In the year of the selfie, Kenton Cool and Sherpa Dorje Gylgen prepare for the push on Everest

In the year of the selfie, Kenton Cool and Sherpa Dorje Gylgen capture the mood before the push on Everest

This year turned out to be as eventful as ever, with the triumphs of Kenton Cool’s amazing Everest Three Peaks and other super-fit athletes’ record-breaking feats countered by deaths and injuries in the outdoors, our constant reminder that there is no escaping the risks we face whenever we pull on our boots and waterproofs.

Last winter was saw a grim tally of fatalities in the Scottish mountains and elsewhere, and at the other end of the country and meteorological scale, three servicemen lost their lives in south Wales when they were overcome by extreme heat.

There was plenty of heroism from rescuers and professionals who had to contend with the sometimes foolish ventures of a small number who went on to the hills ill prepared. Others came to grief in unfortunate accidents and were glad of the help afforded by the small army of unpaid volunteers in rescue teams.

And then there was the weird: an octupus and bottled vole on the mountains; father and son porcupines on the loose in the valley.

Few could be touched by the rescue of the dog nicknamed Wufra, found near death on a Yorkshire Dales fell and stretchered to safety and eventual recovery and fame.

Take a trip with us back in the year that was 2013.


The year began with a seven-hour rescue of a man trapped underground in the Ogof Ffynon Ddu II system in south Wales. South & Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team described the operation, to free a man with his pelvis wedged after a fall, as one of its most difficult.

The boss of an outdoor retailer boasted of 80 per cent growth each year since its launch four years previously and urged other retailers to put service at the heart of their business.

Scott Woodhead of Loving Outdoors said it the company was looking for investment to boost its range of products. But in March the firm said it was closing its digital doors and ceased trading.

Climbing elder statesman

 Sir Chris stepped down from his role with the Friends of the Lake District

Sir Chris stepped down from his role with the Friends of the Lake District

Sir Chris Bonington resigned as vice-president of the Friends of the Lake District, one of the main opponents of proposals to build a zip wire at Honister Slate Mine, which were again turned down by national park planners.

The Scottish Government announced a £1.75m upgrade to the West Highland Way and Great Glen Way.

Holyrood announced Forestry Commission Scotland would spend £750,000 on parts of the West Highland Way long distance trail and associated routes in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs national park.

And 11 miles of new path and upgrade to surfaces on the Great Glen Way were planned in a £1m project on the Great Glen route, which runs from Fort William to Inverness.

Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team was called to help in the rescue of a couple who fell down a steep embankment during a passionate clinch.

Emergency services were alerted when the woman fell backwards over a wall near the entrance to a business park in Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales.

The man was airlifted to hospital with abdominal and leg injuries. His companion suffered pelvic injuries.

Craig Williams incurred the wrath of rescuers, not for the first time

Craig Williams incurred the wrath of rescuers, not for the first time

Craig Williams was jailed for 22 months after being found guilty of driving his Vauxhall Frontera to the summit of Snowdon.

Difficult to the end, Williams, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, sparked a rescue search on the first day of his trial when he sent a note to his defence barrister to say he would not be attending trial as he intended to commit suicide.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team found nothing on its search of Wales’s highest mountain. A spokesperson said: “It meant that the team was greatly inconvenienced for a couple of hours on an unnecessary callout, searching a potentially hazardous location.

“It takes a very dim view of individuals who, on purpose, create situations where valuable time and resources are wasted and in particular where life might potentially be endangered.”

Rescuers help the runners from the hills. Photo: BSARU

Rescuers help the runners from the hills. Photo: BSARU

A group of ultrarunners had to be rescued from the northern reaches of the Pennine Way when blizzards engulfed them during the final stages of The Spine, a gruelling race taking in the full 431km (268-mile) of the national trail.

Rescuers praised competitor Dave Lee, 66, who led two fellow runners to shelter in a hut high on the hills.

Damon Rodwell of Border Search and Rescue Unit said: “The fact that Mr Lee led them across some extremely bleak country in a night-time blizzard is a truly impressive example of navigation. Bear in mind that all three had covered about 250 miles over rough country in the middle of winter in the previous seven days.

“I take my hat off to them.”

Climber Leo Houlding successfully summited Antarctic peak Ulvetanna in an expedition that would become the subject of Al Lee’s film The Last Great Climb.

Ulvetanna was described by the team as the most technically demanding peak on the harshest continent.

The team included Sean Leary, Jason Pickles, David Reeves, Chris Rabone as well as the film-maker.

Volunteer Lainey Rees with one of the lumps of lard. Photo: SNH

Volunteer Lainey Rees with one of the lumps of lard. Photo: SNH

Walkers on the St Cyrus nature reserve on Scotland’s east coast were greeted by four huge lumps of lard that had been washed ashore on a nature reserve after recent storms.

Scottish Natural Heritage said it believed the barrel-shaped pieces of lard came from on old Second World War shipwreck.

An old narrow-gauge railway was also exposed by the storms at the Tentsmuir nature reserve.

Organisers of the Marmot Dark Mountains deliberated on whether to cancel the event, went ahead with the races.

A spokesperson for the event, based at Muncaster Castle in the West of the Lake District, said: “This new event had promised to be a serious challenge and it certainly lived up to expectations.

Competitors had to contend with blizzards and gales.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced a new independent body would be set up alongside the Forestry Commission to own and maintain the public forest estate.

The news spelt the end of the Government’s disastrous plan to sell off the Forestry Commission, which prompted widespread protest and a half-million-signature petition against former Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman’s proposals.


Dartmoor National Park Authority granted ‘temporary’ permission for military use of an area – for 40 years.

The chairman of Dartmoor National Park Authority said he hoped one day there would be no need for military training on Cramber Tor.

The Ministry of Defence had wanted indefinite consent to use the tor for ‘dry training’, not involving live firing.

Ultrarunner Jez Bragg, who ran the length of New Zealand in record time

Ultrarunner Jez Bragg, who ran the length of New Zealand in record time

British ultrarunner Jez Bragg became the fastest man to complete a gruelling trail that runs the full length of New Zealand.

Dorset-based Bragg ended the 3,054km (1,898-mile) Te Araroa Trail 53 days after he set off from Cape Reinga.

The North Face Athlete, who has won the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc once and has three wins under his belt of the 97km (60-mile) Fellsman, beat the Te Araroa record by nine days.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes: not his year

Sir Ranulph Fiennes: not his year

Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes was fined for speeding at nearly 100mph on one of the Highlands’ major roads.

The explorer, who would later in the year have to abandon an attempt on an Antarctic record, pleaded guilty at Inverness Justice of the Peace Court to the offence on the A9 near Daviot, south of Inverness.

The 68-year-old, of Exford, Somerset, was clocked at 98mph on the dual carriageway, which has a speed limit of 70mph.

The explorer suffered frostbite after he took off his gloves to repair a ski binding during training for the Coldest Journey expedition, which was due to start on the southern hemisphere autumn equinox.

Five children were among half a dozen people injured in an incident on a Highland ski centre chairlift.

Two mountain rescue teams were involved in rescuing more than 30 people at the Lecht centre near Cargarff in the eastern Cairngorms after a chairlift derailed.

Journalist Dorothy-Grace Elder caused a storm when she said access to Scotland’s mountains should be restricted after a winter of fatal incidents.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland demanded the BBC puts the record straight after a Newsnight discussion involving her and mountaineering instructor Paul Cunningham.

The council said the BBC had misinterpreted accident statistics. “The programme correctly stated that there were 52 fatalities in 2011, but omitted to mention that 31 of these related to non-mountaineering incidents; in the prior year there were a total of 45 fatalities of which 16 were mountaineering and 29 non-mountaineering,” it said.

Cumbria rejected plans to build a giant nuclear storage site in the Lake District.

The County council’s cabinet decided to withdraw from the coalition Government’s search for a home for its proposed underground facility for high-level radioactive waste.

The process could have seen two of the Lake District’s most unspoilt valleys, Ennerdale and Eskdale, in the running for the underground dump.

Team members at Black Sail youth hostel during the early days

Team members at Black Sail youth hostel during the early days

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team marked its 60th anniversary with an open day at its base.

The team said it has come a long way since the days when its members used a tobacco tin to keep its first aid kit in, and cycled to rescues.

The team was formed in 1953 at a public meeting in a room above Central Cafe in the Cumbrian town.

Jon Gay completes his Ramsay Round

Jon Gay completes his Ramsay Round

A 40-year-old ‘veteran’ runner became the first to complete the gruelling Ramsay Round in Lochaber in winter in less than 24 hours.

The route, which can be tackled clockwise or anti-clockwise, involves climbing almost the height of Everest, summiting 24 mountain tops over a 97km (60-mile) course.

The Ramsay Round was first accomplished in 1978 by Charlie Ramsay, who arrived back at his start point at Glen Nevis Youth Hostel with two minutes to spare.

Jon Gay, a Fort William architect did the circuit solo, with just a food station stop half-way round, and broke the existing winter record by a mighty three hours.

A nine-year-old boy walked into the record books this when he summited two Perthshire mountains.

Glaswegian Daniel Smith became the youngest person to ascend all 282 munros, beating the previous record of Cumbrian Ben Fleetwood, who achieved the feat aged 10.

Daniel and his dad Mark ticked off the two Glen Lyon peaks Stùc an Lochain and Meall Buidhe.


The Naked Rambler was back behind bars, this time south of the border.

