The man fell 200m from Swirral Edge, right. Photo: Mike Blakey

The man fell 200m from Swirral Edge, right. Photo: Mike Blakey

A man who collapsed at the feet of rescuers after falling 650ft from England’s third-highest mountain was described as ‘one lucky chap’.

The 28-year-old survived a 200m fall in whiteout conditions on Helvellyn, where three people have died in recent weeks.

He stumbled into a group of mountain rescuers who were training below the ridge from which he fell yesterday and, after being assessed, was found to have only minor injuries. When he first encountered the volunteers from Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, he was unable to recall what had happened or whether he had been with anyone.

The Patterdale team members were on a winter training exercise in Brown Cove, below Swirral Edge, the ridge from which the walker fell.

Team leader Mike Blakey said: “This was one lucky chap. Not only did he fall a long way from a mountain on which three people have died so far this year, but he managed to make his own way down in a snowstorm.

“He had no idea where he had ended up. He described falling through the snow when he was on the ridge and coming to rest about half way down the mountain, still in a blizzard.

“We had originally planned to train in Red Tarn in the morning, but with the severe weather forecast we changed our plans at the last minute. Five team members went to Red Tarn to attempt to find and recover some of the climber’s equipment from the rescue on Tuesday night last week.

“The rest of the team went to Brown Cove. If we hadn’t changed our plans this man would not have been rescued so quickly, and it would be difficult to say if he would have found help. He probably should buy a lottery ticket.”

He was assessed and quickly transferred by stretcher to one of the team’s vehicles, which was parked nearby at Brown Cove dam. The man was then taken by Land Rover ambulance, which was fitted with snow chains, to Patterdale MRT’s base where he was assessed and later released. The team said it was remarkable the man had only suffered minor injuries.

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