Yorkshire climber fell to his death

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A WEST Yorkshire man died when he fell 600ft (200m) down a Lake District mountain in snowy conditions, despite desperate efforts to save him.

Cumbria police yesterday confirmed that the man who died on Scafell on Monday 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 on England’s highest mountain when one of them slipped on the frozen snow and ice.

His companion, believed to be a 64-year-old from Nottingham tried to climb down to help Mr Blackburn but became stuck.

A rescue team spokesman 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.”

Police said the 64-year-old from the Nottingham area was suffering from shock and the effects of the cold.

He was airlifted to West Cumberland Hospital for treatment and was discharged later that afternoon.

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.”

Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the coroner has been informed of Mr Blackburn’s death.