The pair fell from Swirral Edge, right

The pair fell from Swirral Edge, right

A man was airlifted from England’s third highest mountain after falling more than 300ft and injuring his head and back.

A second walker also tumbled from Swirral Edge on Helvellyn, but was uninjured.

A major rescue operation was mounted after the pair were found by a passing mountain rescuer from Coniston and one of the Lake District National Park Authority’s felltop assessors who makes the daily trip to the summit of the mountain.

The two walkers from Cheshire slipped and fell down a snow gully on the 950m (3,117ft) mountain yesterday with one of them, a 49-year-old, suffering multiple injuries.

The rescuer and felltop assessor checked the men for injuries and secured them before ringing 999.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team called out about 1.10pm. A team spokesperson said: “The Great North Air Ambulance responded to the incident but was unable to reach the men.

“It dropped a doctor and paramedic at the tarn below the ridge and then ferried two Patterdale team members up to the same location.

“Although the casualty’s injuries were not life threatening they did require his immobilisation and a stretcher evacuation.

“An RAF Sea King helicopter from Boulmer was requested and further team members climbed to the casualty site on foot while it was scrambled. Assistance from Penrith Mountain Rescue Team was also requested.

“Due to the cloud level the RAF helicopter was also unable to reach the two men directly so the rescue team lowered the casualty on a stretcher about 300m down a steep, wet snow gully to Red Tarn to rendezvous with the helicopter at the tarn outfall.”

The team spokesperson added: “Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team would like to remind those venturing on to the fells that full winter conditions exist on many high fell tops. An ice axe and crampons are essential.”

The five-hour rescue involved 10 Patterdale team members, four from Penrith and the Coniston MRT member.

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