Incidents Between 1st January 2024 and 18th May 2024

Start date: End date:

1. Cumbria - Full Callout - 00:35 Mon 1st Jan 2024

A very sad start to the New Year. We were asked to support Penrith MRT for a large scale search in the North Pennines, along with many other Lakes MRT teams and other agencies. Two land search teams and the drone team were deployed to assist. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with family and friends. Penrith Mountain Rescue Team 6 d  ·  Callout 38 Date: 31st December 2023 Start time: 17:45 Location: Cross Fell, North Pennines Incident Type: Search Other Agencies: Kirkby Stephen MRT, Kendal MRT, Wasdale MRT, Patterdale MRT, Cockermouth MRT, Langdale MRT, Duddon and Furness MRT, Keswick MRT, Lake District Search Dogs, SARDA England, GNAAS, HMCG, Cumbria Police, NWAS Cumbria police contacted the team on New Years Eve in response to a report of an overdue fell runner. The team mobilised and began a search through the night along the runner's planned route of Dufton to Hartside and back. Team members from Penrith, Kirkby Stephen and Kendal searched through into the early hours across the north Pennines. The search resumed at first light, with extra resources called in from across the lakes teams and northern England including search dogs and drones. Searching continued until a find was made by a police helicopter around midday on New Years Day. Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Edward. Many thanks to the other teams, services and individuals who contributed and assisted with this 24 hour operation. 26 Penrith Mountain Rescue Team 13 Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team 7 Kendal Mountain Search & Rescue Team 5 Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team 10 Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team 7 Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team 4 Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team 6 Keswick Mountain Rescue Team 4 Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team (LAMRT) 3 Lake District Mountain Rescue Searchdogs 5 Search and Rescue Dogs Mountain Rescue Search Dogs England 3 LDSAMRA Drones Great North Air Ambulance Service HMCG Rescue 199 North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust Cumbria Police

 

2. Lingmell Col, Scafell Pike - Alert - 02:28 Mon 1st Jan 2024

Another call was received early on New Year’s Day about a lone walker who was lost on the descent from Scafell Pike, heading towards Piers Gill rather than the tourist path to Brackenclose. He was very cold, wet and concerned for his safety. Fortunately the Team Leader was able to locate the walker using Phonefind and then provide guidance to give confidence to the walker that he was moving in the right direction. Further Phonefinds at regular intervals prevented the need for team members to be deployed on the fell. A good outcome, given the planned deployment of help to Penrith MRT several hours later. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

3. Walkmill, Whitehaven - Full Callout - 10:56 Mon 1st Jan 2024

In the third callout of the day, Cumbria Police requested support to search for a missing person. The Team Leader initially requested the drone team, who were able to be released from the Penrith MRT search and travel back by that point. A full callout was subsequently made for a detailed ground search. Fortunately, some time afterwards we received the good news that the police had located the missing person elsewhere and the team stood down and returned to base.

 

4. Scafell Pike - Alert - 16:58 Tue 2nd Jan 2024

A brief alert yesterday when a walker had run out of charge on his phone having previously messaged to a family member that he was lost in the mountains. A photo sent earlier suggested Wast Water as a backdrop. With not much information to work with to plan a search, a further call to say that the walker had made his own way down and was in the car was gratefully received, and the team was stood down. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

5. Red Gill, Scafell - Full Callout - 23:33 Wed 3rd Jan 2024

We have a ‘tail’ to tell with our latest callout. Cumbria Police alerted us to a report from a concerned family member. A group of two male walkers, plus a dog (Dexter) had failed to make contact from an intended walk up Scafell Pike and were overdue. Due to the weather conditions, and real potential for hypothermia, a full callout was made and additional support gained from Duddon and Furness MRT and the Lake District search dogs. No contact was able to be made by mobile phone, so we did not have any real ‘leads’ as to which areas to search. Search teams were sent via the normal routes in Wasdale and Eskdale. The team sent to Sty Head were clearly ‘barking’ up the wrong tree and found nothing. Other teams were ’poodling’ around for some time with nothing heard or seen. However, the search team in Hollow Stones heard a woof and a howl in response to their whistles, and so we finally had a ‘Scooby Doo’. The hunt was on. A light was seen high on the flanks of Scafell, but due to the mist it was very difficult to tell exactly where. ‘Dogged’ determination kept the teams searching in Lord’s Rake, up Black Crag and in Red Gill. Finally a clear line of sight could be made and fortunately the group was thankfully found to be ‘dogfast’ rather than cragfast, on steep ground but manageable with care. Dexter, the 40kg Doberman/Belgian Malinois cross had decided not to move any further on nightfall, despite much encouragement. The walkers were uninjured, cold, and had not wanted to leave their dog on the fell. They were equipped well enough to spend an unplanned night on the fell, and we found that Dexter was trained to bark and howl, thus initially attracting our attention. Other rescuers ‘harnessed’ the energy to make the hard pull up to their location but no amount of encouragement could make Dexter move downhill. The agreed course of action was to wait for daylight and hope that he regained his confidence to move downhill with better visibility. As such, bivvy shelters were deployed for all, and a long ‘paws’ ensued. After a ‘woof’ night, as dawn broke, further attempts were made but Dexter stood fast. As hope was fading a last ditch attempt was made with a 50m rope lead and he was gently encouraged downhill . Thankfully once he started moving there were no further problems and a brisk, boisterous and friendly walk with Dexter was then made back to Brackenclose. The team wearily were ‘recalled’ to base and the vehicles were reset. A friendly team member had kindly played ‘fetch’ with breakfast butties from the local shop. After gratefully consuming these, the team returned home for a ‘lie down’. We’d like to thank Duddon and Furness MRT and Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs for their rapid response to an initially urgent search.

