A WALKER had a lucky escape on the bleak moors above Holme Moss.
The 45-year-old man slipped and fell down a 150ft rockface - but landed on a ledge 30ft down.
His plight was spotted by another walker, who raised the alarm.
Rescuers reached the stricken man in bitterly-cold conditions late yesterday afternoon. He was airlifted off the moors by an RAF Sea King helicopter.
The helicopter flew to playing fields at Oakes, where the man - who comes from Meltham - was put in an ambulance for the short journey to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary.
He is being treated for head and back injuries.
Mike France, incident co-ordinator for the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, said: "He was very, very lucky.
"He landed on the ledge, rather than falling all the way down the rockface.
"Although he was walking alone, his fall was spotted by another walker, who was able to contact the emergency services."
The drama was played out at Laddow Rocks, on the other side of Holme Moss, as the man was walking a stretch of the Pennine Way.
He is believed to have slipped on ice and tumbled down the rockface.
The second walker alerted Derbyshire police and the Woodhead and Glossop rescue teams were called out.
Mr France said: "About 40 people were involved in the rescue.
"There was still a lot of snow about, as well as ice, and it was bitterly cold.
"We managed to locate the man on the ledge and then called out the Sea King helicopter.
"The winchman was lowered down to the ledge and the casualty was stretchered back up to the aircraft.
"It landed on the playing fields alongside New Hey Road."
The rescue was the 11th job so far this year for the Woodhead team.