Trentham dad, 47, dies after falling 50 meters from mountain ridge in Lake District

Paul Brand who was 47-years-old was scaling Blencathra on October the 1 2021, as part of his preparation for a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2022. Credit: BPM Media

A man from Trentham in Stoke-on-Trent, has died after falling 50 meters from a mountain ridge in the Lake District.

Paul Band, who was 47-years-old, was scaling Blencathra on October 1 2021, as part of his preparation for a climb up Mount Kilimanjaro in 2022.

However, as he was travelling across the Sharp Edge ridge he slipped and fell into a gully, suffering a fatal head injury.

Mr Band was climbing with his friend Yoni Shevloff at the time of the accident.

Coroner Kirsty Gomersal said Mr Shevloff showed "incredible bravery" in scrambling down the gully after his friend.

However nothing could be done to save Mr Band, and his death was subsequently confirmed by a mountain rescue team.In a statement read out at Cockermouth Coroner's Court, his widow Hannah Band said her husband had been very fit and active, and enjoyed outdoor pursuits such as walking and kayaking.

Mr Brand had been looking forward to a planned walk up Kilimanjaro in September 2022 Credit: BPM Media

Mr Band, who worked as an engineer at Goodwin International, regularly completed charity events such as marathons and bike rides, and had been looking forward to the planned walk up Kilimanjaro in September this year.

On the day of the accident, he and Mr Shevloff had travelled up to the Lake District for a weekend of walking and canoeing, as part of their training for Kilimanjaro.

In his written statement, Mr Shevloff said the pair had decided to climb Blencathra on the Friday morning, with Mr Band planning their route along Sharp Edge.

The weather was 'mixed', with sunny and showery spells, but both men were in 'good spirits'.

When they reached Sharp Edge, they found they had to scramble, rather than just walk, with hand holds required to traverse the ridge.

Mr Shevloff said: "I went ahead first along the ridge and was walking but holding on for sections.

"I reached a point to break and turned back to look at Paul. I warned Paul that it was slippy and pointed out some hand holds.

"I was looking ahead trying to assess the route and whether we should carry on. I turned back and saw Paul was standing upright. He was slipping on the rock that formed the edge of the ridge. I could see that he was sliding towards the edge.

"There were no words exchanged between me and Paul as it all happened so quickly.

"But Paul must have realised what was happening because, as he approached the edge, he made a conscious move to jump.

"It must have been 20 feet at least he fell."

After he fell into the gully, Mr Band continued to roll downhill.

Mr Shevloff shouted for help, and another walker who was nearby said he would call mountain rescue.

Mr Shevloff added: "It all happened so quickly, but I started to try and descend into the gully after Paul.

"I do remember it was precarious, and I slipped myself.

"Paul was out of sight and, as I started to descend, I lost view of the walkers on the ridge. I was shouting to ask if they could see Paul.

"They said they couldn't but that mountain rescue was on its way.

"I saw Paul's hat and a rock that was blood-stained, and I started to panic. I knew the fall was bad, but I hoped it would just be broken bones."

Mr Shevloff managed to get to his friend, but he could tell from the head injury that he had not survived the fall.

An air ambulance, police and the mountain rescue team arrived, and Mr Band and Mr Shevloff were airlifted to to the mountain rescue team base at Keswick.

A post-mortem examination established the cause of death as head trauma caused by a fall.

In her summary of the evidence, Ms Gomersal described Mr Band as a 'much-loved husband, father and friend to many people', who was 'extremely fit' and supported a number of charities.

She also said Mr Shevloff had shown 'incredible bravery' in making his way down to Paul after his fall.

Ms Gomersal recorded a conclusion of accidental death.