The 54-year-old, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, has spent much of the last few years in Scottish jails after refusing to put on clothes.

He has twice walked the length of Britain in just his boots and carrying a rucksack.

Southampton Magistrates granted an interim Asbo effective in all of England and Wales.

Roger Trencher, force solicitor for Hampshire Constabulary, said after the granting of the interim order: “This is because he insists on rambling naked. He refuses to be deterred by the criminal law. He believes the law is uncertain on the issue of public nudity.”

He was arrested shortly after walking naked from the court.

A fire extinguisher was among items taken from the lake

A fire extinguisher was among items taken from the lake

An underwater clean-up of England’s largest natural lake attracted volunteers from across the country.

Broadcaster, diver and explorer Paul Rose was joined by more than 200 sub-aqua enthusiasts in the Friends of the Lake District clean-up.

Teams of divers retrieved rubbish from the lake around Bowness and Windermere marina in water of just 4C.

Items pulled out included more than 70 tyres, bottles including one containing a message, shoes, car batteries, sunglasses, a Burberry umbrella, fire extinguishers, mobile phones, fishing gear, boat parts, union jack flags and a large bone.

A total of 265 divers took to the lake’s water.

The Ramblers called for the Cairngorms national park to be extended westwards and a total ban imposed on the building of windfarms in the area.

The charity briefed MSPs ahead of a debate on wild land in the Scottish Parliament.

The Ramblers said the Monadhliath Mountains should be brought into the Cairngorms park and the whole area declared a world heritage site.

The charity also called on the Ministry of Defence to abandon plans to extend its firing range at the country’s most north-westerly point.

The MoD wanted to buy more land at Cape Wrath in Sutherland, but the Ramblers said military bosses should stop their land grab.

The campaigning group also said the MoD should review all its holdings in the remote area, the terminus of several long-distance walking routes.

Dick Balharry, president of Ramblers Scotland, said: “No other European nation would ever consider that such a fantastic part of their coastline should be used as a Nato firing range.”

Climbing routes on one of Scotland’s toughest crags were preserved during a spruce-up to remove graffiti.

A row erupted over plans to clean graffiti off Dumbarton Rock, the extinct volcano on the north bank of the Clyde.

Dumbarton Rock is home to Dave MacLeod’s E11-graded Rhapsody, the hardest rock-climbing route in Britain.

But after consultation with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, climbers’ representatives said they were happy with the work carried out to remove the unsightly scrawls on the rockface.

Prolonged severe winter weather forced the abandonment of an off-road marathon in the Clwydian Hills.

The Excalibur Marathon organisers said predicted heavy snowfall and minus temperatures could not only put participants at risk, but marshals, volunteers and staff from other agencies who support the event.

The route was due to start and finish near Llanferres, crossing Moel Famau and heading north along the range before turning back south.

The event is a major fundraiser for the Claire House Children’s Hospice on the Wirral.

Dr Andrew Murray

Dr Andrew Murray

The new head of the Ramblers in Scotland called on people north of the border to sit less and walk more.

Dr Andrew Murray, who was Scotland’s first physical activity champion, was elected president of Ramblers Scotland.

He said: “It’s great to have this opportunity to support the Ramblers in their efforts to promote walking for everyone.

“Most exercise taken in Scotland is by walking, and with the prospect of better health and happiness, the benefits are enormous.”

Rescuers in action during the blizzards. Photo: Kendal MRT

Rescuers in action during the blizzards. Photo: Kendal MRT

Mountain rescuers were called out to help motorists and residents in Cumbria as blizzards swept the West of the county.

Drifts up to 6m (20ft) deep were reported as winds up to 70mph whipped up snow on the main coastal road, stranding drivers for up to eight hours.

The road is the main low-level route north from Furness to Sellafield and Whitehaven.

Police in Cumbria appealed for the public’s help in tracing Derrick Matthews following the theft of numerous charity boxes across the county.

A further appeal would be issued in autumn for the homeless man, whose haul included three mountain rescue team collection boxes and one belonging to the Great North Air Ambulance.

The 54-year-old was jailed in December for five years for a string of thefts.

A veteran mountaineer and expert on the Cairngorms was honoured by outdoor writers and photographers for his work.

Dr Adam Watson received the Golden Eagle Award from the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild at a ceremony in Aberdeen.

Dr Watson has devoted his life to the study and protection of the Cairngorms.

US-owned company Bristow Helicopters was confirmed as the winner in bids to operate the UK’s privatised search and rescue helicopters.

The firm, part of a Houston-based group, will provide the aircraft and crews for the rescue service from 10 bases.

The company’s chief executive William E Chiles said some of the military staff currently employed by the RAF and Royal Navy on its ageing Sea Kings are likely to be offered jobs when the privatised service begins.

There was no let-up in winter conditions as Easter approached. Photo: Kirkby Stephen MRT

There was no let-up in winter conditions as Easter approached. Photo: Kirkby Stephen MRT

As Easter approached, Britain remained in the grip of winter, with Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team’s volunteers called out 10 times to help stranded motorists, including one couple heading for Gretna Green to get married.

Team members worked a 14-hour stint taking vehicle occupants to safety. One team member described the shift as ‘a bit of an epic’.

In total, 25 motorists were helped after their vehicles got stuck in snow on high Pennine routes.

The prince talks to young visitors at Thorns Hall. Photo: Graham Edwards

The prince talks to young visitors at Thorns Hall. Photo: Graham Edwards

The Prince of Wales helped a holiday co-operative celebrate its centenary.

The heir to the throne talked to guests taking a break at Thorns Hall, Sedbergh, which is run by HF Holidays.

The organisation was founded 100 years ago as the Holiday Fellowship by Lancashire minister the Rev Thomas Arthur Leonard.


The hill sleuths determine the highest point of Thack Moor in wintry conditions

The hill sleuths determine the highest point of Thack Moor in wintry conditions

A new 2,000-footer joined the list of hills topping the magic mountain mark after a survey by a trio of amateur hill sleuths.

Thack Moor in the northern Pennines was found to be 2,000 feet high – just.

Measurements by John Barnard, Graham Jackson and Myrddyn Phillips using high-tech GPS equipment showed the otherwise unprepossessing grassy Cumbrian hill tops out above the official mountain height, by less than an inch.

Ordnance Survey, the Government mapping agency, confirmed the data collected by G&J Surveys, as the trio is known, on two visits to the hill put Thack Moor at 609.62m, just two centimetres above the metric equivalent of 2,000ft.

A boy who fell 200ft from a Lake District scrambling route returned to the area to thank his rescuers and hand over cash to them.

Tom Lister was 13 when he fell from Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark, sparking a huge rescue operation.

Tom’s father said his son looked so badly injured after his fall that he thought he was dead.

But the teenager, from Buckinghamshire, is almost completely recovered from injuries he suffered in the 60m fall from the grade-one scrambling route.

He visited members of the Langdale Ambleside MRT and the Great North Air Ambulance to thank them.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland appealed to Highland Council members to throw out proposals for the Stronelairg development in the Monadhliath Mountains.

The MCofS said the development would lead to more than 42 miles of new and upgraded tracks being carved across unspoilt land.

But Highland Council voted not to object to SSE Renewables’ scheme to build 83 turbines, up to 135m (443ft) tall.

The John Muir Trust said it was disappointed and called on the Scottish Government to hold a full public inquiry into proposals for the Stronelairg windfarm.

Mick Fowler on Shiva

Mick Fowler on Shiva

Four Britons were among the year’s recipients of Piolets d’Or, the ‘Oscars’ of mountaineering.

Alpine Club president Mick Fowler and his climbing partner Paul Ramsden, who received a Piolet d’Or 10 years ago, were honoured for their ascent of the Prow of Shiva in India.

And Sandy Allan and Rick Allen were also given an award for their expedition along the full Mazeno Ridge of Nanga Parbat in the Pakistan Himalaya.

Unusually the jury in Courmayeur in the Italian Alps, decided to award Piolets d’Or to all six shortlisted projects.

Harsh, prolonged winter conditions led to the death of at least 40 mountain ponies in Snowdonia.

The national park authority said it was helping graziers bury the corpses of the wild Carneddau mountain ponies on the hills under special measures introduced by the Welsh Government.

An extension of the temporary right to bury dead animals on farmland was announced by Minister of Natural Resources and Food, Alun Davies.

The British Mountaineering Council said Natural England blanket ban on climbing at the Ravensdale national nature reserve in the Peak District was over the top.

The BMC said: “In 2011, Natural England decided its national nature reserves and similar holdings should be legally dedicated for permanent public access.

“But after instituting a blanket ban on climbing at Ravensdale in the Peak District, how serious is that commitment?

“The fact that ravens should nest in Ravensdale should hardly come as a surprise. The clue, rather obviously, is in the name.

“And in the past, when ravens have nested on the crag, the BMC has been happy to support restrictions on climbing routes near the nest.

The walkers were rescued from the slopes of Ingleborough

The walkers were rescued from the slopes of Ingleborough

A group of 15 walkers undertaking a challenge had to be rescued after getting lost.

Two separate sets of walkers tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks were caught out when weather changed on the summit of Ingleborough and low cloud and hill fog enveloped the fell.

A Cave Rescue Organisation search party found all 15 of them above Long Scar, cold and tired, with two suffering from strained leg muscles and sore hips.

A member of the band that notoriously doused John Prescott with water said he would join celebrations to mark a seminal event in the battle for countryside access.

