A 28 year old manslipped trying to climb the Bad Step and fell 30ft. Team members were airlifted to the scene by RAF Boulmer where they found him with fractures to his wrist and ankle and injuries to his back. He was also hypothermic. His condition was stabilised and he was airlifted to hospital. He was carrying crampons, but they only work when they are on your boots - they don't work in your rucsac.
A 35 year old man had started up Jack's Rake, alone, after his friends had, wisely, declined his invitation to go with him. After a short distance he tried to climb down again, but was unable to, because of the ice. He continued up, and slipped, dislocating his kneecap, and injuring his back. Mobile phone calls from the area gave us the impression that he was only just able to hang on. Members of RAF Leeming MRT were in the area and they were able to get to him before us, and stabilise him. He was then airlifted to hospital by RAF Boulmer.
A car had spun off the road on Dunmail Raise. Four people were injured. The Ambulance was unable to get up the hill because of the snow, so we went instead. The injured people were recovered from the vehicle and transferred to an ambulance at the bottom of the hill. If you're not planning to spend Christmas in hospital, this could be cutting things a bit fine.
Another man was reported overdue. We decided that they were probably together. This proved to be the case when they were located unhurt at 7.45 a.m next day. The weather conditions were playing up that night. Some hill parties were experiencing calm conditions and others were experiencing gales and snow, only a few miles apart.
A 50 year old man was reported missing in the Bowfell area. He had left only vague plans with a friend, so we had to search a large area, in worsening weather. We were assisted by an RAF helicopter from Boulmer and MRT's from RAF Leeming, Kendal, Keswick, Millom and Furness. We knew of a possible sighting of him at around 3p.m. that afternoon, but were confused by the fact that this person had not been alone. We worked it out at 2 a.m. when...
A couple had been climbing and had completed their route, when it went too dark to find their way down (without torches). They shouted for help for over 3 hours before anyone heard them. We went and found them and walked them down. They were unhurt. This type of incident seems to be popular this year. Not with us I might add.
A 78 year old man slipped, in smooth soled shoes, and tumbled down the fellside, sustaining multiple severe lacerations to his arm, hand and leg. We sorted him out and were stretchering him down with the help of Kendal MRT, when...
A local farmer saw a paraglider land heavily, on rough ground, and then not move for some time. He was naturally concerned. He informed us and we went to check it out. We located the man in question, who had made his way to the roadside, with only minor injuries. He was delayed on the hill because he was trying to untangle his paraglider and fly down, when it went dark.
One of those cunning attempts to catch us out before lunch. A 16 year old girl collapsed, while on a school walking trip, with severe stomach pains. She had had her appendix removed recently, and had a history of pain. She had been advised by her G.P. not to go on this walk, but had neglected to inform herteachers. Oops! AGAIN.
A very large man (18st.) collapsed with chest pains. He had a history of pains, but had not told anyone. Oops! He was treated with medication and his condition was monitored while he was transferred to hospital.
A search was mounted for this young couple after they were reported missing the previous evening by their parents. No-one had any idea where they were until their car was found in Langdale. A large area search was started and they were located safe and well in Rossett Ghyll. We were assisted by a helicopter from RAF Leconfield, MRTs from RAF Valley, Keswick, Furness, and Kendal and 16 SARDA dogs.
A group of seven D. of E. students were caught in darkness with only one faint torch. Their cries for help were heard in the valley, and the alarm was raised. We tracked them down and escorted them off the fell. We then reunited them with another six from the same school, who were found at the Old Dungeon Ghyll. All thirteen were cold and miserable. They were supposed to be camping at Stickle Tarn. They were put up for the night at a local Youth Hostel. The word, "fiasco", springs to mind.
A search dog went missing. It was on the fell with its handler attending the previous rescue when it wandered off in the dark and got lost. It was eventually located 50 hours later, near Raven Crag, Langdale. It had suffered injuries to its chest and ribs in a fall, but made a full recovery.
Two men were climbing Gimmer Crack, a "Very Severe" rockclimb. One of them was unable to complete a pitch near the top. It went dark while he tried. His friend was unable to pull him up. He attempted to abseil down, but in the dark, missed the belay ledge and came to the end of the rope. At this point he became stuck. His friend managed to make his way down and raise the alarm. We located him, lowered a couple of climbers and enough rope down and lowered him to the bottom of the crag.
