A walker was airlifted after injuring himself in Wind Gap. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A walker was airlifted after injuring himself in Wind Gap. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Volunteers from Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team were kept busy over the Christmas period, responding to four incidents on the Lake District fells.

The busy few days followed a previously quiet December.

The team’s first callout came on the Friday before Christmas when two walkers were caught out by the dark in Windy Gap, below Great Gable.

The two men became benighted and Cockermouth MRT was alerted about 3.25pm.

A team spokesperson said: “The team was about to start a training session in Cockermouth, so two vehicles were promptly dispatched to Black Sail hut in Ennerdale. A fast party was sent ahead with warm clothes and the casualties were located at 6.33pm then escorted down the valley to their vehicles at Bowness Knott car park.”

The incident lasted five hours and involved 12 team members.

The team was in action again on the Saturday after Christmas when a couple camping on High Snockrigg above Buttermere had their tent flattened by high winds. They tried to make their way off the mountain but became cragfast on steep ground.

Cockermouth MRT was alerted about 6.05pm and a vehicle was send to Newlands Hause. Team members made their way up to the stricken pair and escorted them off the fell to safety.

Six team volunteers were involved for two hours.

On New Year’s Eve a 61-year-old man fell and broke his arm in Wind Gap, between Pillar and Scoat Fell.

Cockermouth MRT was called out at 4pm and team members made their way up to the site from Ennerdale while three Duddon and Furness MRT volunteers, who were on Pillar, made their way to the scene.

The Cockermouth MRT spokesperson said: “The casualty was treated for his injuries and packaged onto a stretcher for evacuation.

“Due to the location of the casualty and the difficult nature of the terrain, a helicopter was requested. Coastguard rescue helicopter 936 from Caernarfon was on scene by 8.13pm and transported the casualty to Barrow Hospital for further treatment.”

The callout lasted six hours and involved 25 team members.

The following day a couple called for help about 3.50pm when they became disoriented on top of Red Pike in failing light and were unable to descend from the mountain.

They were guided down by phone from the summit to Bleaberry Tarn, while a team vehicle was sent to Buttermere. Team members ascended to meet the two walkers at the tarn and escorted them back down the mountain before returning them to their vehicle.

The callout lasted just under three hours and involved nine team members.

Team leader Andrew McNeil said: “After a quiet month the team worked well over the Christmas period.

“Both the Duddon Mountain Rescue Team and Coastguard Rescue 936 were of great assistance on New Year’s Eve and helped to avoid a long difficult evacuation which would have been uncomfortable for the casualty. We wish him a speedy recovery.”

The team also reminded anyone planning to venture into the mountains to prepare appropriately and for all weather conditions.

The spokesperson said: “It is crucial to know the severity of what you are about to undertake, especially during the winter when daylight is limited. A torch, appropriate clothing, and a map and compass for navigation when required are all essential kit.”

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