An experienced fellwalker died after he fell 150m (490ft) from Red Screes in the Lake District.
David Leo Pyle of Ambleside sustained multiple injuries in the fall, including several broken vertebrae in his neck, injuries to his head and several broken ribs, an inquest was told. Coroner Ian Smith recorded a verdict of accidental death on Mr Pyle.
The hearing at Kendal heard that Langdale-Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team was called at 8pm on 25 March this year after Mr Pyle was reported missing. Search and rescue dogs were used to locate the fellwalker, whose body was found about 11pm on rocky ground. The Patterdale team also helped in the search.
His ice axe was found lodged in snow higher on the fell.
Dr Deepa Jacob, a consultant pathologist at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, told the inquest Mr Pyle would have been knocked unconscious quickly or even instantly and died soon afterwards.
Mr Pyle was well equipped, with crampons, winter clothing and his ice axe. His wife said he was a seasoned walker who often went up Red Screes, his nearest fell.
The coroner said it was probable he lost his balance after pausing. He had done nothing wrong, he said.
“Clearly this was an accident in its purest form: a simple loss of balance that lead to a total tragedy,” said Mr Smith.
“But he was doing something he enjoyed. He was doing everything right. A huge thank you must go, however, to the mountain rescue teams who do a wonderful job in their own time.”
Mr Pyle was a father of four and a grandfather of nine.