The man died in a fall from Striding Edge. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The man died in a fall from Striding Edge. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Police have appealed to members of the public who might have witnessed a man fall from a Lake District ridge to contact them.

The 54-year-old from Cheshire died in the incident on Striding Edge on Helvellyn.

Officers alerted Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team at 4.50pm on Tuesday 2 November after the man’s wife contacted them when he failed to rendezvous with her on the mountain.

The incident prompted a major operation involving 45 rescuers and lasting 12 hours.

A team spokesperson said: “The man and his wife had set off in the early afternoon to climb Helvellyn via Striding Edge.

“However, on reaching the start of the ridge his wife had decided to stop and had agreed with her husband that he would traverse the edge and return to her. When he failed to return, she called the police.

“Team members preparing for training later in the evening immediately deployed to the fell to make a hasty search of the edge and to escort the woman down. Meanwhile, a major search was initiated. Team members were dispatched into Red Tarn basin and Nethermost Cove to search beneath the ridge.

“Assistance was requested from the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs and five handlers and their dogs were also deployed to search the terrain beneath the edge. HM Coastguard were contacted and a search and rescue helicopter from Humberside equipped with night vision and infra-red search capabilities was deployed.

“Penrith and Keswick MRT were also called to assist.”

A search dog found a body high at the back of Nethermost Cove about 8.20pm.

The spokesperson said: “From the injuries sustained it was clear that the man had fallen a significant distance over broken ground. He was confirmed as dead at scene by a team doctor.”

Twenty Penrith team members made their way into Nethermost Cove to help Patterdale MRT volunteers at the scene in recovering the body.

“Due to the location and the terrain, this was a long and protracted extraction involving multiple fixed belays and ropes to traverse the scree and descend to the floor of the cove,” the spokesperson said. “The body was eventually retrieved to Patterdale Rescue Centre at 2.30 the following morning.

“The team would like to extend their condolences to the man’s family and friends and thank Penrith MRT, LDMRSD, Keswick MRT and the Coastguard crew for their invaluable assistance.”

Officers from Cumbria Constabulary have appealed for members of the public who may have been witnesses to the events of the Tuesday afternoon to come forward, quoting log number 159 of 2 November 2021.

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