21 in 2024
Piers Gill, Scafell Pike
Other Agencies
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A couple of hours after the team members returned home from the previous callout, the team was called again by Cumbria Police in the early hours.
A lone male walker was reported overdue by a friend, having declared an intent to climb Scafell. He had left home early the previous morning, likely setting off on the fell at about 7:30am. The police had checked car parks and located his car at Brackenclose. Very limited additional information was known, other than he had intended to return the same day before the weather deteriorated (early afternoon).
With team members recovering from the previous callout, coupled with the prospect of a major search on both Scafell and Scafell Pike, (walkers often talk about Scafell but really mean Scafell Pike) the Team Leader escalated the callout to regional level, requesting support from all other Lake District teams. The poor weather of the previous day made the search urgent due to risk of hypothermia. Visibility was still poor and the temperature was forecasted to drop further through the day.
An initial Wasdale party set off at 04:42, and then other teams were tasked as they arrived at base, or remotely if that saved time. Search dogs and coastguard helicopter support was also received.
As the digital map began to fill with many traces of individual rescuers, a shout was heard by the Cockermouth MRT team from the bottom of Piers Gill. The team were able to access the location with a rope system. Unfortunately the walker had suffered injuries to both ankles, amongst other injuries, and as such medical treatment and evacuation by stretcher was required. He had been in the gill injured for about 24 hours by this point having mis-navigated on his descent from the summit.
Other teams on the hill then migrated to the evacuation point with further medical equipment. Specialist rope rescue equipment, stretcher, and further casualty packaging was flown from the valley with additional team members by Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199.
Medical assessment and treatment was given in the gill before a technical rescue was then undertaken, led by the Cockermouth team and with assistance from all the other teams present.
Having done the hard bit, the normally straightforward part of either a stretcher carry or helicopter transport from the scene proved difficult. With weather conditions thwarting a helicopter extraction, and steep ground below preventing a descent by stretcher, the safest and quickest option was an uphill carry to Lingmell Col. After an energy sapping journey, also helped by a passing Assynt MRT team member, the walker was transferred into the care of the awaiting Helimed 58 crew. He was then flown to hospital for further treatment.
We wish the walker a quick recovery from his injuries.
We’d like to offer huge thanks to all supporting teams and agencies, including offers received later in the morning and not required. This is an example of fantastic multiagency working (both voluntary and professional) to get the best possible outcome for the walker. As a team we are very thankful for the swift response to help.

Incident started at 00:50 and ended at 17:46 making 16.9 hrs in total. There were 21 Wasdale team members involved and the incident occured at NY211083. Total rescuer hours: 355