Boff Whalley, a founder member of anarcho-punk-pop band Chumbawamba announced he would perform during a day commemorating the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass.

The day of celebrations followed last year’s 80th anniversary event at Edale.

Carey Davies. Photo: Dougie Cunningham

Carey Davies. Photo: Dougie Cunningham

The British Mountaineering Council appointed its first hillwalking development officer to look after the interests of the majority of its membership.

Former magazine assistant editor Carey Davies has took up the role, funded by Sport England, to provide information and advice to new hillwalkers and to the many members for whom hillwalking is their main activity.

Mr Davies said: “A lot of people have the impression that the BMC is an organisation for climbers alone but so much of the work it does benefits hillwalkers too.

The National Trust for Scotland appealed for 90 pairs of old hiking boots to nail to a billboard to raise awareness of its work.

The boots were to go on display in Edinburgh in June to publicise the trust’s care for Scotland’s mountains as part of the One Wee Step campaign launched.

Two walkers were rescued after they climbed a mountain by mistake.

The pair were found by Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team at Grisedale Hause after an operation involving 15 volunteer members.

A team spokesperson said the two women had accidentally gone up Fairfield.”

Two outdoor gear firms were honoured in the Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

The Pentland Group, which owns the Berghaus and brasher brands, won an award for international trade, as did Regatta, the Greater Manchester company that produces a range of value outdoor wear.

The awards are made to mark substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success.

Kenton Cool announced plans to take his Everest tally beyond 10

Kenton Cool announced plans to take his Everest tally beyond 10

Kenton Cool, who has climbed Everest 10 times, announced plans for his 11th ascent of the world’s highest mountain.

He aimed to summit the 8,848m (29,029ft) peak around the 60th anniversary of the first successful climb of the mountain by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary.

The Three Peaks Race used a new section of footpath for the first time, easing conditions underfoot.

Hundreds of runners used the stretch of maintained footpath runs over Whitber Hill on the descent from Pen-y-ghent and avoids the notorious bogs of Black Dubb Moss and Horton Moor.

The new route takes walkers in the Yorkshire Dales further along the Pennine Way before turning off and heading over Whitber Hill and Sell Gill Hill.

Runners in the historic long-distance fell race face battling with snow for the first time in memory.

Organisers of the Three Peaks Race in the Yorkshire Dales warned wintry showers were forecast for the event.

Adam Perry, winner of the Fellsman

Adam Perry, winner of the Fellsman

Just one minute separated the winner and runner-up after more than 10 hours racing in one of the country’s toughest endurance challenges.

Adam Perry won the Fellsman, the 98km (61-mile) traverse of most of the Yorkshire Dales’ high peaks in one of the closest finishes in the event’s history.

A few metres behind him was Ian Phillips, repeating his second place of the previous year.

The same weekend, a fellrunner following in his father’s footsteps notched up his second successive win of the Three Peaks Race.

Joe Symonds repeated his victory in the 37km (23-mile) across Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Salomon runner beat a field of 744 other runners to win with a time of 2hrs 54mins 39secs. The course record of 2hrs 46mins 3secs remained unbroken.

His father Hugh Symonds of Kendal Athletic Club who won in 1984, 1985 and 1987.

There were angry scenes on Everest during a confrontation between three European climbers and Sherpas.

British climber and photographer Jonathan Griffith was one of three top mountaineers allegedly assaulted and threatened with death on the Lhotse Face.

Swiss climber Ueli Steck, renowned for his speed climbing, Italian climbing companion Simone Moro and Griffith reportedly provoked the ire of Sherpas fixing ropes above Camp Two on Saturday when they stepped over their lines to reach their tent.

According to Moro, after angry scenes on the mountain face, the trio of European climbers were surrounded by up to 100 Sherpas at Camp Two and told if they were still there an hour later they would be killed.

American mountaineer Alan Arnette said the Sherpas’ view had not been represented in reports of the alarming incident.

Arnette said the spark that ignited the fire was an intervention by a fourth European climber at Camp Two while the two sides were exchanging heated words.

The fourth climber carelessly approached and ‘entangled physically’ with a Sherpa. The Nepalese, thinking their colleagues were being attacked, then began the brawl, which only ended with the intervention of other western climbers and Sherpas, according to Arnette.

One-fifth of Scotland was classified as wild land in a map published by Scottish Natural Heritage.

The official outdoors body’s previous search for wild land turned up 13 per cent of the nation, but this increased to 20 per cent following a comprehensive survey.

The organisation identified 43 areas, ranging from Merrick in the South to Ronas Hill and North Roe on Shetland.


Outdoor industry bosses launched a campaign they said could add four years to people’s lives.

The long-touted Britain on Foot kicked off with an official photocall in London, backed by parliamentarians and outdoor organisations.

The campaign was devised by the trade body the Outdoor Industries Association with the aim, it said, of getting a million currently inactive people engaged in outdoor activities, leading to healthy, happier, longer lives.

Heather Morning said people should be careful where they chose to pee

Mountain rescuers warned walkers and runners after dangerous unexploded shells were found on moorland.

The discovery followed a tip-off by a fellrunner who noticed the piece of ordnance while running above Langsett in the North-East of the Peak District.

The area was formerly used as a military firing range and has been the scene of various discoveries of unexploded shells in the past.

Record-breaking Everest mountaineer Kenton Cool posted a new first by summiting what he termed the Ultimate Three Peaks.

The Briton successfully climbed Lhotse, the final mountain in the Everest horseshoe surrounding the Western Cwm, becoming the first to achieve the feat of summiting Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse in one trip.

Gloucestershire-based Cool’s ascent during the expedition of the world’s highest mountain also extended his record to 11 successful summits, the most ever completed by a Briton.

One month from the summer solstice forecasters warned that hillwalkers and climbers should prepare for severe winter conditions.

Blizzards were possible over the Scottish mountains and there would be a severe wind-chill, the Met Office said.

Anyone venturing on to the hills north of the border was told to be prepared with appropriate clothing and equipment.

Storm-force winds were forecast over the Cairngorm plateau with sub-zero temperatures.

One of the stone pillars installed on Snowdon

One of the stone pillars installed on Snowdon

Snowdonia National Park Authority said a set of stone pillars would be installed on Wales’s highest mountain to keep walkers on the right track.

The decision to place the markers on Snowdon followed a series of incidents where walkers have taken the wrong path and got into difficulties.

A Snowdonia National Park Authority spokesperson said: “In recent years, it has become evident from Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team’s reports that walkers tend to get into difficulties in the same places on Snowdon.”

Aficionados of the late Alfred Wainwright unveiled a new information board at the start of the author’s Coast to Coast Walk.

Wainwright Society chairman, broadcaster Eric Robson, was joined by more than 60 people at a ceremony at St Bees on the Cumbrian coast.

The village is the starting point for the 309km (192-mile) route that passes through the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North York Moors before reaching Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast.

Olympic bosses thwarted climbers’ attempts to have their sport included in the Games.

The International Olympic Committee turned down the International Federation of Sport Climbing’s pitch to have the activity included in the 2020 Olympics.

The federation had been hopeful the committee’s St Petersburg meeting would choose its climbing triathlon event for inclusion on the 60th anniversary of the first successful Everest ascent.

But the IOC’s executive board instead picked wrestling, squash and baseball-softball for the games.

The Glencoe cottage that was owned by the notorious sex offender Jimmy Savile was sold for more than double its expected price.

Allt na Reigh in Glencoe was put up for auction with a guide price of £100,000 but the two-bedroom property fetched £212,000.

The single-story white building stands next to the main A82 road through the Pass of Glencoe and has commanding views of The Three Sisters and Buachaille Etive Beag.

Before the cottage was bought by the now disgraced television presenter, it was owned by Hamish MacInnes, one of the luminaries of Scottish mountaineering and mountain rescue.


Arthur Littlefair and his wife Vivienne

Arthur Littlefair and his wife Vivienne

Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team member Arthur Littlefair joined luminaries in Westminster Abbey to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s crowning.

Mr Littlefair has been a team member for more than 40 years, 23 of them as leader.

He said he remembered the original coronation celebrations in the town in 1953.

“I was only very young but I’ve checked my memories with family friends in the town,” he said.

“Apparently, I was dressed up as St George in silver-painted cardboard armour for a fancy-dress procession through Kirkby Stephen to mark the coronation.”

The sister of murdered Machynlleth schoolgirl April Jones leapt from an aeroplane to raise money for one of the mountain rescue teams that took part in the search for the five-year-old.

Hazel Louise Jones made a skydive in aid of Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team in recognition of the volunteers’ efforts in trying to find her sister.

The disappearance of April sparked the biggest search operation for decades in and around the mid-Wales town, with volunteer mountain rescue teams from all over the UK coming to the area to help in the hunt for the girl.

Her body was never found and Mark Bridger was convicted of April’s abduction and murder in addition to perverting the course of justice. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a whole-life tariff.

Sutty with one of his rescuers

Sutty with one of his rescuers

A dog hailed as a hero when he alerted climbers to his critically injured owner’s plight after a 600ft fall from a Snowdonia mountain was himself rescued after 10 days stuck on the hill.

Sutty, a 14-year-old cross-bred King Charles spaniel went missing after his 60-year-old master was airlifted to hospital after falling 200m near the Atlantic Slabs on Carnedd y Filiast.

Two climbers heard him whimpering and a rescue operation successfully recovered Sutty from his position on a small ledge on the mountain, at the northern end of the Glyderau range in the Ogwen Valley.

