A tragic walker who died after plunging 600ft down England’s highest mountain in icy conditions has been named as a 53-year-old man from Darrington near Pontefract.
James Kirk Blackburn suffered fatal injuries in the fall after slipping on frozen snow in the Red Gill area of Scafell in the Lake District on Monday. (Dec 10
Mr Blackburn’s walking companion tried to climb down to help, but became stuck and unable to move.
Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out at about 10am on Monday by police, who had been alerted by a passer-by.
A team of 17 mountain rescuers helped the crew of a Sea King helicopter to winch Mr Blackburn’s walking companion to safety.
The 64-year-old man, from Nottingham area, was airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital.
The man, who was suffering from shock and the effects of the cold, was later discharged.
Cumbria Police said initial enquiries suggested there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and the coroner had been informed.
Officers have confirmed that the man who died has been formally identified as James Kirk Blackburn, of Great North Road, Darrington.
Wasdale Mountain Rescue team said two men were making their way across Lord’s Rake traverse path when one of them slipped on the frozen snow and ice.
His companion tried to climb down to help Mr Blackburn but became stuck and unable to move.
A spokesman for Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team, said: “Seventeen team members attended and a call was put out to the Duddon and Furness team to provide back up.
“A Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer was also tasked to the incident. The RAF managed to winch the cragfast walker off the mountain and assisted the team with the recovery of the walker who sadly did not survive his fall.”
Mountain rescuers later warned: “Walkers are reminded that the high fells are still in full winter conditions, especially north-facing gullies where ice axes and crampons should be carried.
“It is also essential that walkers have the knowledge and experience of how to use them in the event of a slip or trip on snow and ice slopes.”