Scafell Pike: the rescue involved a stretcher carry from near the summit

Scafell Pike: the rescue involved a stretcher carry from near the summit

An injured walker was rescued from England’s highest mountain in a seven-hour operation described as ‘extremely arduous’.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team members were joined by colleagues from the Duddon and Furness team after a man in his early 30s suffered head injuries after tumbling while coming down from the summit of Scafell Pike.

The man, from Cambridgeshire, was with his young son and a friend when the fall happened. The group had tackled the 978m (3,209ft) peak from their campsite in Wasdale Head yesterday, Saturday.

Rescuers were alerted at 2.30pm by a couple nearby on the fell who carried out first aid and rang 999.

Richard Warren of the Wasdale team said the incident happened when the trio was coming off the mountain in bad weather. He said: “They had reached the summit and while descending in very poor visibility, took a slight deviation off route on their descent which led them to Dropping Crag.

“While descending the steep boulder field he fell and tumbled 30m down the steep ground, lacerating and injuring his head.”

A dozen Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team members joined 13 from the Wasdale as rescuers anticipated a difficult carry-out from the steep ground.

However, the Duddon and Furness rescuers had to be diverted to deal with a young injured fellrunner across the valley on Kirk Fell.

The Wasdale team’s doctor treated the walker at the scene, while his companions, who were cold and wet, were put into a bivvy shelter to warm them up. Mr Warren said the man’s son in particular was at risk of hypothermia.

He added: “The casualty was put into a vacuum mattress to protect his neck and spine and stretcher-carried off the mountain, an extremely arduous carry down over broken and steep ground.”

After dealing with the injured fellrunner, the Duddon and Furness team members returned to help the evacuation from the mountain of the injured walker.

An ambulance met the rescuers at Brackenclose in Wasdale and took the man to the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven for further treatment.

Mr Warren said: “The incident closed at around 9.45pm, a seven-hour rescue in poor weather over difficult terrain but with superb support from our neighbouring team, Duddon and Furness.

“Without their help the evacuation would have taken much longer.”

  • The young fellrunner was treated after suffering an ankle injury when he fell during the annual Wasdale Show race up and down Kirk Fell Nose.

Two Wasdale rescuers who reached the scene first were then joined by the Duddon and Furness members who had been diverted from the Scafell Pike incident.

After treating the runner, the rescuers stretchered him down the fell to a waiting ambulance at Wasdale Head.

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