Cautley Spout

Cautley Spout

A climber has died in a fall from a frozen waterfall.

The man was believed to be leading an ice climb on Cautley Spout in the Howgills in south-east Cumbria this morning when he fell a considerable distance, according to mountain rescuers.

Members of Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team were joined by colleagues from the Kendal team after they were alerted about 11am on Boxing Day.

The climber was with a companion on the route up the frozen waterfall when the incident occurred. The waterfall is England’s highest non-subterranean cascade, dropping 198m (650ft) from the plateau near the Howgills’ highest point The Calf.

Arthur Littlefair, leader of the Kirkby Stephen team, said it had all the hallmarks of the leader falling during his climb. “Two guys were climbing and the leader came off. He came down some considerable distance.”

“The air ambulance was alerted along with our team and we requested assistance from the Kendal team.

“Two guys from the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team, who happened to be in the area, and three members of the Cave Rescue Organisation also came to help.”

Mr Littlefair said the air ambulance’s paramedic was equipped with crampons and an ice axe and was able to give assistance, but the climber was confirmed dead at the scene.

A Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley also attended and the body of the climber, believed to be from the Barnard Castle, County Durham, area, was winched from the scene.

A total of 14 Kirkby Stephen MRT members took part in the four-hour rescue, along with 13 from Kendal, plus the two Teesdale and three Clapham-based CRO members.

Cautley Spout lies in the north-west corner of the Yorkshire Dales national park.

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