A mother has died and her daughter and husband were taken to hospital after a fall on Sharp Edge, Blencathra.
The 38-year-old woman, who has not yet been named, fell more than 30m (100ft) from the ridge on Friday. She was airlifted to hospital but pronounced dead.
The accident happened at a spot known to rescuers as ‘the usual gully’, where a difficult step down on to a narrow ledge has to be made, with exposure either side. Rescue services were alerted by other walkers in the area about 2.30pm.
The woman’s six-year-old daughter has head injuries and the father minor injuries.
Three helicopters were used to aid the stricken walkers. Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was aided by the RAF Leuchars MRT, which was training in the area. Sea King helicopters from RAF Valley on Anglesey and RAF Boulmer in Northumberland airlifted the three casualties to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
A spokesman for Keswick MRT said: “A family of three – a mother, father and six-year-old daughter – simultaneously slipped while traversing [Sharp] Edge and fell more than 100 ft down the ‘usual gully’. Despite the well resourced rescue, the mother sadly died.”
The family is from Peterborough. The injuries to the father and daughter were described by police as non life threatening.
Two other walkers in the area, who helped raise the alarm, were helped off the mountain by rescuers after they became stuck.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman described conditions as ‘wet and slippy’.
The father and daughter were flown from the scene first, with the mother being airlifted about 6pm.
Sharp Edge, the most difficult ascent of 868m (2,848ft) Blencathra, follows an arête from Scales Tarn to the summit plateau. Although the scramble is only rated grade one, it has a much more difficult reputation when the route is wet, with many of its sections slippery on polished rock.
Keswick MRT has recorded ten fatalities on Sharp Edge since 1947, from a total of 54 incidents the team has responded to on the ridge.