Mountain Rescue Teams are on call 24 hours a day every day of the year. The teams consist solely of highly trained volunteers who give their time freely to help people in distress. Mountain Rescue Teams are entirely funded from public donations.
Paul shares his story of a day on Levers Hause…
Its 4pm I’m flat on my back in deep snow. Hundreds of feet below me I see water surrounded by more snow and capped by a darkening grey sky. I’m cold and I try to sit up but my right side doesn’t move. Why am I laid in this snow? The last I recall is walking down a steep slope about 3.20pm.
Something is dripping down the right side of my head; I lift my left hand up to feel. There’s no hair there just a soft mushy texture that’s wet. I bring my hand down and look at it, its red, very red. I feel my head again and this time I locate my scalp, which has been peeled back over to the left side of my head. I realise I’m injured and in serious trouble.
I find my phone, tapping in 112 I’m instantly connected and ask for police, mountain rescue. I tell the man my situation; he alerts the rescue services. He asks for my grid reference, I hold the map and try to work out my co-ordinates, but I can’t seem to put the numbers together. He tells me a grid reference and I say yes that’s it, I’m on Levers Hause. Sit tight he says help is on its way. I put on my survival gear, drink hot Bovril and wait.
My phone rings and it’s my wife. “How are you getting on ”?“ Just waiting for mountain rescue” There’s silence on the other end of the line, and then a new call comes in. “Got to go I say, I’m OK” Alison later gets a call from the manager at Holly How YHA telling her I haven’t returned and they will be raising the alarm. No need she says, and thanks him for acting on the route card I left with him.
Coniston Mountain Rescue Team calls to tell me they are on their way. I watch them working their way towards me; then the air is filled with noise and a bright light as a helicopter appears from nowhere and hovers above my head. I start to cry, huge sobs, fear and tension draining out of me.
The rescue team reaches me and gets to work immediately, checking my injuries, talking to me. I’m in a bad way, broken ankle, leg, 8 ribs, a smashed shoulder and a fractured skull, and my location is not helping. Steep ground, deep snow and ice make it a hazardous operation. It takes 17 people on the ground 3 1/2 hours to stabilise me and winch me into the helicopter.
That all happened in February 2012. In September Alison and I returned to walk the same route. The photos are from that day.
Paul on Dow Crag
Alison above Goats Water
Alison and Monty on Dow Crag
As a 14 year old I found Derbyshire and fell in love with being outdoors. Initially walking was done via a guide book and Now in my early 50′s I spend a great deal of my time outdoors either as a guide or as a park ranger for The Peak District National Park. I walk mainly in The Peak District National Park, Lake District and Scotland, but have many more areas to explore. Paul Beasley
YHA : http://www.yha.org.uk/