 

6. Wind Gap, Pillar - Full Callout - 14:29 Sat 6th Jan 2024

We were alerted by Cumbria Police about a paraglider who had tumbled 50m down steep scree at Wind Gap after a failed launch. He had suffered pelvis and leg injuries. Initially we asked for support from Cockermouth MRT as they can access this location more easily however shortly after agreeing to help they needed to respond to another call-out in their area. Due to the location and likelihood of serious injuries a Coastguard helicopter was also requested and Rescue 199 from Prestwick was dispatched quickly. They reached the scene and winched their paramedic to the scene to begin treatment. The helicopter then ferried Wasdale MRT team members to the scene to support. The injured paraglider received strong pain relief and was transferred carefully into the vacuum mattress for full body stabilisation. Once in the stretcher the paraglider was winched into the helicopter and flown to hospital to continue his treatment. We wish the casualty well with a speedy recovery from his injuries. Our thanks go to Cockermouth MRT and Rescue 199 for their swift responses.

 

7. Broad Crag Col, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 12:54 Sun 7th Jan 2024

We were called by Cumbria Police about a lone walker who was unable to walk due to pain in both thighs on the initial descent from Scafell Pike summit. He was becoming cold having stopped in the exposed terrain. Due to a possible stretcher carry a full team callout was made. Duddon and Furness MRT were also asked for availability due to slightly low numbers for a long carry off the fell. Fortunately two team members were already on the hill in different locations, but both agreed to change their plans and divert to assess the situation and see if they could help. Once on scene, the walker was assessed and it was decided to attempt to walk slowly down to Wasdale Head. Fortunately this was possible and the two team members escorted the walker to the Wasdale Head Inn for some replenishment of calories, hydration and to arrange a taxi for onwards transport. We’d like to thank Duddon and Furness MRT for their willingness to help once again, and particularly to the numerous groups of passing walkers who seemed to assist in ‘shifts’ in the initial stages.

 

8. Broad Stand, Scafell - Full Callout - 15:04 Sun 7th Jan 2024

Team members were relaxing and enjoying the conditions and stunning views following the good news that the walker from Incident No.7 was able to walk off the fell, when a second call was received from the police. Three people were reported to be stuck on steep and icy ground on Scafell. The coordinates from the police call confirmed that they were on Broad Stand, a black spot and very hazardous terrain for walkers, especially in winter conditions. This is a location for many serious incidents over the years. As we had team members on the fell and in the valley already they were able to retask, alongside additional team members volunteering with the new callout request. Duddon and Furness were asked to standby again. On the ascent it was established that one of the walkers had managed to ascend Broad Stand and was now safely off the fell, leaving two people to rescue. A Coastguard helicopter was requested and Rescue 199 duly attended. Unfortunately, patchy cloud and a light snow shower made conditions too dangerous to attempt a winch pick-off and so they returned to base, leaving a rope rescue to be undertaken. A ‘spotter’ team at Mickledore maintained communications with the party whilst safe rope access was established for two team members to descend. Once on scene, the walkers were given warm clothing, food, helmets, harnesses, spikes and plenty of reassurance. The ascent to the top of Broad Stand was successfully made before a further warm in a bivvy shelter. The long descent into the valley and back to the vehicles was then completed before transferring in a team vehicle to family in the Wasdale Head Inn. Thanks to the crew Rescue 199 and to Duddon and Furness MRT. We hope the walkers recover quickly from their predicament. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

9. Scafell Pike - Alert - 17:47 Fri 19th Jan 2024

As the team were travelling to the Wasdale Head Inn last Friday for the team annual dinner, an alert was received for two walkers lost and cold on Scafell Pike. However, our friends from Duddon and Furness MRT were covering for the evening and they efficiently sorted it with the help of Rescue 199. See their post below. Huge thanks DFMRT once again They are currently fundraising for a new base so any donations would be greatly appreciated. https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/donate?cid=142595...

