The woman injured herself when coming down the western flanks of Helvellyn. Photo: Steve Cadman CC-BY-SA-2.0

The woman injured herself when coming down the western flanks of Helvellyn. Photo: Steve Cadman CC-BY-SA-2.0

Rescuers were called out for the first time this year to the western slopes of Helvellyn, above a road closed when part of it was washed away by floods.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was alerted about 3.05pm on Sunday after a walker suffered a knee injury when descending to the church at Wythburn.

The team had been called out 40 minutes earlier to an incident on Cat Bells and found its volunteers stretched to cope with both rescues.

A team spokesperson said: “This year, we have done no rescues on this side of Helvellyn, due to the road being closed after Storm Desmond, so this was a first – and we were short-handed.”

The 34-year-old woman was with a group coming down the mountainside when she suffered the injury.

The spokesperson said: “A small group went out to assess the situation, as the details of the initial call looked as if the incident was quite high on the hill.

“Those team members who were on the Cat Bells incident were warned that they would be needed if there was a long carry in the offing. Fortunately, the group had managed to get a long way down, and a passing member of the public rang in to give an accurate position, just above the forest boundary above the church.

“All of the group were cold, and not really adequately equipped for the hill. The team arranged for the lady to be transported in a team vehicle to Keswick hospital, where she would be collected by an ambulance for onward transfer to the Cumberland Infirmary.”

Five team members took part in the rescue, which lasted a little over two hours.

On Cat Bells overlooking the western shore of Derwent Water, 11 team members were dealing with a walker who suffered a seriously cut head when she hit rocks after tumbling down the hillside when she tripped.

The team’s doctor joined other Keswick MRT volunteers in treating the 55-year-old at the scene. She was then stretchered down the fell to a waiting ambulance which took her to hospital.

The main A591 between Dunmail Raise and Thirlmere remains closed to traffic after a large section was washed away during the floods accompanying Storm Desmond last year. A shuttle bus currently operates on a temporary road built alongside the original.

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