Rescue volunteers put their skills to use at the weekend to reach parts of a Yorkshire Dales beauty spot others cannot reach.
One of the Cave Rescue Organisation's vehicles
Members of the Cave Rescue Organisation used specialist mountaineering and potholing techniques to clean up the area around Ingleton waterfalls. The ‘extreme litter pick’ was mounted to tidy up the 8km (5-mile) waterfall walk, which is visited by thousands of tourists every year.
Rescuers, led by Andy Ive, abseiled down the ravines along the waterfalls walk, prusiking back up after collecting rubbish left by unthinking visitors.
Rae Lonsdale of the CRO said: “The bags of rubbish, collected from places other litter-pickers couldn’t reach, around the walk, almost filled a large, industrial wheelie-bin.
“The easily-accessible parts of the walk are scavenged regularly, but while some team members used extra-long litter-pickers, others used mountaineering and pot-holing techniques, abseiling down ropes to the water’s edge, then prusiking back up to the path.
“Visitors following the walk were impressed at this ‘extreme’ approach to litter collection, and annoyed that other visitors had left so much behind.”
The Ingleton Scenery Company, which owns the waterfalls, made a donation to CRO funds and visitors contributed a further £110. Rescuers mounted a display of fell- and cave-rescue photographs.
The organisation’s skills were further put to the test on Sunday when an injured walker from Leicestershire was helped from the flanks of Ingleborough after injuring her ankle in a fall near Gaping Gill.
The following day, team members were called again to Gaping Gill, where a caver waiting to descend the main shaft on the Bradford Pothole Club winch was knocked briefly unconscious by a stone which hit her on the head after being dislodged by children playing on the moorland above the pothole crater.
The 24-year-old, from Richmond, was carried to an air ambulance and flown to Airedale General Hospital, Keighley.
Later the same day, the CRO received two calls around the same time to two separate incidents, both involving walkers with suspected broken ankles.
The first was to a 45-year-old Leeds man who slipped while descending Pen-y-ghent, near Hull Pot. He was rescued by one of the organisation’s vehicles. In the second incident a 51-year-old woman from Peterborough slipped on steps at Baxenghyll Gorge, in the Ingleton waterfalls walk where the team had carried out its litter-pick. She was stretchered to a waiting ambulance.