 

10. Upper Eskdale - Limited Callout - 17:55 Mon 22nd Jan 2024

On Monday evening, as the team were arriving for weekly training, an alert from Cumbria Police was received. Two walkers attempting to climb Scafell Pike had strayed into Upper Eskdale and reported themselves lost, cold and in need of help. Fortunately the police call was able to establish coordinates. Unfortunately the location was in a remote situation at the edge of our operational area. That meant a long wait for the pair as the team mobilised with a hasty party taking the shorter route from Wasdale, and others via Eskdale in case they walked downhill. Once the team were on scene, after some rewarming in a bivvy shelter and extra clothing they were able to walk back down to Wasdale where their car was located. It’s worth a reminder that mobile phone signal should not be relied upon in many parts of Wasdale and Eskdale. These walkers were somewhat fortunate to get enough of a signal to phone 999 at this location. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

11. Wasdale Head - Alert - 19:33 Sun 28th Jan 2024

A brief alert last Sunday evening. Four walkers and two dogs were reported overdue from a walk up Great Gable from Seathwaite. Information was being gathered by the Team Leader when a Phonefind struck lucky and got a grid reference….. in the pub. The walkers had taken a wrong turn on the descent from Great Gable, ending up in the wrong valley, resulting in either an unplanned stay or a long and expensive taxi journey. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

12. Mosedale - Full Callout - 17:06 Fri 2nd Feb 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police about a lone male walker and his dog. The walker had suffered an ankle injury on the descent, was unable to walk and getting cold. He had been able to report via iPhone satellite emergency call. His location was about halfway up towards Wind Gap. The Team Leader made a full callout, with the first vehicle away quickly as members were already in base. Happily, shortly after leaving the vehicle at Wasdale Head a single head torch was seen. It was confirmed that this was the casualty, and he had managed a slow walk off the fell after all. After a quick assessment the party all made their way back to Wasdale Head and the team stood down.

 

13. Eskdale - Alert - 13:52 Sun 4th Feb 2024

An alert was received yesterday from Cumbria Police about walkers who were unaware of their location and were cold and wet. The location from the initial call put them on the path in Upper Eskdale and a further one a few minutes later confirmed that they were heading in the right direction and not too far from the road. The situation was monitored by the Team Leader until confirmation was received that the party was safe and well and off the fell. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

14. Piers Gill, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 18:28 Sun 4th Feb 2024

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.

 

15. Mickledore, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 09:11 Sat 10th Feb 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police yesterday morning. A walker had slipped and taken a significant tumble fall in Foxes Tarn gully on the descent from Scafell. He had sustained a head injury which was bleeding heavily, and felt like he could lose consciousness. A full callout was made quickly. Helimed 58 also lifted but was unable to land due to the weather conditions with cloud unhelpfully hanging over the Scafell summits. Coastguard helicopter support was requested and Rescue 199 responded from Prestwick. Again weather thwarted attempts to directly access the casualty, and so an offer to move team members up the hill as far as possible was gratefully received. Two passing walkers, including a former team member, had also stopped to help the walker, providing food, drink and extra clothing. Once on scene, a full medical assessment was made, before packaging the walker in a full body splint, casualty bag, heat blanket and stretcher. Rope systems were set up to manage the stretcher safely down the snow-filled Mickeldore gully towards the agreed location for the helicopter transfer. Rescue 199 then returned to the scene, landed on and then flew the walker to hospital for further medical assessment and treatment. Thanks to both helicopter crews for their help once again, and to the walkers who stopped for a long time to help. We wish the experienced and very well-equipped walker a swift recovery from his injuries and hope to see him back on the fells soon.

 

16. Scafell Pike - Alert - 14:55 Tue 13th Feb 2024

A brief call on Tuesday about a walker and his son, who had lost their way and descending on an unintended path. They were concerned that they were lost and not prepared for walking in the dark. As further information was being gathered the good news was received that they had made it back to their intended destination and the team was stood down. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

17. Black Sail Pass - Full Callout - 15:30 Sat 17th Feb 2024

The team was called on Saturday afternoon regarding a walker who had slipped, injuring her ankle and was unable to bear weight. Another member of the party had descended to Wasdale Head to raise the alarm in the absence of an adequate mobile signal on the fell. The team was called out and members made their way towards Black Sail Pass. Once on scene a medical assessment was made and the leg was splinted. A stretcher carry was then made to Wasdale Head where a waiting ambulance provided further assessment. We wish the walker a swift recovery from her injury.

