Blencathra, with Sharp Edge and Foule Edge, centre. Photo: Jim Barton CC-BY-SA-2.0

Blencathra, with Sharp Edge and Foule Edge, centre. Photo: Jim Barton CC-BY-SA-2.0

A passing climber saved rescuers an ‘epic’ operation after a pair of walkers got stuck on a Lake District ridge.

The pair, who had a dog with them, became cragfast on Sharp Edge on Blencathra in wintry conditions on Wednesday.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was alerted about 1.50pm when the walkers called for help. A team spokesperson said: “When the snow falls, Sharp Edge becomes a very serious proposition, so when this job came in, the team’s first vehicle was away very quickly indeed, and a large number of team members turned out for what might well become an epic.

“A group of two, including a dog, got cragfast after one of the party turned his ankle on the snow-covered ridge, and rang for assistance.

“The ‘getting stuck’ might have had something to do with not having an ice-axe or crampons to tackle the conditions. However, a passing climber was good enough to assist them all to the top of Foule Crag, so the team was actually stood down after 12 minutes, for which we were duly grateful.

“It goes without saying that even if the snow is minimal and slushy in the valley, anywhere above 300m is a completely different proposition, and full winter equipment is essential.

“This group were lucky – others might not be.”

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