back up to Esk Hause but by this time darkness had fallen.  His wife called the police when he failed to turn up at Grange. The team were supported by Keswick MRT and Duddon & Furness MRT.  He was found uninjured by the Keswick team at the cross wall shelter on Esk Hause at 2.30 a.m.  He was walked off the mountain by Keswick MRT to Styhead and then by Wasdale MRT back to his car in Wasdale.  The incident was closed at 5.00 a.m. Around 30 team members were involved in this 6 hour rescue.  Weather conditions were severe on the tops with very heavy rain. 

6/48b: 24/10/06 ( 5.08 p.m. ) - Tuesday

Team were paged by the police to help a man and woman who had become lost on their decent from Scafell Pike. The couple had set off earlier in the day with their dog from Brackenclose to climb the Pike. They ascended by Mickledore and went over the top and down to Broad Crag Col.  They then turned left down towards Lingmell Col but got themselves lost in the bowl around the head of Piers Gill (now our number one accident / incident black spot).  They called '999' on their mobile and spoke to the leader of the day who established their location as under Lingmel Crag on the Lingmel side of Piers Gill.  To descend further along this route is unwise unless very familiar with the area.  It can lead the unaware walker to the dangerous corner of Piers Gill.  The cloud was down and visibility was poor.  They were talked off the mountain back up to Lingmell Col and down to Brackenclose.  Once safely out of the cloud the incident was closed at 5.53 p.m..  Not recorded as an incident [but as a 48 (b)] as team members did not officially 

6/48a: 14/10/06 ( 7.58 p.m. ) - Monday

Team were paged by the police following a '999' call via a mobile phone.  A 60 yr old man and wife from Stoke had been walking round Ennerdale Lake when darkness fell and they were lost with no torch.  They were somewhere on the west side of the lake.  The incident was handed over to the Cockermouth MRT with no further involvement from Wasdale MRT

6/48: 14/10/06 ( 11.00 a.m. ) - Saturday

'999' call made to the police from a male walker in his 30's who had slipped on the Scafell Pike traverse path and broken his left ankle.  He and his two fellow male walkers were on a camping expedition.  From Dumfries, they had walked up from Seathwaite, up the Corridor route to Lingmel Col, then along the traverse path.  Their location was directly below Pikes Crag. Fortunately, four team members were at the Wasdale Head Show when the pager went off which meant that an advance group were with the casualty quickly. Analgesia was administered and his leg placed in an inflatable splint.  He was strapped into the Bell stretcher for evacuation off the fell, but due to his size (tall and very well built) and the relatively small number of team members on the rescue (fourteen), a call was put through to RAF Boulmer who scrambled Sea King 131.  On scene within 50 minutes, they winched him and the Team Doctor from the location and flew to West Cumberland Hospital.  Incident was closed at 3.30 p.m.   Photographs of the incident here  and video of the incident here

 6/47: 12/10/06 ( 4.16 p.m. ) - Thursday

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team were called to rescue a lady with leg injuries near the St.Bees lighthouse.  The ambulance had been called to the incident but the lady and her husband were a mile away up a very rough and flooded track.  The couple were on holiday from Staffordshire and staying in St. Bees.  She had gone over on one ankle, broke it and whilst stumbling broke the other ankle as well.  She was treated on scene by the three Wasdale MRT doctors who had driven across the valley from the hospital, two miles away as the crow flies.  She was then driven back to the waiting ambulance at the road head and taken to West Cumberland Hospital.  Incident was closed at 6.30 p.m. and around 15 team members were involved.  Photographs of the incident are posted here.

6/46: 10/10/06 ( 4.58 p.m. ) - Tuesday

Within two hours of the previous callout closing, the police paged the team to assist a single male walker who had become disorientated on the descent from Scafell Pike in changing visibility and low cloud.  The team were assisted by a helicopter from RAF Wattisham who were on deployment to Wasdale Head carrying out essential mountain flying practice and conducting exercises with the Wasdale team at the time of the call.  The value of exercising with Wasdale MRT was demonstrated by the speed with which the RAF and MRT jointly formulated and executed the rescue plan.  This enabled the casualty to be found quickly before darkness set in and avoided a lengthy night search with a potentially difficult evacuation from Piers Gill, a very difficult area for rescues and one where rescues are becoming increasingly frequent.  The casualty was airlifted from the mountain along with one of the MRT search parties back down to the valley bottom.  Incident was closed at around 7.30 p.m.

6/45: 10/10/06 ( 11.11 a.m. ) - Tuesday

The team were called to assist a lady who had been camping overnight on the mountain had become faint and unwell. She was at Broad Crag tarn, the highest tarn in England and only a few hundred feet from the summit of Scafell Pike.  Assistance was called by mobile phone but when the team got to her she had already started moving down the mountain.  She was met high on the mountain, medically assessed, given food and water and escorted down to her car in the Wasdale Valley bottom. 23 team members were involved.   Two hours later the team were called to the second incident - see above.


September 2006

6/44: 27/9/06 ( 12.12 a.m. ) - Tuesday

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team were called shortly after midnight to search for a single male fellwalker who was attempting the 3 Peaks Challenge and was overdue.  He and his fellow challenger had already completed Ben Nevis the previous day and had set off to climb Scawfell Pike around 5.00 p.m. that evening.  The alarm was raised by the missing walkers companion who had decided to turn back.  Following a limited search during the night a further search involving 20 team members located the man on the side of Piers Gill at 8.15 a.m.  The RAF helicopter from Boulmer was unable to assist during the night because of low cloud.  A second RAF helicopter based at Wasdale Head for the week was put on standby next morning but not needed.  The missing walker was uninjured and was escorted back to his companion in the Wasdale valley.   Pictures here     plus video footage

6/43a: 24/9/06 ( 4.00 p.m. ) - Sunday

The team were called up on the radio from a Duddon & Furness team member who was on Mickledore observing a group who had spent an hour trying to locate a safe descent down from Scafell.  They were in danger of becoming an incident on Broad Stand so he intervened to check what their plans were.  They were stuck at the top of Broad Stand, possibly in Mickledore Chimney.  A small group of team members were already with an RAF Sea King helicopter in the valley bottom at the Wasdale Head Hotel field (had been training  as part of a search practice) and they were put on standby.  After 30 minutes the radio message came back that the walkers had managed to make their way back up to the top of Scafell and were making their way back to Eskdale.  They were stood down and the event was not recorded as an official incident as vehicles/team members were not deployed.

6/43: 10/9/06 ( 6.50 p.m. ) - Sunday

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team responded to a call from a solo male walker who used his mobile phone to report himself unable to continue because of exhaustion.  After being assessed by the team doctor the walker was carried off the fell and taken to West Cumberland Hospital for further tests.   23 team members involved. The incident was closed at 10.30 p.m.

 6/42: 7/9/06 (2.20 p.m. ) - Thursday

The team had also been called out on Thursday 7 September to a call to assist a young lady walker with a suspected broken ankle on the corridor route.  She was treated by the team and because of the difficult ground and the length of the carry Great North Air Ambulance was called and the 'Pride of Cumbria' helicopter transported the casualty to West Cumberland Hospital. 10 team members were involved.  

See photos kindly provided by Alison Twist :-  

Hi, I hope Ihave picked the right address from the web page. My husband and I and another NZ couple were involved in the rescue of 7/9/2006. Thought you might like the attached shots. Sorry they have been so long coming. I also have some video footage, which I will forward when I download it.
Alison Twist


6/41a: 4/9/06 ( 6.06 p.m. ) - Monday

Police paged the team for an incident which, following further discussion was subsequently handed over to the Langdale and Ambleside MRT - recorded here for information only and not classed as an incident statistic in overall figures.

