Climber, 73, 'died doing what he loved'

Climber Brendan Forde lived for the mountains . . . and tragically he died there too.

Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 4:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th September 2018, 4:52 pm
Brendan enjoying his favourite Mars Bar on Striding Edge during a previous visit to Helvellyn

Now the 73-year-old’s family have talked about a “wonderful” father and grandfather who lost his life doing what he enjoyed the most, tackling one of the Lake District’s most dangerous peaks.

Brendan, a former computer programmer from Penwortham, died after falling from the notorious Striding Edge on Helvellyn in July. It was a climb he had done numerous times.

Son Kevin said: “Everyone was stunned because he was so fit and active. To lose him so suddenly has been a huge shock. But I’m sure if he had to go that’s how - and where - he would have wanted it.”

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Father of five Brendan, a deeply religious man who devoted much of his free time to St Teresa’s Church in Penwortham, had been scaling Helvellyn with a friend from a hiking club when the tragedy happened.

He had reached the end of Striding Edge, near to the summit, when he stopped to get something from his rucksack - possibly his favourite climbing treat a Mars Bar - stumbled and lost his balance. He was airlifted off the mountain but did not survive.

“Dad was so full of life, and had a real sense of fun” said Kevin. “But, as sad as it was, he died doing what he loved in a place he loved. What has touched us is the number of people who say he touched their lives.”