The fire station is handed over to the team

The fire station is handed over to the team

Holme Valley Mountain Team bought the fire station in which they were based when they faced being made homeless after the building in Marsden, West Yorkshire was closed following Government cuts.

But the team negotiated the purchase of the building, which ceased fire-service operations at the end of April.

The fire station had been the team’s base, with its two rescue vehicles and equipment kept in garages at the site. It was given notice to terminate its lease by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority.

Phil O’Brien, leader of the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, along with Ian Hurst, president of Buxton Mountain Rescue Team and Keith Birkitt of the Buxton team gained a British Empire Medal for his voluntary service to the team.

Peter Drake was also made an MBE for his services to young people. Mr Drake of Holmfirth in West Yorkshire was a founding member of the Young Explorers Trust.

Susan Blake received her British Empire Medal for services to rambling and to the community in Dorchester, Dorset.

Ms Blake is secretary and a leader for the Dorchester Strollers. She is also a leader for the South Dorset group of the Ramblers.

A fork stuck in a tree, discarded tent poles and numerous disposable barbecues were among items cleared from the national park countryside in the first of a series of clean-ups.

The Envirotrek Respect the Mountains series takes place across Europe, and opened with the collection of 25 bags of rubbish in the Peak District at the weekend.

The Keen-sponsored event saw 47 people join the effort to clear litter and other rubbish around the Hope Valley.

Finlay Wild sets off on his record breaking Cuillin traverse. Photo: Roger Wild

Finlay Wild sets off on his record breaking Cuillin traverse. Photo: Roger Wild

A Scottish hillrunner broke the record for one of the biggest mountain challenges in Britain.

Lochaber Athletic Club member Finlay Wild completed the Cuillin Traverse on Skye to beat the six-year record held by Es Tressider.

The running doctor completed the gruelling route which includes 11 munros and several sections of climbing at Very Difficult grade in a time of 3hrs 14mins 58secs, chipping almost 2½ minutes off the previous record.

But it wasn’t the end of his Cuillin record-breaking. In October, he posted the first sub-three-hour time for the route.

Blind climber Red Széll climbed the Old May of Hoy sea stack off the northern Scottish coast.

He successfully completed the route up the column of red sandstone on, raising more than £10,000 for medical research with his record-breaking climb.

The 41-year-old has retinitis pigmentosa, which has robbed him of 90 per cent of his sight.

He was supported in his successful ascent of the Old Man by climbers Martin Moran and Nick Carter.

Expeditions to the world’s ninth highest mountain were suspended after 11 climbers were shot dead by a group dressed as security forces.

The Pakistan Taliban said an offshoot faction of its organisation, Junood ul Hisfa, carried out the murders in retaliation for western drone attacks in the country.

The octopus found at the summit of Scafell Pike. Photo: Dave Ascough

The octopus found at the summit of Scafell Pike. Photo: Dave Ascough

A team of volunteers cleaning up England’s highest mountain discovered an octopus on its summit.

The litter pick, organised by Mountain Leader Dave Ascough, turned up the usual collection of cans, bottles and wrappers.

But the octopus, found next to Scafell Pike’s trig pillar, surprised the group, drawn from across the North-West of England.

Troubled outdoor company Gelert was bought by expanding retail group Sports Direct International.

Gelert, which began life in a shed in the north Wales village of Bryncir 38 years ago, has had a difficult recent past.

The company was placed in administration and was bought by Mike Ashley’s group, which owns the Field & Trek chain and the Karrimor brand.

Britain’s largest walking charity welcomed the Government’s decision not to merge two environmental agencies.

The Ramblers said plans to combine the Environment Agency and Natural England would have endangered public access and environmental protection.

But the charity said it still had concerns about cuts to Natural England, saying it believed the creation of the English Coast Path could be in jeopardy.


The incident happened on Pavey Ark

The incident happened on Pavey Ark

A teacher was praised for performing vital resuscitation on a student when he collapsed on a Lake District fell.

The group was walking on Pavey Ark in Great Langdale when the youth collapsed near Bright Beck.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland’s safety adviser Heather Morning had more advice about the hazards of going to the toilet in the outdoors.

She cautioned against burning your used toilet paper during the hot spell.

She said: “When ‘going’ outdoors, many people are taught to burn their loo roll.

“Otherwise it takes a long time to break down and can blow around in the wind – unsightly and unhygienic.

“But the thought of galloping down a hill with your trousers around your ankles, fleeing a fire you just set with loo roll, doesn’t bear thinking about.”

Meanwhile, Britain’s official weather forecasters issued an amber alert as a heatwave was expected to increase the risk to vulnerable groups in parts of England over the weekend.

The Met Office said temperatures were expected to climb close to heatwave thresholds across the East Midlands, and Yorkshire and the Humber regions.

It was announced an RAF mountain rescue team would be disbanded at the end of the year as part of the coalition Government’s reorganisation of the armed forces.

Leuchars Mountain Rescue Team would stop operating by December, as all the base’s RAF staff are being transferred to Lossiemouth in Moray.

The news was confirmed to North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell by armed forces minister Andrew Robathan. Leuchars will become an Army base under the plans.

The move cut from four to three the number of RAF mountain rescue teams in the UK: at Valley in Anglesey, Leeming in North Yorkshire and Lossiemouth.

A Lake District mountain rescue team asked members of the public to join the search for a ‘missing walker’ as part of an experiment to test the use of a high-tech unmanned drone.

The aircraft relayed pictures of the search area as it flew over the Lakeland countryside.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Tea was working with the University of Central Lancashire to test the system.

Because the search produced so many images – up to 100 a minute – the rescue team asked the public to scrutinise the pictures to see if they can spot the missing person.

Race organisers said they wanted Snowdon closed to walkers. Photo: Denis Egan CC-BY-2.0

Race organisers said they wanted Snowdon closed to walkers. Photo: Denis Egan [CC-2.0]

Organisers of a fell race said they wanted Wales’s highest mountain closed to walkers while the event takes place.

Safety concerns about crowding led the International Snowdon Race’s Stephen Edwards to say the 1,085m (3,560ft) peak should be shut during future races.

Mr Edwards said runners and walkers would have to share the same route after a change of course meant a 250m section along the Snowdon Mountain Railway would be out of bounds to runners.

Shop workers in the Sports Direct empire were quids in after the award of a bonus that meant they received shares worth thousands of pounds.

An employee earning £20,000 in the company, which includes outdoor retailer Field & Trek, would receive shares worth £75,000, the company said.

The share bonuses went to 2,000 qualifying Sports Direct workers after tough profit targets were met.

The umbrella body for mountain rescue in Scotland moved to ensure team members have accident insurance when fundraising and providing safety cover for events such as fell races.

Police insurance policies cover volunteer rescue team members when they are operating on callouts, but there had been ambiguity about the level of protection on other events.

The creation of a single police force in Scotland brought the matter to a head when Arran Mountain Rescue Team was told its members would not be covered by Police Scotland personal accident insurance while they were helping the organisers of the Glen Rosa Race.

Teams had argued that providing safety for such events was a useful training exercise.

The minister opens the new centre

The minister opens the new centre

A new visitor centre opened in Snowdonia.

Minister of Culture and Sport John Griffiths opened the building at Ogwen, with bosses saying they hoped it would encourage thousands of visitors who visit Cwm Idwal each year.

Work on the Dyffryn Ogwen, which replaced an old centre and warden’s office, began in September last year.

YHA England and Wales appointed mountaineer Alan Hinkes as its first ever ambassador.

Mr Hinkes’s role is to promote YHA in the education and outdoor adventure fields.

Alan Hinkes: only Briton to summit the world's 8,000m peaks

Alan Hinkes: only Briton to summit the world's 8,000m peaks

The North Yorkshire-based climber and outdoors enthusiast is the first ambassador for the charity in its 83-year history.

Walkers in the Eden Valley were warned not to approach two porcupines that escaped from an animal rescue centre.

The father and son made a bid for freedom from their home near Penrith and were at loose in the Cumbrian countryside.

Police warned members of the public to not approach the porcupines as when feeling threatened, they run backwards at their aggressor and spike them with their quills.

Terry Bowes, who runs Wetheriggs Animal Rescue & Conservation Centre from where the animals escaped, said: “The porcupines are father and son. They are nocturnal animals so chances of seeing them in the day are unlikely.”

The producers of the BBC’s Countryfile programme were rapped for allowing its presenters to give undue prominence to an outdoor brand.

Julia Bradbury: said she hires different brands for presenting

Julia Bradbury: said she hires different brands for presenting

Two presenters wore Rab jackets in editions of the programme broadcast in November and December last year.

Two people complained that the presenters were guilty of product placement, but the BBC Trust’s editorial standards committee dismissed the complaints as no payment or deal had been made by Derbyshire brand.

The committee did rule, however, that the clothing company had been given undue prominence, in breach of BBC guidelines.


Stuart Mills. Photo:

Stuart Mills. Photo:

One of the toughest ultrarunning races in the country was won by a 50-year-old, and the fastest woman knocked more than four hours off the previous year’s winning time.

Montane Lakeland 100 race winner Stuart Mills returned to the Coniston start point in a time of 22hrs 17mins 50secs, beating second-placed Charlie Sharpe by 45 minutes, with Ed Batty third at 23hrs 7mins 40secs.

