Wrynose Pass

Incident 10 of 2024:-
19/01/24, 21.42, Wrynose Pass, NY286033
Winter was still very much on us, with snow and ice barely melting except down in the valleys.
CUMPOL (Cumbria Police) rang the Team Leader and asked if we would help a couple who were stranded on Wrynose Pass; they had been heading for Wasdale and followed their sat nav. Their 4WD had become stuck on ice and not in a safe position. Conditions underfoot were indeed precarious. Their breakdown company was unable to assist for quite a few hours. We therefore despatched a Land Rover with spare snow chains and soon located the party. After attaching the chains, the vehicle was able to be moved and turned around a little further along the Pass. They were accompanied down the valley but unfortunately the vehicle then suffered mechanical problems. The couple were well equipped to look after themselves in the vehicle, having originally planned to camp out that night, and were therefore left in the safe vicinity of the Three Shires Inn in Little Langdale, with the intention of contacting their breakdown company in the morning.
5 Team Members attended this incident which took just over 2hrs 30 mins.
Note – The high passes can be treacherous in winter conditions, and although the road may not officially be closed, these roads are a serious undertaking in adverse weather, with dire consequences should things go wrong. Many people struggle with e.g. Wrynose & Hardknott passes in the summer; in sub-zero weather with ongoing snow & ice they’re a different proposition altogether.
Even the best of 4×4’s won’t cope with sheet ice without specialist equipment, experience, knowledge and training. Unless your journey across the passes when winter conditions prevail is vital, please consider taking an alternative lower level route, even if the passes aren’t “officially” closed. Thanks.