But to me it was someone saving my life......

The following is a letter written by a lady the team rescued on the Screes, autumn 1999.  She and her husband and their lovely dog Bryn had lost the path and climbed up the scree diagonally. This is a common mistake made by people who lose their way on the boulder field and becoming stuck on the moving, loose boulders high up.  It was a day of good visibility so they could raise the alarm by shouting and waving to the holiday makers sitting in their cars on the other side. I was quite touched by her letter as it describes so vividly the feelings of both panic and relief.  As experienced walkers and climbers we take loose rock and exposure for granted but we should not forget that to others it is a terrifying experience.  As one of the rescuers, reading the letter was a humbling experience.  This rescue was recorded as incident number ** on Saturday 18th September 1999.

                                    Richard Warren - Secretary WMRT, 27th May 2000  

Dear Richard,

I wish to apologise to the wonderful Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team for being called out to rescue me from the Screes, on Saturday 18th September.  I am truly sorry and highly embarrassed that I put myself into such a situation.  It was a stupid mistake to have made (I was leading my husband) and I feel very humbled by their marvelous response and understanding.

After 35 years of climbing Lakeland Fells - 'sensibly' I thought, I got it wrong.  Unwittingly climbing the Screes path diagonally instead of staying lower and straighter, finding myself (& husband) on smaller scree & seemingly very loose as it kept sliding down under foot, suddenly realising we were far too high up & it was so steep.  The Lake beckoned & I lost my nerve; too petrified to continue in any direction.  I came sickingly to the conclusion that only you could help me.  My husband managed slowly to retreat but I was too terrified to follow him & asked him to return & call for your help.  Your team was my only hope of a return to safety.

As I sat alone, with my shivering dog, in the rain, terrified and crying, feeling sick and stupid, blaming only myself, you will never know the great relief I felt when I heard your sirens and saw the team.  Perhaps to yourselves and anyone else it was only a call for "assistance" but to me it was someone saving my life.

I had always highly valued the Mountain Rescue Teams, glad they were there for the real mountaineers and sure I would never need them as I didn't take risks and was always sensible & careful ~ oh dear how foolish!) & not very adventurous - a fine weather walker!  It is only now, having had a traumatic experience, that the true, immense value of the Service becomes so vividly apparent.

So when a 'thank you' never seems to be enough ~ to a team of dedicated & courageous volunteers, willing to sacrifice their time & effort, exposing themselves to risks, to render assistance in reply to ant cry for help I, and also my husband Richard, can only convey our deeply heart-felt thanks to all of you in the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team.

letter reproduced with Linnaire's kind permission - Linnaire is also member 001 in our supporters club - if you are interested in joining it or taking an active role in running it then please contact me by 

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updated 27th May 2000 - created 27th May 2000 by webcat.co.uk