There is no more magnificent feature in the landscape of lakeland than Piers Ghyll (or Gill) with it's deep ravine which walkers traverse the very head of when walking The Corridor Route from Styhead Tarn to the summit of England's highest mountain, Scafell Pike. The other route to the pike is the direct route from Wasdale Head, which itself provides two fast options of Lingmell Coll or Mickledore. Most never venture for another option to the summit which is via Piers Ghyll. The path is marked on the OS 1:25,000 and it is a great path to the summit, much less walked than all the others on the northern face, yet needs treated with some caution and respect. Initially walk it in company on a dry day until you get used to it and it's closeness to the edge of the ravine; there is one crag face to negotiate which is a short scramble.
|Piers Ghyll from Styhead|
|Looking from the mouth of the Ghyll towards Great Gable and The Needle.|
|Looking into the ravine|
|Climbing the crag below Middleboot |Knotts|
|Looking back down the lower section of the ghyll|
|Piers Ghyll from The Corridor Route|
The police were contacted and a search commenced for him. Although he was missing hopes must have been initially high at a successful outcome to the search, he was described as 50 yrs of age, 5ft 5ins tall, of stout build and was wearing boots, a tweed suit, a Mackintosh, a knapsack over his shoulders and was carrying a sleeping suit and a guide to the Lake District; most likely this was Henry Irwin Jenkinson's definitive guide book. There were also sightings, one in Buttermere on 25th; but as these were checked they were found not to be Mr Crump. This was reported in the newspapers on 6 July, he had now been missing for 17 days with no success in locating any trace of him. Although it was summer, such a period to be missing for does not bode well for a successful ending. Where would search parties begin to look? In modern measurements this is a 40km, 3,000m total ascent walk and bearing in mind his build and age, all that was known was he would be staying at The Wasdale Hotel, yet he had not made it to there. Such a search would be a challenge to modern mountain rescue units today without more detail. One missed turn and no matter how well checked his route was by searchers, they could be miles off his location; he could and most probably was, already dead by this time; if not, why had he not managed to get to a valley floor in three weeks? The searchers, mountaineers of the lakes, did not give up and persisted in all weathers, combing the fells and crags. These were the forerunners of the modern rescue teams and with equal determination of these MRT's of today, they were determined to secure a result, whether he was dead or alive, they would conclude the matter.
On Saturday 9th July two notable Keswick climbers, A.R. Thompson of Portinscale and Mr William Alexander Wilson of Braithwaite, were setting out to search in the region of Piers Ghyll which cuts from the Corridor route to the base of Great Gable and the Wasdale Valley. This region, albeit lower on the ghyll, had been searched the previous Sunday, by Mr Crump's family with a negative result, but these climbers were rechecking the terrain. They came upon Mr Crump, he was alive. He was on a ledge part way down the ravine and after lowering him by rope to the base of the ghyll, they carried him to The Wasdale Hotel where he was medically treated. They got a telegram sent immediately to his distressed sister at Tilberthwaite and it was later said that a second telegram had arrived from Wallasey, Cheshire saying that a dead body had been found at that location and that it also was Mr Crump!
|A possible contender for his break of fall?|
The rescue is the longest I have researched in the lakes which concludes in a successful outcome and owes a lot to the determined mountaineers of the area who searched the fells to rescue like minded walkers or climbers through the bond of love of the fells.
That rescue enabled Edward himself to enjoy another 25 years of life. He died at his home at Oakfold, Leckhampton Road, Cheltenham on 19th August 1946. He had been the son of the late Cheltenham Circuit Wesleyan Minister (1865 - 68), the Reverend Edward Crump.