Rescuers rigged a rope system in the gully to help the couple to safety. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers rigged a rope system in the gully to help the couple to safety. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers have reminded hillgoers that they need to be properly equipped and prepared if tackling a notorious Lake District ridge in winter, which they described as a serious undertaking.

The advice followed Keswick Mountain Rescue Team’s callout to help a couple stuck on Sharp Edge on Blencathra.

The team was alerted about 1.25pm on Wednesday when the pair rang for help from the ridge, which has seen fatalities in the past when walkers have fallen from the scrambling route. Many of the incidents have taken place at a point where a precarious step down on to narrow rock has to be undertaken, with a gully either side.

A team spokesperson said they found themselves in mist and on an icy and snowy section of the route. “They became cragfast some 30m down, in the head of the steep ‘usual’ gully.” The spokesperson said.

“They were unhurt, but felt unable to move without a serious risk of coming off.”

The couple’s position was pinpointed using the Sarloc smartphone system, which sends a hyperlink to the casualty’s phone which, when followed, allows rescuer to ascertain their location.

The spokesperson said: “Fortunately, the team had had a small group undertaking rigging practice that morning and a number of these, plus some extras, immediately set off to assist. They were on scene within 50 minutes, and rigged the gully to assist the pair off.

The walkers were led to safety from the mountain. Photo: Keswick MRT

The walkers were led to safety from the mountain. Photo: Keswick MRT

“Once they were on safe ground, team members walked them down to their transport.

“We reiterate our advice about Sharp Edge: that in winter, and after heavy rain, it is a very serious undertaking. Those who choose to take it on need to be fully prepared and equipped.”

The rescue involved 14 Keswick MRT volunteers and lasted 3¾ hours.

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