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Monday, 22 December 2014

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Man dies in 600ft Lake District plunge

A walker has died after falling 600ft on a Lake District peak.

James Kirk Blackburn, of Darrington, West Yorkshire, was walking with a friend across the Lord’s Rake traverse path on Scafell when he slipped on frozen snow and ice and fell.

His 64-year-old companion, from the Nottingham area, climbed down a short distance but became crag-fast and unable to move.

Mr Blackburn was pronounced dead at the scene and airlifted to the West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven, by a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out at about 10am on Monday by police, who had been alerted by a passer-by.

The team's Facebook page said it had been called "to go to the aid of a person who had taken a considerable fall from above the Red Gill area of Scafell.

"Tragically the casualty suffered fatal injuries from the fall. The team's thoughts are with the family and friends."

It adds that the high fells are "still in full winter conditions", especially north facing gullies where ice axes and crampons are essential along with the knowledge and experience of how to use them.

"Map, compass and torch are also essential when navigating in poor conditions. Practice in their use is very important," it says.

Mr Blackburn's companion, who was suffering from shock and the effects of the cold, was airlifted to the West Cumberland and  discharged later in the day after treatment.

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