Lizzie Wraith crossed the finish line in a time of 24hrs 15mins 6secs, knocking more than 4½ hours off 2012’s winning women’s time.

Police announced they had charged a man following the death of a walker three years ago.

Roger Freeman was killed by a bull while walking at Stanford on Soar, in November 2010.

Nottinghamshire Police charged Paul Geoffrey Waterfall, of Leake Lane, Stanford on Soar, Leicestershire, with manslaughter by gross negligence.

Four English national parks got a £16.8m boost to encourage cycling under measures announced by the UK Government.

The Peak District, Dartmoor, South Downs and New Forest authorities will further contribute a total of £9m towards schemes that include cycleways railway station links and family-friendly routes.

A grandfather who crawled to safety after spending the night on the Lake District fells was praised by mountain rescuers.

The man and his grandson were reported overdue after going for a walk in the central fells on Tuesday.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was alerted at 10pm but a spokesperson said the pair’s route was not clear.

As rescuers gathered at Seathwaite in the morning to begin a search, they received a phone call from Wasdale Head to say the pair had arrived at a farm in the hamlet after spending the night on the mountain.

A Keswick MRT spokesperson said: “It has to be said that they made every effort to get themselves to safety, with the elderly gentleman actually crawling a long distance to ensure he got off the hill without assistance.”

The Open Spaces Society said it would submit a Freedom of Information request to find out what was behind Natural Resources Wales’s about-turn on a decision on the proposed Circuit of Wales motor-racing track near Ebbw Vale.

It said the development is on common land and abuts the Brecon Beacons national park.

OSS general secretary Kate Ashbrook said: “We cannot understand what has caused NRW to cave in to the developers.

“As far as we can see, nothing has changed. Why could it not reach this agreement before the planning application was submitted?

“It should be defending the Brecon Beacons national park, not endorsing industrial spread right on its doorstep.

Search dogs were on the lookout for friends

Search dogs were on the lookout for friends

The National Search and Rescue Dogs Association said it was setting up a supporters’ group.

Its Friends of NSARDA group aims to support the work of the volunteer handlers who head out to the hills and countryside to find missing and injured walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and other outdoor fans.

Mountain experts warned parents forcing children up mountains in bad conditions could put them off walking for the rest of their lives.

The Snowdonia MountainSafe partnership said families should consider low level routes rather than aiming for the high peaks in the national park during bad weather.

Mair Huws, head of wardens and access at Snowdonia National Park Authority, one of the bodies in the MountainSafe partnership, said: “Taking tired young children to a mountain summit isn’t fun and it can result in children having very negative attitudes towards walking for the rest of their lives.”

An embarrassed walker on a Snowdonia peak had to be rescued after getting lost then realising he only had a map of part of Scotland with him.

He then damaged the mobile phone he was using for its mapping.

The man, in his 40s, had gone on his own on to the Glyderau range on a clear evening with a bright moon to recce an upcoming mountain challenge.

But a blanket of cloud descended on Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, forcing a call for help to Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation.

Sadly there were a number of deaths in the outdoors world.

In January, a man died in a fall from a Lake District fell. Stephen Kevin Aindow, 47, of Southport, was with a group making their way down from Crinkle Crags when he fell to his death.

A former pilot with the Great North Air Ambulance Service died when his helicopter hit a tower crane in Vauxhall, south London.

Former ski instructor Captain Pete Barnes’s aircraft plummeted to earth, killing him and a passer-by on the ground.

Kevin Hodgson, director of operations at the Great North Air Ambulance Service, said he was as good a guy as you could imagine and one of the best pilots he had ever had the pleasure of flying with.

Jack Wooding of Limehouse, east London, died in a fall on Aladdin’s Mirror in Coire an t-Sneachda on Cairn Gorm.

He died in hospital after being airlifted by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.

Four people died in an avalanche on Bidean nam Bian in Glencoe.

Dr Rachel Majumdar

Dr Rachel Majumdar

Dr Rachel Majumdar, Una Finnegan, Christopher Bell and Tom Chesters all perished in the incident.

Ben St Joseph died after falling more than 300ft from Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis.

The 22-year-old, of Essex, fell into Tower Gully on the North Face of the 1,344 m (4,409ft) mountain, the highest in the UK.

Members of the Borders Search and Rescue Unit and Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team, along with Borders Underwater Search Team, found the body of student Sanjay Dhital in Holyrood Park.

Mr Dhital, 24, from Nepal, was in his final year of studies at Edinburgh College. His body was found in St Margaret’s Loch.

Matthew Baird-Parker, of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, died while canoeing on a Yorkshire Dales river.

Una Finnegan

Una Finnegan

The 36-year-old paddler was flown by air ambulance to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough after being pulled from Arkle Beck, Reeth, but was pronounced dead.

Captain Rob Carnegie died on south Wales’s second highest mountain Corn Du.

Capt Carnegie, from Dublin, was a member of the Royal Corps of Signals.

His family said: “He died doing the job he loved as an officer in the British Army.”

In February, Graham Connell, 31, of Castleford, West Yorkshire died while walking in the Cairngorms.

His body was found near Jacob’s Ladder in Coire an t-Sneachda, on Cairn Gorm.

Five other members of Leeds University Union Hiking Club who were missing were found uninjured near Carn Tarsuinn, 10km (6 miles) away.

The body of a Barbara Colling, who had been missing in the North York Moors, was found by a member of the public.

She was found on Hawnby Moor close to where the former teacher had last been seen.

Three experienced mountaineers died after being avalanched in the Cairngorms.

Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps, Squadron Leader Rimon Than and William Currie lost their lives in the incident. The trio were buried in the avalanche in the Chalamain Gap, which runs between the CairnGorm mountain ski area and the Lairig Ghru pass.

Mark Phillips died when he fell about 50m (165ft) from Raeburn’s Buttress on the North Face of Ben Nevis.

Mr Phillips, 51, of Spean Bridge in Lochaber, was an environmental health officer with Highland Council.

His widow Caroline Phillips said: “My beloved husband Mark was enjoying the superb conditions the Scottish Highlands were affording.”

Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell

In March, Martin Peel died after falling on Pillar in the Lake District.

Mr Peel, 35, of Clitheroe, Lancashire, was with two others on the mountain when he fell to his death in Walker’s Gully.

The three were descending from the 892m (2,927ft) summit of the mountain towards Pillar Rock for a climb when the incident happened.

Tom Chesters
Tom Chesters

Shaun Bowden fell to his death from Bidean nam Bian.

The family of the 39-year-old, of Ware, Hertfordshire, said he was an experienced hillwalker who knew the route well.

They said he deliberately avoided pulling his walking companions with him when he fell.

They said: “It is a testament to his courage and skill that when he fell, he instinctively avoided grabbing his walking companions which would surely have resulted in their deaths as well.

“Instead he attempted to arrest his fall with his ice axe but the quality of the snow made this impossible.”

Charlie Saunders

Charlie Saunders

The father and son were killed in a trekking accident in the French Alps.

Peter Saunders

Peter Saunders

Peter Saunders and his 12-year-old son Charlie had gone to the Chamonix area for a weekend of outdoor activities.

Charlie is believed to have fallen 300m (1,000ft) to his death from the Couloir des Bossons route on the Mont Blanc massif.

Mr Saunders, 48, of Buckinghamshire, made an emergency call to say his son had fallen, but the emergency control centre lost contact with him.

Rescuers believe he fell to his death while searching for his son.

The body of walker Jim Jack was found on a Highland mountain.

Mr Jack, 57, of Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, was found by rescuers after being reported overdue in the Glenfinnan area.

Members of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team found the walker on Streap, a 909m (2,982ft) peak about 5km north-east of the Corryhully bothy, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

A major search was launched after a hillwalker went missing.

Clive Dennier

Clive Dennier

Journalist Clive Dennier failed to turn up for work at the Strathspey and Badenoch Herald.

His bosses alerted police who said he may have gone walking.

The 50-year-old’s body was found three months later in the Kinloch Hourn area.

A skier died in an avalanche in Glencoe.

The body of Daniel Maddox, 41, of Clackmannanshire, was found after an extensive search involving many agencies.

Lochaber Mountain Rescue Team joined the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team, an RAF mountain rescue team and the Glencoe Ski Patrol after the man, described as an experienced off-piste skier, was buried in the avalanche near Glencoe Mountain Resort.

In April a Swiss walker died after falling more than 300ft into a Lake District ravine.

Elisabeth Huber from Heimberg was holidaying in Cumbria and was walking with a group of people when she fell about in Dungeon Ghyll, Great Langdale.

Langdale Ambleside and Kendal Mountain Rescue Teams were both called out to the incident, but the 68-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps

Flight Lieutenant Fran Capps

A walker died after falling from a ridge on Ireland’s fourth highest mountain.

The man fell from the ridge between Cnoc na Péiste and An Gunna Mhór in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks range.

The walker, who was visiting Ireland, was with another man when he fell.

Members of the Kerry Mountain Rescue Team were called out and a helicopter from the Irish Coastguard flew some of the team to the area, but the 26-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.

The body of David Robert Beattie, 54, from the Aberdeen area, was found after he was reported missing in the Fannichs, south of Ullapool.

Dundonnell Mountain Rescue Team and an RAF Sea King helicopter joined the search in the area around Braemore and Mr Beattie’s body was found by rescuers.

A man died after a fall on Snowdon.

Walkers found the injured man and alerted emergency services.

