THE family of climber Mr Martin Peel, who died in a fall in the Lake District, this week spoke lovingly about the “perfect papa” who died doing what he loved.
Mr Peel (35), from Billington, had been climbing with his brother Simon and a friend Jason on Monday last week when he slipped on hard ice and fell 600ft at Walker’s Gully, in Ennerdale, West Cumbria. The location is an accident blackspot named after a young climber named Walker who died there in the 19th Century.
Only the day before, the keen outdoorsman had fullfilled a lifetime’s ambition by climbing Nape’s Needle, a landmark rock pillar that rises from Great Gable.
Mr Peel’s funeral is taking place today (Thursday) at 11-45 a.m. at St Michael and St John’s Catholic Church, Clitheroe, followed by cremation, and his family said: “We will be celebrating his life with a colourful day, so please could people wear colours on the day.”
Mr Peel lived in Billington with his wife Theresa and twin daughters Mary and Penny. His parents, David and Janet Peel, live in Clitheroe and his brother Simon lives in Chatburn.
A former pupil of Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, Mr Peel worked as the fruit and vegetable manager at Booths supermarket and was a barman at St Michael and St John’s Parish Centre.
He was involved with the East Lancs Scouts district as a Scout Leader, and had been involved with the Scouts all his life. He introduced his daughters to the Scout world too, and as a family they all loved it.
He lived for outdoors activities such as hiking, biking, bird watching, fishing, caneoeing, snowboarding, camping, playing football, but always said that outdoors rock climbing was his favourite.
He was a highly experienced climber, frequently planning trips. He was highly skilled at knot work and first-aid.
His family said: “As a family, much of our money was spent on outdoors equipment, i.e. canoes, climbing rope, hexs and nuts, walking gear, tents etc.
“Every single trip was more than well prepared for. We knew he was thoroughly prepared.
“Seeing as all three climbers had the correct equipment, nothing could have prevented the accident.
“They were not climbing when the incident happened. They had completed a climb and were walking back down the mountain when he slipped on hard ice.
“As a family we would like to thank the Mountain Rescue team and Air Ambulance for their dedication and hard work.
“Their work is fantastic and we could not have asked for more dedicated people to help our papa.
“We know he was very interested in the mountain rescue team and was recently looking into courses and training to train as a mountain rescue team member himself.
“As a family we are beginning to organise a fund-raiser event for the mountain rescue team, as a thank you for all their tireless hard work and on-going support to local people.
“The event will be held at St Michael and St John’s Parish Centre and we will advertise the event closer to the date we hold it. Everyone is welcome.”
The family is also accepting donations to have a memorial tree planted at Clitheroe Cemetery, Waddington Road.
After the tragic accident, the family was given the news by Mr Peel’s brother Simon.
Daughter Mary is studying in the USA at Hobart and William Smith University, Geneva, New York, and the university flew her home straight away when she heard the news. The family thanked the college for getting her home safely and quickly.
Daughters Penny and Mary wrote this tribute: “Our papa has done so much for us all, he taught us everything we know about ‘the great outdoors’ and he was never ever unhappy. He always looked on the bright side and taught us to do the same.
“We’re so happy he was doing what he loved and we loved hearing about all of his adventures. We always looked up to him and will continue to do so forever.
“We can’t be more proud to be his daughters. We adore you papa, thank you for teaching us everything, and being in our lives. You are perfect.”
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Weather for Clitheroe
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: North