A man has died after an accident on Broad Stand, on Scafell.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) was alerted to the incident at 12.30pm yesterday. When the team arrived at the scene, the fellwalker was found to have suffered fatal injuries. His body was airlifted from the mountain by an RAF helicopter.

While dealing with the incident, the team was asked to assist a walker who had twisted his knee in nearby Deep Gill, a steep gully leading off Lord’s Rake. Ropes were used to help the walker to the top of the gill, from where he was evacuated to the valley bottom by the RAF helicopter.

He had no serious injuries.

The six-hour operation involved 18 members from Wasdale MRT and eight from the Cockermouth team.

In May last year, 59-year-old Andrew Peter Keely, of Ambleside, died after suffering serious head and chest injuries in an accident on Broad Stand, which is on the route between Scafell Pike and Scafell, above the Mickledore col.

Broad Stand is described by the Wasdale team as an accident blackspot, which is deceptively difficult for walkers. Alfred Wainwright described it in one of his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells as ‘the greatest single obstacle confronting ridge-walkers on the hills of Lakeland’.

Broad Stand, though a rock climb, is rated ‘easy’. It has one particularly awkward move, and the rock at this crux point is polished and smooth, with a 9m (30ft) immediate drop if a fall occurs. A safer route at the crux is to move in away from the exposed edge into the corner of the rock, where there is less of a drop.

Samuel Coleridge reputedly recorded the first recreational rock climb in the district in 1802 by descending Broad Stand by hanging from its rock and dropping on to the narrow ledge below.

Less than a month ago, two fellwalkers were rescued from Deep Gill after getting themselves cragfast on a rockface above the gully.

  • The dead man was named as 49-year-old David Woodland, of Gloucestershire.