Wigan climber’s death set to be probed

Members of Keswick Mountain Rescue Team on Helvellyn during the rescue. Pic: KMT
Members of Keswick Mountain Rescue Team on Helvellyn during the rescue. Pic: KMT

An inquest is to be opened into the death of a Wigan man who fell more than 200ft on England’s third-highest mountain.

Andrew Martz died on March 17 while ascending Helvellyn mountain amid ice, snow and freezing conditions in the national park.

Andrew Martz

Andrew Martz

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Mountain rescuers were called at about 3.30pm on the Saturday afternoon after the 55-year-old fell at Brown Cove Crags, one of the most popular climbs on Helvellyn.

Strong winds meant a helicopter could not winch Mr Martz and rescuers had warned of the “serious challenge” the 800m-high mountain posed in icy weather.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team and colleagues from the Patterdale team were already on the mountain range after being called out earlier that day to aid a woman stuck on steep ground in Nethermost Cove.

A spokesman revealed that a passing doctor also managed to get to the casualty quickly but, regrettably, the injuries the man had sustained were so serious that he didn’t survive.

The Prestwick Coastguard helicopter flew to the site but was unable to winch the man from the mountain because of very strong winds.

The team then stretchered the casualty down to Swirls car park to liaise with the police. Other team members escorted the casualty’s partner down. Twenty-two Keswick MRT volunteers and three from the Patterdale team were involved in the incident for more than three hours.

Mr Martz’s inquest was set to be opened by the Cumbria Coroner's Office on Friday, May 25, before it is adjourned until August 20.