Keswick Mountain Rescue Team | Barf
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4th July 1960 to 10th October 2015

Total Incidents: 31

4 July 1960


A youth (17 yrs) had fallen on the scree and received head injuries and a broken leg. He was given morphine.
13 November 1975   Man (64 yrs) overdue. Found having fallen on Barf Spout with facial and leg lacerations.
24 July 1977 14:15 Woman (39 yrs) struck by falling rock dislodged by other party members suffered cuts and bruises.
26 March 1978 13:10 Youth (18 yrs) with back injuries after being struck by rocks dislodged by walkers above.
21 April 1987 17:15 A woman suffering from chest pains was recovered and taken to Keswick Hospital. Clear and sunny.
2 August 1991 22:00 A man and his family went up to the Bishop of Barf. He was unable to make the descent due to vertigo. 4 of them subsequently became benighted.
15 October 1999 14:25 2 walkers became cragfast behind ‘the Bishop’.
23 December 1999 14:38 A lady (77 yrs) slipped on wet ground in Beckstones Gill and broke her ankle.
15 April 2000 12:53 A man (65 yrs) slipped on the path and broke his ankle.
3 September 2000 12:44 Some walkers in Whinlatter Forest reported seeing a family with a young child in difficulties.  On arrival of the Team to investigate, the family had got down.
16 July 2002 15:33 An elderly couple became cragfast while climbing the steep front of the mountain.
15 February 2003 11:08 A young lady (24 yrs) had a panic attack on the steep ground. This was exacerbated by her boy friend not returning for 40 minutes while he was looking for an escape route.
3 August 2005 14:45 A woman (39 yrs) slipped  but chose not to fall back as she was carrying an infant in a papoose. She broke her leg and was taken to hospital by the Great North Air Ambulance.
8 March 2008 17:48 A father and his son became cragfast while they were trying to find a way up the mountain. We were only able to get to them using ropes. They were hauled up, one by one, to safer ground and walked down. Although they had no torches for such a late start (3.45 pm), they did have a whistle which helped up to locate them.
27 August 2008 12:25 A lady (34 yrs) slipped on the wet path in Beckstones Gill and fell over a 40′ crag, sustaining serious head and spinal injuries. She was taken by an RAF Sea King to hospital.
14 March 2010 16:53 A mother and her 2 children (5 yrs & 11 yrs) became cragfast near Slape Crag, above The Bishop rock. We assisted all 3 of them safely back down to their car at the bottom.
27 October 2010 11:54 A 67 year old man, following the Wainwright path up Barf with his wife slipped on an awkward step and fell 15 metres on to scree below. He suffered serious injuries to his head and shoulder. His wife was left cragfast on the ledge from where he had fallen and she was evacuated by a Team member whilst others treated the casualty. The Team was assisted by the Great North Air Ambulance which flew the Team doctor close to the scene. Given the severity of the incident and the difficult location, the Team requested a Sea King helicopter to attend to winch the casualty. A Royal Navy helicopter from RNAS Gannet at Prestwick attended,and the casualty was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary.
19 October 2011 10:56 A 56 year old man walking with two companions, lost his footing whilst ascending very loose scree and crags on Barf. He fell and tumbled 60m, suffering spinal injuries, head lacerations and rib damage. The Team administered First Aid, and splinted him in a vacuum mattress. He was then manoeuvred on a   stretcher to a point on the unstable hillside, from where it was possible for a helicopter from RAF Boulmer to winch him aboard. He was flown to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle for treatment.
2 February 2013 11:13 A 51 year old female walking with a companion, suffered a panic attack on the scree path up to Barf. The Team mobilised one vehicle, but a Team member who lived nearby reached the pair, and was able to assist them off the hill back down to the road.
15 members – 36 minutes
6 February 2013 11:43 A 64 year old man, walking with friends, fell some way behind the group and then suffered an ankle injury 100 metres vertically below the summit, in between two rows of crags. Equipment and personnel traversed in through the scree and heather to a very loose and steep gully. The casualty was loaded on to the stretcher, and then lowered down the gully in relays, changing belay points and dodging the occasional trundling stone. Once down to The Swan, the casualty was transferred to his friend’s car, and taken to hospital for further treatment.
11 members – 2 hours 41 minutes
13 August 2013 15:02 A 74 year old lady, attempting Barf from Thornthwaite, fell from the crags above The Bishop and took a 6m tumbling fall. She suffered serious injuries to her leg, chest, wrists and ankle. Unfortunately the rescue was not reported for three hours, and the initial grid reference was inaccurate, so the Team spent time searching before the rescue could be put into action. She was found when a Sea King from RAF Valley located her well below the reported position, in an area of very precarious loose rock. The Team doctor with the medic from the Sea King treated her at the scene, and it took some time to stabilise her condition, package her ready for evacuation, and then move her to a point where it was reasonably safe for the Sea King to winch. The Sea King then flew her down to the Great North Air Ambulance, which transferred her to the trauma centre at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.
