Castle Naze

  • Call out for year: 64
  • Date: 5/11/12
  • Time: 4:18 pm
  • Grid ref: SK054 786
  • Type of incident: Climber Injured(2)
  • Team members involved: 20
  • Time taken: 4 hrs
  • Total man hours: 80 hrs

Incident report

Buxton Mountain Rescue Team was called at dusk to Castle Naze Rocks, between Dove Holes and Combs, following reports of a fallen climber. Further information indicated that there were in fact, two injured climbers, both suspended on a ledge some six metres above the ground.

The climbers were on a route called “Ziga Zaga”. It appears that the accident occurred when the lead climber reached the top of the route and fell off, landing on his belay partner.

Team personnel were quickly deployed to the location with a crag party abseiling down onto the ledge. It was established that both climbers were seriously hurt with head, spinal, and pelvic injuries; one of the climbers had internal injuries as well. Due to the serious nature of this incident it was clear we needed airlift support and an RAF Sea King was requested to assist.

Both casualties were treated on the ledge, and placed onto mountain rescue stretchers, which were lowered to the ground by a rope rigging system accompanied by two barrow boys. Once on the ground the casualties received more advanced treatment from a mountain rescue doctor and paramedic.

The more seriously injured climber was winched into the helicopter, accompanied by both a doctor and paramedic and transported to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire. The other climber was treated by ambulance service paramedics at the base of the crag and evacuated around crag and heathland on a stretcher by team members to the roadside. He was transferred into the land ambulance and taken to the Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport, for further treatment.

Team members derigged the rope system, cleared the site and returned to our Dove Holes base to sort out equipment.

Neil Carruthers, Buxton Team Leader said:

This was a highly complex rescue, involving two climbers with serious injuries suspended on a rock face in the dark. The close cooperation and skills of all involved ensured a safe recovery of the casualties. Our grateful thanks to the RAF Search and Rescue Flight at RAF Leconfield, the East Midlands Ambulance Service, Edale MRT team doctors and paramedic, and our own team members for a job very well done.


  1. Malc Needham, Buxton Deputy

    This seroius incident shows how our training always comes together when it is needed. A really good effort by everybody concerned, and an ‘ace bit of flying’ from the RAF. Well done!

  2. Rupert Shankster

    I would like to thank all of those involved with the rescue. I wouldn’t have got out otherwise, and it could have been a lot worse than it was. You are all a great team. I’m tryin to heal as fast as I can. Once again, thank you.

  3. sandra bradley

    i too was in an incident a long time ago, 1984, on the A6, thank you too all of you. You never know when we will need your help. I never got the chance to say thank you then. Brave and courageous.

  4. admin

    Thoughtful of you to get in touch, and good to hear you’re on the mend.

  5. The Boss

    Can I also thank 3 of our colleauges from Edale team who came to our rescue bringing their medical expertise as our own medics were not immediately available. We have a good relationship with all the surrounding teams and we regularly support each other on incidents. Thanks Chris, Neil & Martin

  6. Linda Johnson

    I can never thank you all enough for the brilliant work you do. My son was rescued 05/11/2012 from Castle Naze rocks, Ziga Zaga. Lee is now on the road to recovery. Thank you all.

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