A MOUNTAIN charity climb turned into a rescue mission as two walkers lost their way on England’s highest peak.
The team of Stuart Henbest, four-year-old son Daniel, Mark Walters, Robin Williams and Edward Dawson set out to scale Scafell Pike and help raise funds to buy specialist walking equipment for Stuart’s daughter Isobelle.
Already walking in challenging conditions, Stuart took the decision to head back down the mountain with Daniel while Robin, from Rastrick and Edward, formerly of Rastrick but now living in Cheshire, decided to continue on the walk to reach the 978m (3,209ft) summit.
“We set off at 8am in the morning and had been walking for three hours and covered three miles. It was constantly raining and Daniel’s teeth were beginning to chatter non-stop. So we headed back down with Mark,” said Stuart.
“We were waiting at the bottom at it got to 4pm and we were starting to wonder if they had got lost and they were in the wrong end of the valley. We were seeing if anyone had heard from them. We then called mountain rescue and they said to stay put to see if they returned. They then sent out the search party.”
As Robin and Edward made their descent, thick mist descended on them and reduced visibility making it hard to pick out points on their maps.
With temperatures dropping and the weather deteriorating, the two found shelter in the Mickledore stretcher box.
More than 50 volunteer mountain rescuers were involved in the eight-hour search. A team eventually found them at 11.30pm and were guided down.
Despite the mishap, fund raising for Isobelle has snowballed and is set to reach £8,000,
Mum Charlotte, and the family, from Healey Wood Road, Rastrick, started to raise money for their one-year-old daughter who needs a specialist frame to help her learn how to crawl and walk by developing her muscles.
The standing frame for use at home and Calderdale Royal Hospital’s Paediatric Therapy Unit, will cost up to £1,500.
Now, with the money raised it will help not only Isobelle but also the Child development unit.
“We are getting the ball rolling and hopefully we can start getting new equipment and other bits for the sensory room,” added Stuart
“We’re very proud of Daniel with what he has done and we’re hoping to do the walk in the summer. We want to thank everyone for their donations, all the work and help they have given us.”