6/41: 3/9/06 ( 4.20 a.m. ) - Sunday

'999' call taken by the police for three male walkers in their 30's who had left Brackenclose, Wasdale head at 11.00 p.m. the previous evening to climb Scafell Pike.  The three men were attempting the 3 Peaks challenge and had already climbed Ben Nevis earlier in the day. They gave a description of their location in relationship to  a waterfall and a stream (in flood) heading in a north-easterly direction.  There were two possible locations, Greta Gill or Piers Gill.  In the end they were located at 8.30 a.m. some distance from the Piers Gill waterfall as they had decided to move higher up the fell.  They were walked off the mountain although one of them had a slight ankle injury that had been troubling him on Ben Nevis.  The incident was closed mid morning with around 10 team members deployed on the hill.  A number of groups were met whilst the team was searching, all doing three peaks events and many ill prepared and ill equipped for the severe weather conditions that had been forecasted for the weekend..  

There appears to be an increasing, and worrying trend for Three Peakers getting themselves into difficulty and calling for mountain rescue to come and get them with little consideration for the trouble it causes the team members. The  concern being that these very frequent searches ( 4 three peak incidents in 48 hours) are draining the team's resources and compromising the team's ability to fully respond to serious injury incidents. 

6/40: 2/9/06 ( 5.45 p.m. ) - Saturday

Request from Police via pager system to respond to a Mobile phone '999' from a father and daughter who were stuck in severe weather somewhere along the Corridor route on their way down from Scafell Pike.  The team were mobilised and then the call came through from the lost and stuck couple that they were OK.  The incident was stood down at 6.31 p.m.

6/39: 2/9/06 ( 10.30 a.m. ) - Saturday

The team were paged by the Police to rescue two walkers (part of a group of 5 'Three Peakers') who were at the Mickledore stretcher box but still did not know where to get down and were wet through.  There had been a number of sever weather warnings issued earlier in the day.  A limited callout was initiated until it was established that he had a knee injury.  A full team callout was initiated and the man was stretchered off the mountain to his waiting colleagues at Brackenclose.  Around 15 team members were deployed on the hill.  Weather conditions were severe with high winds and torrential rain and the becks were in full spate.  Even so, there were still many groups setting off to climb Scafell Pike (some even in shorts and at least one couple with no rucksacks).  The incident was closed at around 2.00 pm.

6/38: 1/9/06 ( 4.45 a.m. ) - Friday

The next call came at 04.45, also from a mobile phone to find a party of 4, three  females and one male in their 20's, also doing the 3 Peaks who also had become disorientated in the heavy rain, darkness and thick cloud.  They were found uninjured at 06.30 a.m., also on Lingmell and escorted back to their car.

August 2006

6/37: 31/8/06 ( 8.20 p.m. ) - Thursday

The team were paged by the Police to respond to a male walker who was attempting the three Peaks challenge and had become disorientated then stuck on steep ground whilst descending from Scafell Pike.  A limited callout was initiated with 10 team members deployed on the fell.  The walker, who was subsequently found uninjured at 11.00 p.m. was located on the Lingmell side of the top of Piers Gill.  He was walked down to Brackenclose by team members.  Conditions on the fell were extremely difficult due to driving rain and thick mist.  The walker was brought back to the valley for 0.30 a.m. , however, due to problems with stream crossings as a result of the heavy rain one group of team members remained on the fell till much later having had to walk back up to the Corridor route and down via Sty Head Pass eventually reaching the vehicles for 02:30 and back at the Base at 3.00 a.m.

6/36: 30/8/06 ( 7.55 p.m. ) - Wednesday

Langdale and Ambleside MRT (LAMRT) requested Wasdale MRT to assist in a search for gentleman who had reported himself lost on the Crinkle Crags via a mobile phone.  He was found walking out above Ling Cove bridge in the lower reaches of upper Eskdale.  He was walked off the hill and driven back to Langdale by LAMRT.

Wasdale resources deployed were 20 team members, search dog and handler, three vehicles, incident duration four hours.

6/35: 27/8/06 ( 2.32 a.m. ) - Sunday

Call received from Duddon and Furness MR Team Leader requesting support following the report of an overdue male walker in his late 20's.  He had set off from the Duddon Valley ay 1.00 p.m. the previous day to walk over to Eskdale but he had not returned.  He had been reported long overdue by his grandfather.  He was reported as an experienced walker.  The Deputy leader put out a limited callout due to the uncertainty of his intended route with the intent of covering the Birker Moor area.  Further information and planning meant further searchers were needed so a full callout was made at 3.24 a.m. requesting more searchers for the Harter Fell Area.  In addition to the Duddon & Furness team, Wasdale had 12 team members on the fell plus the Wasdale Search dog.  As the search progressed a further 5 search dogs were called in from SARDA England along with a Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley, Anglesey.

The missing walker was located at around 7.00 a.m. walking back to his starting point, through the forestry tracks.  He had walked across to Eskdale the previous day, called in at the King George for a pint before proceeding up Scafell and then across to Crinkle Crags where he lost daylight and spent the night on the fell.  He walked out at first light. Wasdale Base was closed at around 9.00 a.m.

6/34: 10/8/06 ( 10.29 p.m. ) - Thursday

Police paged the team following a call from a couple on the National Trust campsite at Wasdale Head who had seen lights on the Green How  path (Scafell) which had been stationary for 20 mins.  The Deputy Team Leader rang the informant to find out if the light was giving a distress signal. The lady wasn't sure.  One of the valley's team members was asked to have a look see and in the mean time a limited call-out was made through the team pager system.  When he got to the campsite the light had gone.  The informant was surprised when told that people go on the hill at night.  The lights were put down to a three peaks challenge and stand down was initiated 20 minutes after the initial call--out and although team members gathered at the base the vehicles did not leave.  Well intentioned false alarm

6/33a: 7/8/06 (9.38 p.m. ) - Monday

'999' Call taken by Whitehaven Police regarding overdue walkers on Scafell Pike the Deputy Leader was taking details from the police when the missing persons turned up.  Pleased we didn't have to go out as we were all wet through from our Monday evening practice, water rescue in Blengdale.  Not recorded as an official incident.

6/33: 6/8/06 ( 8.30 p.m. ) - Sunday

'999' Call taken by Whitehaven police from a mobile phone on Greta Gable.  Male walker slipped and fell whilst descending the mountain.  He sustained a head injury which was later described as relatively minor bur reported as  bleeding heavily.  The man had struggled back down the mountain but was now at his tent on Styhead pass. A Sea King helicopter was requested due to the nature of his injury. The helicopter, Rescue 177 from RN Gannett in Prestwick, dropped off the Winchman on scene.  The team were making their way quickly up the mountain with two team doctors ready to be airlifted from Gavel Neese.  In the event the helicopter carried out the lift at 10.00 p.m. with no further requirement from the team.  The 18 team members on the fell were recalled.  Weather conditions were mild with a light northwesterly wind. Cloud base was at around 1,800 feet.  Dry conditions underfoot although earlier that day there had been heavy rain.  Incident was closed at 11.00 p.m.

6/32: 1/8/06 ( 4.40 p.m. ) - Tuesday

'999' call taken by Cumbria Ambulance Control and passed onto the Police who paged the team.  A 16 yrs old girl with her teenage boyfriend, both from Essex were stuck in bad weather on the summit of Scafell Pike and she was feeling unwell.  They had started their walk earlier that day by catching a bus to Seatoller and then walking to Seathwaite and up to the summit of Scafell Pike.  A full team callout was made and 20 team members assembled.  She was found in the stonewalled shelter on the summit and after being warmed with dry clothing was walked back down.  The incident was closed at 10.00 p.m.


July 2006

6/31: 31/7/06 ( 7.00 p.m. ) - Monday

Call from the police regarding a 26 year-old Dutchman lost in mist. He had caught the bus from Keswick to Seatoller then climbed Scafell Pike via Corridor Route and descended to Esk Hause. Got lost and went to Angle Tarn then returned to a flat area. and went up!  He called the police on his mobile phone.   In fact he went to Esk Hause and then Broad Crag and was found on Wasdale side of Broad Crag Col at about midnight. This was a find for search dog Pip and her handler. 16 members of WMRT involved plus 18 members of KMRT including a search dog. Searches were made of Sprinkling Tarn, Sty Head Tarn, Esk Pike, Angle Tarn, Ore Gap, Upper Esk, Great End, Ill Crag & Broad Crag before find.
One of the Wasdale team members offered to put him up for the night before taking him back to Keswick later that day.  
Base closed as 3.35am.

