57 in 2004
Piers Gill, Scafell Pike
Other Agencies
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Call from Workington Police regarding two overdue walkers. The two brothers from Barrow, 21 and 29 year old had set off from the green at Wasdale Head to climb Scafell Pike. When they hadn’t returned home the alarm was raised. In addition to the Wasdale team, Keswick, SARDA dogs and Duddon Furness were involved in the search and subsequent rescue. The two walkers had descended Scafell Pike via Lingmel Col and then taken a wrong turning down Pier’s Gill itself which is a deep ravine, 300 foot deep and only 5 foot wide in places. After descending all the waterfall pitches they eventually could go no further when they came to the top of the 60- foot waterfall pitch. They were both wet through, mildly hypothermic and one had injured his leg when he fell on the last the last pitch. They were stuck in the Gill for 13 hours and were rescued at around 4.00 am on the Monday morning. The walker with the injured leg was taken to West Cumberland Hospital. The rescue base was closed at 1.30 pm after one of the most exhausting rescues the team has undertaken in a long time. The following article was written in the Whitehaven news……

Walkers winched from Ravine – A 15 hour mountain rescue operation was carried out in Wasdale after two walkers became stuck in a dangerous ravine. The two men, from Barrow, had been reported overdue after setting out to do a walk at Scafell Pike and police found their car parked at Wasdale Head. The alarm was raised at 10.00 pm on Sunday night and Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team were alerted. Team Leader Julian Carradice said “We knew that they didn’t have much in the way of emergency equipment so there was concern for their safety”.

Together with members from the Keswick Team and search dogs [SARDA Lakes] they set off on the initial search. Eventually they found the walkers’ light but they were stuck in a ravine called Piers Gill and it took members until around 4.00 am to reach them because of the rocky and dangerous location.It seems the two men, in their twenties, had become lost and tried to follow a stream but had become stuck in a gulley which was only about 6 yards wide at the bottom but 300 feet high. They had been stuck in the same place since 3.13 pm. Long ropes were used to lower rescue members into the ravine, including a team doctor, and the men were winched up to safety.They were treated for mild hypothermia and one was found to have a knee injury which left him unable to walk. A stretcher was then required to take him off the mountain and colleagues from the Duddon and Furness mountain rescue team came to help. He was taken to the West Cumberland Hospital for treatment. Rescue members got home around 1.30 pm on Monday.

Incident started at 22:00 and ended at 13:30 making 15.5 hrs in total.