Woman suffers injuries in climbing accident

The rescue in the Peak District
The rescue in the Peak District

Some 13 mountain rescuers had to be called to a woman’s aid after she suffered a climbing accident on Saturday, May 30.

The crew were called to Harpur Hill, Buxton, following a request to assist the ambulance service at Hoffman Quarry, where a 26-year-old woman had suffered head and spinal injuries after a being hit by a falling rock.

The woman from London was on the upper tier of Harpur Hill Quarry with a group of other climbers when she was hit by a limestone flake which had been dislodged by another climber near the top of the “Galaxy Quest” route - a “5A” difficulty climb.

She was not climbing at the time, said Derbyshire Mountain Rescue, who added: “The rock caused a glancing blow to the lady’s head and she sustained a head wound below the helmet she was wearing.

“Due to the nature of the impact both head and spinal injuries were suspected. The casualty was treated on site by the ambulance service paramedics and a team doctor.”

She was then packaged, placed onto a mountain rescue stretcher and carried more than a kilometre to the roadside at Haslin Road Cottages, Harpur Hill, before being transferred into a land ambulance and taken to Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport.

Neil Carruthers, Buxton Mountain Rescue Team leader, said: “This lady was on the quarry floor watching the climbing, luckily she was wearing a helmet when the rock hit her which undoubtedly prevented more serious injuries.”

President of the team, Ian Hurst, said: “Anybody under a climbing edge should be wearing a helmet and this girl was luckily, but if she hadn’t have been the outcome could have been somewhat different. Even having worn a helmet she did sustain a head wound.”

As the rock fell, it also severed the lead climber’s rope as he was being belayed down, and had to be recovered from the quarry face by his climbing companions before the team arrived.

Mr Hurst added: “I’ve never known a rock sever a climber’s safety rope like that in the past so that was a complete shock when we found out. Luckily his colleagues were able to get him down.”

Always dial 999 in an emergency and if you think you need mountain rescue specify this to the control room operative.