Last Sunday we were lucky enough to be drenched in warm (actually hot) sunshine at Stanage Edge. We had gone with the local climbing club for a member’s birthday. Unfortunately for me being sociable the night before had left me rather tired (hungover) and not quite ready for a day of climbing.
I cursed my way 2/3 up a Diff and decided it was best to wait the hangover out and look for some routes to do later in the day. I found a very comfortable rock to lean against in the sunshine and BG went off to climb Millsom’s Minion (E1 5b).
Then the day changed completely.
A member of the club was leading a climb and fell six metres, landing on her back.
It’s true that these things happen in slow motion.
I saw her fall and I heard the sound of her body hitting the ground. This is something I still cannot get out of my head.
Somehow instinct kicked in and I yelled at the other climbers not to move her before calling the emergency services. It seemed like forever before they could locate us by the co-ordinates given. It seemed like forever before the we could see the first members of Edale Mountain Rescue walking up to the crag.
It seemed like forever and I wasn’t even the one who needed them.
Except it wasn’t forever at all. I called 999 at 13:53 and by 3pm our fallen climber was on her way to the ambulance having being assessed, administered strong painkillers and secured onto the rescue stretcher to be taken to the waiting ambulance at Plantation car park.
The members of Edale Mountain Rescue are UNPAID, yet highly trained volunteers. They rely completely on donations to run the team. They give up their free time to help others in need, and in our friend’s case, urgent medical care. Sunday was a hot, sunny day and I imagine all of those that turned up to assist and give the care she needed were probably enjoying their day off with with family/friends and yet were happy to give up that time to help a complete stranger.
Until Sunday, I had honestly and perhaps shamefully never taken much notice to what these people do. They were organised, completely and utterly reassuring, caring and calm in what was a very upsetting situation. I, and I am sure everybody that witnessed their skill and dedication last Sunday cannot give enough thanks for their selflessness.
I don’t often ask or brag about good causes but I cannot help but feel I need to on this one. If you do wish to donate to this wonderful organisation please CLICK HERE!
Our climber who fell was taken to Sheffield hospital and has, I currently understand, broken ribs and three fractured vertebrae. It could have been so much worse had she not landed where she did, in between two random boulders. We are all hoping she makes a full recovery and returns to climbing when she is ready to do so.