Fatality on Striding Edge
November 15, 2021
November 2, 2021 16.50
Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out by the Police at 16:50 on Tuesday 02/11/2021 to search for a 54 year old man from Cheshire who was reported missing on Striding Edge. The man and his wife had set off in the early afternoon to climb Helvellyn via Striding Edge; however, on reaching the start of the ridge his wife had decided to stop and had agreed with her husband that he would traverse the Edge and return to her. When he failed to return, she called the Police.
Team members preparing for training later in the evening immediately deployed to the fell to make a hasty search of the Edge and to escort the woman down. Meanwhile, a major search was initiated. Team members were dispatched into Red Tarn basin and Nethermost Cove to search beneath the ridge. Assistance was requested from the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs and 5 handlers and their dogs were also deployed to search the terrain beneath the Edge. HM Coastguard were contacted and a SAR helicopter from Humberside equipped with night vision and infra-red search capabilities was deployed. Penrith and Keswick MRT were also called to assist.
At approximately 20:20 a search dog located a body high up at the back of Nethermost Cove. From the injuries sustained it was clear that the man had fallen a significant distance over broken ground. He was confirmed as dead at the scene by a team doctor.
20 members of Penrith MRT were deployed into Nethermost Cove to assist the Patterdale members on scene with the recovery of the body. Due to the location and the terrain, this was a long and protracted extraction involving multiple fixed belays and ropes to traverse the scree and descend to the floor of the Cove. The body was eventually retrieved to Patterdale Rescue Centre at 02:30 the following morning.
The Team would like to extend their condolences to the man’s family and friends and thank Penrith MRT, LDMRSD, Keswick MRT and the HM Coastguard crew for their invaluable assistance. The incident involved approximately 45 mountain rescue volunteers and lasted about 12 hours.
Cumbria Police have appealed for members of the public who may have been witnesses to the events of the Tuesday afternoon to come forwards quoting log number 159 of 02/11/2021.