The rescue scene, with avalanche debris in the gill. Photo: Keswick MRT

The rescue scene, with avalanche debris in the gill. Photo: Keswick MRT

A group of young people lost on a Lake District mountain were lucky to escape an avalanche.

Since the three were rescued near snow debris on Skiddaw on Wednesday, another large avalanche has occurred in the gill.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team said it was fortunate the walkers were recovered in time.

The team’s volunteers were called out about 3.15pm after being alerted by police, who said the trio had strayed off the path below Little Man and got ‘completely lost’ on Howgill Tongue while trying to descend directly to Keswick.

“They were cold; one of them had an asthma problem, and they had very little in the way of useful kit with them, as well as a large husky to manage,” a spokesperson said.

“Team members had noted during the day that there had been avalanches on the west-facing slopes of Skiddaw. So where, would you imagine, that you don’t want folk to be?

“Sure enough, when the duty leader had talked to them, and we managed to get a Sarloc fix on where they were, they were within the area that had already avalanched, and still had potential for more.” Sarloc is a smartphone system that enables rescuers to poinpoint casualties’ positions.

Twelve team members, accompanied by three search dogs, set off immediately for the area above Applethwaite. All were equipped with avalanche transceivers.

The spokesperson said: “Fortunately, the group turned out to be in part of the area that was swept clear of snow, though they were still below a large loose slope, and were visible to the leading group from quite a distance.

“The second group stood by below while the group was given warm clothing, food, and a set of spikes to assist them in walking down.

“Once they got moving, the casualties warmed up fairly quickly, and the team managed to get them off the hill in about an hour.

“It has to be said that youthful enthusiasm and inexperience, and brilliant weather, had much to do with being in the wrong place, with the wrong clothing and footwear. Advice was, as they say, offered.”

The team said the area has been hit overnight by another large avalanche, with about four times the area of the original avalanches. “Large amounts of debris have slid down the gully, to well below the area of the rescue,” the spokesperson said. “Lucky they were recovered last night.”

The rescue lasted 2¼ hours and involved 16 Keswick MRT volunteers.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Injured mountain biker rescued after fall on Skiddaw
  2. ‘Extremely lucky’ walkers rescued from icy Ben Nevis in blizzard
  3. Walker rescued after injuring ankle in slip on Skiddaw
  4. Skiddaw walker, 80, rescued after becoming exhausted on fell
  5. ‘Lucky escape’ for walkers rescued after straying on to Idwal Slabs climbing route