Trinnacle is hiking hotspot but beware the danger

A MOORLAND rock formation has been named as a top destination for walkers, matching stunning locations in the Lake District, Scotland and Wales.

But the dangers of visiting Saddleworth’s hills have again been highlighted by a major rescue operation on the ‘tops.’

Now one of the emergency services has issued a basic safety tip for sightseers and day trippers venturing onto the moors.

The Trinnacle rock formation at Ravenstones Brow has become a favourite location for hikers flocking to enjoy the Dovestone ‘experience’.

So much so that it was picked out in a feature for outdoor retailer Blacks entitled ‘stunning winter hikes to enjoy this season’ alongside other favourites including: Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head, Aonach Eagach, Glencoe and The Glyderau, Snowdonia.

But with increased numbers of visitors – many inexperienced walkers – has brought increased numbers of incidents.

Last month, two females fell nearly 20 feet from the ridge line, at a spot close to the three rock columns that form the Trinnacle.

The girls were winched off the hills by a Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter. It is believed they were treated for concussion and an arm injury.

A plethora of emergency services attended the scene due to multiple calls about the incident.

Such is the remote location that the injured were attended to by Greenfield-based Oldham Mountain Rescue Team and their Holme Valley counterparts in Marsden.

However, a member of the North West Ambulance Service told the Independent that rescuers were boosted in their efforts to locate the girls by the phone application, What3words.

Trinnacle Stones

The app creators have divided the world into 3m squares and given each square a unique combination of three words, making it easy to say and share.

“This really helped on this occasion, and it would be great if everyone downloads the app, especially if they are out walking in locations like this.”

Nearly 40 members from OMRT and HVRT attended the afternoon incident.

OMRT leader Rob Tortoishell said: “After team medics assessed both casualties, it was determined that, because of the height they had fallen, they would be treated for potential spinal injuries.

“Due to the hazardous nature of the terrain, assistance from Maritime and Coastguard Agency helicopter with their winching capability was requested.

“At the same time, we contacted our neighbouring team, Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, to ask them for assistance with extra personnel in case the helicopter couldn’t attend, and it turned into a technical rope lower.

“Thankfully, Rescue 912 from Humberside was tasked, so the casualties were packaged in vacuum mattresses and onto our stretcher before being winched into the helicopter, along with a team doctor, for onward transport to hospital.

“The casualties’ companions were walked off the hill to their car at the main car park.

“We then had to arrange picking up our doctor and two stretchers from Sheffield, as well as getting back to base to sort out the mountains of kit that are inevitably involved in a double casualty incident such as this.”

• The Trinnacle can catch out even the most experienced hill walkers.

Last February, Imran Choudhury from Oldham was training for a Mount Kilimanjaro sponsored walk for the NHS.

But while posing for photographs on top of the stacks, the dad of three fell 200 feet
The weather was treacherous with extremely strong winds making the rescue mission one of the teams most challenging ever.

Imran was eventually flown to Sheffield Northern General Hospital by Yorkshire Air Ambulance. In the terrifying fall, Imran broken two skull bones, one of which penetrated his brain and caused serious internal bleeding.

He also broke his shoulder, shoulder blade, spinal bone, a small bone in his leg left and badly damaged his right leg in six places.”

His story was told during Helicopter ER, a documentary series about the Yorkshire Air Ambulance shown on Channel Really.

2 Replies to “Trinnacle is hiking hotspot but beware the danger”

  1. Like many people in Oldham I’ve run or walked up and down those hills man and boy for over 50 years, (including in the dark and very occasionally drunk and most of the time without even a mobile phone,) and without once so much a twisting my ankle and without ever being savaged by an irate sheep, (which I’m told have an extremely nasty nibble; so remember children you can’t be too careful.)

    These days hardly a week seems to go by without all the emergency services being mobilized seemingly almost at the drop of someone’s hat on any excuse or non. That the emergency services currently seem to be massively overacting to every single incident however minor seem likely; but the question is why ?

    Whilst I imagine the mountain rescue people don’t get paid for being called out, (although it wouldn’t surprise me if they do,) I expect that the other services probably do which mighty help to explain it and of course for any organization with funding in mind any opportunity for free publicity is always going to be a temptation ?

    Personally I take all this with a pinch of salt; experience and common sense, (I mean standing on top of an apex rock formation, “posing,” in a high wind and I’ve been up there myself several times; what did he expect was going to happen,) are far more important than any Ap.

    If anything knowing that the emergency services are just an icon on your phone away may even make people less sensible and not more ?

  2. Well said, JPC-W. I know the rescue services do a great job and are very professional but how can you be a ‘mountain’ rescue team when there aren’t any mountains anywhere near. I suppose it sounds better than ‘biggish hill’ rescue team.

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