Andrew Hansler fell and died climbing in Ambleside – inquest


A MUCH-LOVED and experienced climber who fell to his death in the Lake District died accidentally, an inquest has found.

Andrew Hansler, 54, known as “Andy”, led a group of four climbers from Ipswich Mountaineering Club who scaled Raven Crag near Ambleside on January 21, 2022.

The inquest revealed his companions suddenly witnessed the officer “rolling like a log” for three or four seconds before falling over a ridge and coming to a stop near the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, some 300 meters from his fall removed.

Norman Smith, who was part of the group, said he had known and climbed with Mr Hansler as a member of the club for around 20 years and described him as “always a responsible person, skilled in many types of terrain, with or without a rope.” ”

Fellow climber Andrew Kerrison, who was right behind Mr Hansler of Bury St Edmunds, said in a statement to the court that the incident happened around 10.55am.

LOCATION: Raven Crag, near Ambleside

The Cockermouth Coroner’s Court heard the scene was attended by Great North Air Ambulance and the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, but Mr Hansler was pronounced dead at 11.38am.

Mr Kerrison said they were all in good spirits, with no health issues and about 800ft up the mountain on mixed firm and loose terrain with no real trail, as the group headed out on their next scramble.

Herr Hänsler held on with his hands and shouted: “Pay attention to this stone, it’s loose.”

READ MORE: Tragedy strikes when a rock climber falls at a scenic hiking spot

Mr Kerrison’s statement then read: “I noticed the rock that Andy had pointed out and looked down.

“Suddenly I looked up and saw that he had fallen.

“I couldn’t believe what I saw, we all just stood there in shock.

“He gained speed and momentum and made no attempt to stop. I can only assume he lost his footing and passed out almost immediately.”

Mr Hansler’s longtime partner, Caroline Merriman, said he is the youngest of five siblings and got along well with all of his family and friends, but has come to terms with the fact that his mother and brother were very close around eight years ago died.

TRIBUTE: Andy loved the outdoors and the outdoors

He loved Star Wars, history, animals, competed in Ironman competitions around the world, was an avid artist and loved making model tanks.

She recalls that before the fateful trip to Cumbria on Monday 17 January he was in the gym and started feeling dizzy and unsteady driving.

She said: “On Thursday 20 January at 6.50pm Andy texted: ‘I almost didn’t go because I was very nervous. I feel better now’.

“It was weird for me because I didn’t understand why he was nervous about something he wanted to do, especially since he’d done it so many times before.

“I saw some pictures taken of Andy just before he fell and I think he looked very tired and not like himself.

“The guys he was with said he seemed in a good mood but maybe he just didn’t want to let them down by telling them something was wrong.

“He loved me and we had so many adventures together. He wasn’t ready to go yet.”

The Mail: PICK: Andy on one of his climbsPICK: Andy on one of his climbs

dr Sissons, who performed the autopsy, suggested traumatic brain injury as the cause of death.

In her conclusion, Cumbria Coroner Kirsty Gomersall said: “In my opinion the most appropriate conclusion for me would be that of accidental death.

“These events have all the elements of a tragic and unexpected accident.”

To pay tribute to Andy visit this page.