6/30: 31/7/06 ( 1.57 p.m. ) - Monday

Police called the Team Leader following an accident at St. Catherine Pools, Eskdale.  A couple from Lincolnshire were walking along the top side of the river when the lady (mid thirties) slipped and fell 30 foot down a ravine into the rocky pools below.  She sustained a nasty open fracture of her tibula and fibula (lower leg) which was complicated as she was lying on rocks close to deep water.  She was given casualty care whilst still in the river before she was carried out on a vacuum mattress through waist deep water to the river bank.  A 20 foot lift out of the ravine followed by a mile stretcher carry out to the ambulance.  She was taken to West Cumberland Hospital for further treatment.  Incident closed at 4.15 p.m. with around 18 team members involved.

6/29b: 31/7/06 ( 7.30 a.m. ) - Monday

Call from the Police regarding a group of 5 x Three peakers in their 20's 30's - they had left Brackenclose at 8.30 p.m. Sunday night and not been seen again - they duly turned up at Wha House farm in Eskdale after taking a wrong turn on the Pike

6/29a: 30/7/06 (  11.00 p.m. ) - Sunday

Call from the Wasdale Head Inn - Long overdue group of 3 Three Peakers who were part of a much larger group - the faster group of three had been last seen at Hollowstones at 7.30 p.m. - they were a group of thirty years olds from the Portsmouth area.  The Team Leader phoned the Brotherikeld phone box and got no reply.   He then asked the police if they had received any reports earlier that evening from phone boxes of people turning up in Eskdale or elsewhere.   TL decided to sit on it for a bit and while getting his gear together  the Police called back to say that they had checked their log and a group had called in at 10.45 pm to say they had come down at Brotherikeld and were safe and well.  Incident not recorded as an official incident statistic but recorded here to indicate team workload.

6/29: 30/7/06 (  1.46 p.m. ) - Sunday

Workington Police paged the team to rescue a lady in her early 50's who had taken a tumble fall on Door Head and sustained an injury to her head.  The lady along with her husband and dog were from Yorkshire, they were located high up on Stirrup Crag, about 200 feet below the summit cairn of Yewbarrow at the northern end where it falls steeply over crags down to the top of Dore Head Scree.  The lady had sustained a cut top the eye and she could not see out of the badly swollen eye plus a swollen lower face due to cuts.  She had remained conscious throughout the accident. 

17 team members arrived on scene and once safely secured in the Bell stretcher was lowered over the crags with barrow boy to guide her through the awkward steps.  The Great North Air Ambulance was called in to Door Head where it could safely land on and shut down.  The injured lady was flown to Hospital.  Photographs of the rescue can be seen here - video footage of the rescue has been made available to the news agencies along with a press release - the incident was closed at 6.30 p.m.


6/28: 25/7/06 (  6.40 p.m. ) - Tuesday

A telephone call came into the Team Leader via the bar staff at the Wasdale Head Inn.  An elderly gentleman walked into the bar and told the bar staff that he had heard a female voice shouting for help in the vicinity of Dore Head.  The Team Leader notified the police and sent two team members out to investigate whilst he opened up the base and awaited further details from the fell.  The Dore Head scree area was checked out and there were no signs of a casualty nor cries for help.  The incident was stood down at 7.20 p.m. and recorded as a well intentioned false alarm.  It is worth mentioning that a similar type incident was investigated on Scafell a couple of years ago when the team had just completed a rescue in the Hollowstones area.  Most team members present (including the writer) definitely heard a woman's cries for help which came across very clearly from Scafell Crags.  A major crag search ensued but nothing was found.  It was put down to a vixen call.

6/27: 22/7/06 (  5.21 p.m. ) - Saturday

The police paged the team who were already at the Wasdale Head at the fundraising Kern Knotts weekend to rescue a dog who was unable to walk down from Scafell Pike.  The dog, a lovely natured 6 and half year old labrador called Prince had badly injured both of his rear paws and could not walk.  His owner, who was from the north east, had called the police via her mobile phone.  Their car was at Seathwaite in Borrowdale but the quickest way off the mountain was to Brackenclose in Wasdale.  Prince was given canine care and his paws bandaged before he was carefully carried down the mountain on a lightweight stretcher.  Although a dog, he was a well proportioned heavy boned animal approaching 6 stones in weight.  The six team members who had worked hard to come up the mountain in extremely hot and humid conditions would definitely require additional resources to get him off the mountain.  A further 5 team members were summoned from the valley bottom to bring up water and food (it was excessively hot and humid and many of the team member were low on energy due to the time of the call - the BBQ was just about to start ( see Kern Knotts Auction) when the call came in - also there were no running streams above Brown Tongue due to the very hot weather).

The carry down took significantly longer than it would have with a normal casualty and so, with a lot of patience on the part of team members, Prince was eventually back at Brackenclose by 10.00 p.m.  As their car was parked at Seathwaite, Prince would have to endure a further 2 hours in a taxi - its a dogs positive outcome for the team was some good publicity.  Radio Cumbria were running news stories on the rescue on the Monday and hopefully the local papers will pick up on the story 

See the pictures of the rescue, his bandaged paws by clicking on the photo....

p.s. This was a very first rescues for one of our probationary members who is planning to write a suitable article as a true-life rescue story...  there were a lot of doggy jokes on the way down but the best one was when Base asked for an update on the casualty condition and everyone, including Prince's owner shouted .....RUFF 

see true-life rescue story here

6/26a:17/7/06 (  6.00 p.m. ) - Monday

A call came in from a team member who was already on the Scafell Pike descent.  A male walker was having difficulty with hi knees on the Brown Tongue descent and was very slowly making his way off the mountain.  He was within half a mile from Brackenclose.  The struggling walker's group had already called the police on '999' so the team members call was an early heads up.  The radio room was opened up and a number of team were on standby at the base to respond if deemed necessary.  The police paged the team at 6.15 p.m. but no action was necessary.  the incident was stood down at around 7.00 p.m. when the gentleman was safely off the fell.  8 team members who were already at the base having  a meeting were involved.  This incident has not been recorded as an official team callout but included here to give an indication of team involvement.  

6/26:15/7/06 (  11.49 a.m. ) - Saturday

Call out initiated via land line for a change via the police '999' for a rescue at Brotherikeld, Eskdale.  Male walker collapsed in the Ling Cove Bridge area of Eskdale. Due to the initial information and the time to hospital / location the decision was made to request the assistance of the Great North Air Ambulance. The weather was clear and extremely hot.  The causality was assessed by the Air Paramedic and Team Doctor and had recovered sufficiently to render a hospital visit unnecessary.  Via a combination of transport, Land Rover and Air Ambulance he was returned to his car in order to de driven home

6/25:13/7/06 (  3.10 p.m. ) - Thursday

Police contacted the Deputy Team leader to respond to an incident where an elderly man was at the top of a tall tree near the town of Egremont.  The police and fire service were in attendance.  Having tried their best to talk the gentleman down and failed, and the fire service were uncertain that their equipment would be able to reach him safely,  the Wasdale team were called in to assist.  A limited call out was organised and around a dozen team members responded to what would have been one of the more unusual rescues of the year.  The team vehicles had only just left the base when the police call came through that the man had managed to get himself down.  The team were stood down at 3.33 p.m. and we all returned to work (even though it was glorious afternoon for climbing and walking).

6/24:11/7/06 (  4.25 p.m. ) - Tuesday

Police paged the team with a call for help from a Dutch family.  The female walker in her mid fifties was descending from a walk near Harter to Penny Hill farm when she slipped on the path fracturing her left ankle and dislocating a finger in her hand.  Her location was 10 mins from the farm itself.  She was given analgesic on the fell and stretchered off the hill to the farm.  Whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive, the air ambulance from Blackpool arrived on scene.  The casualty and her husband were flown to Barrow-in-Furness General whilst the daughter was taken to Boot campsite.  There were approximately 15 team members on the rescue which was completed by 6.30 p.m.  