 

18. Scafell Pike - Alert - 16:54 Sat 17th Feb 2024

As the first incident of the day was progressing, a further call was received from Cumbria Police. A walker had been separated on his ascent from Scafell Pike, and had not been seen or heard from for around 3 hours. Due to the conditions, the lack of additional clothing, and the fact that the team was already committed to a stretcher carry, early support for a possible search was requested from Duddon and Furness MRT. Thankfully, shortly afterwards the good news was received that the walker had made it down safely. Thanks to Duddon and Furness MRT for their willingness to help. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

19. Upper Eskdale - Full Callout - 21:28 Sun 18th Feb 2024

A call was received from North West Ambulance Service about a party of four walkers who were uninjured, lost and cold. They were struggling to find their way to safety and requested help. Coordinates were able to be converted from the 999 calls. The team was called out and mobilised to Upper Eskdale, and made their way to the given location. The walkers were found as expected, rewarmed and were then able to walk themselves back out of the valley to the team vehicles and back to base. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better.

 

20. Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 15:08 Wed 28th Feb 2024

In the first of two callouts in quick succession, a party of 4 young and inexperienced walkers reported themselves lost, wet, cold and concerned for their safety. They had seemingly mis-navigated in poor conditions off the summit and then lost the path. The Team Leader directed them back to the summit from where a ‘talk-off’ is possible, but one of the walkers was struggling to walk. As such a full callout was made for a potential stretcher carry. However, a further call was made from the party shortly afterwards with better news that they were back on a path and heading downhill in the right direction. After this no further communication was possible to confirm location or progress. It was expected that team members ascending would meet the walkers coming down but this did not occur. With concern that another wrong turn had been made, in worsening conditions, further team members were requested and Duddon and Furness MRT called to search Upper Eskdale. However as one of the additional team vehicles arrived at the car park at Brackenclose, the group were found at their vehicle having made their own way down. Somehow they had managed to accidentally avoid team members going up the fell. This was still very good news and all team members were recalled to base to warm up, refuel and overwhelm the drying room. Thanks to Duddon and Furness MRT for their help once more.

 

21. Piers Gill, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 00:50 Thu 29th Feb 2024

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.

 

22. Scafell - Alert - 16:39 Fri 1st Mar 2024

In the first of 4 calls from Cumbria Police in quick succession on Friday evening, two walkers reported themselves lost, very cold, wet and concerned for their safety. Their intended route was to Scafell Pike but a Phonefind located them on the flanks of Scafell just above Rakehead Crag. With decent mobile signal this allowed a ‘talk off’ downhill to Brackenclose and safety. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

23. Corridor Route, Scafell Pike - Alert - 16:59 Fri 1st Mar 2024

A further call from Cumbria Police involved a party of 2 walkers who were reporting themselves lost on their Scafell Pike descent. Unfortunately the Team Leader was unable to make further contact with the party by phone, but coordinates from the original emergency call was available, so their location was known. Due to the prevailing winter conditions, and lack of further contact, a search party from the team was tasked to investigate and escort off the fell if necessary. However, shortly after this request was made, contact was made with the walkers; they had managed to descend on the correct path to Seathwaite and no longer needed help. It was later confirmed that they had safely returned to their vehicle and the log was closed.

 

24. Corridor Route, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 19:05 Fri 1st Mar 2024

The third call of the evening from Cumbria Police started with a similar situation to the previous one. A party of 3 inexperienced walkers were lost on their descent at exactly the same location. Their waterproofs had failed and footwear was inadequate so they were concerned for their safety. They were stuck and unable to move. Again a limited callout was made to locate and escort the party off the fell, however, shortly afterwards further information was received saying that one of the walkers was now unconscious. This escalated the matter significantly and so a full callout was made and assistance requested from Keswick MRT for help with urgent medical care and a likely stretcher carry. They further asked for support from the visiting RAF MRT teams. About 30 minutes later more information was received saying that the party was now on the move, but it was not possible to confirm if the unconscious walker had recovered and was with them. Both Keswick and Wasdale teams proceeded towards the walking party from differing directions. It was with some relief when the Keswick team met the party at Greenhow Knott and it was confirmed all were present and well. Two members of the Keswick team escorted them off the fell to Seathwaite, whilst the remaining team members diverted onto an urgent search for the final call of the day….

 

