TWO men plunged 100 metres from the notorious Swirral Edge in snowy conditions on Thursday afternoon.

A 49-year-old man, from Frodsham, Cheshire, sustained non-life threatening injuries to his back, neck and head as he tumbled while ascending Helvellyn at around 1.30pm.

A multi-agency operation was launched after the pair were discovered by a passing member of Coniston Mountain Rescue Team and a Lake District National Park Fell Top Assessor.

The Great North Air Ambulance responded but was unable to reach the men. It dropped a doctor and paramedic at the tarn below the ridge and then ferried two Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team members up to the same location.

An RAF Seaking helicopter from Boulmer was requested and further team members climbed to the casualty site on foot while it was scrambled. Assistance from Penrith Mountain Rescue Team was also requested.

Due to the cloud level the RAF helicopter was unable to reach the two men directly so they lowered the casualty on a stretcher 300 meters down a steep, wet snow gully to Red Tarn.

After being treated at the scene by a doctor, he was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, where he was said to be stable on arrival.

The rescue took five hours and involved ten members of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, four members of Penrith Mountain Rescue Team, one member of Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, the Lake District National Park Fell Top Assessor, the Great North Air Ambulance and an RAF Seaking Helicoper.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue team have reminded those venturing on to the fells an ice axe and crampons are essential.