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Winter Skills & Helicopter Rescues

Sometimes your day doesn't go quite as planned, but it is often these days when you learn the most...

Winter has gripped the fells once more and today I was out on day 1 of 2 with Matt, Jenny, Ed and Tim on a two day winter skills course. As we started to ascend Swirral Edge I saw a chap down off the edge (tarn side) waving his arms. I went to investigate and a skier had come off his skies and clattered into some rocks. The lad on the scene had rightly rung 999 and got MRT on the way, as well as performed some first aid. I got the group to gather and we pulled out the shelter and waited for mountain rescue. Just before the MRT arrived the coastguard chopper arrived and dropped a winchman and stretcher. The group got stuck in helping where they could and before we knew it we were able to get moving and try get warm again. We continued up onto Swirral Edge and then turned back and descended to Glenridding. It was absolutely bitter today, easily in the -20's at times.

What today did reiterate was the need to carry these emergency supplies for the 'worst case scenario'. Out of my pack came an 8 man shelter, a warm layer for the casualty, a rope for him to sit on plus a flask of hot fluid. A member of my group also had a survival bag which was used and more hot tea. The group had also packed loads of food which came in handy to keep both us and the cas warm. It all may make your bag a bit heavier but today this kit was lifesaving.

Huge thanks to the support from Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, the Coastguard, my group and well done to Rick who was first on scene. Good luck to the casualty for a speedy recovery too.

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