A Story of Self Help / The Good Samaritan

Saturday 27 May 2006

The Wasdale Team is one of the busiest in the Lakes with over 50 rescues each year.  All the team members are volunteers and the team is wholly funded by voluntary donations.  It is therefore great to find stories where the team would normally have been called out save the help by other like minded walkers and climbers.  This is such a story.  A big thank you from all of us in the team for helping the man off the mountain.  He was a mild hypothermic case who would most probably have been severe hypothermic had it not been for the selfless act of a small group of people.


Reading your site I noticed that you said that you would like to hear about incidents in the area.  Last Saturday I was in Wasdale and having checked the forecast that morning decided to leave our ascent of Scafell Pike until after midday.  My partner and myself set off from Wasdale Head about midday to go up into Hollow Stones, Mickledore and Scafell Pike.  The conditions, as I am sure you are aware, and as we found out were not good on the tops.

 Although well kitted out ourselves we saw a vast array of unsuitable clothing that afternoon.  On the screes going up to Mickledore we were joined by a 70 year old man.  His son had gone on ahead with the grandchildren (young teenagers) and left him to make his own way.  It was thick mist/cloud and he didn't have a map!!.  The man was wearing summer weight 3/4 length trousers, cheap walking boots with very wide gaping ankles.  In fact there was water swashing out of his boots!!!!  We took him with us to the summit.  At this point the winds become more ferocious and the rain became horizontal.  The 70 year old man was shivering.  I lent him a spare fleece and we decided to leave the summit immediately.  Before we reached Lingmell col, he had started tottering and said that he couldn't feel his legs properly.  We had been joined by a party of four men from the Bolton area.  Between us we lent the man a thin fleece, a thick jacket fleece, a substantial Berghaus jacket, a pair of over trousers, a pair of gloves and a hat!!!  We also managed to find a hand warmer for him.  Between the 6 of us we managed to get him safely down.  As we were approaching the car park, his son came to meet us.  He was just setting off to see where his dad was.  Needless to say, we had a few choice words for him.  We all got out clothing back at the car park, where most of us had a change of clothes.  He on the other hand only had dry socks and shoes!!

We had thought about calling you out, but when supplied with the extra clothing he made a good recovery and by the time we joined the outward path above Ligmell Gill he was quite cheery.

Our reward for the day was the wonderful views from Wastwater as we drove back along the lake.  The weather had cleared.

A Lady from Rochdale

(Lady's details were supplied along with these great photos of the Wasdale Valley taken later that day - comments by the web manager)


Scafell Pike in the background looking significantly smaller than her sister Scafell on the right and clear of cloud. Lingmell on the left and Lingmell col to the right which leads up to the Pike and the safest route.

Yewbarrow, a hard pull up the front and side but one of the nicest and quickest tops with great views down the valley and across to the Scafells.


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