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Staying safe on the Lake District Fells

Written by Natalie Barker on

Every year thousands of people set off to follow in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright and conquer the mountains of Cumbria. The vast majority of these walkers are prepared and knowledgeable about what they are about to do but accidents still happen. A sudden slip or misplaced step can easily result in a twisted ankle or worse. The mountain rescue teams throughout Cumbria are some of the busiest in Britain.

Whilst many are prepared for a day out on the fells there is an increasing number of people who are ill prepared, setting off up a mountain wearing inadequate footwear, carrying no supplies/maps/waterproofs/torches. Recently Cockermouth, Keswick and Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue teams were called out on consecutive nights to rescue the same elderly gentleman and his daughter who had set off up the fells with no maps and no torch. When they failed to turn up at their accommodation on the first night Cockermouth & Keswick teams spent many hours searching, locating & helping the pair to their destination. The following day the gentleman set off again (accompanied by a different daughter), this time his aim was to get from Keswick to Grasmere. When he once again he failed to turn up at his destination Langdale and Keswick teams started a search which resulted in the pair being found at 2am. In all it took 150 man hours to find them.

We love our home area and want everyone to be able to enjoy it but we also want everyone to be safe. Below is a link to the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue website where you can find advice for planning a trip and also learn a little more about what they do. There are also write-ups of previous rescues which go a long way to show the real heroism (& often unflappable patience) of the team members.

Natalie Barker

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