Remember: Press F11 for a full screen view of this page.


" Blencathra with George Fisher "

Date & start time: 23rd September 2010, 9.30 am start.

Location of Start : Mousthwaite Comb, Scales, Threlkeld, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 349 272 )

Places visited : Glendermackin Valley, Scales Tarn, Sharp Edge, Blencathra and back.

Walk details : 5 mls, 2150 ft of ascent, 3 hrs.

Highest point : Blencathra 2,847ft - 868m.

Walked with : Montane staff plus half the sales team from the shop.

Weather : Cloudy and damp but the forecast is for it to clear.


" Blencathra with George Fisher " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


An opportunity to get out on the hill to test clothing from the outdoor supplier, Montane.

We will be selling their clothing in store so Fishers have organised a training day to try out the gear.

Come nine o'clock, the staff splits in two, the afternoon half stay behind to run the shop,

while the morning team start out on a walk that would end in a most unexpected and unfortunate way.

Good morning shop . . . we've brought our boots and day-sacks ready for a walk.

Staff gather in the foyer.
A final briefing before we go.

Meeting up at Mousthwaite Combe.

Our path leads up the rounded bowl of the valley behind.

Trousers, base layers and Montane Featherlite windproof tops.

My orange top looks a little small but it was just a trick of the light.

Yvette shows a leg . . . or was she just lacing up her boots ?

The morning team . . . no names . . . no pack drill.

Dry and warm down here and hopefully that cloud will lift as forecasted.

Looking back at Great Mell Fell and Matterdale Common.

A local . . . looking back at us.

The kit performing well in the humid conditions.

The 'Edge' was clearing as we made our way up the Glendermackin Valley.

Crossing Scales Beck.

The Montane wind-proof tops cope with the gentle breeze and the moisture from the damp air.

We reach the outflow from Scales Tarn.

Two people have wild-camped overnight, the green tent by the path and a red one in a quieter position on the other side of the tarn.

Click here or on the photo above for a larger Loweswatercam annotated panorama.

A pause as we discuss the weather, the clothing and the route ahead.

Conditions would be damp and slippery but the weather is clearing nicely.

Two of the girls opt for the direct ascent to Blencathra, the rest decide to try for the Sharp Edge arête.

Blue skies over distant High Pike and Bowscale as the weather clears.

Looking back at the route that has brought us up from the tarn.

Starting the steeper part of the climb to Sharp Edge.

Claire packing her Event Jacket away as it has become a very warm climb.

Foule Crag ahead . . . once we have crossed Sharp Edge.

Concentration as the path becomes narrower.

Andy, the boss, photographs the climb ahead.

Chris and Wendy's dog is modelling the latest in Ruff-Wear jackets.

[ available in all good outdoor pursuits shops . . . especially ours ]

The group gather at the start of the climb.

Paul leads the way up onto the edge.
The first of two broad slabs we have to cross.

Four points of contact are often helpful at this stage.

- - - o o o - - -

Every picture tells a story . . . and there was a no more dramatic story than what happened next.

Lisa, a very experienced fell walker and mountain event runner had fallen.

She lost her footing on the slab and slid off the side of the awkward step and literally tumbled off the hill. All we could do was watch as she slid down the mountain, totally out of control, down the steep slope. She fell nearly two hundred feet down into the "Usual Gully" . . . and out of our sight.

- - - o o o - - -

What happened next did not include photographs, but did involve the combined efforts of everyone in the group. Paul, who had crossed the edge already, carefully descended the gully. As a member of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, he knew the problems to be faced and the procedures needed. Others doubled back and climbed down the fellside to offer help. Jon, who is also a MRT member but of the Bowland Pennine Team, happened to have his radio in his pack as so was immediately able to put out an emergency call.

We heard that Lisa was alive and conscious, and that she had been given immediate first aid down there in the gully.

Help was on the way but there was little more the rest of us could do.

- - - o o o - - -

Having already crossed the Edge, it was decided that I should continue the climb and rendezvous with the two girls who had climbed the up other way.

The rest of the group stayed to help but there was little more that could be done at this time.

After a steep climb up to the top path, I met up with Yvette and Christine and explained what had happened

and why there had been a delay in meeting them.

The three of us then descended to Scales Tarn to meet up with the rest of the group.

Walking out was a weird sensation, knowing there was a colleague of ours still left on the fell.

We did not know how she was or whether she would survive her fall.

Help was at hand in the form of the Great North Air Ambulance . . .
. . . and members of the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team

The helicopter dropped in a paramedic who was able to assess Lisa's injuries and stabilise her condition.

- - - o o o - - -

I'm not privy to the full detail of those injuries and the immediate treatment but suffice to say that a fall like that was life threatening. Full credit must be given to those who went down to help, to the Air Ambulance crew and to the Keswick MRT members who rushed to her assistance.

- - - o o o - - -

The helicopter makes its way above us . . .
. . . and dropped steeply to the main road at Mousthwaite Comb.

It returned shortly afterwards carrying more members of the rescue team.

Lisa was eventually airlifted to hospital by the RAF helicopter and, following an extended period of recuperation, is now back in work.

Six months later she returned to Sharp Edge with Paul and re-walked the Edge.

She writes in the staff magazine . . .

" I had to do this. I’ve lived in Keswick all my life. I was brought up on rock, I couldn’t see a future avoiding situations like Sharp Edge."

A happy ending after a difficult day out.

This report has been delayed for obvious reasons . . . but is now 'live' following publication of the story in the "Update" by Lisa herself.

Click here

to read Lisa's own article in the

George Fisher Update Magazine

written up in Sept 2011, a year after the event.

( scroll down to page 5 of the pdf )


Click here for the Keswick Mountain Rescue site.

"A 40 year old woman fell approximately 60m from the awkward step into the usual gully on the north side. The Team responded quickly, and with the aid of the Great North Air Ambulance, who lifted a paramedic and the Team Doctor close to the scene, was able to stabilise her and splint her injuries. An RAF helicopter winched the casualty from the scene, and flew her to hospital."

( Look for the 23rd Sept 2010 call out report . . . photo from their web site, with thanks)

- - - o o o - - -

The Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and the Great North Air Ambulance

are both charities funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Click on the links above for more information.

Also let us also not forget the RAF air crew who assisted in the rescue that day.

A big thanks to you all.


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the support of lots of kind and professional people.

Go to Top . . . © RmH.2011 . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 19th September 2010 Scandale 24 Peaks Challenge

A previous time up here - 1st April 2009 Blencathra with Jack & Matthew