25. Piers Gill, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 20:14 Fri 1st Mar 2024

Part 1 - Walker rescue: Cumbria Police tasked the team for the fourth time on Friday evening. A Father was reporting his son overdue from a walk up Scafell Pike. He had reached the summit successfully at 4pm, however no contact had been possible since. As it was not known which route had been taken, a search of all of the normal car parks was undertaken, with his car discovered at Seathwaite by Keswick MRT. Due to the winter conditions including heavy snowfall at height, lone walker and his inexperience, a full callout was made for a search. Support from Keswick MRT, Duddon and Furness MRT, RAF Leeming, RAF Valley and Coastguard helicopter was requested and received quickly. As teams started their allocated search routes, a further request was made for additional resources from other Lakes teams in the morning for contingency planning. Unfortunately a key search asset Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 was unable to complete its requested search area of Piers Gill due to low cloud. As such, the Team Leader diverted two team members onto this route. Weather conditions of heavy snow and 6 to 12 inches of lying snow at height made search conditions difficult and hazardous, with some parties aborting search routes at higher elevations. At about 2am, shouts from rescuers were rewarded with a faint call back followed by a whistle. Unfortunately it was the party tasked with Piers Gill, with the walker’s location at the bottom of the gill soon confirmed by searchlight and thermal imaging scope. He confirmed that he had broken his leg and couldn’t move. His two dogs were located above a waterfall pitch from him, but both seemed fit and well (see part 2). With a technical rope rescue (likely) or helicopter winch (unlikely due to the location and conditions) now the two options, the Team Leader coordinated resources to attempt both. Rescue 936 from Caernarfon this time was tasked to help. Two team members from another search route returned to the team vehicles at Brackenclose to ready medical, stretcher and crag rescue equipment. Eight loads of equipment were required, with only two team members, so Rescue 936 agreed to uplift the rescuers and equipment as close as possible. The RAF MR teams were closest to the scene so were redirected, with a total of 13 rescuers. With the weather improving and cloud base lifting, Rescue 936 attempted to directly access the walker, but this was not possible. Then, having found a landing site at Middleboot Knotts, they returned to Brackenclose to pickup the two team members and equipment. The RAF teams collected the extra equipment from the landing site and returned to scene. Rescue 936 left the area to refuel. A team casualty carer was then lowered via a side gully into the bottom of the gill, with further rescuers and equipment following. It was quickly established that the walker had suffered serious injuries and was very cold, but thankfully he had managed to find a small shelf to keep himself mostly out of the water. Medical assessment and treatment was given and cold wet clothing exchanged for dry in a bivvy shelter. As quickly as possible in very challenging conditions a stretcher, casualty bag, heat blankets, vacuum mattress and dual rope system was also established, and then the walker was packaged securely. The haul out of the gill was completed to the awaiting team members. Rescue 936 then returned to scene and winched the casualty, before transferring swiftly to hospital for further assessment and treatment. After the remaining team members were retrieved from the gill, equipment was packed up and the teams walked wearily back to Brackenclose. Once back at base at about noon all team members enjoyed much needed food and refreshments kindly prepared by other members. All in all, a very challenging search and rescue in winter conditions. Once more, great teamwork and support from all teams. We’d particularly like to thank the visiting RAF teams and Rescue 936 for their help on scene. We wish the walker all the best and hope he recovers quickly and fully from his injuries. All that remained was to rescue the walker’s two dogs. Additional team members with support from Duddon and Furness MRT had been obtained in the background with fresh legs ascending whilst tired ones came down… Here is a video of the rescue Part 2 - Dog rescue: Team members from Duddon and Furness MRT and Wasdale volunteered to rescue the walker’s two dogs. They were cragfast and unable to reach their owner below. As the ‘nightshift’ clocked off and returned to base, the relief dayshift was heading up the fell. Once on scene, ropes were again used to keep team members safe whilst descending steep snowy ground to locate the dogs. They were encouraged gently with the lure of hotdogs back up the hill to safety and then back to base to be reunited later with family members. It would be fabulous to help Duddon and Furness MRT raise much needed funds for their new base; they were instrumental in this doggy rescue and countless others on our patch over the years when we need support. Here is a video of the rescue

 

26. Wastwater Screes - Full Callout - 15:06 Sat 2nd Mar 2024

As the team rescuing the dogs from incident 25 was returning to base, another call had been received from Cumbria Police and more team members with fresher legs had been deployed. Once again, they passed each other in opposite directions. The call was regarding a mother and son who had become stuck on the Screes ‘path’ with no injuries. The well-practiced response of a boat deployment, pick-off, and transfer to the opposite shore was undertaken without incident and the team returned to base. In total, callouts were ongoing from 4:39pm on Friday to 6:11pm on Saturday evening, a true test of both the Wasdale and wider MR Teams’ resilience.

 

27. Scafell Pike - Alert - 03:27 Sun 10th Mar 2024

A brief alert last night when a concerned family member phoned the police after a period of time with no communication from a group climbing Scafell Pike. Happily, shortly after the initial call, the police confirmed contact had been made and the group were safe and well. The lack of reliable mobile phone signal accounted for the delay in communications.

 

28. Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 13:40 Sat 16th Mar 2024

We were called yesterday afternoon by Cumbria Police regarding a walker who had fallen a sustained a very painful shoulder injury. A full callout was made and additional helicopter support was requested due to the nature of the injury, weather conditions and length of time it would take for the team to reach the walker. Duddon and Furness MRT was also asked to support with a possibility of a long stretcher carry. The Helimed 58 crew was able to get onto scene relatively quickly and give treatment and strong pain relief, however, evacuation by air was unachievable due to weather conditions. The walker was therefore carefully packaged into stretcher by the MR teams and given further pain relief to allow a sledge, wheel and carry back down to the valley floor. A handover was given to the awaiting land ambulance before the walker was taken to hospital for further assessment and treatment. We wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is back on the fells soon.