Llanberis and Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Teams were called out and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Valley flew to the scene, near the Parson’s Nose route on Clogwyn y Person on the Snowdon massif.

The man, in his 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene and his body was flow to Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor.

William Currie

William Currie

Andrew Pae’s body was found in woods on a Flintshire hillside.

North Wales Police said they were alerted after the discovery on Moel Famau.

Police had appealed to walkers and mountain bikers in the area to be on the lookout for Mr Pae, whose car was found at a car park at the base of the hill in the Clwydian Range.

A walker died after collapsing on a Lakeland fell despite efforts to resuscitate him.

Philip Elgey, 61, of Kendal, suffered a suspected heart attack on the summit of Great Gable while walking with friends.

In May, a climber died after falling at a Lake District crag.

Jacqueline Jackson, 65, of Brampton, Cumbria, fell more than 300ft at Black Crag in Borrowdale.

She had completed the Severe-graded Troutdale Pinnacle route with a climbing partner and was descending after topping out when she slipped and fell 100m to the foot of the crag, suffering multiple injuries.

Rescuers searching for a walker missing in the Highlands found a body.

The discovery of the woman’s body in Torridon followed a major search by mountain rescue teams, search and rescue helicopters and search dogs.

Squadron Leader Rimon Than

Squadron Leader Rimon Than

Police Scotland were alerted after the woman was reported overdue from a hillwalking outing in the area. The 54-year-old was last seen in the Glen Carron area.

In June, the body of Oliver Smith was found two months after he went missing in the Cuillin.

Police said the body was recovered from Blàbheinn on the Isle of Skye.

The discovery followed a search in the area.

A major search involving Skye, Glenelg, Kintail and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams, along with members of the Search and Rescue Dogs Association and police, was mounted for 33-year-old Dr Smith, a lecturer at St Andrews University.

Two climbers died in an incident on Anglesey. Jack Hutton-Potts, 23, and Vaughan Holme, 48, were climbing on sea cliffs near North Stack but failed to meet friends and the alarm was raised.

After a search involving Coastguard rescue teams, a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from nearby RAF Valley and two lifeboats, their bodies were found in the sea the following day.

Norman Smith died after collapsing near the summit of a Cairngorms mountain.

Mr Smith, 61, of Dunfermline, Fife, was with a group on Beinn Bhrotain when he collapsed and fell.

He was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness but pronounced dead.

Shaun Bowden

Shaun Bowden

In July, Jan Vermeiren died after falling from a Hebridean mountain.

Mr Vermeiren fell about 180m (600ft) from The Storr on Skye after camping at the summit of the hill.

The incident happened when 25-year-old Mr Vermeiren, of Wommelgem, Belgium, was packing up camp on the 719m (2,359ft) hill on the Trotternish peninsula.

Skye Mountain Rescue Team was joined by the Stornoway Coastguard helicopter in a search in poor visibility for the fallen camper.

National park rangers urged people to use commonsense when going wild swimming, following the death of a man in Coniston Water.

Matthew Joseph, 21, of Romford in Essex, was pulled from the lake by members of the public after getting into difficulties on Sunday, but died after being airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital.

The Lake District National Park Authority said lakes, rivers and tarns had become hotspots for cooling off during a hot spell.

Within days, a man died while swimming in a Brecon Beacons reservoir.

The 24-year-old disappeared after he went for a swim in the Cantref Reservoir between Brecon and Merthyr Tydfil.

The Central Beacons and Brecon Mountain Rescue Teams took part in a search, which involved an air-scenting dog and handler from the Search and Rescue Dogs Association taking to the water in a kayak to try to find the man.

Other team members also used kayaks in the operation and colleagues performed a search along the banks of the reservoir.

The bodies of Catherine Hooper, 24, and her five-year-old son Josh Patterson were found at the foot of Haytor, a popular climbing venue.

Police subsequently began a murder investigation after Ms Hooper’s other son Sam Patterson, two, was found dead at her home in Paignton, Devon.

Police said they were not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths, and confirmed that the family was the subject of Safeguarding Partnership Intervention before the incident.

Jim Jack

Jim Jack

Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, 24, Edward Maher, 31, and Corporal James Dunsby died after taking part in selection trials for the SAS on south Wales’s highest mountain Pen y Fan, on the hottest day of the year.

A walker died after collapsing on a Lake District ridge.

The 67-year-old man from Windermere was on Striding Edge on Helvellyn when he suffered a heart attack.

An air ambulance dropped a doctor and paramedic at the site on England’s third highest mountain and then airlifted members of Patterdale MRT on to the mountain.

An air ambulance spokesperson said: “Resuscitation attempts were made at the scene but unfortunately the male died at the scene.”

Bilal Bhaty died while swimming in Thirlmere in the Lake District.

Mr Bhaty, 28, of Pakistan, was pronounced dead at the scene after being recovered from the water by fire and rescue crew and members of Keswick Mountain Rescue Team.

Mr Bhaty’s 22-year-old sister was pulled from the reservoir and revived. She was flown to Cumberland Infirmary by the Great North Air Ambulance and subsequently discharged.

John King

John King

A mountain biker died after a fall on a Peak District hillside near Laddow Rocks.

Gordon Moss, 54, of Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, came off his bike on Black Hill, north of Crowden.

Volunteers from two mountain rescue teams went to the man’s aid, along with the North West Air Ambulance and a police helicopter.

Five Glossop MRT members were joined by 16 from Kinder MRT in the incident.

Gerard Boyle died on Ben Nevis while was taking part in a charity walk.

Mr Boyle, 51, from the Glasgow area, collapsed while making his way up the tourist track.

The retired civil servant was tended to by two off-duty doctors and the walker’s companions before being airlifted from the mountain by a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth.

He was flown to Belford Hospital in Fort William but pronounced dead on arrival.

In August, rescuers searching for Bishopbriggs walker John King found his body on a Glencoe mountain.

Members of the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Team and Search and Rescue Dogs Association members found 63-year-old Mr King on Stob na Doire, a 1,011m (3,317ft) peak on the Buachaille Etive Mòr range.

Mark Phillips

Mark Phillips

In September, Christopher Connell, 67, of Halifax, West Yorkshire, died while walking with an organised group in the Lake District when he fell about 30m (100ft) above St John’s Beck near Legburthwaite.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and paramedics were unable to revive Mr Connell after the fall.

A mountain biker died after falling on a Lake District mountain.

He was reported missing after failing to return from a trip on Skiddaw.

The body of John Graham, 59, was found by a search dog, 60m down a steep rocky gully close to Lonscale Fell.

A man died after collapsing on Wales’s highest mountain.

Emergency services were alerted after the man was reported to be unconscious on the Snowdon Ranger Path near the summit of the Snowdon subsidiary peak Clogwyn Du’r Arddu.

He was pronounced dead after being airlifted to hospital.

A Briton died after falling more than 2,000ft on a New Zealand mountain.

English climber’s Robert Buckley’s body was recovered from Mount Sefton after he fell to his death.

The 32-year-old was with three other climbers near the Mount Sefton Bivvy shelter on the 3,151m (10,338ft) peak in the Southern Alps.

John Hamer

John Hamer

A British mountaineer died after falling 1,000ft while descending Mont Blanc.

The 30-year-old was with three others on the Goûter corridor when he fell to his death.

The group had stayed at the Refuge du Goûter hut the previous night before continuing their descent after summiting Mont Blanc.

Rescuers searching for a missing walker on the Isle of Skye found a man’s body in the Coir’a’Ghrundda area of the Cuillin range, south of Sgùrr Alasdair.

Searches for John Hamer, 66, of Hayton, near Brampton, Cumbria, began after he failed to return from a walk in the area the previous evening.

A walker died after collapsing on a Highland mountain.

The 61-year-old got into difficulties on Am Faochagach, east of Beinn Dearg near Ullapool in Wester Ross.

Police said the man was from Scotland’s central belt and was walking with two friends at the time.

In October, Robert Pascoe fell to his death from Helvellyn. The 24-year-old, from Liverpool, was walking with a companion when he fell 200m (650ft) from Striding Edge into Nethermost Cove.

A Cumbria Constabulary spokesperson said: “Patterdale Mountain Rescue attended and despite their best efforts he died.”

Colin Barnfather

Colin Barnfather

The body of missing walker Colin Barnfather was found in the Kinloch Hourn area.

Members of Lochaber, Kintail and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams mounted a search in the area for the 54-year-old from Derby.

A man died after falling more than 300ft from a Snowdonia mountain.

David March, 36, of south London, fell on to the path leading to the Devil’s Kitchen on Glyder Fawr.

The fall was witnessed by a group walking down the path from the Glyderau between Llyn y Cŵn and the Devil’s Kitchen in Cwm Idwal.

A man died after collapsing on a Lake District fell.

A passing walker tried to keep the 59-year-old man alive by performing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation but to no avail.

Rescuers were alerted after the walker collapsed at the summit of Latrigg, overlooking Keswick.

A retired Army officer died in a paddling accident on the River Tees in County Durham.

Andy Pullan, 47, perished when his kayak capsized at Whorlton Lido near Barnard Castle.

Colonel Pullan was pulled from the river by his instructor and given first aid, initially by members of the public and fellow canoeists then by one of the police officers called to the scene.

In November, a  mountaineer died after a fall in the Cairngorms.

The man fell from Fingers Ridge in Coire an t-Sneachda on Cairn Gorm.