June 2006

6/23a:25/6/06 (  9.00 a.m. ) - Sunday

Call form the Police regarding a party of 5 males (all in their 20's) reported long overdue on the 3 peaks.  The informant had dropped them in Wasdale and driven round to Langdale to pick them up, leaving them 4 hours to complete their route - Sty Head, Esk Hawse, Summit.  Return via Esk Hawse and Rossett Gill.  The team leader advised that 4 hours was unrealistic and more time would be needed to complete that round.  Nothing more was heard and no further action was taken.  Recorded here for general awareness but not as an official statistic.

6/23:24/6/06 (  11.07 a.m. ) - Saturday

Police paged the team to respond to a mobile phone '999' from an informant on the corridor route.  A 44 year old male had fallen over a boulder on the summit of Scafell Pike and had been reported as having injuries to his face and a possible limb injury.  The mobile phone was called but there was no answer (no signal?).  The party had set off for Scafell Pike along the corridor route via Styhead Pass.  Not being able to contact the informant, (a number of attempts were made), it was not known at which end of the corridor route the casualty was to be found.  Casualty was eventually found near Skew Gill on the Corridor route.  Keswick team had been asked to assist but were subsequently stood down when the casualties condition and location was established.  The gash to the head had been sustained on Scafell Pike and he had made his way back down with a bandaged head.  There were no other injuries.  The team doctor checked him over and he was able to make his own way off the fell with the assistance of his group.  His support vehicle (he was part of a group doing the 4 x 3,000 peaks) was waiting for him at Seathwaite.  The incident was closed at around 3.00 p.m. 

It was subsequently established that the injured person had not called the team and was unaware that the team were looking for him whilst he made his way down the mountain.  It had been a bystander who had decided to call the team but unfortunately not stayed put to receive subsequent calls from the team.

It is worth remembering that when a  '999' call is made for mountain rescue it is vital that the informant stays in a position where they can be contacted and also gives clear details of exact location, what has happened, when it happened, who is injured and what the injuries are.  The team leader will call back to discuss.

The following is a message from the casualty to put the record straight on what actually happened that day


I would like to update entry of my incident this year : 6/23:24/6/06 (  11.07 a.m. ) - Saturday
Although I was seen by the doctor on the mountain and allowed to walk to Seathwaite, I did in fact have a fractured Eye orbit, with severed nerves and eventually impaired vision. the gash I also sustained has cleared up to a lovely scar and the vision back to near normal, however the nerves may take up to 2 years and I'm still numb on parts of the left side of the face and gums. The break has healed on its own with no need for surgery that was discussed at length in the days that followed
The number you were given by the police was in fact, uselessly, mine. but as I was out of any signal range walking down the corridor route I never got the calls till back in the hospital that night. The subsequent call to chastise me received a few days later left no number and was from an unobptainable number so I could not reply and set the record right. I have just seen the entry on the web page and thought I ought to put the record straight. I was as you say in the report unaware throughout that you were looking for me and had indeed refused help on the way down from other walkers most of which were very keen to get the helicopter out ( i guess out of concern and the spectacle it would have caused)
I organise the charity event that i was part of and take H&S very seriously, we have risk assessments of all our events, clear processes and plans for emergencies and injuries and a support team throughout including first aiders and first aid equipment with us on the walks. I got the distinct impression from the comments left on my phone and in this report that i in some wasted your time and was not worthy of your attention on that day. hopefully the injuries that i did sustain will go someway in correcting the view. I am self sufficient by nature and was not keen on making a fuss however although I personally did not call you out I still feel that the those that did, made a good call based on the facts they had before them at the top of Scafell Pike. The final point was that the facts they gave the police were that the number given was mine, they gave the number of those in our party the time we left the summit our direction and route. the police seemed comfortable that this was exactly what you needed to mount the correct level of support at the time.. they also agreed that as it was freezing cold and blowing a gale at the top that if I could walk it would be best to do so.
Clearly not interested in entering some great debate on this, merely to set the record straight as I will be up there again next year with a group, yep not put off despite everything!!
despite all of this I would like to donate money to the mountain rescue as the role you all perform is tremendous and worthy. Not sure how much would be useful for you so it would be great if you could give me a call to see what we could arrange
Could you please let me know how i do this and if you have the time please give me a call on my mobile



6/22:17/6/06 (  11.45 p.m. ) - Saturday

Call from Workington Police reporting a 44 yr old male with a "serious knee injury" on Scafell Pike.  The informant turned out to be marshalling a large group of 3 Peakers at the NT car park, end of the lake.  He didn't know the exact location of the casualty or nature of the injury - couldn't confirm whether it was from a trauma event or the result of strain from the challenge.  There was apparently one other person with the casualty, who was reported to be in severe and constant pain.  When the team leader got to the base, the Police called again to update the situation.  They had been contacted again by the informant who now said the casualty was being assisted off the fell by other group members and we were no longer required.  The cancellation bleep was put out and the informant was contacted by phone.

He now said the casualty was just above the bridge (approx. 400m from vehicles).  He was asked if the casualty needed medical attention and indeed whether he ever had.  The informant said they would assess him when he got
to the vehicles and would take him to hospital themselves if that proved necessary.  Mill Forge closed at 12.15 a.m.

[Comment from Team Leader - Some people did "roll wheels" so this has been given a full incident number - although we wonder how much of a true emergency it had been.  From what the informant could tell it was found difficult to determine whether the casualty had indeed suffered a genuine injury (which the team would always respond to) or whether the injury was actually better classified as a knee strain.  Either way, as a general point, it helps prioritize the right levels of response and back up required if  informants give more detail when requesting MR assistance.  e.g. location and injury and what sort of event caused it].

Post event note - the walker had a knee injury when he had done Ben Nevis previously that day and this was the other knee which was a coruscate ligament failure- he had to be fireman carried back down so well done to the person who did the carrying but they would probably have been better staying put and getting him down on a stretcher.  

Also see self help rescue here    


May 2006

6/21:23/5/06 (  12.13 p.m. ) - Tuesday

Call initiated via mobile phone to the police, female with an ankle injury in the Hollow Stone area. Casualty was located approximately 100m below the Woolworth Boulder on the side of the path and after initial treatment  stretchered down to Bracken Close. She was taken by ambulance to the West Cumberland Hospital for further treatment. Incident closed at 4.25 p.m. with 20 team members deployed.

Series of pictures here  and see GPS problems here (previous incident)   and video footage here

6/20:17/5/06 (  5.00 p.m. ) - Wednesday

A party of three staying in Eskdale drove to Borrowdale in order to walk up Scafell Pike. Initial callout information suggested they were lost on Scafell Pike.  Incorrect GPS information revised this, suggesting they were near the plateau on Ill Crag. Actual location was near Broad Crag.

First call was at 4.30 p.m. where advice was given to get them from where they were onto the nearest path however they struggled to follow the given instructions.  Full callout was at 5.00 p.m. The forecast was for deteriorating conditions, heavy rain and strong winds, this was accurate. They did not reach the summit of Scafell Pike and were unable to navigate of the plateau despite having a GPS and map. It transpired that the GPS was on the default setting, this gives an error of 400~ meters.  They were found on the north side of Broad Crag at 8.20 p.m. ( a lucky find given the weather and information) fed and watered as they had not taken food on the hill.  They were walked off to Wasdale and transported back to Eskdale.

Incident closed at 00.00 hours with12 team members involved including around 12 attending at the Base as back up if the incident demanded more numbers on the fell.

Note - GPS' should be set up to the 'British Grid' system and 'Ordnance Survey GB' datum so that they give
readouts consistent with the OS maps. See attached file to show the route of the rescuer, location of missing persons and route back down (file size 700Kbytes)


April 2006

6/19:28/4/06 (  9.50 p.m. ) - Friday

A call was received from Whitehaven police to assist with a search for a 39 year old lost walker between the Three Shires Stones (Wrynose Pass) and Scafell Pike.  He was due to meet his friend there but had not turned up. Wasdale were to support Langdale Ambleside and cover the routes from the Wasdale side.  Whilst telephone calls were being made and callout arrangements in progress, the missing person turned up safe and well.  He had walked from Hardknott to Wrynose.  Incident closed at 11.10 p.m.  

