Michael Eldred died after climbing accident in Lake District
An inquest held at Cockermouth Coroner’s Court heard that Michael Eldred died on Saturday June 18 after suffering a fall at Wallowbarrow Crag, near Seathwaite.
The 45-year-old, from Ulverston, was climbing with his friend David Clark, an activity the pair had done together for a number of years, when the accident took place.
They met up at Greenodd at around 8am and set off for Wallabarrow Crag which they had both climbed numerous times in the past.
The pair took it in turns to lead the climbs on various routes which they would then abseil down, the court was told.
On one particular route, Mr Eldred was leading the climb and had connected his abseil equipment ready for the descent to the bottom.
Mr Clark heard his friend say ‘see you at the bottom’ before letting out an ‘exclamation’ and landing at the bottom of the crag, the court heard.
“I looked over the edge to see what had happened and there was Michael at the bottom of the crag,” Mr Clark said.
Mr Clark shouted to two nearby climbers for help and abseiled down to Mr Eldred.
A nearby climber responded to the calls and found Mr Eldred unresponsive and bleeding, the court heard.
Police met mountain rescue team members at the scene and declared Mr Eldred dead at 1.05pm.
Mike Margeson, of Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team, attended the incident alongside colleagues.
Giving evidence to the court, Mr Margeson believed the accident happened due to human error, namely the most likely possibility that the rope wasn’t secured through a second hole which meant Mr Eldred could not control his descent.
A cause of death was given to the court of severe head injury.
Mr Eldred was described by his wife of 11 years Coby as a kind and loving husband and step-father to her two sons.
“We enjoyed a very happy family life. We had lots of exciting future plans,” she said.
“He embraced being a stepdad and was very proud of the boys.