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “He was airlifted to Raigmore Hospital in a critical condition but he sadly succumbed to his injuries and was confirmed to have died on arrival at the hospital.”

Stewart Hulse, described as a ‘larger than life’ former mountain rescue leader died.

The 78-year-old was a founder of the Ambleside Fell Rescue Team and later went on to lead the Langdale Ambleside team.

He was also a stalwart of the mountain rescue organisation nationally, campaigning for many years to get relief for the value added tax teams had to fork out.

In December, Simon Martindale of Hest Bank, Lancaster, died after he was swept away in the River Rothay in Ambleside.

Mr Martindale, 48, was seen in the swollen, fast-moving river with his dog.

His body was found just over an hour later in an operation involving Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, police, fire and rescue and the ambulance service.

And in north Wales, a woman died in a river on the edge of Snowdonia national park.

Police were called shortly before 4pm today after reports the woman was in the water at Nant Ffrancon near Bethesda.

Members of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation joined North Wales Fire and Rescue at the site.

A North Wales Police spokesperson said: “Unfortunately the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Supporters of the many teams who had to deal with fatalities in the mountains were trying to persuade the Government to waive the tax they have to pay.

In August, an online petition was started to urge the Westminster Government to repay to mountain rescue teams the value added tax they have to pay on their gear.

The e-petition on the Government website was posted by Marc Goodwin.

The petition closes on 24 January.

Kate Ashbrook at the kissing gate

Kate Ashbrook at the kissing gate

A leading campaigner put her money where her mouth is to provide a gate to help people walk on access land.

Open Spaces Society general secretary Kate Ashbrook’s kissing gate was installed in the boundary fence on Cobstone Hill in Buckinghamshire.

The owners, the Wormsley Estate, refused to fork out for the gate after putting up fencing around the Countryside and Rights of Way access land. But it said it would allow installation if someone else paid for it.

The Wormsley Estate is owned by the Getty family, which made its fortunes in the oil industry.

The British Mountaineering Council said it feared the Peak District National Park Authority would sell off the Stanage Edge climbing site as Government cuts hit hard.

It set up a petition to persuade the authority to adopt a charter that will keep access for public and protect the area around it from commercial over-exploitation.

A BMC spokesperson said: “Stanage is the most popular crag in Britain – maybe in the world – and a classic walking destination for millions of people who visit the Peak District every year.

The authority later announced it would retain ownership of the crags.

Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team had to interrupt its celebrations marking its base’s 40th anniversary to rescue a 72-year-old woman who fell near the summit of Snowdon.

The team called in Aberglaslyn MRT shortly before 4pm to help with the rescue on the Llanberis path.


The cash was to boost urban walking

The cash was to boost urban walking

The Government announced a £1m pot of cash to promote urban walking.

The funding, which was dwarfed by a £143m boost to encourage cycling, was linked to the eight Cycling Cities in the original scheme.

The trade body the Outdoor Industries Association said the cash was ‘a very small sum’ but welcomed the move as a step in the right direction.

Lake District representatives hit back after a campaigning journalist described the area as one of the most depressing landscapes in Europe.

Environmental advocate George Monbiot said it vied for the title of worst kept countryside in an opinion piece on The Guardian website.

But national park bosses defended their bid to have the Lake District declared a Unesco world heritage site, saying area has always been at the forefront of environmental issues.

Monbiot, a keen supporter ‘rewilding’ said: “The celebrated fells have been thoroughly sheepwrecked: the forests that once covered them have been reduced by the white plague to bare rock and bowling green.”

Candidates for the Mountain Leader Award would no longer be expected to be able to improvise a harness from a rope to lower a person down rock faces.

And the techniques for using a rope for river crossing will not have to be demonstrated by men and women who want to gain the qualification, taken by thousands of hillwalking leaders.

The simplification of the syllabus meant an end to fathoming out how to tie a Thompson Knot – essentially a huge butterfly-shaped rope configuration into which both arms and both legs can be slipped to be lowered down a vertical face.

The Ramblers brought a flavour of the seaside to Westminster to press home to MPs the economic benefit of establishing the England Coast Path.

Chief executive Benedict Southworth manned an ice-cream van outside Parliament, handing out copies of a Ramblers’ report into coastal access and appealing for support from parliamentarians.

Benedict Southworth and Nicky Philpott turn ice-cream vendors for the day

Benedict Southworth and Nicky Philpott turn ice-cream vendors for the day

The stunt followed a summer of campaigning by the walking charity, after fears plans for a path around the shoreline of England might be put on ice.

Outdoor experts warned walkers and climbers not to ring for an ambulance if they have an emergency on the mountain.

Anyone needing help following an incident on the hills should call 999 and ask for the police, who will call out mountain rescue teams, they said.

Ambulance crews are not able to deal with emergencies away from public roads, a mountain rescuer warned.

Mark Leyland, team leader of Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team said: “Delays have sometimes been caused when someone has asked for the ambulance service even though they are in the mountains and away from a public road.”

Prince William left his job as a search and rescue helicopter pilot to concentrate on royal duties.

During his three years operational service with the RAF at Valley on Anglesey, the Duke of Cambridge took part in 156 individual search and rescue operations with 149 people being rescued.

His last 24 hour shift, which ended at 9.30am on Tuesday, was uneventful, with only a routine training flight and no incidents to respond to.

Eric Robson

Eric Robson

A writer and broadcaster announced he would try to debunk the reputation of Alfred Wainwright as an old curmudgeon.

Eric Robson spoke about the young ‘Jack the Lad’ fun-loving character unknown to many television viewers who only saw the taciturn guidebook author in his later years.

But the broadcaster said he intended to show the gentle Wainwright, who was a pioneering environmentalist; the shy man who changed the lives of tens of thousands of people and Wainwright as an artist, cartographer, poet and philosopher, who redefined people’s relationship with mountain landscapes.

His Wainwright’s Reflections Wandering the Lakeland Fells presentation took place at a Friends of the Lake District fundraising dinner.

Following the installation of an information board at the Cumbria end of Alfred Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk, a second board was put up at the other end of the route in Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire.

The panel, on the sea wall at the North Yorkshire village, has a depiction of Wainwright’s diagram of the route.

Brian Couzins

Brian Couzins

A determined rambler braved swarms of bees and animal traps to walk into the record books and complete an epic seven-year journey in the Peak District.

Brian Couzins visited each of the national park’s 555 square miles on a 1,346-mile odyssey through the hills and dales of the area.

He completed his round with friends at Holme, in the shadow of Black Hill, the Peak District’s third highest hill.

The business analyst visited every town, village, hamlet and dale in the national park during 186 walks.


Britain’s oldest national conservation society said new Government measures put village greens at risk from building development.

The Open Spaces Society said the implementation of the Growth and Infrastructure Act would make it impossible to register any land as a green that has been earmarked for development.

It dismissed Government minister Richard Benyon’s claim that the village-green system had been abused.

Atheists will be able to join the Scouts from January. Photo: Scout Association

Atheists will be able to join the Scouts from January. Photo: Scout Association

Britain’s Scouting movement announced it would open its doors to atheist young people and adult leaders for the first time.

The Scout Association, which has more than 400,000 young members and is the gateway to outdoor activities for many youngsters, will offer an alternative promise for humanists and those who do not have religious beliefs.

Membership has traditionally been barred to children and adults who are not prepared to promise to ‘do my duty to God and to the Queen’.

The alternative promise can be used from 1 January.

Pip with a rescuer. Photo: Coniston MRT

Pip with a rescuer. Photo: Coniston MRT

Mountain rescuers used a training exercise to find a four-legged friend who had been missing in the Lake District for three days.

Coniston Mountain Rescue Team was contacted by the Dog Lost website to see if they could help find a jack russell terrier that had escaped from its owner at the weekend.

The team’s Tuesday search training session turned into a real-life hunt for the missing dog Pip, who had run off on Saturday after her owner slipped while walking on Torver Beck Common.

The spokesperson said the dog was found well, but cold and hungry.

“The very excited little dog emptied her bowels on one member as a show of appreciation,” the spokesperson added.

Two companies were announced to be in the running to take over the controversial funicular and snowsports centre on Cairn Gorm.

A subsidiary of the huge government services company Serco will go head to head with holiday provider Natural Retreats in the bid to take over the resort from CairnGorm Mountain.

Serco Group is embroiled in allegations of overcharging the Government for tagging criminals. Natural Retreats’ bid in 2009 to build an ‘eco-village’ in Borrowdale, east of the Lake District, was thrown out by planners.

A climber’s leg was partially amputated in a horrific accident in which a large rock was dislodged and struck him.

The main road through Snowdonia was also closed after the rock then crashed on to the carriageway below.

Two climbers in their mid-40s and from south-east England were on the Pinnacle Rib route on Braich Ty Du crags on the north side of Nant Ffrancon this morning when one of them was hit by the dislodged block.

Chris Lloyd of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation described the incident as a most unfortunate accident. “We hope that the surgery will be successful and the casualty will walk the mountains once more,” he added.

The clean-up squad on Ben Nevis

The clean-up squad on Ben Nevis

A dead vole in a plastic bottle was one of the oddities found by clean-up volunteers who picked rubbish from Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike.

Other oddball discoveries on Britain’s honeypot high mountains have included an octopus, a piano and the infamous maroon Vauxhall Frontera on Snowdon’s summit.

A false headstone and a mountain bike were also among the rubbish found by the volunteers in an exercise dubbed the Real Three Peaks challenge by organiser Richard Pyne, a Mountain Leader, who took to Ben Nevis with a clean-up squad.