 

29. Corridor Route, Scafell Pike - Alert - 20:59 Sun 17th Mar 2024

A brief alert for a walking party that was overdue in poor weather. A family member had reported to Cumbria Police. Fortunately, as the Team Leader was gathering more information, phone contact was made with one of the party. They were on the right path and not far from their destination at Seathwaite. The log was closed once it was confirmed they were off the hill and back at their car.

 

30. Pikes Crag, Scafell Pike - Limited Callout - 10:30 Mon 18th Mar 2024

The team assisted with Great North Air Ambulance Service recovering their helicopter that was stranded on callout 28. Thanks as always to the Great North Air Ambulance Service crew for their help on Saturday’s callout…Their post says it all: - Fog... a pilot's worst nightmare! When flying and landing in Cumbria's mountainous landscape, conditions can change in the blink of an eye, especially at high altitudes. Our pilots constantly monitor the weather conditions to ensure the safety of our team, but on Saturday, while attending a call-out on Scafell Pike, a dense cloud of fog surrounded our aircraft without warning. We're unable to fly in these conditions because of poor visibility and the increased likelihood of icing, which we cannot fly in due to strict guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority - the safety of our patients, crew, and equipment is paramount in these situations. Thankfully, the team was still able to treat the patient we flew out to, and they accompanied them in the descent down the mountain alongside Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team and Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team, but pilot Mik stayed with the aircraft to wait until a break in the clouds appeared. That break didn't come until Monday afternoon, meaning our helicopter was at the top of Scafell Pike for two days, as the weather conditions did not allow for us to take off safely. Thankfully, Mik was safely accompanied down the mountain on Sunday. We're delighted to say that The Pride of Cumbria II was brought back home safe and sound thanks to pilot Stu, who made the three-hour ascent on Monday morning. Our teams were still on call responding to incidents via our rapid response vehicles and second helicopter, ensuring people in need across Cumbria still had access to our expert doctor and critical care paramedics. Huge thanks to everyone who helped us get out of this pickle, including the mountain rescue teams, Cumbria Police and Multiflight. Sometimes, it's not what happens, it's how you respond to the situation that matters most. Find out more about what happened here, and how you can support us in ensuring our critical care cars are 24/7: https://www.greatnorthairambulance.co.uk/.../helicopter.../  

 

31. Sty Head - Full Callout - 14:16 Sat 23rd Mar 2024

The team was called by Cumbria Police about a walker somewhere on Scafell Pike who was unable to walk to due to cramps in his legs. Due to poor mobile signal, further information was not available for some time. A full callout was made with the possibility of a search and due to conditions, a real risk of hypothermia. Eventually contact was made by the police, with the positive update that visiting ‘off duty’ MRT members from another team had come across the walker and his group and were assisting them towards Sty Head from the Corridor Route. Fortunately, after rest, shelter, food and drink, the walker was then able to re-mobilise and make his own way off the hill. Team members met the party at Burnthwaite and ensured they got back to their vehicle at Wasdale Head. Our thanks to all those that helped on the hill, we are very grateful.

 

32. Netherbeck, Wasdale - Full Callout - 18:21 Sun 24th Mar 2024

The team was called by Cumbria Police about a walker with a knee injury in a party of two. They had ascended Pillar, and were last reported to be at Wind Gap. They were considered to be overdue by a friend who also informed us that they intended to come back to Wasdale via Nether Beck. A full callout was made for a potential stretcher carry, with searchdog Jess up front starting from Nether Beck. Happily, she quickly made a find with the walkers a little off the path, walking slowly back to the road. After a quick assessment the walkers were able to complete the walk back to their car without assistance and the team stood down.

 

33. Mickledore, Scafell Pike - Limited Callout - 17:36 Thu 11th Apr 2024

Two calls from Cumbria Police were received on Thursday evening. In both cases the walkers needed help after struggling with navigation in poor weather. Coincidentally the two parties managed to find shelter in the stretcher boxes at Mickeldore and Sty Head, with simultaneous occupancy for a time. In the first callout a party of three walkers called for help at Mickledore when losing their way on the main tourist path from Scafell Pike summit. A limited callout was made and met up with the walkers in very soggy conditions. After some extra clothing and reassurance with a rope down Mickledore gully, the walkers were escorted down to Brackenclose to their own vehicle. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

34. Sty Head - Alert - 20:23 Thu 11th Apr 2024

In the second call of the evening, a party of 4 walkers required help at Sty Head stretcher box. One of the walkers had an ankle injury, and due to the very poor weather they had taken shelter inside. As the team was already tasked, Keswick MRT were asked to assist, who then also requested further support from Cockermouth MRT. Thanks to both teams for their help.

