The walker called for help from the summit of Whernside. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The walker called for help from the summit of Whernside. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rescuers said a walker who got into difficulties on Yorkshire’s highest fell was inadequately equipped.

The Cave Rescue Organisation was alerted to the incident on the 736m (2,415ft) summit of Whernside at 4.40pm on Friday.

The 24-year-old man called for help, saying he was unable to find his way off the summit and couldn’t breathe because of his asthma.

A team spokesperson said: “A small group of CRO members set off on foot and a controller telephoned the ‘casualty’, several times. The only responses tailed off incoherently, so an enquiry was made for an air ambulance.”

Despite the weather being clear on Whernside, available air ambulances were unable to take off because of fog at their bases. North Yorkshire Police requested the help of a Coastguard helicopter. A second group of CRO members set off for Ribblehead to rendezvous with the aircraft, while the first party of rescuers continued up the hill.

The spokesperson said: “At this point, the party ascending saw someone coming down towards them and soon established that it was the person who had called for help. With no word on a helicopter, the Ribblehead party stood down and the hill party escorted the ‘misper’ back to a team vehicle.

“As his condition seemed to be deteriorating, they deemed it unwise to dump their patient at his car to drive home and asked for an [ambulance service] paramedic to re-assess him. The paramedic in the rapid response vehicle called in a road ambulance and the team stood down.

“Team members were of the view that he had totally inadequate clothing and footwear which contributed to his being so cold that he said his feet, legs and face were ‘frozen’. Hence, he could hardly speak.”

The incident was the team’s second of the year.

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