Incident 18/2014

Today a climber got into difficulties at the moorland natural crag of Cadshaw Castle Rocks, at the head of Turton and Entwistle Reservoir.

It is our understanding that the 30 year old male climber from Preston, was making a top rope protected ‘solo’ ascent of a climb, with a mechanical device known as a ‘Ropeman’ in use to protect his ascent.

Whilst climbing he suffered a suspected dislocated shoulder, and fell on to the back up safety rope, jamming the Ropeman, leaving him in agony suspended from the rope.

His three companions including a young boy, were unable to help, when thankfully a nearby climber (From the Bolton area) offered his assistance, and abseiled to the stricken climber, and then we understand set up a rope system lowering the injured climber to the ground.

A call was made to the emergency services, received by Lancashire Constabulary who in turn contacted NWAS (Lancashire)

Initially NWAS then called Rossendale and Pendle MRT, with their Deputy Team Leader Andy Simpson passing the call immediately directly to Garry Rhodes MBE, our Team Leader, as the call was within the Bolton MRT operational area.

Receiving this call at 15.09hrs, Garry was fortuitously at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ with colleague team members Chris Greenhalgh and Matthew Hailwood, so an immediate response was able to be made with our BM3 Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicle.

A full team Call Out page was made at 15.18hrs, whilst Garry liaised with NWAS Lancashire Control.

Our BM3 vehicle arrived at the A666 Road head RVP at the commencement of the forest track to Cadshaw at 15.32hrs, where the NWAS crew had left their vehicle to walk the fifteen minute distance to the crag, as the access gate is locked.

Fortunately all our vehicles have access gate keys, and BM3 with its three on board crew quickly accessed the Cadshaw track, parking at the foot of Cadshaw Main Quarry which is across the valley from Cadshaw Castle Rocks.

One of the NWAS crew had just met up with the fallen climber, who was being walked down from the crag, in considerable pain.

By 15.39hrs team members Matthew Hailwood and Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, alongside NWAS begain treating the casualty, who though able to walk was suffering intense pain.


Entonox and then more ‘powerful’ analgesia was administered to the casualty, who was then walked through the foot deep water of Cadshaw Brook, assisted by team members, and helped in to our BM1 vehicle which had just arrived.

This quickly transported the injured climber along with one of the NWAS crew back to the A666 road head by 15.55hrs.

Here the casualty was transferred in to the NWAS Ambulance, with team members initially having to stop traffic on this normally very fast (And regular ‘Accident Spot’) road, for safety purposes.


The male climber was then taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.

All our involved personnel left the scene by 16.05hrs.

We would particularly like to thank the climber from Bolton who had the knowledge and expertise to initial rescue this injured man from his predicament and lower him to the ground, great help from a climber to a fellow climber in distress.

The following resources were involved in this incident;

  • NWAS (Lancashire) Broughton EOC Airdesk Despatcher.
  • NWAS (Lancashire) Emergency Ambulance, two crew from Burnley Ambulance Station.
  • Lancashire Constabulary, Force Control Room, Duty Force Incident Manager.
  • Bolton Mountain Rescue Team; Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles BM3 and BM1 on scene, BM4 and BM2 both stood down responding. Thirteen team Call Out list members on scene, nine others stood down responding.

Finally many thanks for the patience of motorists held up on the busy A666 whilst the road was closed to enable the safe transfer of the casualty from our vehicle to the NWAs Emergency Ambulance.

(Webmaster; Yes our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE did get very wet feet, along with colleague team members Dave Cook, Matthew Hailwood and John Dickinson, wading Cadshaw Brook)