Border Search and Rescue Unit members stretcher the injured walker from Auchope Hut. Photo: BSARU

Border Search and Rescue Unit members stretcher the injured walker from Auchope Hut. Photo: BSARU

An injured walker had to be rescued just six miles short of completing the Pennine Way.

The man, in his 60s and from Lincolnshire, had covered virtually the whole distance of the national trail in several long stages was halted when a recurrence of an old knee problem halted his progress.

The walker’s injury got progressively worse while covering the section between Windy Gyle and the Auchope Refuge Hut on Saturday.

Border Search and Rescue Unit members were called out when he was unable to put any weight on the injured leg and he rang 999.

A team spokesman said nine members congregated at the top of the remote Bowmont Valley and managed on unusually dry ground to get team vehicles to within a kilometre of the hut, necessitating only a short stretcher-carry before the walker was taken from the hill by Land Rover.

The spokesman, who took part in the operation, said that on a fine dry evening with the sun lighting up the heather on the hillsides, the straightforward rescue, which was completed in less than two hours, was a welcome change from some recent events that have involved protracted searches in pretty miserable weather.

“To be up on the Border Ridge at sunset is always a treat, and the fact that we were able to come to the aid of a walker in distress made it doubly satisfying,” he said.

Less than twelve hours later, the team reassembled for a day’s route preparation for their annual sponsored walk.

This year’s event, on 5 October, is based at Hownam, three miles south of Morebattle, and offers three routes: 7km for families, 18km for walkers and 28km for experienced walkers and runners.

BSARU spokesman Damon Rodwell said: “If Sunday’s weather and scenery are anything to go by, we’re in a for a cracking day out this year.

“The family route is full of variety and historical interest and takes in an archaeologically renowned hill-fort and a set of mysterious standing stones.

“The longer routes take walkers up an ancient drovers’ track used by reivers on to the Pennine Way and include long stretches of superb ridge walking with views deep into Northumberland and across southern Scotland.”

More information on the challenge can be found on the team’s website.

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