Wasdale Screes

Screes Incident Locations

Screes Incident Locations over the last 7 years

The Wasdale Screes are an area of unstable, loose boulders on the far (east) bank of Wast Water, underneath Illgill Head and Whin Rigg. GR NY 144 038 to NY165 058.

Walking around Wast Water can be a pleasant outing for those prepared for the screes but there have been many incidents in this area for those who under-estimated the difficulties.

Most of the incidents relate to people and often dogs that get stuck in the boulder field at the southern end of the lake, underneath Whin Rigg, around Grid Ref NY 153 046. This is due to the size of the boulders and distance between them that can require jumping or other athletic moves to make progress. The dogs tend to be big ones, such as Alsatians. We assume the smaller ones get carried ? There is a faint path through this section marked by some small cairns and wear on the rock however it can be hard to follow unless you know what you are looking for. It remains fairly close to the lake shore, within around 50m but does undulate through this section. Many people have lost the path and ended up trying to climb up before getting stuck in loose ground. As there is no solid ground in this area rescues generally consist of getting people to walk down again, on a ‘dog lead’ rope is this helps their confidence.

Preparing to transfer the casualty to the boat

Transferring a casualty from the screes into our boat

Some people on encountering the boulder field try to outflank it above. There is no safe route up here ! The higher you go the more difficult it tends to get, both for them and us.

More unusual, but serious are a smaller number of rescues where people have tried to take a short cut from around the summit of Whin Rigg down towards the lake. They then get stuck in the crags and gullies in this area where rescue is a major undertaking. The safe route is to continue along the path towards Great Hall Gill (NY 146 028) and then either descend the path here, steep but a lot safer or continue on towards Irton Fell.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/advice/accident-black-spots/wasdale-screes/

Our Callout Archive: Wasdale Screes

Wastwater Screes – Mon 18th Jun 2018 – Callout 28 in 2018 (limited)

We were called by Police about 2 walkers who’d become stuck in the boulder field on the Wasdale Screes path after it rained and the rocks became greasy. They were located by team members who came in on foot then evacuated in the team boat back to the pump house.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-mon-18th-jun-2018/

Wastwater Screes – Sat 5th Aug 2017 – Callout 59 in 2017

Team called yesterday evening for a walker who had slipped and fallen around 20m whilst ascending the steep ground to the left of Great Gully on Wasdale Screes. He was assessed on scene by the team doctor before being packaged for evacuation. In view of the possible injuries and difficult ground the S-92 helicopter from …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sat-5th-aug-2017/

Wastwater Screes – Sun 30th Jul 2017 – Callout 57 in 2017 (limited)

Whilst the Slight Side incident was ongoing a team member on Illgill Head came across a family group who had been walking in the Wasdale Screes area and been involved in a rockfall. One of them was hit on the head whilst another was hit on the hand by the rocks. Two team members heading …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sun-30th-jul-2017/

Wastwater Screes – Sat 3rd Oct 2015 – Callout 57 in 2015 (limited)

The team was called out to help 2 walkers who had become stuck on the Wasdale Screes path. They were helped back to their car with the aid of the new team boat, this being the first time it has been used on a rescue.

Short video clip of the Wasdale Screes …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sat-3rd-oct-2015/

Wastwater Screes – Tue 1st Sep 2015 – Callout 47 in 2015

We were called by Police about 2 walkers who had become crag fast high up on the Wasdale Screes whilst trying to walk the lakeshore path. Given their location the team approached from above and with the help of a fixed rope system walked them up to the top of Whin Rigg.

It is worth …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-tue-1st-sep-2015/

Wastwater Screes – Sun 16th Feb 2014 – Callout 3 in 2014 (limited)

Flashing lights were reported on the Screes. A group of team members returning from training investigated and found nothing. A false alarm with good intent.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sun-16th-feb-2014/

Wastwater Screes – Fri 6th Dec 2013 – Callout 68 in 2013 (limited)

We received a call from the police to say flashing lights had been reported on the Wasdale Screes in the boulder field area. A limited search of the Screes path from both ends of the lake was made, using the boat and a foot party. Nothing was found and the incident was closed at 19.45. …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-fri-6th-dec-2013/

Wastwater Screes – Thu 31st Oct 2013 – Callout 63 in 2013

We were called by the Police about a party of 3 stuck on the Wasdale Screes in between the 2 boulder fields. One of the group had weakness / pain in the knees that had been aggravated by crossing over the big boulder field and could not make any more progress. She was helped down …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-thu-31st-oct-2013/

Wastwater Screes – Tue 20th Aug 2013 – Callout 49 in 2013

We were called by North West Ambulance Service about two male walkers who were stuck in a ravine, one of whom had a wrist injury. After some discussions with the casualties it became apparent they were in Great Gully on the Wasdale Screes, one of the most inaccessible and difficult places to operate in the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-tue-20th-aug-2013/

Wastwater Screes – Sat 27th Jul 2013 – Callout 39 in 2013 (limited)

The team was called out for the third time in the day to attend a pair of walkers stuck high on Wastwater Screes. A group of eight team members made their way to the casualties by ascending from the lakeside path and helped them climb the remaining hundred metres to the ridge before walking down …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sat-27th-jul-2013/

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