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: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/advice/accident-black-spots/wasdale-screes/

Our Callout Archive: Wasdale Screes

Wastwater Screes – Tue 19th Mar 2019 – Callout 9 in 2019 (limited)

The team received a call from Cumbria Police on Wednesday 20th March reporting 2x adults with dog stuck on the boulder field area at the bottom of Wasdale screes. One person had taken a small stumble fall and sustained injuries to their head and knee. A small group of team members located the people and …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-tue-19th-mar-2019/

Wastwater Screes – Sat 10th Nov 2018 – Callout 62 in 2018

We were called by Police about 2 walkers reported overdue from a walk around Wast Water. On speaking with the informant one of the walkers had just made their own way back to Wasdale Head Inn but had had to leave his companion on the Screes path as he’d become exhausted. A team member set …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sat-10th-nov-2018/

Wastwater Screes – Fri 9th Nov 2018 – Callout 61 in 2018

We were called by Police about reports of 2 kayakers on Wastwater, one of whom had capsized. Whilst the person in their boat made it to the road side of the lake, the other one was believed to be on the Screes side. A team member set off from the pump house and located the …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-fri-9th-nov-2018/

Wastwater Screes – Sun 23rd Sep 2018 – Callout 51 in 2018

Team called for a party who’d become stuck on the Wasdale Screes path. They were located by team members on foot then taken across the lake in the team’s boat.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sun-23rd-sep-2018/

Wastwater Screes – Tue 4th Sep 2018 – Callout 46 in 2018 (limited)

We were called by Police about 2 walkers who’d become stuck on the Wasdale Screes having ascended above the nominal line of the path in an effort to find easier ground. They were located using PhoneFind then a party went on the screes to help them off.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-tue-4th-sep-2018/

Wastwater Screes – Sun 26th Aug 2018 – Callout 42 in 2018

We were called by NWAS about a walker who’d injured their leg after being hit by falling rocks when walking along the path on the far side of the lake. The walker was given pain relief and the leg was splinted at the scene then they were evacuated using the team’s boat to an ambulance …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sun-26th-aug-2018/

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: https://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: https://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: https://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: https://www.wmrt.org.uk/incidents/wastwater-screes-sat-3rd-oct-2015/

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