"Carol had to leave me several times"

The following is a copy of an article written for a journal following an incident on the Piers Gill path.  This is one of the more interesting routes up Scafell Pike which involves a 30 metre rock step and is very exposed in places.   The casualty fell on the path just below the rock step.  I have included a couple of photographs of the route and the photographs which accompanied the article.  The other photographs were taken a week before the incident preparation for a full day practice (using a helicopter) scheduled for 19 May in the same area.  It is a notorious area for accidents so the team were keen to practice a casualty evacuation from the Gill.                                         


also see more recent rescue 26/10/07 here




DAVID Bunting broke his ankle and dislocated an elbow when he fell descending Scafell in the Lake District.

The director of Whittle Movers Group and his wife Carol had already scaled England’s highest mountain before the accident.  He fell 10m from the otherwise deserted Piers Gill path on the mountain around 4pm on Sunday 12 May.  Fortunately Mrs. Bunting was able to call for help on her mobile phone.

Mr. Bunting said: We had a mobile phone and a map with us, but because of reception difficulties Carol had to leave me several times to make contact with the Police and Mountain Rescue and give them my position.”

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team found them within 90 minutes. They gave Mr. Bunting painkilling injections and kept him warm until a helicopter arrived from Prestwick.

The Royal Navy Sea King then flew him to West Cumbria Hospital in Whitehaven for treatment.  A metal plate and six crews were inserted into Mr. Bunting’s ankle during an operation on his injured foot. He left hospital on Thursday 16 May and returned home to Preston.

Mr. Bunting said: “The Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team have now shot to the top of my charitable giving league. They were fantastic and I can’t speak too highly of them.”

Although he has returned to work and the plastercasts have been removed, Mr. Bunting still faces a long course of physiotherapy on his injured ankle and elbow.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team is a voluntary organisation and relies almost solely on public donations to maintain its service.

More details about the charity and David Bunting’s rescue can be found by visiting the website at: www.wasdale-mountain-rescue.org.uk.


Team members waiting to be picked up off the fell
Stretcher ready for evacuation
Piers Gill looking northeast down the Gill - rock step to the right out of picture. Gill drop 70 metres vertically to the stream bed on left. (the following photos were taken the week before the accident)
Rock step - 10 metre scramble down to the path below.  Incident took place just after this rock step on the descent from Scafell Pike.
Piers Gill 90 degree bend in centre of photo.  Lingmell Crags to the left.  70 metre vertical drop into the gill - Styhead Pass path in the distance below Gable Crags
Start of Lingmel Crags on left
Lingmel Crags which rise above Piers Gill
Looking up Piers Gill from the 90 degree bend towards Scafell Pike, the highest ground in the distance.  Entry into Piers Gill (to be discouraged) is in the centre of the photo just offset to left slightly where there is a scree.
Looking back (north west) towards Lingmell and the dark chasm of piers Gill to the centre right of photo.  Photograph taken from Broad Crag Col, 15 minutes from the summit of Scafell Pike.



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