An experienced mountaineer who plunged 600ft down an icy Lake District mountain returned this week to thank his rescuers.

Richard Tiplady, 54, – an experienced and well-equipped fell walker – fell from near the 2,927ft summit of Pillar mountain in the western Lake District, his terrifying plummet being halted by a wall of snow debris just 20ft from the edge of a 200ft cliff.

He sustained severe injuries from his fall in March but said this week that he is recovering well.

“My ankle is healed. I climbed a Scottish hill I know very well last week and did it in my best time!”

He is still having physiotherapy after breaking his neck in the fall.

The Glasgow-based climber returned to West Cumbria at the weekend to thank Cockermouth Mountain Rescue for saving his life.

“It was great because four of the five who were there had been on the rescue and were able to fill in some details that I did not know," he added.

“It was also reassuring to hear them say that I had done the right things – keeping my feet in front and pressing down into the ground to slow me down.”

Mr Tiplady also took the chance to meet Laura Shields, one of the A&E nurses in Carlisle who had looked after him.

“She lives in Workington so it gave me the chance to say thank you to her, as well.”

On Sunday Mr Tiplady and his wife, Irene, walked along Ennerdale.

“I didn’t realise Pillar Rock was so close. I was able to take a photo of where I fell.”

He said it was quite a strange experience but added that the fall had not put him off climbing, although he would not be attempting Pillar Rock again for a while.

“I think in a way, the weekend has given me some kind of closure as well as the chance to say thank you to the people who saved my life.”