Helvellyn
A man has survived a 200m fall from Helvellyn in the Lake DistrictWikipedia

A 28-year-old hiker has been advised to buy a lottery ticket after surviving a 200m fall from Helvellyn and landing close to a rescue team by chance while walking in the Lake District in blizzard conditions.

The man, who so far has only given the name David, couldn't at first recall what had happened when he staggered from a "white-out" to collapse at rescuers' feet.

It later transpired he had taken a step backwards on top of 350m Swirral Edge and tumbling down the mountain. Somehow he stopped after 200m and climbed the rest of the way down. Rescuers were only at the base by chance because plans to train elsewhere had been cancelled.

"He came out of a cloud, collapsed at our feet and didn't say anything," team leader Mike Blakey told Sky News. "We were quite close to our Land Rover ambulances, so we were able to package him on to a stretcher. He had no major injuries - but there are lots of cuts and bruises. Maybe there was lots of soft snow."

Already this year three people have died on the 950m mountain including 68-year-old John Chadwick of Gamblesby and David Barrow, 63, from Widnes last month.

"This was one lucky chap," said Blakey. "Not only did he fall a long way from a mountain on which three people have died so far this year, but he managed to make his own way down in a snow storm."

Blakey added: "He should probably buy a lottery ticket."

Conditions across Cumbria remain poor and Langdale Mountain Rescue had to go to the aid of several vehicles trapped in the Lakes, including a bus carrying 24 Chinese tourists which became stranded on the A592 Kirkstone Pass. Wrynose Pass is also closed and blocked by abandoned vehicles.

The Met Office is predicting another 4in of snow for the area and has issued a yellow alert for most of Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.