Sir Chris Bonington with Gail, left, and Judy

Sir Chris Bonington with Gail, left, and Judy

Two mountain rescue team members were joined by Everest summiteer and elder statesman of British mountaineering Sir Chris Bonington for part of their walk across England.

Judy Whiteside and Gail Todd are tackling the 309km (192-mile) Coast to Coast Walk to raise funds for a new benevolent fund for England and Wales’s volunteer mountain rescue team members.

They were waved off from St Bees Head on Monday by the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team and have been accompanied by team members from Cockermouth, Keswick, Langdale and Ambleside and Patterdale on their walk.

Yesterday, Sir Chris joined them on the section between Rosthwaite in Borrowdale and Grasmere.

The two women at the start of the walk at St Bees Head with Wasdale MRT members

The two women at the start of the walk at St Bees Head with Wasdale MRT members

Judy, who edits Mountain Rescue magazine, and her fellow Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team member Gail aim to raise £5,000 for the fund to help the families of rescuers injured in action. Their justgiving page has raised more than £2,200 so far.

An evening meal at Rosthwaite was interrupted when the Keswick team had to leave to answer a callout.

The women are tonight in Patterdale and tomorrow will meet the Penrith team for the hike up to Kidsty Pike, the highest point on the Coast to Coast Walk, which runs from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

The start of the walk on the Mayday bank holiday Monday coincided with the National Mountain and Cave Rescue Awareness Day. Judy Whiteside said: “To raise our target amount would be fantastic but we’re also wanting to let more people know about the invaluable work of mountain rescue teams.”

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