Walkers approaching Swirral Edge. Photo John Harvey CC-BY-SA-2.0Walkers approach Helvellyn via Swirral Edge. Photo John Harvey CC-BY-SA-2.0

Walkers approaching Swirral Edge. Photo John Harvey CC-BY-SA-2.0

Police have named the man who died yesterday after falling on Helvellyn, the second fatality on the mountain in three days.

Philip Derek Burtley Ashton, 43, of Haydock, St Helens, Merseyside, fell from Swirral Edge while walking with friends yesterday afternoon, Thursday.

His walking companions tried to resuscitate him after the fall, and members of the Patterdale and Penrith Mountain Rescue Teams were called to his aid. Mr Ashton was winched into an RAF helicopter and flown to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for treatment of head injuries but died at the hospital.

A spokesperson for Cumbria Constabulary said: “There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident. Mr Ashton’s immediate family has been informed and the case has been passed to the coroner.

“This is the second death after a fall from Swirral Edge this week so police and mountain rescue team leaders are reminding walkers to take extra care and ensure they are fully equipped for the conditions before taking to the fells.”

On Monday, 39-year-old Alan Burns was of Bamber Bridge, Preston, was walking on Helvellyn with two friends when he fell through a cornice of snow on Swirral Edge. Two search and rescue dogs joined Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team at the site of Mr Burns’s fall and an RAF Sea King flew him to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle where he died from his injuries.

Police said he was an outdoor enthusiast and experienced mountaineer, a member of Preston Climbing Club and a former mountain rescue team member.

Mr Burns had two children, Evan, four and Honor, two, and today his family paid tribute to him.

His wife Kerry Burns said: “Alan was much loved by everyone. He was very much a family man, a wonderful husband and father, and a kind and generous friend. He will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him. We are absolutely devastated.”

The mountaineer was brought up in Yorkshire, the son of Bob and Ann Burns. He was a former pupil of Colne Valley High School, Greenhead Sixth Form College, Huddersfield and attended Newcastle University.

He worked as an accountant for TENON, Chorley, and had previously worked for Leyland Trucks and British Aerospace.

His mother Ann Burns said: “Alan loved life and loved the outdoors, and thoroughly enjoyed walking and climbing in the hills. It was something that was a part of him and made him very happy. We would like to give our thanks to the medical staff at Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, for their efforts, and in particular to members of Patterdale Mountain Rescue for their immediate and highly professional response.”

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