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Patterdale Rescuers Persue Moving Target

February 16, 2024

February 14, 2024 18:08 am

At 18:08 on Wednesday 14th February Keswick MRT passed details of an incident on Helvellyn across to Patterdale MRT. 

The Police had received a 999 call from a party of two, aged 19 and 20, reporting themselves at the top of Swirral Edge and unable to descend.  Unfortunately, the Team was unable to contact either of the pair on the mobile phone numbers provided, so a group of 3 rescuers was sent to give assistance. 

Shortly after 19:15, a further call was received by Cumbria Constabulary from a parent of one of those involved stating that she had intermittent live tracking data for her daughter’s phone and that they had now moved from the top of Swirral Edge having ignored the Police request, made during the original 999 call, for them to stay where they were.  The tracking data showed the pair to have moved across the top of Helvellyn and descended to the col before Striding Edge.  The Team diverted their rescue party to traverse Striding Edge instead of ascending Swirral Edge as originally planned.

As time passed the absence of further tracking data made it increasingly likely that the missing party had started to descend into the relatively wild Nethermost Cove.  Further Team members were called-out to drive up the Grisedale valley and climb into Nethermost Cove from below, while the first rescue group descended from Striding Edge into the Cove from above. 

Contact was finally made with the pair at 21:50, well down towards the valley.  They were escorted down to the Team vehicles before being driven back to the Rescue Centre.

The incident lasted 4.5 hours and involved 9 Team members.