The injured climber was hauled up the crag in a stretcher. Photo: Keswick MRT

The injured climber was hauled up the crag in a stretcher. Photo: Keswick MRT

A climber who fell 100ft on a Lake District crag was rescued in an operation lasting 5½ hours.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was alerted about 4.30pm on Wednesday to the incident on Raven Crag in Borrowdale.

A team spokesperson said two experienced climbers from southern Scotland followed the better weather forecast south to attempt the Corvus route on the crag.

The spokesperson said: “With rain forecast for the late afternoon they made steady progress up the climb. The rain started before they had completed the climb and while not technically difficult the route became slippery.

“The lead climber was on the top pitch and approximately 15m above the belay with no gear placed when he slipped and fell, bouncing down the rock and past the belay ledge to end up dangling on the rope some 30m below where he had fallen.

“The belayer lowered him a little until he was able to get back on the rock. The climber then managed to clamber his way back up to the belay ledge but was in pain and unable to continue. Fortunately there was a phone signal and they managed to call 999 and ask for mountain rescue.”

Team members set off in two vehicles as the rain became heavier.

The spokesperson said: “The team made their way to the top of Raven Crag where two members abseiled down to assess the casualty and package him up for evacuation. Because of the location and the distance the climber had fallen a request had been made for helicopter assistance.

The rescue involved 26 team members. Photo: Keswick MRT

The rescue involved 26 team members. Photo: Keswick MRT

“The local air ambulance responded very quickly landing in the valley to offer help when required. The Coastguard helicopter arrived shortly afterwards and attempted to approach for a crag pick off but the wind and conditions proved too dangerous to approach and they were forced to retreat.

“In anticipation of not being able to airlift the casualty, more team members had been called to assist should a stretcher carry be required. Plan B was put into motion which involved a horizontal stretcher lift to the top of the climb followed by a rope-assisted clamber up the steep ground to the top of the crag from where it was possible to carry the casualty back down to the road and an ambulance.”

The spokesperson said the team returned to base to sort gear and fill the drying room with sodden clothing and equipment.

The incident involved 26 volunteers from Keswick MRT, along with the Great North Air Ambulance and the Coastguard helicopter.

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