Walkers Lost Overnight on Cross Fell

Teesdale & Weardale Search & Mountain Rescue Team were involved yesterday in the rescue of two walkers lost overnight on the North Pennines

On the north side of Cross Fell, 123 kb
On the north side of Cross Fell
© Dan Bailey -, Mar 2008

The couple from Cumbria had set off to walk from Kirkland near Appleby on Saturday with the intention of climbing the highest mountain in the Pennines, Cross Fell. On reaching the summit they became disorientated and lost their way because of the bad weather - easily done on the featureless summit slopes, if you've forgotten a map and compass. They managed at some stage during the night to find a footpath that leads down Trout Beck towards Cow Green reservoir - in the opposite direction from their start point. In the late evening they came across Moor House, a remote unoccupied building on the eastern slopes of Great Dun Fell where they sheltered until it got light. They were still unsure of the way to safety but finally managed to get a mobile phone signal and contacted Durham Police who contacted the Mountain Rescue Team around lunchtime on Sunday.

Chris Roberts Team Leader of the Teesdale & Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team (TWSMRT) said:

'Because we knew the location of the couple it was a relatively simple task to send a vehicle to Moor House to pick them up. When I arrived they were cold and very tired but very relieved to see us. They were transported to Garrigill to be checked over by the Ambulance Service. The weather, even this morning, was not good with driving rain and very limited visibility. The couple had done this walk many times and were well equipped but for some reason this time did not take a map and compass with them.'

TWSMRT would like to pass on some tips for winter walkers. These are basic measures but it's surprising how often some of or all of the following are overlooked:

  • Before you set out get a mountain weather forecast, there are a number available on the Internet
  • Always let someone know your intended route and what time you will be due back
  • Fully charge your mobile phone before you leave but remember phone coverage is limited in some mountainous areas
  • Be properly equipped with waterproofs, hat, gloves, spare clothing and take plenty of food and drink
  • Have a map and compass and know how to use them
  • Have a bivvy bag or group shelter in your rucksack in case of emergencies
  • Always carry a head torch and spare batteries just in case you are delayed and it turns dark

For more advice on walking in winter see the UKH article series Winter Essentials for Beginners.

Forums 1 comments

This has been read 1,877 times
Return to News from January 2012