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. What started as a simple rescue became a major search, with Kendal, Keswick, and RAF Leeming MRTs being called to help, along with SARDA Lakes and a helicopter from Boulmer. In a brief break in the weather the helicopter spotted a light in a gully on the side of Pavey Ark and put down 3 members of Kendal MRT who located the two men. The weather forced the helicopter back onto the ground, and there was a long delay while manpower was gathered from all over the fellside, and the two were evacuated. Eighty people were involved and the process took 9 hours. Conditions were some of the worst we have experienced, with wind reaching 90 mph and with a high avalanche risk on the slopes we were forced to work on.
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