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.