A 16 year old boy was "jogging" down the hillside when he went out of control and tumbled 80ft. down the fellside. He sustained serious head and spinal injuries. He was stabilised on the hill by the Team and helicoptered by RAF Boulmer to hospital.
During the previous incident we were alerted, by mobile phone, of a 17 year old woman, who had slipped and sustained a suspected ankle fracture. The helicopter with Doctor on board, diverted and picked her up.
A 29 year old man suffered fatal head and neck injuries when he fell 100ft. from Crescent Climb, after a belay failed while abseiling. A helicopter from RAF Boulmer and manpower from RAF Stafford and Leeming assisted.
This man's friend witnessed his parachute collapsing, and him falling 50ft. to the ground. He alerted us by mobile phone. Ourselves, and some men from RAF Stafford MRT, who were nearby, went to his aid, but he was not too badly hurt, suffering a suspected broken wrist.
A boy mountain biking Coast to Coast with his father and sister, fell off and injured his ankle. His sister didn't believe him and said so. However, without the benefit of an X-Ray machine, and the intuition that an older sister has, we had to take his word for it. He even managed to whimper and yelp as we carried him down. However, her diagnosis of "LYING LITTLE RAT" was correct.
Olly the dog was recovered from the beck, after his owners had put him in there. He had collapsed and they assumed he was suffering from heat exhaustion. He was actually suffering from gastro¬enteritis, and was severely dehydrated. The cold water added hypothermia to his list of complaints. He was taken to a vet, unconscious and on oxygen, and treated there. He made a full recovery. Still, they could have parked in the sun with the windows shut and boiled his brains in a car. (He may have been better off!).
Take one star, find a skyline, then bob up and down as if to mimic a member of H.M. Armed Forces wandering back from the pub, under the influence. Mix them together and HEY PRESTO! FLASHING LIGHTS. So we went back to bed. This was call-out number 1500 since the Team's formation.
A 17 year girl was reported as unconscious in a tent in this remote spot. Team members were flown to the scene and found the party in question. They were evacuated to Ambleside. When you've driven from the south of England, arrived mid-afternoon, backpacked several miles, put tents up at midnight and gone to sleep, it's amazing how "unconscious" you can appear when someone tries to wake you at 2a.m.
Called to check flashing lights on the hillside. Lights were seen by Team members but nothing was found. During this incident we were notified of a man missing from the N.T. campsite. He was found, having gone astray on the way back from the pub.
A climber sustained serious head injuries when he was hit on the head by a rock dislodged by his partner 70ft. above. He was helicoptered to Whitehaven by RAF Boulmer. He was not wearing a helmet. A small scale war was waged against the midges, but they won.
A 36 year old man went missing in the Grasmere area following a row with his partner. He was diabetic and had not taken his medication for some time so there was justifiable concern for his welfare. He eventually turned up at his Guest House in Keswick, unharmed.
A 39 year old woman slipped and fractured her ankle. This went down like a lead balloon with her family, who were on the first day of their walking holiday. Never mind, it's someone to stay in and write the postcards.
A 47 year old man sustained an ankle injury and was airlifted to Ambleside by a passing helicopter. We spent more time rounding up his friends, who seemed to go "Walkabout", than we did treating his injuries.
(Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear.. Oh! Never mind.) A man slipped and fractured his ankle. A passing helicopter picked him up before we broke into a sweat, so we went home again.
Called to assist the ambulance crew with a 20 year old man who had been practising a hard route in the quarry. He had completed it several times when the 'in-situ' tape sling broke, dropping him 25ft. to the ground. He fractured both wrists, his ankle, and sustained head and spinal injuries. NEVER RELY ON IN-SITU GEAR, REPLACE IT WHEN EVER POSSIBLE, WITH YOUR OWN. Close examination of this bit of sling revealed green mould on the side facing the rock, and the colour bleached out of teh other side by thje weather.
While attending the previous incident we were called to assist a man who had collapsed with a suspected heart attack. Efforts by his friends, and then ourselves and RAF Leeming MRT failed to revive him. His body was carried down from the fell.
A 62 year old woman slipped on a wet path and fractured her lower leg. Her 64 year old friend slippedflrying to help her, and fractured her wrist. We splinted them both and stretchered them off the fell.
