I WAS pleased to see your coverage of another dramatic rescue from the Bay quicksands (Gazette, October 25, 'Rescuers save four from sands'). The more such events are publicised the better.

In the same issue there was a very brief mention of another near miss which equally might have had tragic results. I refer to a mountain rescue at the notorious Broad Stand on Scafell, where two walkers became cragfast and were thankfully rescued by the admirable Wasdale MRT.

For those unaware of the details of Broad Stand, it is a difficult passage of rock climbing terrain - sometimes highly misleadingly referred to as a scramble - which is encountered either in ascent or descent by those attempting a direct passage between Scafell and Scafell Pikes or vice versa.

Wisely, Alfred Wainwright of guidebook fame, counselled strongly against it.

Most people using the route are climbers descending after completing rock climbs on one of the large Scafell crags. It is likely that these people will have greater skills than the average walker and they will certainly have ropes and other kit to safely make the passage.

However, many (myself included) will afterwards declare Broad Stand as much more scary than the climbing routes they have just completed. A major factor in this assessment is the terrifying exposure of Broad Stand, where an unprotected slip will almost certainly lead to a fatal fall of several hundred feet. There have been several such tragedies in the past.

As with the quicksands story, the more publicity the better.

I would strongly recommend that anyone on their own or lacking climbing skills and equipment should avoid Broad Stand altogether (and incidentally the Lord's Rake alternative which is almost as hazardous in its eroded state).

If you wish to link Scafell and the Pikes please use the Foxes Tarn route. It involves some extra descent and ascent, but is a beautiful route especially since the late climber Ray McHaffie of Borrowdale single handedly constructed a superb path.

Please don't risk becoming another Broad Stand statistic.

Roger Wilkinson