Grandmother pays tribute to Cumbrian emergency services after serious fall

260721 Joan and Jonathan Taylor completing the Wainwrights GNAAS
Joan and Jonathan Taylor have now completing the Wainwrights

A 71-year-old woman who decided to visit the Lakes instead of holidaying abroad ended up in an air ambulance after falling while attempting to complete the Wainwrights. 

Joan Taylor, who broke her leg after falling on Calf Crag, has paid tribute to the Cumbrian emergency services who came to help her in the aftermath of the incident, on 22 December last year.

Mrs Taylor was supposed to be in Spain with her husband Jonathan, but with further COVID restrictions looming at the time, they decided to play it safe by staying in England. 

The grandmother-of-five said: “Because we were packed we decided to walk the last of the Wainwrights after already completing most of them. 

“We have a motorhome and weren’t planning on meeting anyone, so we thought we’d do these four Wainwrights, a dead easy walk, and still be keeping ourselves safe.”

The couple, from Keighley, were on top of Calf Crag, near Grasmere, and just about to reach the cairn, when Mrs Taylor slipped.

She said: "There was a flat stone and I put my stick on it and thought ‘that’s not slippy’, I put my boot on it but I didn’t see there was black ice and fell on my side and bounced. I stood up and I couldn’t put my left foot forward, so I crawled up to where it was flat and Jonathan phoned 999.”

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) flew to the scene and assessed Mrs Taylor, before the Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team arrived.

Mrs Taylor had broken the top of her femur so she was airlifted down to the car park where an ambulance from the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) was waiting and she was taken to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary by an NWAS road crew.

Meanwhile the mountain rescue team saved Mr Taylor a long journey by driving him down to his vehicle so he could get to the hospital, which he was thankful for.

The couple have since completed the Wainwrights, with the last one being Dow Crag exactly six months after the incident.