 

35. Scafell Pike - Limited Callout - 04:23 Sat 13th Apr 2024

In two inter-twined callouts we were tasked by NWAS to rescue overdue walkers from two groups. In the first callout a single walker was reported overdue. He had joined another two walkers from a different group on the descent. The rest of the group had returned successfully to Brackenclose. As communications were difficult, two team members travelled to Brackenclose to get a better understanding of the circumstances first hand.

 

36. Scafell Pike - Limited Callout - 08:35 Sat 13th Apr 2024

Later a separate call was received from friends of the second group in a similar position but with two of their group overdue. It was established that there was now a party of three walkers who were believed to be together but now significantly overdue. After giving some time for the walkers to walk out in the morning a limited callout was made to search the most likely location in Upper Eskdale. However, before deployment on the fell, the walkers made contact and confirmed, despite a rough night in poor weather, they were safe and well and now on the correct path to Wasdale. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

37. Brown Tongue, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 07:22 Sun 14th Apr 2024

The team was called on Sunday morning for a walker who had slipped on the descent from Scafell Pike, injuring his ankle. He was unable to bear any weight. A full callout followed, and once on scene a medical assessment was made before some pain relief and splinting of the ankle. After transfer to the stretcher the walker was transferred down to Brackenclose, where a handover was made to a land ambulance for subsequent transport to hospital. We wish the walker a swift recovery, and hope to see him back on the fell soon.

 

38. Wasdale Head - Full Callout - 14:08 Sun 14th Apr 2024

Another call was received on Sunday afternoon from NWAS. A member of a family group going for a short walk had slipped on wet grass and injured her ankle. She was in significant pain and unable to weight bear. With no mobile signal, members of the group had raised the alarm at the Wasdale Head Inn, fortunately only five minutes away. A full callout was made and team members were quickly on scene. After a full medical assessment, strong pain relief was given before splinting the ankle to reduce the pain. A short and straightforward stretcher journey followed before handover to a land ambulance at the road head. The team then returned to base to reset the vehicles. We hope the walker recovers quickly from her injury and wish her well.

 

39. Lingmell Nose - Full Callout - 16:24 Wed 17th Apr 2024

A call was received on Wednesday afternoon about a walker who was suffering from a medical issue, close to Wasdale Head on the descent from Scafell Pike. A very quick response was possible as there was a vehicle with team members already in the valley, with others responding to the full callout. Once on scene a medical assessment was made, before packaging into a stretcher. The short journey was made to the road where a handover to a land ambulance was completed, and the team returned to base. We hope the walker recovers well, and hope to see him back on the fells soon.

 

40. Great Gable - Alert - 17:21 Fri 19th Apr 2024

An alert was received from Cumbria Police about two walkers who were stuck on steep ground after previously ascending Great Gable. However on further investigation of the exact location via a successful Phone find it was established that they were on Base Brown. As this is well into Keswick MRT’s area, the alert was handed across to them and they subsequently brought things to a successful conclusion.

 

41. Broad Crag - Full Callout - 11:50 Tue 23rd Apr 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police about a walker who had fallen awkwardly in the boulder field near Broad Crag summit. He had suffered painful facial injuries. A full callout was made and extra support for a long and difficult stretcher carry was requested and received from Duddon and Furness MRT. However, Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 also responded from Prestwick and was able to land and assess the walker. He was able to walk to the aircraft, thus allowing a swift transfer to hospital for further assessment and treatment. The advance team then met up with the casualty’s wife and walked down to Brackenclose. Thanks to Duddon and Furness MRT and also to the crew of Rescue 199 for their help to avoid a difficult and hazardous stretcher carry for the teams. We wish the walker a speedy recovery.

 

42. Scafell Pike Summit, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 13:22 Tue 23rd Apr 2024

Another call was received yesterday from Cumbria Police about a second walker, whilst callout 41 was in progress a short distance away. He had also tripped and fallen, this time close to Scafell Pike summit. Again facial injuries were reported, this time initially with drowsiness. As the teams were already responding for the first callout, they were diverted also to this call, with additional numbers requested from work and home. Helicopter support initially looked unlikely, then Helimed 08 from Blackpool and Coastguard Rescue 936 from Caernarfon both lifted to support. Helimed 08 was first on scene and was able to assess, treat and the transfer the casualty into the helicopter. Fortunately the injuries were not assessed to be too serious and the walker was flown to the valley and then helped to his accommodation at the Wasdale Head Inn for further recuperation and care from the staff. Team members returned to the valley and stood down. We wish the gentleman a speedy recovery. Thanks to both helicopter crews for their help, the transfer down from Helimed 08 saving a long stretcher carry for the teams.

