Cumbria Crack

Climber hurt in Pillar Rock fall

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team was called out at 15:30 on 20th September to assist a 60-year-old man who had taken a leader fall high up on the route ‘Megaton’ on the north face of Pillar Rock.

Due to the remoteness of the location and the potential for serious injuries the Team Leader called in helicopters from both the Coastguard and the Air Ambulance Service.

Several team members went directly from work to Pillar Rock, climbing to the summit of Low Man, some 50m above the injured climber and his partner. The rest of the Team assembled in Cockermouth before driving to the valley. Rescue Helicopter 199 airlifted team members and equipment from the valley and winched them out onto the summit of Low Man.

A team member was lowered to the injured climber who following a medical assessment, was released from his rope and lowered to a safe ledge below. The casualty was then treated and stabilised before being packaged into a stretcher. Rescue 199 was able to winch the casualty from Green Ledge he was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for further treatment. The injured climbers’ partner was also lowered to the ledge and assisted from the crag by team members.

Team Leader Andrew McNeil said: “Callouts to Pillar Rock, are fairly rare these days, but are nearly always a serious proposition. This was a very technical rescue which the team dealt with fantastically well. We train annually on Pillar specifically for this situation. Once again, the Team extends its thanks to the crews of HM Coastguard R199 and Helimed H72 for their support. Their help made a huge difference to the speed and outcome of this rescue. We wish the casualty a prompt recovery.”

This was the 46th callout of the year, which was attended by 21 team members and lasted approximately seven hours.

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