Rescuers and the Great North Air Ambulance at the scene. Photo: Keswick MRT

Rescuers and the Great North Air Ambulance at the scene. Photo: Keswick MRT

A climber was seriously injured when he fell 500ft after going to the aid of a walker who fell on Helvellyn.

The 39-year-old was winter climbing on the Helvellyn headwall with a companion when he slipped and fell 150m while trying to help a walker who was in difficulties after making his way onto the snow-filled bowl next to Swirral Edge.

Rescuers said the walker was ill-equipped. The walker’s companion approached the two climbers for help.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was called out about 3.50pm on Friday.

A team spokesperson said: “Another climber then effected the rescue of the walker.

“The climber had suffered serious chest injuries, but with his companion made his way back over the ridge to descend to Swirls. As they made their way down, he began to feel seriously ill.

“His companion raised the alarm, and Keswick team were mobile in 12 minutes.

“The assistance of an air ambulance was sought, and also a winching helicopter from the Coastguard in case the casualty could not be reached by the first aircraft.

The Great North Air Ambulance in flight at the rescue scene. Photo: Keswick MRT

The Great North Air Ambulance in flight at the rescue scene. Photo: Keswick MRT

“Helimed 58 [the Great North Air Ambulance] dropped off their paramedic and doctor close to the scene, and then flew down to Swirls car park where they airlifted four team members to assist.

“To everyone’s surprise, the casualty was able to walk to the aircraft with some support – a very lucky man.”

The injured climber was airlifted to Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle by the air ambulance and the Coastguard helicopter was stood down. Other Keswick MRT members who had been called out returned to base.

The three-hour rescue involved 20 volunteers from the Keswick team.

  • This story was amended following information supplied by the injured climber Scott Baxter, with accurate location details of the incident.

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