6/18:28/4/06 (  7.10 p.m. ) - Friday

The Team received a telephone call from the Wasdale Head Hotel to assist with transporting a coach load of Brownies.  The coach was transporting 20 Brownies and their leaders from Workington to the Old School in Eskdale.  The driver did not know the road ended up at Wasdale Head.  When returning down the valley the coach came off the road at the narrow bridge and had to be winched back on bay local farmers.  The brownies were transported by the team's minibus and landrover up to Eskdale.  Returned to Millforge at 9.50 p.m. A full team callout was not required. 

6/17:25/4/06 (  12.04 a.m. ) - Monday

The Team committee were paged by the police to respond to a call for assistance on Pillar.  Two male walkers in their 40's had phoned a local pub in Gosforth at 8.15 p.m. to advise that they were just about to descend off Pillar.  They had not turned up later so the pub had contacted the police.  After a few enquiries a full team callout was made along with a request for support from Cockermouth MRT.  Weather conditions were extreme on the ridges with very poor visibility, high winds and driving rain.  Approximately 20 Wasdale team members were involved in the search and a small Cockermouth contingent investigating the Ennerdale side.  The two walkers had not been located by 4.00 a.m. when the search groups came together on the summit of Pillar.  The groups decided to wait until first light which was around 5.45 a.m. so bivvied down behind the summit cairn.  At around 5.30 a.m. the two missing walkers managed to get a mobile phone signal and made contact with the team.  They were safe and well and had bivvied out 300 meters from the summit.  Once the missing walkers and the search groups had met up with each other, the team returned to Wasdale Head via Black Sail pass along with the two walkers.  The incident was eventually closed  at around 8.00 a.m.

6/16:21/4/06 (  8.40 p.m. ) - Friday

The Wasdale and Keswick teams were called out by the Langdale Ambleside team to provide additional search groups for two missing boys aged 14 and 16 years.  They had been last seen at 2.30 p.m. when they left their parents to search for a missing dog.  The Wasdale Team were tasked to search Styhead up to Esk Hause and from Brotherilkeld up to Esk Hause via upper Eskdale.  By the time team members had arrived at the base in Gosforth the two brothers had turned up safe and well at Stonethwaite, a small hamlet in Borrowdale.  They had descended by Langstrath in error. The incident was closed by 10.00 p.m.


6/15:15/4/06 (  4.37 p.m. ) - Saturday

The team were called directly to rescue a local lady in her early 60's with a broken leg.  At first the locations was taken to be Overbeck Buttress on Yewbarrow but subsequently found to be Netherbeck, opposite Overbeck Buttress on the Middle Fell side of the river.  The response was very quick as the lady was only half a mile from the road in a group of six walkers.  There were around 18 team members on the rescue and the lady was stretchered down to road and taken by ambulance to West Cumberland hospital in Whitehaven.  The incident was closed at around 6.00 p.m.

Photos of the rescue here


6/14:12/4/06 (  7.12 p.m. ) - Wednesday

The team were called to rescue a family who were in trouble following their descent from Scafell Pike to Seathwaite.  The father who was in his early 50's and a diabetic had collapsed from his medical condition compounded by severe hypothermia. He was in a confused state and barely conscious.  The two boys aged 12 and 13 were cold wet and exhausted. They were both suffering mild hypothermia.  Their mother was also cold and wet but had very fortunately managed to raise the alarm by taking the decision to leave the group and find a location where she could get a mobile phone signal. They were huddled together 500 metres to the east side of Styhead stretcher box on the path down from Sprinkling tarn.  It was an extremely exposed position in a very strong southerly wind.

The father was given emergency medical treatment by the team doctors on scene and as soon as he was stable was urgently evacuated by stretcher. Due to the number of casualties, Wasdale called for assistance from Keswick MRT.  The father was stretchered down to an ambulance at Wasdale Head whilst both boys were stretchered down to Seathwaite in Borrowdale where the family's car was parked.  The mother was able to walk down.  Weather conditions were very poor with low cloud, poor visibility and strong wind.  There were 18 Wasdale team members on the fell and a further 21 Keswick team members on the fell.  The incident was closed at 12.00 a.m.

6/13:1/4/06 (  4.20 a.m. ) - Saturday

The team were asked by Cumbria Police to search for a male in his fifties from the Cockermouth area reported to be either on Great Gable or Scafell Pike  After an 8 hour search involving 3 mountain rescue teams, search dogs and an RAF helicopter a member of the public reported finding a body at the foot of Pillar Rock, below the Shamrock Traverse in Ennerdale, the adjacent valley to the north of Wasdale.  The body was recovered by Wasdale MRT with the assistance of the RAF and later confirmed to be the missing person.  The cause of death has not been established. The incident lasted 14 hours and involved 19 Wasdale MRT members, Keswick MRT, Duddon & Furness MRT, 5 Handlers and 6 Search dogs SARDA (Lakes) and a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer (43 mountain rescue team members in all).  Incident closed at around 6.20 p.m. see photos 

March  2006

6/12:27/03/06 (  12.52 p.m. ) - Monday

Following a '999' call to the police the team were called out to rescue a 16 year old student in a party of seven who had collapsed with stomach pains and was feeling unwell and could not walk.  The group had traveled up to the Lake District at the weekend from the Leicester area along with a much larger group undertaking Duke of Edinburgh activities.  After being examined by the team doctor and warmed up in a bivvy tent, the unwell walker was carried off the mountain by stretcher to the waiting group Leaders in the valley bottom.  Stretchered down to the valley bottom and transferred to the leader’s car and taken back to the youth Hostel. No ambulance nor hospitalization necessary – 23 team members were involved in the incident which was closed at 4.00 p.m.    see photos

6/11:13/03/06 (  8.30 p.m. ) - Monday

The team leader was called by the police to investigate and possibly rescue the occupants of five snow bound cars on the Cold Fell road which runs between Calderbridge and Ennerdale Bridge.  Although the police and local radio had put out weather warnings of more snow that afternoon, a number of Sellafield workers decided to risk the journey home by taking this short cut.  One of the cars occupants contacted Sellafield for help who got in touch with Cumbria constabulary.  Cumbria police were unable to investigate or carry out any rescue attempt as all their 4 x 4 vehicles were in the south of the county stranded by the snow from the previous day.  They requested the Sellafield police force to respond in their 4 x 4's who got as far as they dared then called for assistance from the Wasdale team.  Wasdale's two landrovers were each dispatched with three team members on board along with the third vehicle to act as a radio relay at Egremont back to Gosforth base.  Vehicles were checked out, again on foot due to the blockages, and car registrations passed back to the police who then contacted each of the owners by phone to establish whether they had all got off the fell road safely, albeit on foot.  The incident was closed by 11.00 p.m.

footnote - there were some reports the following day of people turning up at their local surgeries with blackened toes and feet from walking home in the freezing conditions with little more then a pair of light trainers.  It's perhaps a good job we only get conditions like these every 10 or so years. 


6/10:12/03/06 (  9.10 a.m. ) - Sunday

The team leader was called by the police to rescue the occupants of five stranded vehicles on the A595 road between Waberthwaite and Bootle.  A snow plough was also blocked in with a digger working its way towards the stranded cars from the south.  The team had already put themselves on standby due to the sever snow conditions in the county. Kendal and Langdale team were also carrying out similar rescues in their areas.

The team landrovers had to battle their way through the deep snowdrifts, digging out other stranded motorists on the way before eventually grinding to a halt approximately 2 miles from Bootle.  Whilst the two landrovers tried in vain to find an alternative way round, two team members battled on foot, checking abandoned cars as they passed them and eventually arriving at the stranded cars just before the digger arrived to free the snow plough.  The cars were cleared by 12.00 p.m. and the team were then called to rescue a stranded lady motorist back towards Muncaster Bridge.

