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16th May 2023

Mountain rescue sent up Scafell Pike to stretcher dog ‘too tired’ to walk down

Steve Hopkins

The dog remained ‘cool, calm and positively regal’ during the descent

A mountain rescue team were called in to save an unlikely casualty over the weekend.

A tired dog which refused to walk back down England’s highest peak after hurting its paws.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team (KMRT) were called to Scafell Pike on Saturday after the pooch was “injured and exhausted” and was refusing to move.

The Akita, named Rocky, had cuts on his paws and was unable to walk down the mountain.

Mountain rescue team members started to climb towards Esk Hause in the Lake District and the dog’s owners were encouraged to descend towards them.

The KMRT then met the dog and its owners at Grains Gill and the large dog – weighting around 33kgs – was carried down the 3209 ft (978m) mountain on a stretcher by 13 team members.

The dog was described as remaining “cool, calm and positively regal” throughout the journey.

A KMRT spokesperson said: “Despite being quite a large dog at 33kg it was a joy to carry such a relatively lightweight casualty.

“The casualty remained cool, calm and positively regal throughout.

“The casualty and owners were given a lift to Keswick Team Base where other members of their party collected them.”

Pictures from the rescue mission were posted on the KMRT’s Facebook page. It took the volunteers four hours and 18 minutes to get Rocky down the mountain.

It is unclear how long the owners and Rocky had been walking, according to a spokesperson for the group who spoke to The Telegraph, but “there’s a lot of rocks in the area and particularly on Scafell Pike this may have caused the cuts,” they said.

The National Trust does not advise pet owners not to bring their dogs to Scafell Pike.

Guidance on its website reads: “Well-behaved dogs are welcome at Scafell Pike, and many will enjoy a long day out climbing as much as their humans.

“Do bear in mind that it is a long and tiring day across rocky terrain so climbing Scafell Pike is only suitable for dogs used to long walks in the fells.

“If your dog isn’t used to the fells then it’s perhaps worth trying a few lower, introductory walks before trying Scafell Pike.

“Please follow local and seasonal guidance, and where livestock are grazing please keep dogs on leads. For safety please keep your dog on the lead in the car parks.”

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