Sheffield photographer survives terrifying 200m tumble down Peak District mountainside
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Wesley Chambers was snapping the spectacular wintry landscape from the top of Winnats Pass in Derbyshire when he lost his footing and plunged down the vertiginous valley.
The 33-year-old from Gleadless remarkably survived with just a sprained wrist but has told how he thought he was going to die as he hurtled down the craggy slope near Castleton in the Hope Valley on Thursday morning.
"There was this gust of wind and I lost my footing and went flying. It felt like I was rolling for so long. I thought 'I've really messed up here, that's it'," he said.
"There are a lot of craggy rocks there. If I'd hit one of those I wouldn’t be here talking to you.
"I think my bag saved me by slowing the fall. Looking back I still feel a little sick because I could easily have died."
Wesley found himself dizzy and shaken, halfway down the valley, with no idea how he would get to safety.
He dialled 999 and was waiting for a rescue crew to arrive when a fellow photographer who had witnessed the fall came to his aid.
Sam Walker, whom he had coincidentally messaged just a few days earlier to praise his photos on Instagram, helped him shuffle down the slope to flat land.
"Sam was fantastic, climbing up and helping me down like that. It was an unbelievable act of kindness," he said.
Edale Mountain Rescue Team arrived just as they reached the bottom, and the volunteers gave Wesley - who remarkably escaped without a single bruise - a check over.
Wesley, who works at Marks & Spencer in Meadowhall and has been photographing the Peak District for years, said he felt a little embarrassed by what happened but it highlighted the need to always take safety precautions.
"I try not to go out in extreme weather but the Peak District can catch you off guard," he said.
"You have to be prepared and make sure you've got water and energy bars, your phone's fully charged and you let someone know where you're going. Photography's not worth risking your life for."
Wesley was also full of praise for the 'amazing' mountain rescue team, made up of volunteers who rely on public funding to provide the vital service.
Dave Torr, deputy team leader, said what happened should act as a reminder for people to 'go out and enjoy yourself, but always keep safe'.
Wesley is still shaken by the fall, and his camera and lens were badly damaged, but he is a photography ambassador for Let's Go Peak District and the episode has not put him off returning to the area he has enjoyed photographing for the last four years.
Anyone needing Edale Mountain Rescue Team’s help should dial 999 and ask for mountain rescue.