Trying to get the vehicles back to Broad Oak proved impossible, even though alternative routes were tried.  The vehicles could get back to within half a mile of Broad Oak by crossing fields.  When it was looking like the vehicles themselves might have needed to be abandoned due to the worsening conditions, a lone digger from Workington arrived to clear the short 1/4 mile section of road that the local farmers had been unable to clear.  The team returned to base but still had to effect a number of rescues on the way back.  Incident(s) was closed at 5.00 p.m.

see photos here


6/9a:4/03/06 (  8.30 p.m. ) - Saturday

The team leader was called by the police following a report of three overdue walkers.  The three lads in their early 30's had set off from Seathwaite to climb Scafell Pike and had not returned by nightfall.  Their father at Seathwaite had raised the alarm. Although their were full winter conditions on the Pike and there was a strong northerly wind with temperatures well below freezing, the group were reported as well equipped with torches and were experienced in winter walking.  The team leader waited until later that evening before considering further action.  The group turned up safe and well later that night after a long day on the hill.  The family would not normally have been concerned but there was a 30th birthday party organised that evening for their sons.  They were not from the Lakes area.  No further action necessary.   


February  2006

6/9:21/02/06 (  4.48 p.m. ) - Tuesday

The team were paged by Whitehaven police to respond to a '999' call for a 17 year old female walker who had been reported as collapsed near Lingmel Col. The informant had been one of her walking male friends who had run down to the hotel at Wasdale Head to raise the alarm.  In addition to this another group of walkers had heard cries for help and whistles in the Dropping Crag area of Scafell Pike, nearer to Broad Crag Col.  They raised the alarm by mobile phone.  Therefore there was some slight confusion over the two reports and whether there might be two incidents.  Fortunately the team leader was already on the hill in the Lords Rake area when the call came through from the police.  A full team callout was made and around 18 team members set off from Brackenclose.  When the team leader got over to Lingmel Col there was no casualty to be found.  He made his way up to Broad Crag Col via the top of Piers Gill and finally located the 'injured' walker on the path down from Broad Crag col to the corridor route.  They were walking down with no apparent injuries.  She was checked over by the team doctor and walked off the mountain via Lingmel Col to Wasdale Head.  The conditions on the hill were snow and ice down to Broad Crag col and it is believed that she may have slipped on the steep descent to Broad Crag col.  The incident was closed around 6.30 p.m.        

6/8:13/02/06 (  6.27 p.m. ) - Monday

The team were called out to support Langdale Ambleside team to rescue a lost male and female couple in their 20's who had become benighted and lost.  They were somewhere near Crinkle Crags and had possibly descended into Green Hole on the Eskdale side.  A group consisting 10 Wasdale team members plus a Wasdale dog handler were dispatched to Eskdale.  The lost pair were located by the Langdale and Ambleside team at around 8.00 p.m. The incident was closed at around 9.30 p.m.  


6/7:12/02/06 (  7.10 p.m. ) - Sunday

The team were contacted by the police to search for a missing male walker in his early 60's who had been walking with a Workington group.  They had started earlier that day with a walk up Dent with the intent to carry on across the fells and end up at Ennerdale Bridge for a meal at the pub.  The gentleman decided to leave the group to make his own way but when they arrived at Ennerdale Bridge he was nowhere to be seen.  He was only wearing light walking gear with no waterproofs.  The team were mobilised and carried out a number of search routes across the fells between Cold fell and Ennerdale.  He was eventually spotted by a passing a motorist at around 12.30 a.m. on the road near Ennerdale Bridge.  He was extremely wet but had managed to find his way off the fells and was trying to get to Workington.  He was brought to the team rendezvous point and the search was stood down - there were approximately 20 Wasdale team members involved in the search along with 2 Wasdale search dog handlers and a further 5 dog handlers from across the county.  The incident was closed at around 2.30 a.m. 

January  2006

6/6:22/01/06 (  2.46 p.m. ) - Sunday

The team were paged by Workington police to respond to a '999' call for a 30 year old female walker who had stumbled and fractured her ankle on the path between Brown Tongue and Lingmel Col..  She was with her boyfriend who had raised the alarm.  The couple were from Burnley.  The team leader was already on the fell near Lambfoot Dub above the Corridor route and was able to make his way across the fell to the casualty site.  The injured walker was laying on the path in the boulder field area and had sustained a very painful lower leg fracture.  Evacuation of the casualty was by a Royal Navy helicopter from RN Gannet at Prestwick Airport.  She was winched on board and flown the short distance to Whitehaven Hospital.  The incident was closed at 6.45 p.m.  15 team members were involved in the rescue.

6/5:11/01/06 (  2.42 p.m. ) - Wednesday

The team were paged by Workington police to attend a search for a missing teenage girl who had been swept down the river Ehen at Egremont. The 16 year old girl from Egremont had been walking her dog along the bank of the river Ehen which was in full spate following heavy overnight rain.  The dog went into the water, she waded in to save it but got swept downstream. The alarm was raised and there followed a multi agency response co-ordinated by the police.  20 police officers were involved along with the Coastguard, RNLI, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service plus two Sea King helicopters, one from RN Gannet, Prestwick, Great North Air Ambulance, Police helicopter and 24 members of the Wasdale team.

The girl was found in the river at around 4.00 p.m. and taken by Air Ambulance to West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven.  She unfortunately did not recover.  A tragic accident.  The incident was closed at 5.00 p.m.

6/4:2/01/06 (  6.52 p.m. ) - Monday

The team were paged by Workington Police regarding 3 adults who were benighted on Scafell Pike.  The three walkers from Liverpool, two males in their 20's and a 17 year old female student had set off from Wasdale Head at midday to climb Scafell Pike via the Corridor route.  They descended Little Narrow Cove in error and eventually ran out of light although they did have a torch which was not particularly useful.  They had a GPS and were able to give an accurate location over their mobile phone.  Weather conditions were poor with driving, freezing rain and snow and visibility down to a few yards.  The group were brought back up the mountain to Broad Crag col and then down to Lingmel Col and Brackenclose.  There were 11 team members on the rescue which finished at 2.30 a.m.  The group managed to get down with minimal help save lights, warm clothing and guiding off.  Although very tired and cold they were in remarkably good spirits all the way down to the vehicles.  They drove back to Liverpool after the rescue.


December  2005

6/3:24/12/05 (  5.55 p.m. ) - Saturday

The team leader was called by the police to respond to a '999' call from a mobile.  A party of four walkers including one adult male, two adult females and an 11 year old daughter were lost somewhere above Boot in Eskdale.  The weather was a clear, starlit night with thick fog in the valley and temperatures plummeting to well below zero (minus 2 at the time of the callout) and falling.  The group from Wolverhampton had set off earlier in the day for short walk up to Burnmoor tarn from Boot, prior to their return to Wolverhampton.  The had become lost and then benighted with no torch or suitable gear.  They gave some general information on landmarks they had passed.  One group of five team members headed up Mitredale whilst a further group headed towards Boot to ascend the fell from the Eskdale side and rendezvous with the first group in the vicinity of Burnmoor tarn.  The first group manage to locate the lost walkers very quickly (within 15 minutes of leaving the vehicles) and returned them to their parked vehicle at Boot. There were 17 team members involved in the search and the incident was closed at 7.30 p.m. - a successful end to Xmas Eve. The group of 4 walkers returned to Wolverhampton that night and hopefully arrived safely at their destination ready for the Christmas day festivities.  Team members returned home to their families.

6/2:5/12/05 (  10.20 p.m. ) - Saturday

The team leader was called by Keswick MRT to assist in the search of a young couple in their twenties from Birmingham who had failed to turn up at their hotel that evening.  They had set off from Seathwaite in Borrowdale to climb Scafell Pike via the Corridor route.  The summit of the Pike was in cloud and there were heavy rain / hail showers for the night.

Wasdale put 16 team members on the fell including two of our Search dog teams.  Keswick MRT deployed their team and Langdale Ambleside deployed team members to come up from the Mickleden valley.  Also five SARDA England search dogs and their handlers were called in from outside of the Lake District.

The Wasdale MRT / SARDA search group approaching from the Eskdale side saw lights at Scar Lathing at around 3.15 a.m. When investigated they were confirmed as the missing couple who had broken their compass on the summit of Scafell Pike, became disorientated and had descended the Eskdale side by mistake.  They had found an overhanging rock shelter above Scar Lathing and were sheltering when the heard the search dog barking.  They were fit and well although tired and wet.  All search groups were recalled back to their respective bases.  The missing couple were walked back down to Brotherikeld farm and transported back the Wasdale base in Gosforth before being transported back to their car at Seathwite by one of the Wasdale MRT members who found them with his search dog Blisco.     