 

43. Scafell Pike - Alert - 20:46 Thu 25th Apr 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police about a walker overdue from a walk up Scafell Pike. Two walkers had become separated and one had not returned to their car. However, very limited information was available due to lack of phone battery from the informant. Also the overdue walker was believed to have no battery remaining on their phone. With little information to go from the Team Leader asked a team member to check car parks in Wasdale, however nothing was found. The police were then able to obtain coordinates from the original call, with a location at Three Shire Stone on Wrynose Pass. With this information the callout was transferred to Langdale Ambleside MRT. This was resolved with a good outcome later in the night. https://www.adventuresmart.uk/ #BeAdventureSmart and make a good day better. Ask yourself three questions before you set off: 1. Do I have the right GEAR ? 2. Do I know what the WEATHER will be like? 3. Am I confident that I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?

 

44. Wastwater Screes - Full Callout - 14:33 Sat 27th Apr 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police about a party of four walkers (in two separate groups) attempting to walk around Wast Water. However, one of the walkers was struggling to negotiate the boulder field and felt they could not continue in either direction. A full callout was made and a shore party and boat team were tasked to help. On arrival, one group of two had reversed their route to easier ground back to Wasdale Head, and the others were transferred by boat to the pump house at the western end of the lake to complete their walk.

 

45. Hardknott Pass - Alert - 02:00 Tue 30th Apr 2024

A brief alert received via Coniston MRT who had been asked to search for overdue mountain bikers. They were last seen at the bottom of Hardknott Pass at about 6:30pm the evening before. After discussion with other team leaders it was agreed that deployment was not required due to the benign weather or likely to be effective through the night.

 

46. Greathall Gill, Wasdale - Limited Callout - 10:52 Wed 1st May 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police about a lone walker who was having a medical episode and was very distressed. She was unable to move further from her current position. A limited callout was made and when team members arrived on scene an assessment was made. The walker had recovered somewhat and was able to walk with some assistance and reassurance to the valley floor. We wish the walker well.

 

47. Brown Tongue, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 14:29 Sat 4th May 2024

A call was received from North West Ambulance Service about a walker who had slipped and injured her ankle. She was unable to bear any weight. A full callout was swiftly made. An advance team member arrived on scene and made a medical assessment. Pain relief was given on arrival of the rest of the team members and the ankle splinted before the stretcher carry to Brackenclose. A handover was then given to the awaiting ambulance team. The team then stood down before returning to base to reset the vehicles. We wish the walker well and hope to see her back on the fells soon.

 

48. Great Gable - Alert - 23:07 Sun 5th May 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police via Cockermouth MRT who were originally assigned the call. A group of walkers could see lights that appeared to them to be flashing on the climbers traverse path on Great Gable and they were concerned that they were trying to summon help. A team member in the valley was tasked to observe further. After watching for a while progress from the group was steady, their lights did not appears to be flashing and they were in direct sight of Wasdale Head. A false alarm with good intent.

 

49. Mickledore, Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 18:03 Mon 6th May 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police about a lone inexperienced walker who was reporting himself both lost and with a twisted ankle. He was at a stretcher box, and the call coordinates confirmed Mickledore as the location. Unfortunately the team leader was unable to gather further information information via mobile phone contact so a full team callout was made. Some members were tasked to access via Eskdale as it was believed his car was at Hardknott Pass. However as the first team members were arriving at their access points, a further call confirmed better news. The walker had met up with another group of walkers, and were successfully helping him off the fell to Wasdale. As good progress was being made and no further assistance was requested, all team members were stood down and returned to base and home.

 

50. Scafell Pike - Full Callout - 00:28 Thu 9th May 2024

A call was received very early on Thursday morning about a lone male walker who had not made contact after a walk from Seathwaite towards Scafell Pike. He was reported overdue. The Team Leader gathered further information through the night and called out the Wasdale team along with Keswick MRT, Duddon and Furness MRT and Langdale Ambleside MRT for early morning searches. After these were deployed, a second phase of searches was then planned with requests for resources from all other Lake District teams. Search dogs, drones and Coastguard helicopter Rescue 199 were also tasked in specific areas. Despite this, at the end of Thursday, the walker was not found, and plans were made for a similar effort with more detailed searches on Friday. Tragically, a find was made later that morning. Sadly he had not survived. Our sincere condolences go to the walker’s family and friends. Our thoughts are with you all. Thanks to all that supported this significant multi agency team effort. We are very grateful for the help.

 

51. Scafell Pike Summit, Scafell Pike - Alert - 02:39 Sat 11th May 2024

A call was received from Cumbria Police from the partner of a lone walker. The walker had taken ill on the descent after summiting Scafell Pike to photograph the Aurora. The Team Leader made contact and it was agreed to monitor progress carefully via Phonefind location and further discussion. Thankfully the walker’s condition improved later in the descent and he was able to make his own way to the valley and then home without the team being called out. We wish him well.