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Langdale Mountain Rescuers urge walkers not to rely on helicopter rescue

Credit: Wasdale Mountain Rescue

The Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team is asking people not to rely on being rescued by helicopter when out on the fells, after one its busiest weekends of the year.

The team had to call on help from neighbouring mountain rescue teams when it was called out four times in one day on Saturday.

Two of the rescues were serious and poor conditions caused a mountain rescue member to need help, but the team says the fourth rescue could have been prevented with better preparation.

The team says helicopters are only used when someone is seriously hurt and they often have to come from an hour away.

Busy Halloween for Lake District Mountain Rescue teams

The Lake District's Mountain Rescue Teams have had a busy weekend with the Kendal, Coniston, Furness and Wasdale teams being called to assist Langdale and Ambleside.

The LAMRT was called out four times on Saturday in wet, windy weather.

Credit: Wasdale Mountain Rescue

First a man suffered a heart attack while climbing The Band in Langdale. The man was treated and carried to an air ambulance waiting below the cloud base before being flown to Carlisle for treatment.

Next a young lady suffered serious leg injuries in a 40ft fall while climbing on Gimmer Crag, sustaining serious multiple injuries. Two others sustained minor injuries.

The seriously injured woman was stabilised and lowered further down the crag, from where she was picked up by the Rescue 912 helicopter.

"Weather conditions were very poor, and the chances of getting a vital helicopter evacuation looked unlikely. It was a stunning and brave bit of flying in very poor conditions. If anyone had any doubts that the replacement for their much-loved Sea King would fail to deliver, then today proved them groundless."

– Langdale and Ambleside MRT

The woman was flown to Preston and is reported to be in a stable condition.

Conditions were worsening so much that one of the rescuers needed rescuing themselves, falling on the Climber's Traverse on Bowfell and suffering facial injuries.

Coniston Mountain Rescue Team were called in because the Ambleside and Langdale team were already committed to the previous, serious incident, along with members of Kendal MRT, and a Duddon MRT member who was at the Langdale base when the call outs were received. The Coniston team took the man to the valley floor.

The day ended with a fourth call out to help a group that the team said were unprepared and had become stuck when it got dark.

"An ill-prepared group of five became benighted when it went dark while they were on Crinkle Crags. Despite their impatience, they were eventually located by team members from RAF MRTs and escorted to safety. An unnecessary rescue at the end of a long, hard day."

– Langdale and Ambleside MRT

The team has issued a safety tip reminding people who use the fells not to expect to be rescued by helicopter.

There are two types of air assistance the teams can call for:

  • Military aircraft. Although capable of being flown in the dark and in very poor weather, they have many priorities and will generally only be sanctioned in life threatening circumstances. They can be grounded at their home bases by poor weather or turned back en-route for the same reason. They are stationed approximately 1 hour flying time away.
  • Air Ambulances. Based much closer, their operation is much more limited. Poor weather can ground them and they have no night flying capability. The injured person has to be loaded with the aircraft on the ground and the engine shut down. This means they need enough flat ground to land on, which is not always easy to find.

"Although MRTs enjoy an excellent relationship with both military SAR helicopters and civilian air ambulances, the majority of rescues are still carried out on foot, with no helicopter support. If you're not injured then you are unlikely to be rescued by helicopter, and may be depriving someone in genuine need of a sparse resource."

– Langdale and Ambleside MRT


Pride of Cumbria attends fall in Pike of Carrs

The Pride of Cumbria attending another call on Green Gable Credit: GNAAS

A 67-year-old man was treated by the Great North Air Ambulance after he fell while walking the the Langdale Valley yesterday afternoon.

The ambulance was called to the scene at Pike of Carrs and worked with Langdale Mountain Rescue team to help the man, who had dislocated both of his knees.

He was treated by a doctor at the scene before being flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.

Snow in South Cumbria

The weather in our region has been mixed today, and some of our viewers were treated to a snowy morning in the south of Cumbria.

Will Rodell sent this photo in. Credit: Will Rodell

Will Rodell spent a chilly night testing out his new tent in Kendal.

And Juliet Cairns, a tourist staying in Langdale, sent this photo in:

Juliet Cairns sent this photo in from Langdale. Credit: Juliet Cairns

1st Langdale Herdwick 10K

The first Herdwick 10K race has been held in Langdale as part of the weekend's Langdale Gala.

The race supports Herdwick sheep farmers in Cumbria and is supported by Olympic Champion Sally Gunnell OBE.

Among the runners were the heads of Natural England in Cumbria and the Lake District National Park.

"I've been using an app on my phone which aims to get you running 5k in 8 weeks. I struggled for the first few weeks as I didn't have any running shoes, but now I'm making good progress, although I fully expect to be the last one home! In my daily work as a Cumbrian vet over the past 23 years I have seen Herdwick farmers face incredible battles."

– Amanda Carson, Herdwick Sheep Breeders Association

It was hoped nearly 500 runners would race under the steely gaze of some of Cumbria's 50,000 Herdwick sheep poised on the hills and fells.

"The Herdwick 10k is a great way to raise awareness of the Herdwick and the Herdwick farmers. We need to support this way of farming and ensure it goes from strength to strength. It is an icon of the Lake District. The Herdwick 10k will be a wonderful family day with entertainment, food and of course the main 10k event. What better way to support the iconic breed of the Lakes than to run on the beautiful landscape it helps shape."

– Mary Houston, Taste Cumbria Manager

The following day, Chapel Stile hosts the famous Langdale Gala, which features many traditional sporting events including children's flat races and Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling.**