 The incident was closed down at 5.30 a.m.


6/1:27/11/05 (  10.16 p.m. ) - Sunday

The team leader was called by Workington Police regarding a '999' call from two walkers, husband and wife, who were lost on their return to Seathwaite from the summit of Scafell Pike.  There location was given as somewhere high on the tops, above the snowline, on rocky sloping ground and they could see the lights of Keswick.  They were reasonable well clothed for daytime conditions but had no lights.  There was snow above 1,500 foot and temperatures were well below freezing with a northerly wind.

Keswick team were called in to assist along with Cockermouth team and SARDA dogs.  In all there were 25 Cockermouth, 8 Keswick, 21 Wasdale and 7 Search Dogs on the fell.  The missing couple were located at the northern summit of Great End at around 1.30 a.m. and were assisted off the mountain via Esk Hause to the head of Ruddy Gill and then down to Grains Gill, Stockley Bridge and back to Seathwaite.

The incident was closed at around 4.30 a.m. with team members home by 5.00 a.m.

6/0a:25/11/05 (  6.10 p.m. ) - Friday

The deputy team leader was contacted regarding a report of flashing lights on the Wastwater.  There was significant confusion as to what the incident was since the Police, when contacted,  had no record of the incident.  The '999' had been put through to the Coastguard who had then passed the information onto one of the Wasdale farms who managed to get the message through to the team.  The Coastguard were contacted although there was limited information to pass on apart from the informants mobile number.    It transpired that a passing motorist had seen the flashing lights on the water, had responded with flashing headlamps and got flashes back which appeared to be coming from the Lake itself, but were actually the reflection of walkers head torches.  The walkers had been making their way slowly down Great Hall Gill, just above the pump house at the bottom end of Wastwater.   When it was finally established that there were no lives at risk the incident was closed at 6.45 p.m.  Not recorded as a formal incident but noted here for information.

5/53:12/11/05 (4.54 p.m.) - Saturday

The team was called out by Ambulance Control following a '999' on a mobile.  A group of four walkers, two female and two male in their early forties, one suffering from a medical condition had set off from Borrowdale earlier that day to climb Great Gable.  They had lost the path on the way up from Styhead pass and got themselves onto the climbers traverse which runs across the south face of Great Napes.  They had ascended what was believed to be Sphinx Gulley and got themselves onto the grassy ridge below Westmoreland Crags.   At this point, in the cloud and rain, one of their party became too exhausted to go up or down.

The team requested support from RAF Watersham who were on a training weekend and already based in the valley. In high winds and driving rain they flew two groups of 5 team members as high as they could with first aid equipment, stretcher and lowering ropes.  The remainder of the team made their way up the mountain on foot. The casualty, very cold and wet and weak was stretchered down Great Hellgate to the bottom of Tophet wall on the Gable traverse path and then winched into the helicopter and taken down to the valley bottom and warmth of the Hotel.  The remaining three walkers were winched into the helicopter at the same location to join their recovering friend in the hotel.  There were 22 team members involved in the rescue which ended at around 11.30 p.m. that night. Grateful thanks to the Owner and staff at the Wasdale Head Hotel for their hospitality and care for the group.

Postscript - most of the team returned to the summit of Great Gable the following morning to remember those lost in the great wars

photos taken the following day see here   


5/52:9/11/05 (3.30 p.m.) - Thursday

The team leader was called by the Langdale and Ambleside team leader for assistance with a rescue.  A married couple from Settle, in their early forties, had set off from Three Shires Stone to climb Crinkle Crags.  They had become disorientated and were somewhere on the Eskdale side.  Although the weather was reasonable and they might have been able to make their own way out, the forecast was for extreme conditions later that evening.  They had no torches.  Langdale team went up Mosedale to locate them and Wasdale undertook a limited callout on the Eskdale side.  There were approximately 6 Wasdale team members involved.  The two walkers were located at Throstlegarth, just above Lincove Bridge and were walked off the hill to Brotherikeld.  They were given a lift back to the top of Wrynose Pass where their car was parked. The incident was closed at 6.00 p.m.


5/51:5/11/05 (10.45 a.m.) - Saturday

The team were called to respond to a call involving a 60 year old man who had collapsed with chest pains at Hardknott Fort, Eskdale.  The man was a local farmer.  When the team arrived on scene there was already an ambulance in attendance and an Air Ambulance.  The team doctor assisted with casualty care before the man was airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven.  There were 15 team members in attendance and the incident was closed at around midday. 


October  2005

5/50:30/10/05 (11.30 a.m.) - Sunday

The team were called out by the police to rescue two 16 year old lads who were stuck on the summit of Scafell Pike in gale force winds and driving rain. They had camped overnight above Cam Spout and their tent had been blown down.  They had made their way to the summit and although wet through were keeping reasonably warm in their sleeping bags.  They didn't know which way to come off the mountain so had called the police.  The team went out to locate them on the summit and walk them back down.  They were taken back to the Gosforth Base and, as they were on only dressed in the dry thermal clothing that the team had taken up for them, they were looked after by one of the Wasdale team members whilst their parent were contacted and drove up from Preston to pick them up. Their original plans had been to camp a further night at Coniston before catching the train home.  Weather conditions were extreme over this weekend with high winds, heavy rain and swollen becks.  The incident was closed at 4.45 p.m.

5/49:29/10/05 (10.30 p.m.) - Saturday

Whist searching for the missing mother and son (see incident 48 below) two of the Wasdale team members went to assist a group of five young walkers who had set off from Wasdale earlier that day to climb Scafell Pike and became lost on the summit, descending into Eskdale by mistake.  They were found on the Heron Crag side of the river Esk and were walked back down the valley to Brotherilkeld.

5/48:29/10/05 (9.10 p.m.) - Saturday

Call from the police earlier that evening with little information about a 48 yr old mother and 16 yr old son who were lost somewhere in the Scafell area but they were well equipped.  The team mustered 13 Wasdale members which included three of the Wasdale search dog handlers with their dogs.  In addition a further five SARDA search dogs and handlers were called out and the Keswick MRT base was manned for communications and control.  The RAF Leeming MRT were training locally at Boot, Eskdale and they were tasked to help with the search.  The mother and son were located in Hollowstones, just below Scafell Pike, by one of the Wasdale search dogs.  They were trying to complete the 3 Peaks challenge (normally undertaken during the summer months when weather conditions and available light are more favourable). They were ill  equipped and the mother was in shorts and trainers.  They had completed Ben Nevis earlier that day and they had left the bottom of the valley at 4.00 p.m. They were located at around 11.00 p.m. and safely walked back down the mountain to the Hotel where they were met by friends.  The incident was closed early Sunday morning.

5/47c:25/10/05 (2.30 p.m.) - Tuesday

Call from Workington Police regarding father and 15 yr old daughter lost on Scafell Pike.  The father had rung for
assistance from their mobile phone and was on steep, rocky ground, having lost the path. Contact was established by phone and from his description the team leader took it that they had lost the main path at Broad Crag.  We believed they were overlooking crags above the Piers Gill area.  The father was given directions to find the main path again and there was a further call at 3.15pm, in which they confirmed they'd now found the path and met others who also confirmed their location. Incident closed at 3.15pm

5/47b:23/10/05 (6.34 p.m.) - Sunday

Telephone call from the police to respond to a '999' call from a group of four walkers from the Bristol area who had walked the Corridor Route up the top of Scafell Pike and then made a navigational error and descended via the south side of Scafell Pike and down Cam Spout.  They had then worked their way back up through the terraces onto the ridge between Slightside and Scafell before descending by the Green How route.  They had phoned again as they were descending the scree to say that they were nearly down at Brackenclose.  Incident closed around 9.00 p.m.

