A rescuer is lowered down the crag. Photo: Cockermouth MRT

A rescuer is lowered down the crag. Photo: Cockermouth MRT

An injured climber was rescued from a mountain crag in a technical operation lasting seven hours.

The 60-year-old was leading a route on Pillar Rock above Ennerdale on Friday when he fell from near the top of the climb.

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team was alerted at 3.30pm to the incident on the Megaton route on the north face of the crag, 750m (2,461ft) high on the flanks of Pillar.

A team spokesperson said: “Due to the remoteness of the location and the potential for serious injuries the team leader called in helicopters from both the Coastguard and the air ambulance service.

“Several team members went directly from work to Pillar Rock, climbing to the summit of Low Man, some 50m above the injured climber and his partner.

“The rest of the team assembled in Cockermouth before driving to the valley.”

The Prestwick Coastguard helicopter airlifted team members and equipment from the valley and winched them on to the summit of Low Man.

The spokesperson said: “A team member was lowered to the injured climber who following a medical assessment, was released from his rope and lowered to a safe ledge below. The casualty was then treated and stabilised before being packaged into a stretcher.

The Coastguard helicopter above the crag at Pillar Rock. Photo: Cockermouth MRT

The Coastguard helicopter above the crag at Pillar Rock. Photo: Cockermouth MRT

“Rescue 199 [the Coastguard helicopter] was able to winch the casualty from Green Ledge. He was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for further treatment. The injured climber’s partner was also lowered to the ledge and assisted from the crag by team members.”

Team leader Andrew McNeil said: “Callouts to Pillar Rock are fairly rare these days, but are nearly always a serious proposition.

“This was a very technical rescue which the team dealt with fantastically well. We train annually on Pillar specifically for this situation.

“Once again, the team extends its thanks to the crews of HM Coastguard R199 and Helimed H72 [the North West Air Ambulance] for their support. Their help made a huge difference to the speed and outcome of this rescue. We wish the casualty a prompt recovery.”

The rescue involved 21 Cockermouth MRT volunteers and was the team’s 46th callout of the year.

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