Rescuers work to free Ian Routledge from the Rocky Valley crag. Photo: Calder Valley SRT

Rescuers work to free Ian Routledge from the Rocky Valley crag. Photo: Calder Valley SRT

A climber had to be freed from a crag after dangling for two hours when a falling rock trapped his arm.

Ian Routledge was climbing in Rocky Valley on Ilkley Moor when he was pinned by a loose block.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, which went to his aid, said the alarm was raised when it became clear that Ian was unable to free himself and would be suspended from the crag with a crushed arm until rescuers arrived.

Mr Routledge was leading a route up The Buttress above the West Yorkshire town yesterday when the incident happened.

A Calder Valley team spokesperson said: “As the incident was close to the North Yorkshire border, Calder Valley SRT also asked for assistance from their neighbours Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.

“After dangling precariously for almost two hours, the casualty was freed when the fire service lifted the rock from his arm with portable hydraulic jaws.

“He was then transferred to a mountain rescue stretcher and evacuated to a suitable landing site by rescue team members before being flown to the Leeds General Infirmary by the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

“Fortunately his injuries are thought to be minor.”

Rescue vehicles and the air ambulance at the scene. Photo: Calder Valley SRT

Rescue vehicles and the air ambulance at the scene. Photo: Calder Valley SRT

Team leader Al Day said: “We were very concerned for Mr Routledge as crush injuries can have potentially life-threatening consequences.

“As soon as the fire service had released him from the rocks we were ready to evacuate him rapidly to the helicopter for treatment by paramedics and transfer to hospital.

“We train regularly with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and West Yorkshire Fire Service and that was evident from how smoothly the rescue ran.”

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, based in Mytholmroyd, is one of West Yorkshire’s two voluntary mountain rescue teams and responds to about 60 emergency calls each year.

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