5/47a:22/10/05 (6.00 p.m.) - Saturday

Telephone call from the police to assist a group of four adult walkers who were tired and overdue following their walk up to Scafell Pike.  They had descended into Eskdale and were making their way back up towards Esk Hause.  Their location was Knotts of the Tongue (bottom of crags leading up to Esk Hause).  The Team Leader advised them that if the team were to be called out they would still have to walk off the mountain.  They were given directions over the phone to head up to the cross roads at Esk Hause and turn northwest (left) towards Sty Head Tarn and on to Seathwaite.  They contacted him again later to say they had made their way down but it had got dark so they had retraced their steps back to Esk Hause.  The Team Leader decided to call the Keswick team as their destination was Seathwaite.  Keswick put 20 team members out and recovered the benighted group.

5/47:21/10/05 (7.45 p.m.) - Friday

Telephone call from the police to search for two missing walkers in the Scafell Pike area. The couple in their late thirties had left earlier that day and had been lost on the tops.  The cloud was down to Mickledore ridge.  They contacted the team by mobile phone to say they were making their way down Lingmel.  Four team members went out to meet them and they were located at 9.20 pm.  They were safely escorted off the fell and the incident was closed at 12.30 a.m. Saturday morning. 


5/46:9/10/05 (4.20 p.m.) - Sunday

A walker raised the alarm at Wasdale Head reporting that a 60 year old male walker had collapsed on Gavel Neese, Great Gable with hypothermia.  He had been found by a group of walkers near the bottom of the wall on Gavel Knees, down by the side of Gable Beck.  He had cuts to the head, was bruised and wet through.  He had left Honister Pass that morning at 10.00 a.m. to climb Great Gable.  Weather conditions had been poor with high winds, driving rain and cloud on the tops.  He had lost his way and descended into Wasdale via Beck Head.   Whilst descending he had fallen a couple of times including a fall into the beck.   He had also lost his rucksack on the way down. Fortunately he had been spotted by a keen eyed walker as he was lying some distance from the main descent path.

He was checked over by the team doctors and warmed up in a casualty bag and bivvy tent before being carried down by stretcher to the ambulance at the Wasdale Head car park.  The incident was closed at around 7.00 pm with around twenty team members on the hill.

5/45:6/10/05 (5.50 p.m.) - Thursday

Pager message from Workington Police regarding lost walkers.  Three walkers hade been doing the Mosedale Horseshoe and after completing Pillar had made a navigation error in the mist where the path forks on the ascent of Red Pike.  They were called on their mobile by the team leader and their position established.  They were given instructions on how to get safely down off the mountain to Overbeck car park.  To ensure they were safely down five team members were called out to check the Overbeck and Mosedale descent routes.  They managed to get down with no further assistance and were met at the car park.  Incident closed at 7.30 p.m.


September  2005

5/44:26/9/05 (6.15 p.m.) - Monday

Telephone call from the police to respond to a '999' from a mobile phone.  4 male walkers had walked from the Wasdale valley bottom to the top of Scafell Pike.  One of their party had sustained an injury to his leg.  They had met up with another party of four and had been making their way back down the mountain towards Esk Hause.  The gave a grid reference which was incorrect but could have indicated that they were somewhere in upper Eskdale area. Search groups were sent up from both the Wasdale and Eskdale sides.  At around 7.00 p.m. they called in to say they were north of Lingmel fell, making their way down a wide path which was running in a westerly direction with a river running alongside.  They were carrying two lights amongst the group of eight. The search team on the Wasdale side made contact and walked them off the mountain back to their cars.  21 team members were deployed on the fell along with two SARDA handlers with their search dogs from the Wasdale Team.  In addition there were 4 team members on base and relay duties.  Weather conditions were poor with low cloud and torrential rain.  Rivers were in full flood. The incident was closed at approximately  8.30 p.m.  

5/43:22/9/05 (7.45 p.m.) - Thursday

Telephone call direct from one of the Wasdale team members who lives at Wasdale Head.  A 40 yr
old male was long overdue from Scafell Pike.  His wife was the informant and was waiting at the Green.  She had news that he'd been seen at the summit at about 3pm.  He had waterproof clothing and some gear but no torch or compass.
The team leader decided to leave it until 9 p.m. before doing a team call out but the team member needed to walk his dog.  He therefore went to walk up Brown Tongue and the Base was manned in order to maintain radio communications. He found the man somewhere near the bottom of Brown Tongue and walked back to into the valley with him.  The log was closed at 8.50pm As a limited number of team members were involved and a team member was involved on the fell, even though it was not a full callout, we are giving this an incident number.

5/42a:20/9/05 (6.00 p.m.) - Tuesday

Direct call from the owner of the Wasdale Head Inn.  He had very concerned parents who were waiting for their son
to turn up from a walk and thought he was long overdue.  The missing person was a 47 yr old male, walking alone and setting off from Buttermere (Gatesgarth from their description).  He was walking without a rucksack or any other equipment other than what he was wearing -  Jeans, T shirt, pullover, boots.  No map, torch, other clothing, food etc.
He was last seen just after mid-day and coming to Wasdale Head via Scarth Gap and Black Sail.  Weather not too bad on the coast but had been cloudy at pass level.

The team leader advised that he we wait until 7.00 pm before taking action.  The overdue walker turned up at 6.55pm, just as the team leader was looking up the Cockermouth Team's number as backup and the deputy team leader was dialing the number for our group paging system.  Although there were three team members involved in the pre callout work it does not constitute an official incident and therefore not given a number although reported here for interest and awareness.

5/42:19/9/05 (9.30 p.m.) - Monday

The team were called by the police to respond to a long overdue pair of walkers.  A Father and son, late 50's and late 20's, had left Carlisle at 9.00 a.m. to climb Scafell Pike from Seathwaite.  They had started their climb at 10.30 a.m. and were still not back at 9.30 p.m.

Wasdale called Keswick team to help.  Whilst preparing to leave for what could be a prolonged search (the missing persons had no lights), the call came in at 10.30 pm that they had turned up safe and well.  The incident was closed.

5/41a:18/9/05 (6.00 a.m.) - Sunday

The team leader was called by Workington Police regarding a group of 3 peakers who were
lost on the Pike.  Their initial information was:-
a) no injuries involved
b) the weather had turned bad
c) it was dark and cloudy
d) they didn't have food or drinks
e) they didn't have adequate waterproofs
Initially they couldn't be re-contacted on their mobile phone so a message was left.  

When the group eventually got back they gave an eight figure map reference and an accurate altitude on the fell.  i.e. they had a GPS as well as a mobile phone.  The location they gave put them overlooking Piers Gill, near
Lingmel Col and the wall.  They were told to find the wall again and which direction to walk in, in order to locate the main Brown Tongue path.  This was important, as one of the group was waiting for them at the path split in Hollowstones.  There were a number of further phone conversations, particularly as the group missed the Brown Tongue path and ended up coming down Lingmel Nose.  They were all confirmed to be safe and off the hill at 9.00 a.m., when the Police log was closed.  

5/41:12/9/05 (12.18 p.m.) - Monday

The team were paged by Workington Police regarding a lady in her 50's with a suspected broken ankle. Her location was given as high up next to the second gill, Hardknott  Fell on the Eskdale side.  When more details were known, the lady was not a walker but from one of the local farms.  She was helping her husband gathering the sheep when she slipped and broke her ankle.  She was on a separate side of the fell to her husband so he was unaware that the accident had happened or exactly where she had been walking.  She was lying in high bracken and not visible.  The accident happened at around 10.00 a.m. but it was not until later that she was eventually located by the family who then called in the team.

The advance team were on scene within the hour and following first aid she was stretchered down the hillside to the valley bottom and carried to Brotherilkeld farm where she was transferred to the waiting ambulance and on to West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven.  There were around 16 team members on the fell and the incident was closed at approximately  4.00 p.m.  The team were pleased to have been able to help one of the local Eskdale farming families who have supported the team over many years.

5/40:8/9/05 (12.46 p.m.) - Thursday

The team were called to assist a lady in her early 20's who had slipped on Gavel Knees on the way up Great Gable, approximately 200 meters above the intake wall on the path to Beck Head.  The young lady had a previous back injury and during the fall had injured her back again and could not walk.  Around 18 team members turned out and stretcher carried her back down to the bottom.  She was able to walk with care from the team vehicle to her car at the Green, Wasdale Head.  The incident was closed at 3.30 pm