6 in 2007
Piers Gill, Scafell Pike
Other Agencies
, ,

The Team Leader was contacted by the police regarding a family of 4 who had failed to return to their car after climbing Scafell Pike. The father and mother along with their 5 year old and 14 month old sons had set off at midday from Brackenclose. Another group of 3 walkers left Brackenclose at the same time and walked up the mountain with them (coincidentally both groups were from Cornwall and up on holiday but not together). The combined group of 7 climbed to the summit of Scafell Pike via Mickledore. They all left the summit at 4.00 p.m., and although it was late, the young family had seemed happy with their intended descent route. The party of 3 returned to the valley bottom independently but when the young family’s car was still parked up after nightfall, the group became concerned and decided to walk back up the mountain to see if they could see their lights. When nothing was seen they called out the team via the Police. Following a major search involving over 40 team members from Wasdale, Keswick, Duddon & Furness, and 4 SARDA search dogs, the family were located just after midnight in the bottom of Piers Gill at the bend by the waterfall pitches (the same location as incident 12a). Although tired, cold and wet the family were well equipped and out of the wind and driving rain. Conditions on the mountain were severe with low cloud, visibility down to 30 feet, strong winds and driving rain. The family were brought out of the Gill and due to the cold and wet and tiredness, the 5 year old son was brought down by stretcher. The family were off the fell at 3:30 hrs and taken to the Wasdale Head Inn for food, drink and accommodation kindly supplied by the owner. The incident was closed at 4:30 hrs 19 Wasdale team members, 9 Keswick, 16 Duddon Furness, a 4 search dog handlers from SARDA Lakes. (reduced but sufficient numbers due to half term).The route out for the casualties is shown on the attached GPS trace. The stretcher party were out of the cloud half way down Lingmel Nose but wind was extremely fierce. The incident seemed to capture the media’s attention and was covered by a number of regional TV stations and the Times. Any details in the press with regard to individual names and home location were not supplied by the Team. The website has received the greatest number of hits since it started with 945 page views for the week and 240 visitors to the website on the morning following the rescue.For photographs of Piers Gill see here – previous true story in the Piers Gill areaFor the factual article on the rescue written by the team for the Mountain Rescue Magazine see here

Incident started at 19:32 and ended at 04:30 making 9 hrs in total. There were 19 Wasdale team members involved. Total rescuer hours: 171