16 members – 4 hours
2 April 2014 12:19 While the previous incident was in progress, a call was received that a 48 year old man had become cragfast on Barf. A Landrover was despatched to Whinlatter as the best access, and the Team members eventually located him in a loose gully where a number of previous accidents have occurred. The Team rigged a rope lowering system, and a Team member recovered him to safe ground without incident.
10 members – 2 hours 2 minutes.
2 June 2014 12:27 An 81 year old lady, walking on her own, misplaced the footpath up from Thornthwaite to the summit of Barf, and got into some very difficult ground just below Slape Crag. Here she became cragfast, and decided she needed assistance. Rightly so, as this is an area where a number of serious accidents have occurred in recent years. The Team sent out a small group, approaching from above and below, and located her fairly quickly. She was assisted up to the next level with a rope, and then pointed in the direction of the summit. The Team then returned to base – all hoping that they would be as fit and determined to reach the top at 81!
15 members – 2 hours 11 minutes
8 June 2014 11:59 A 37 year old man encountered difficulties very much in the same location as the previous week’s incident. By the time a team member had reached him, he had largely sorted himself out and had started making his way down the scree. He was accompanied back down to terra firma!
19 members – 1 hour 6 minutes
4 September 2014 12:13 A couple tackling the Wainwright route up the front of Barf became cragfast, at the difficult step at the foot of Slape Crag.The husband managed to get up it with difficulty, whilst his wife was stuck below. He was unable to reverse the move, and she could not get down the route they had come up. The Team went out to assist, and whilst one group rigged a rope to assist the wife down, accompanied by two Team members, another member walked the husband up on to the upper footpath, and then down to reunite the couple at Thornthwaite.
14 members – 3 hours
27 December 2014 13:44 A group of three walkers rang for assistance when they became stuck on Barf, just below Slape Crag. A small group was sent in a Land Rover to access the area from Whinlatter Forest, and two Team members acted as spotters from below at Thornthwaite. Others stood by at base in case the incident required further personnel. The group were soon located, and were then roped up the awkward step on Slape Crag. They were then assisted to the footpath running round into the forest.
15 members – 2 hours 32 minutes
28th February 2015 13:17 Another “cragfast on Barf” callout – this time to a man who had strayed some 300m from the footpath by ‘The Bishop’ into some rather unpleasant scree, which felt very insecure to him. A Team Land Rover set off to access the area from Whinlatter, whilst other members stood by at base. In the event, a Team member who lived locally was able to reach the casualty and reassure him, and with the assistance of two members who went direct to Thornthwaite, led him down to terra firma unhurt.
15 members – 54 minutes
11th April 2015 11:31 A 52 year old lady rang the Police to request help, after she found herself stuck on the steep ground just below Slape Crag. This has been a common place for people to become cragfast. A small group was despatched to assist her, but a Team member who lives locally reached her first, and was able to give her the confidence to retrace her steps. The rest of the Team arrived and together they assisted her down the steep scree back to the road.
7 members – 1 hour 19 minutes
4th May 2015 12:57 Barf again ! Same place, just under Slape Crag! A family of three misrouted by failing to cross the stream into the forest. They continued up the stream and then traversed into some difficult ground under Slape Crag. They came to the awkward step and got to a point where they could not go up or down, and had to call for assistance. The Team sent a Land Rover with five, and two Team members attended direct. The family were assisted down, unhurt, to terra firma at The Swan.
14 members – 1 hour 35 minutes
19th September 2015 12:27 A man and his wife reported themselves as cragfast below Slape Crag on Barf, which is a fairly common occurrence. Fortunately for them – and the Team – an RAF Sea King was exercising in the area; some nifty radio traffic and the aircraft was able to winch them direct from their location. It then flew them down to the valley floor where their car was parked, thus saving the Team, a couple of hours of flogging up and down the fell – much appreciated, and many thanks to RAF Boulmer.
3 members – 32 minutes
10th October 2015 13:41 Two young ladies staying at a local campsite, decided to tackle the path up the front of Barf. Having passed “The Bishop” they became cragfast at the foot of Slape Crag – a frequent sticking point for the unwary! A Team member living locally immediately set off to assist, and the Team followed with a Landrover, with three more members, and two members of Ogwen MRT who were visiting the base when the callout was received. The first member to the scene calmed things down, and was able to walk the two youngsters as far as the sheepfolds, where they met up with the other Team members and they were assisted to the bottom of the crag.
6 Team members + 2 Ogwen MRT  – 1 hour 34 minutes.