Striding Edge in the Lake District (Gary Rogers WikiCommons)
Striding Edge in the Lake District (Gary Rogers WikiCommons)

A 24-year-old man walking in the Lake District, in northern England, has fallen 656 feet (200m) to his death from Helvellyn mountain.

He was walking on Friday with a companion when he fell from Striding Edge into Nethermost Cove, said the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team (MRT).

His companion scrambled down the slope and found the man unconscious at the bottom, but could not get a mobile telephone signal to call emergency services, so continued his descent.

At Grisedale, a farmer gave him a lift to Patterdale, where he raised the alarm.

An RAF Sea King helicopter, the Great North Air Ambulance, search and rescue dogs and mountain rescue teams from Patterdale and Penrith joined the four-hour search for the man, who was found in the large cove fatally injured.

Patterdale MRT leader Mike Blakey said: "This is a tragic incident involving the loss of a young life.

"Our thoughts are with the young man's walking companion, friends and family at this difficult time."

Striding Edge is notoriously dangerous for walkers. It links the summit ridge of Birkhouse Moor to to Helvellyn's summit, which is Britain's third highest at 3,117 ft (950 metres) above sea level.

In icy conditions described as some of the most hazardous for 30 years, in 2008 a 41-year-old man and a 62-year-old man fell from the ridge to their deaths in the space of a week in January 2008.

In May that year, an 80-year-old man also fell from the mountain and was killed.

Last year, a 63-year-old runner died after falling from a mountain slope in the Lake District.

Race organisers had miscounted entrants in the run, and failed to notice that a person had gone missing. When the man was found, it was discovered that he had suffered no broken bones but had died of exposure after lying in a freezing puddle.