Cave rescue experts were flown to a Lake District crag to free a woman who was trapped for eight hours.
A Cave Rescue Organisation vehicle
The 33-year-old climber got her kneed jammed in a fissure on Gimmer Crag in Great Langdale about 12.30pm on Tuesday. Attempts by Langdale-Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team to free the woman were unsuccessful, and specialists from the Cave Rescue Organisation were called to help.
A spokesman for the MRT said: “Having gained access to the ledge, it was proving very difficult to extract the woman without inflicting masses of pain.
“Kendal MRT had joined us to assist and specialist expertise on rock removal was requested from Clapham-based Cave Rescue Organisation. Their equipment and personnel were lifted up by RAF helicopter to speed things up, with darkness approaching.”
The team also called in Patterdale MRT’s doctor, in case it was necessary to anaesthetise the climber.
The CRO said: “Team members with rock-removal equipment were flown to the top of the crag by RAF helicopter before abseiling down to the climber.
“Using 'plugs and feathers', rock was carefully removed from around the knee until it was free. The climber was uninjured and able to abseil down to the foot of the crag.”
Plugs and feathers are quarrying tools normally used to split rock. The plug is a tapered steel peg driven into two reversed tapered steel pieces – the feathers. As the plug is driven in, the feathers expand into the rock, eventually splitting it.
The ‘A-Route’ on which the woman became stuck is graded Mild Severe. Gimmer Crag lies under Loft Crag, the 680m (2,231) peak in the Langdale Pikes.