A rescue team member at the precarious site on the slopes of Sharp Edge. Photo: Keswick MRT

A rescue team member at the precarious site on the slopes of Sharp Edge. Photo: Keswick MRT

A walker was rescued after getting stuck on steep ground on a notorious Lake District accident blackspot.

The 30-year-old was tackling Sharp Edge on Blencathra on Monday when he strayed on to dangerous terrain and called for help.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was called out about 8.15pm.

A team spokesperson said: “He had been negotiating the edge with a friend, but they had become separated, and he had tried to find a way back down.

“He became cragfast in a very precarious position on the edge of a steep drop on the north side. With the rain coming in, this swiftly became a really unpleasant place to be, as he was unable to move at all from what appeared to be the only safe point.”

Keswick MRT members were returning to base from an earlier rescue in Coledale when they were alerted.

The spokesperson said: “The team turned round within a couple of minutes, and set off for Mousthwaite Comb. Even with the swiftest members at the front, it was an hour before they were on the scene, and then they had to rig the crag to ensure the safety of the casualty, and the team member who was to be lowered to him.

The position of the cragfast walker, circled, below Sharp Edge. Photo: Keswick MRT

The position of the cragfast walker, circled, below Sharp Edge. Photo: Keswick MRT

“Once the rescuer had reached the casualty he was put into a harness, and the team member was able to negotiate a way down and across the gully with the casualty, until he could be recovered on to the lower path. He was then assisted down to the bottom of the hill.”

The team repeated its earlier warnings of the hazards that Sharp Edge presents to walkers on the route, which is a grade-one scramble with exposed sections.

“We would just re-iterate our advice that Sharp Edge is a serious undertaking, and once bad weather arrives, the risks escalate swiftly,” the spokesperson said. “The rock holds water, and is nearly always slippery – pick your day, and watch your step.”

The rescue lasted more than four hours and involved 16 volunteers from the team.

A couple of hours earlier, members were called out after a couple coming off the hill above Force Crag Mine in Coledale came across an exhausted older walker. The 75-year-old had ‘run out of legs’ and was rapidly becoming hypothermic, having been unable to move for some time.

The Keswick MRT spokesperson said: “The couple raised the alarm, with the help of a couple of passing mountain bikers, but stayed with the casualty until the arrival of the team, getting him into a survival bag, and trying to keep him warm.

Rescuers at the site near Force Crag Mine. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers at the site near Force Crag Mine. Photo: Keswick MRT

“The team was able to drive as far as Force Crag, and was then with the casualty within about 20 minutes.

“He was put into a casualty bag with hot pads, and then stretchered down to the team vehicle. He was then driven down to the end of the mine road, by which time he had recovered enough to drive himself back to his hotel.

“All credit to the couple who stayed with him whilst the team was mobilised.”

The rescue took almost two hours and involved 15 Keswick MRT members.

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