Jasper reunited with his owner Adam Nolan

Jasper reunited with his owner Adam Nolan

Rescuers are quids-in after retrieving a dog that had been lost on England’s highest mountain for three days.

Wasdale Mountain Team will benefit from an online donation page set up by Jasper’s owner after the volunteer rescuers helped bring his animal from Scafell Pike after it was found in the early hours of Thursday.

The search for the border collie went viral after his owner Adam Nolan enlisted the help of online communities to publicise his plight.

When Jasper was found, he set up a justgiving page which has raised an astonishing £47,500 so far, in just three days, and the total is still growing.

A spokesperson for Wasdale MRT said the team was amazed at the generosity of people donating nearly £50,000 from all over the world.

“A big thank you from all of us in the team,” the spokesperson said. “The donations have put the team well on the road to raising the near £500,000 needed for the new purpose-designed rescue base to be built just outside Gosforth.”

Jasper went missing in mist when Mr Nolan was walking with him on Cam Spout Crag on the Eskdale side of Scafell last Sunday.

On Thursday there were reports of a dog being seen on the Scafell Pike range and mountaineers used the information to locate the sighting on Broad Crag, an outlier of the mountain.

And the man who found the dog revealed how he made his way up on to the mountains after hearing of the sighting.

Experienced mountaineer Geoff Horky, who is an outdoor activities provider, walked from Seathwaite in Borrowdale, setting off at 11pm and making his way up Grains Gill.

Jasper with Wasdale MRT members

Jasper with Wasdale MRT members

Posting on the Find Jasper Facebook page, Mr Horky said: “I got to the Broad Crag area about 1½ hours after setting off and started searching amongst the chaotic jumble of massive rocks, blocks and crags that make up Broad Crag – it’s acknowledged as the roughest of all the Lake District fell tops.

“I was carrying a powerful search torch and had used it in short bursts on the walk up from Seathwaite. It illuminates the eyes of animals – usually sheep – and in clear conditions you are able to spot animal’s eyes many hundreds of metres away.

“The important point here is that sheep’s eyes light up differently to dog’s eyes. Apart from the colour you often just see one sheep’s eye as they are positioned differently on their head, more to the side – you always see both the eyes of a dog.

“I continued around Broad Crag, calling out Jasper’s name and suddenly, higher up on a crag about 200m away, two eyes popped up from behind a rock. I knew straight away that they were the eyes of a dog, or fox.

“I slowly approached to within 100m and then saw a white blaze on his face. I knew instantly it was Jasper. I won’t try to explain the emotion I felt at that instant.”

Mr Horky had taken some ham and cheese up on the fell to entice Jasper and as he made a grab for the dog’s collar the animal grabbed the food from his hand.

The mountaineer managed to help the exhausted Jasper down from his precarious position to a safer location where he knew he would be able to get a mobile phone signal.

With the wind picking up and the windchill rising, Mr Horky got himself and the dog into his emergency bivvy shelter and rang the police who alerted Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team.

He then faced a long wait on the mountain waiting for the team members to make their way to his position.

Mr Horky said: “We cuddled for the next 4½ hours, waiting for Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team to arrive and help evacuate Jasper from the mountain.

“Jasper fell asleep almost instantly – he snores!

“It was beginning to get light when the team arrived.”

The full account of Geoff Horky’s quest to find Jasper is on the Find Jasper Facebook page.

Donations to the appeal can be made on the Jasper justgiving page.

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