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Menston walker plunged to his death during Lakes trip
A walker from the Bradford district had been enjoying picturesque views in the moments before he plunged 150 feet to his death, an inquest heard.
Father-of-two Howard Gladwyn, of Ellar Gardens in Menston, had been walking up Jack’s Rake – the most famous ascent of the Pavey Ark precipice in the Lake District – when tragedy struck.
At yesterday’s inquest, south and east Cumbria coroner Ian Smith recorded a verdict of accidental death.
A pathologist concluded the 48-year-old IT professional, who worked for Hewlett Packard, sustained head and chest injuries.
Friend Kevin Cotty, one of a group of five men who decided to ascend Jack’s Rake with Mr Gladwyn on June 15, told the hearing that despite a rain shower, visibility was good and the party was happy to continue.
Mr Cotty, also from the Wharfedale area, said Mr Gladwyn was enjoying good views and regularly stopping to take photographs.
But some time into the walk, Mr Gladwyn lost his balance and tumbled about 150 feet from between two plateaus.
Summing up, Mr Smith said: “This was a group of men going for a walk up Pavey Ark. They knew where they were going – they weren’t making it up as they went along.
“They were adequately equipped. I’m very satisfied Mr Gladwyn knew what he was doing.”
PC Paul Burke, who responded to the accident as a Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue volunteer, said Mr Gladwyn was clothed appropriately and well equipped.
But he added: “From the word go, Jack’s Rake doesn’t hold back – it’s quite a difficult scree. The start is quite hard and steep. Unfortunately, it’s a place where, if something goes wrong, it’s unforgiving, and you don’t need much to go wrong on Jack’s Rake.”
Mr Smith said he would not be calling for warning signs to be introduced on the route as the potential dangers were ‘patently obvious’.
He added: “This is a challenging walk – it doesn’t become a climb, it doesn’t require ropes but it’s almost as close as you can get to a rock climb without it being a rock climb. “If it isn’t clear, I don’t know what would be clear to anybody.”
There have been four deaths on Pavey Ark in 20 years.
Mr Gladwyn was described by his wife of 22 years, Jayne, as a “sociable and lovely man”.