14 in 2024
Piers Gill, Scafell Pike
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Other Agencies
A call was received from Cumbria Police about a walker who was requesting help for herself and also because she could not contact her partner for several hours. They had split up close to the summit, with the male walker ascending the final stretch in the mist, intending to return within a short time.
When the male walker failed to return, and after a phone call saying that he had lost the path and was scrambling down on steep ground the informant was increasingly concerned when no further contact was possible.
The Team Leader made a full callout and also asked a team member in the valley to travel direct to help the informant off the hill and obtain further information. At this point she had almost made it back to Brackenclose.
With lots of uncertainty, and the possibility of a search over a large area, Duddon and Furness MRT was asked to search the paths in Eskdale. Additionally two search dogs were given taskings.
With 27 pairs of boots (and eight paws) on the ground in both valleys, the teams made their way uphill. After a couple of false alarms, a Wasdale hill party heard shouts from Piers Gill. On further careful investigation over the edge, a light was seen and soon it was confirmed that the walker was in a precarious position at the bottom of the gill. Fortunately he was able to stand and shout back to team members.
All Wasdale parties converged and proceeded to set up rope access to enable team members to safely descend. Once on scene the walker was confirmed to have taken a few tumbles, and was soaking wet, but after some warming, food and extra clothing he was able to manage an assisted climb out of the gill.
Once back on safe ground, he was further assessed and debriefed. He had suffered many abrasions from scrambling, slipping and sliding down treacherous ground on the descent in the gill. Due to this it was decided to take the longer but safer route back up to Lingmell Col before descending finally to Brackenclose. An ambulance was also requested as a precaution to further assess the walker.
At Brackenclose, the two walkers were finally reunited, before being taken to hospital for a full assessment.
The teams returned to their respective bases to reset the vehicles in readiness for the next callout.
This was a great outcome given the location. We wish the walkers a full recovery from their ordeal.
Huge thanks to Duddon and Furness MRT and to the team members of Lake District Mountain Rescue Searchdogs for their swift help once again. A special thanks also to the Wasdale Head Inn for showing tremendous kindness and support to team members and the informant walker during a tense wait for news from the hill.

Incident started at 18:28 and ended at 03:51 making 9.4 hrs in total. There were 20 Wasdale team members involved and the incident occured at NY 211 083. Total rescuer hours: 188