I was reading your web site following a
visit to the Lakes ,and saw that you were interested in any "near miss
Four colleagues and myself intended on a two
day visit to the Keswick area ,arriving Tuesday 25/09/2007.
I had planned to walk to Scafell Pike from
Seathwaite via the corridor route and then onto Lords Rake ,onto Scafell and
down Foxes tarn ,and return via Mickledore ,Broad Cragg and Great End.
The walk went smoothly until Foxes tarn .
Whilst descending with one colleague ,about halfway down Foxes tarn gully I
noticed a lot of fresh fallen rock and very large boulders ,it was that fresh
I could even smell that sulphourous smell, that rocks make when struck together. The
largest of these boulders was about 10 ft x 15 ft approx. We
passed without incident.
The three friends behind reached this area a
few moments later, one was behind the largest rock one was passing to its
right and one in front when it has all moved again , sliding about 15 to
20 ft further down . The two lads either in front and behind were luckily
unscathed apart from a minor hand injury but my friend at the side became
trapped under some large boulders . From my position I though he had gone under
the largest rock ,but fortunately he had gone to its side . Having got two of
the party out of the gully , one of my friends and myself removed the rocks
from my friend and whilst very wary that it was all going to move again we managed
to get him to his feet and out of the side of the gully. I was expecting a
broken leg at least when I saw the position of his feet and legs but it seemed
he had got off relatively lightly . He had a twisted and knocked about ankle
and bruising to his calf area , he had banged his head in the fall but without
too much apparent damage and had injured his right arm , possible broken bone
in his hand and elbow .
We managed to slide him down the grassy side of
the gully to the path at the bottom , where we assessed his injuries.
Luckily he was able to slowly get down to the
valley bottom and we decided the easiest way down was to follow the valley
route to Honister pass.
We feel we had a very lucky escape considering
the size of the rocks and boulders that fell .
I'm very glad that we didn't need your services
, but its heartening to know that we could have turned to you should the
outcome have been worse.
I think some contributions to the Mountain
Rescue are long overdue ,something I will put right soon .
Further email 28/9/07 with photographs
Dear Warren ,
thanks for responding to my email .
I have included some shots that I hurriedly took
after the event . Its hard to get a sense of scale without something or
someone to refer to , but I am sure you are very familiar with location
.In some of the photos you can see the fresh scratch marks on the rock where
they tumbled upon each other. Sorry about the amateurish stick man ,
but it shows where Hugh became trapped by the three rocks lying around him
.He was facing down hill ,on his front but legs twisted around each other
with one of the rocks pinning them down. His ruck sack was trapped
underneath the uppermost rock .
Just for the record ,I am a 38 yr old police
officer, with previous walking/scrambling experience ,My four friends have
all walked before but to a lesser extent ,and all are of a similar age to
myself and all are policeofficers. We were well equipped for the day
with the exception of helmets .Lesson learnt !!!!!
many thanks again,
of the rock fall here
Email from another walker - 30/9/07
I had planned to walk Scafell at weekend anyway. I ascended Lord's Rake
which seems fairly settled at the moment, walked along the ridge to Slight
Side, dropped down to the valley and climbed up by the side of Cam Spout and
up Foxes Tarn Gully.
In the lower section of the gully there were always a number of large
chock-stones that seemed to be immoveable but they have moved about twenty
feet down the gully.
Now that they are in the middle of the gully and not attached to the rock
wall they will almost certainly move again. The smaller boulders that fill
the gap between the larger ones are piled up several deep and you have to
clamber up them, they are fairly stable at the moment but will also move
again when the larger ones do.
Those guys certainly had a close shave.
I got photos that by themselves don't show much, I'll find some from earlier
in the year and see if there is a good before and after comparison.
telephone call from a concerned walker 1st October 2007
Lady from from Northallerton, North Yorkshire reported that a group
of 6 ladies from Hambleton Ramblers were ascending Foxes Tarn from Camspout
27/9/07. One lady stood on the big boulder which then moved - she fell
but was not injured - the group then had to move across to the right hand
side of the gulley - beware
A couple of team members went to have
a look at the gulley (14 October) with the following report.
We went to have a look at the Foxes Tarn
Gully yesterday. We scrambled up the grass alongside the gully to the
location of the rockfall and then took various photos which we will e-mail
for the website. The rockfall is from a section of the sidewall that has
obviously been loose for a long time. It has fallen into a fairly
concentrated area with 3 large boulders and lots of smaller TV sized
boulders. The largest boulder is approximately 10x5x5ft across its largest
dimensions. However, this boulder does look the least stable of the lot and
another large boulder of about half that size is resting against it. I was
happy to enter the gully for a short period and have a look and get some