From left: Caroline Ray, High Sheriff Alexandra Holford, Mary Arber. Photo: Nigel Hutchinson/UWFRA

From left: Caroline Ray, High Sheriff Alexandra Holford, Mary Arber. Photo: Nigel Hutchinson/UWFRA

A grand day out in the Yorkshire Dales turned into a memorable event for two women who entered the record books as the subjects of a rescue team’s 1,000th callout.

The Skipton women Caroline Ray and Mary Arber were training for a charity challenge event later this year when they were caught out in darkness and needed rescuing by the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

The women’s night-time rescue marked a milestone for the volunteer Grassington-based team, which clocked up the 1,000 total in 63 years of existence.

The walkers were benighted on Birks Fell above Buckden in upper Wharfedale while training for this year’s Trailtrekker, a 100km (62-mile) walk through the Yorkshire Dales.

Fourteen members of the UWFRA took part in the search and rescue, during which the women were escorted safely back to their car in Buckden.

The team milestone was celebrated by the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire Alexandra Holford who attended its headquarters in Grassington and met the two women.

The event was also marked by Mrs Holford presenting the Upper Wharfedale team and its neighbouring team the Cave Rescue Organisation from Clapham with her High Sheriff Certificate for Valuable Service to the Community. Each team also received £250 towards their funds.

Ms Ray said: ”It was with great relief that we saw the lights of the rescue team searching for us.

“It was then rather humbling to later visit their headquarters as their 1,000th callout. We felt we should keep apologising to them.

“It was a super event and we salute the team for all they do and in all weathers. We are so fortunate to have such dedicated and professional people who are all volunteers looking after people in difficulties out in the Dales.”

Caroline Ray and Mary Arber will attempt the 100km Trailtrekker route over the weekend of 26 and 27 May in the event which raises funds for Oxfam while heading over the hills of the Yorkshire Dales in the 30-hour challenge.

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