Tribute paid to walker who died on the Howgills

THE friend of a walker who sadly died has paid tribute to him, saying his ‘heart was always in the Lake District’.

Rod Kearney, 76, was found in the Howgills on June 25. He had been reported missing after failing to return home from his walk in the fells.

“He was such an experienced walker covering all the mountains in this country except a few in Scotland,” said Caroline Darbyshire, Mr Kearney’s friend of over 20 years.

“He logged every mountain he climbed over and over again.”

Ms Darbyshire spoke of Mr Kearney’s love of the Lake District, with him repeatedly hiking in the area over the years.

“His heart was always in the Lake District which he frequented many times,” said Ms Darbyshire.

Mr Kearney had two sons, Andrew and Philip.

“I was his best friend for over 20 years and I shared many of his climbs as well as with his son Philip who was also an experienced walker,” she said.

“I am missing him terribly.”

In July, Ms Darbyshire met team members of the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs, who helped find Mr Kearney.

One rescuer, Dave, with his dog Fern, showed Ms Darbyshire where Mr Kearney had been found.

She also met another member, Phil, who was from the Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Association (LDMRSDA).

Several local rescue teams aided in the search for Mr Kearney, including Kendal and Penrith Mountain Rescue Teams , who worked alongside the five search dogs and handlers.

Hearing about the amazing work the organisation does Ms Darbyshire has decided to plan a Christmas concert with her music academy, CD Music Academy, to raise money for the association.

“I’m organising a Christmas concert in December with all my music students who sing and play, which will be held at Whittakers in Burscough,” she said.

All the money raised will be donated to LDMRSDA.

More information about the concert will be released closer to the time on CD Music Academy’s Facebook page.

The Westmorland Gazette | News