Wufra is stretchered from Buckden Pike. Photo: UWFRA

Wufra is stretchered from Buckden Pike. Photo: UWFRA

A volunteer rescue team saved a dog from near-certain death after a walker spotted it on a Yorkshire Dales fell.

The woman was walking with a group near Buckden Pike when she spotted the dog, alone, near the memorial cross that commemorates the crash of a Wellington bomber during the Second World War.

The saluki-lurcher cross was stretchered from the fell and nicknamed Wufra, an anagram of the initials of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association that saved his life.

After weeks of media stardom, he was renamed Will by his new carer Helen Coates, because of his will to live.

Alpine Club president Mick Fowler and his climbing partner Paul Ramsden made the first ascent of the 6,451m Indian peak Kishtwar Kailash by a route on its 1,500m south-west face.

The mountain lies in a remote valley and is the highest peak in East Kishtwar.

Fowler, known as the climbing taxman as he worked for HM Revenue and Customs, spotted the peak on a previous expedition in 1993 to Cerro Kishtwar and a photo he took from the summit showed a striking peak that, in the right circumstances, would be a clear objective for an exploratory mountaineer.

The woman who has run one of the outdoor world’s toughest events for 30 years oversaw her final race.

Jen Longbottom took over the organisation of what was then the Karrimor International Mountain Marathon following the death of its instigator Gerry Charnley in 1982.

Now renamed the Original Mountain Marathon, it is still seen as an ultimate test of athleticism, stamina, mountaincraft and navigation.

Rescuers swapped the mountains for the corridors of power

Rescuers swapped the mountains for the corridors of power

Mountain rescuers from England and Wales spent a week in Westminster to press for parity with their colleagues north of the border.

Representatives from the umbrella group for the volunteer teams were in Parliament to explain to MPs the importance of proper funding for the service.

Britain’s biggest walkers’ charity claimed victory in its coastal access campaign after the coalition Government published a new timetable for work on the project.

Environment minister Richard Benyon had said in June the England Coast Path was not a high priority and the bill that paved its introduction was ‘a sledgehammer to miss a nut’.

But Mr Benyon was sacked from his post by David Cameron and the Government published a schedule for progress on the path for the next three years.

The Ramblers hailed this move after their Case for Coast report outlining the economic benefits of establishing access to the whole of the English coast.

The organisation also said Whitehall was also reconsidering its decision not to add the Isle of Wight to the England Coast Path.


It was revealed Britain’s privatised search and rescue helicopters will carry the livery of HM Coastguard when the service is introduced in 2015.

Although the aircraft, which are expected to be used extensively in mountain rescues, will be operated by Bristow, they will carry the red and white colours of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The present military search and rescue service provided by the RAF and Royal Navy will be phased out between April 2015 and April 2017.

It was announced a pilot avalanche report service would run for a sixth area in the Scottish Highlands this winter.

The restricted reporting of conditions in Torridon in north-West Scotland is augmenting the usual service for five other areas in the coming season.

sportscotland Avalanche Information Service daily reports for the southern and northern Cairngorms, Lochaber, Creag Meagaidh and Glencoe started on 12 December.

The Torridon area will be covered from 1 to 5 January; 10 to 12 January; 31 January to 2 February and the period between Valentine’s Day and 22 February.

A major rescue operation was mounted for a group of 17 photographers who went missing underground in north Wales.

Aberglaslyn Mountain Rescue Team was called out and was joined by the North Wales Cave Rescue Organisation in the search for the group, from a photography forum in the Liverpool and Wallasey area.

The photographers’ families raised the alarm when they were overdue.

An Aberglaslyn MRT spokesperson said: “The group had severely misjudged the length of the route, which coupled with the large numbers and it being the first trip underground for a large percentage of the group, made progress difficult for them.”

The owner of the Blacks and Millets stores expanded its interests in the outdoor market by snapping up a controlling share of Edinburgh-based group Graham Tiso.

The Tiso family retain a ‘significant shareholding’ but JD Sports Fashion’s Peter Cowgill will take over the role of chairman from Chris Tiso, who will become chief executive.

Heavily indebted Tiso, which also owns the Keswick outdoor retailer George Fisher and Alpine Bikes, said JD Sports’ investment will see bank debt significantly reduced and will provide capital for the company, which posted a loss of more than £1m in 2011.

Scotland needs a third national park, Ramblers told the nation’s parliamentarians.

And the existing Cairngorms national park should be extended westwards to include the Monadhliath Mountains, the walkers’ charity said.

Scotland’s politicians were urged to set up a national park on Harris, ahead of a Holyrood debate.

The survey on Knight's Peak. Photo: Alan Dawson

The survey on Knight's Peak. Photo: Alan Dawson

Three hill sleuths tackled their hardest mountaineering task ever to cut a peak down to size.

Amateur surveyors Graham Jackson, John Barnard and Myrddyn Phillips had to rope up to undertake their climb to Knight’s Peak on the Skye Cuillin ridge – which was previously thought to be a 3,000ft munro top.

But measurements taken over two hours at the top of the outlier of munro Sgùrr nan Gillean proved the peak to be 6½ inches short of the magic 3,000ft qualifying mark.

The trio, accompanied by Alan Dawson, used a professional Global Positioning System receiver to gather data for the peak.

The Ministry of Defence was told to change its selection procedures for SAS members after the deaths of three reservists in the Brecon Beacons.

Lance Corporal Craig Roberts, Corporal James Dunsby and Edward Maher all collapsed during the exercise on the south Wales mountains in July in temperatures of more than 30C.

The Health and Safety Executive served a crown improvement notice on the MoD.

The HSE said the Army failed to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment during the SAS selection test and did not take action to address heat illness during the gruelling test on Pen y Fan, the highest mountain in south Wales.

Walkers and climbers should ring the police if they are confronted by aggressive landowners, two representative groups said.

The advice follows reports of landowners or managers approaching and intimidating walkers in Scotland.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland and Ramblers Scotland said outdoor fans should keep calm if faced with aggression on the hills.

They should use the non-emergency 101 number to report any incidents and should note details of what happened.

Britain’s official weather forecasters poured cold water on media reports that the country was heading for one of the severest winters in years.

The Met Office said that, although there was a chance of below-average temperatures over the winter months, it could also be warmer than normal.

It said it was not possible to forecast accurately up to five days ahead.

The agency said recent press headlines were based on an outlook produced for contingency planners who have to deal with severe weather and the report is simply based on probabilities, a little like betting on a horse on a race.


Storms were forecast for Britain's hills

Storms were forecast for Britain's hills

It was high winds outdoor fans had to contend with as weather forecasters issued the first of a number of amber warnings of storm-force winds on hills across northern Britain throughout December.

The Met Office said the public should be prepared for potentially significant disruption in an area covering the whole of northern England, much of Scotland and some of East Anglia.

The rescuers made the long trip to Essex. Photo: Wasdale MRT

The rescuers made the long trip to Essex. Photo: Wasdale MRT

A group of volunteer mountain rescuers made an 800-mile round trip to help victims of flooding during an exceptional winter storm.

Eight rescuers from the Lake District travelled to the far end of the country at the request of emergency authorities to be on standby as the east coast of England was threatened with inundation.

Six Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team members and two from the neighbouring Duddon and Furness team made a blue-light journey through the night to Essex where a combination of storm force winds, spring tide and low pressure put large areas of the country at risk of flooding.

Almost half the UK’s air ambulances were grounded after a fault was found on one of the aircraft.

The move left Scotland without air ambulance cover as its two Eurocopter EC135 helicopters were put out of action.

Authorities said emergency medical cover was being provided by search and rescue helicopters operated by the RAF, Royal Navy and Coastguard.

The fault on the aircraft, the same model as that involved in the fatal Clutha Bar crash in Glasgow, was believed to involve fuel readouts and the grounding was a precautionary measure.

Mountaineers appealed to a Scottish Government minister to intervene in a dispute between hillwalkers and a Highland estate.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland said the North Chesthill Estate in Glen Lyon was flouting access laws.

The council said walkers have faced locked gates, intimidating signs and abusive behaviour for several years when venturing on to the estate, near Invervar.

It contacted John Swinney, MSP for Perthshire North, and Holyrood finance secretary, after it said the local council had given up the fight with the sporting estate.

It said: “Reports of problems have been made over a number of years to the access officer for Perth and Kinross Council, but the issue has still not been resolved.”

Mind the gap: the footpath was hurriedly unblocked

Mind the gap: the footpath was hurriedly unblocked

The man charged with promoting access to the countryside in England was accused of unblocking a right of way on his farm only being grilled by MPs about footpaths on his land.

Andrew Sells, a Tory Party donor and treasurer of the right-wing, free-market thinktank Policy Exchange, was scrutinised before he was appointed chair of Natural England.

Campaigners said there is a history of blocked footpaths on Mr Sells’s Wiltshire land, and rights of way across his estate remain unclear.

Ozzy lookalikes lent their support to the team. Photo: Edale MRT

Ozzy lookalikes lent their support to the team. Photo: Edale MRT

Edale Mountain Rescue had a visit from a group of Ozzy Osbourne lookalikes who lent their support during a fundraising day in Sheffield.

Mountain rescuers thanked shoppers who boosted their funds by more than £1,500 in a fundraising day.

A team spokesperson said the sum was a fantastic amount to receive in difficult economic times.