A party of 5 became benighted due to inexperience, an over-ambitious route and atrocious weather. One made it down to the valley to raise the alarm. When we arrived at the scene, two were suffering severe hypothermia, and two, minor. Again 90mph winds and rain and snow prevented a helicopter reaching the scene. Team members bivouacked until first light, when two casualties were walked out, and two were stretchered to Angle Tarn. Although winds were still very high, daylight allowed a helicopter from Boulmer to pick up the two stretcher cases.
The moral of this story is, that if you tell someone that you are stuck in a particular place, and you turn out to be somewhere else, it delays the rescue process enormously.Two men used a mobile phone to alert us of their plight. They were stuck in a snow gully on Eagle Crag, and felt unable to get themselves out. They had no ice axes or crampons. However, when we went to Eagle Crag, climbed all the gullies and scoured the top and bottom of the crag, we realised they weren't there. The weather conditions were deteriorating and from the continued phone conversation, so was theirs.
A couple came across a man in his 60's, suffering from chest pains and was having difficulty breathing. They were naturally concerned and raised the alarm. We looked in, under, over and around Alcock Tarn, but we only found him when we extended the search to the pub.
A young foreign student sustained an ankle injury in the Loft Crag area. A search was mounted, but we failed to find him. He was eventually tracked down in the Stickle Barn pub. He and his friends were debriefed in the universal language, and our Team members were recalled from the far reaches of Langdale.
Some incidents go down in Team Folklore. This one has become the "1 Olb. of potatoes" job. Once upon a time their were four adventurous young men who decided to go on an expedition. They packed their bags very full. They packed 10lb. of potatoes. They weren't going to go hungry on their expedition. They set off late in the day and made slow progress. (Remember, their bags were very heavy). As darkness fell they found themselves at 2000ft. on the side of Great Rigg Man. They put their tents up, and the wind took them down again, so they sat and shivered for an hour or so.
A 13 year old girl became separated from her parents on steep and dangerous terrain. A search was mounted, but she made her own way off the hill. A one way discussion on parental responsibility ensued.
This man was reported missing the previous evening but the information was vague. A Team vehicle and one from Patterdale MRT tackled the road (blocked by snow) and found nothing. He eventually walked down to Ambleside Police station. The moral of this story is, if you leave your "Route Card" on someone's answering machine, make sure it's one that is working, and if you're going to rely on a snowhole for shelter, make sure you do it on a night when a rapid thaw doesn't take place.
This was becoming one of those days. A party of two split on the fell above Codale Tarn. They failed to re-unite. The inexperienced one found his way down to their car, in Grasmere, and reported his experienced friend missing. This man eventually reported in at Keswick Police Station Fortunately only his pride was hurt.
These two people set off late in the morning to walk the Fairfield Horseshoe. They failed to return for their evening meal as expected. A search was started, with help of Patterdale MRT They were eventually located between Heron Pike and Nab Scar. They were very cold and apparently resigned to their fate. Again, no winter equipment or survival gear meant they were very lucky. It is unlikely they would have survived more than a couple of hours.
Requested to transfer a woman in labour, with complications, to hospital in Kendal. AMBULANCE DUTY - Ambleside 27th. January at 15.45.
A local woman with a kidney condition and paralysed from the waist down was recovered from her car which was stuck in snow drifts, and taken home.
This woman had no crampons or ice axe when she slipped and slid 400ft. on snow, breaking both wrists, and sustaining minor head injuries. She did manage to walk down to Mickleden where she was met by the Team. 10/10 for self reliance. 2/10 and SEE ME for planning.
Called to assist the Police in a search for a depressed local man. He may have taken his car up Kirkstone Pass which was closed by snow. Nothing was found, and he eventually turned up at home at 3 am unharmed.
A young couple chose to ascend the fell by a very obscure route. It would have been an odd choice in warm, dry conditions, so in the snow and ice that prevailed, it left us scratching our heads The young man took a tumble, hit his head, and then carried on uphill(?). They eventually became cragfast and started to shout for help. Their shouts were heard by a passing postman, who raised the alarm. We eventually tracked them down by following the trail of blood uphill. Both were suffering from severe hypothermia and the younq man had a nasty head injury.