Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021

NEWS ROUND SEPTEMBER>DECEMBER NOVEMBER: A SECOND DATE WITH A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE A couple on their second date together decided to climb Sharp Edge on Blencathra. In slippery conditions part way along they wisely opted out of continuing along the ridge but, unfortunately, tried to descend from the ridge towards Scales Tarn. The man slipped and fell from part way down. Instinctively, he put his arms out to try to avoid tumbling and ended up sliding fast and bumping down the steep rocky slope until he came to rest on a ledge some sixty metres further down. His partner was then stuck on the crag unable to go up or down. Keswick team responded, approaching from below Mousethwaite Combe and requested air ambulance and HM Coastguard helicopter assistance but, on their arrival, weather conditions meant neither helicopter was able to assist directly with the rescue. Team members split into two parties with a hasty team going to assist the fallen man approaching from the tarn. The second party climbed up to and along Sharp Edge in order to get to and lower the woman to safety. Many thanks to the passerby who had gone to the man’s assistance and given him extra clothing to wear whilst waiting for the rescue team – his torchlight was very useful in locating the casualty. A group shelter was used to protect the casualty against the increasingly inclement weather. Heat blankets were used to keep the casualty warm whilst he was being assessed prior to evacuation. His successful attempts to not tumble, thereby avoiding potentially more serious injuries, meant all the impact had been on his lower back, ribs and leg. Strong analgesia was given before immobilising him in a vacuum mattress and placing him on a stretcher for a rope-assisted lower down the mountain. Meantime other team members had climbed along Sharp Edge, securing a safety line along the ridge. A belay was set up and a team member lowered to locate and secure the cragfast woman. Once harnessed and helmeted, the woman and rescuer were lowered to easy ground at the foot of the crag above the tarn from where they were able to walk down. The man was then taken to Glasgow hospital by the HM Coastguard helicopter that had waited in a field at the base of the mountain. Postscript: Apparently, despite the drama of their second date a third one has already been discussed.

Images © Keswick MRT.

Call-outs in the time of COVID

SEPTEMBER: ROPE RESCUE SYSTEM GETS WALKERS OUT OF TRICKY TRYFAN GULLY A party of two walkers were descending Tryfan when they accidentally descended into Y Gully and became stuck close to the lower chocks stone. Their rescue appears no less hairy than the tricky situation they found themselves in. The pair had called for help and a joint Ogwen Valley MRO and RAF Valley Mountain Rescue Service response saw team members operating on steep, loose ground in a serious location. Two team members climbed up to the walkers from the bottom of the gully as a rope rescue system was put in place above them. They were extracted upwards out of the gully, moved along fixed ropes to safe ground, then escorted back to the roadside.



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