THE family of a fell walker who plunged 30ft to her death in the Lake District this week paid tribute to her wonderful, caring nature.
Carole Ann Ashworth, 49, was walking at Harrison Stickle, near Ambleside, when the tragic accident happened.
Carole, a former shorthand typist and clerk at Bury Brothers accountants in Accrington, was with her husband David, son Richard, 14, and his friend.
The youngsters went to climb the summit of the hill, the highest of the Langdale fells, and planned to meet the adults on the other side.
But the boys did not arrive, so Carole and David split up to look for them. Carole failed to return and her husband called the police.
An RAF helicopter and mountain rescue teams searched the area and found her body the next day.
It is thought she had suffered severe head injuries after falling on to rocks.
Distraught husband David, 58, a retired teacher, of Pinewood Drive, Accrington, said he had been certain she would be found alive.
He said: "When there was no news all night I thought she may have been injured but she was well-equipped for walking and could have survived the night. I never dreamed she had fallen."
He said he would never have let his wife go off on her own if he had thought she was in any danger.
Her grieving family said she brought smiles to everyone's face and would always help those in need.
David said: "We were together for nearly 30 years, you could say it was love at first sight.
"She was a very selfless woman who always had time to listen to people. She made everything so cheerful. She was vivacious and loving."
Her devastated daughter Lucy, 25, said: "She was the heart of the family. Things seem so empty without her but we will remember her beautiful smile.
"She was very proud of her kids. She was so friendly and open. We are missing her so much."
Carole, a former pupil of Rhyddings High School, Oswaldtwistle, and Accrington and Rossendale College, also leaves her eldest son David, 22.
She was buried at Accrington Cemetery on Thursday after a service conducted by the Rev Ken Fitzsimmons.
The family have appealed for donations to the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team. Cheques can be made payable to LAMRT and sent to Hyndburn Funeral Services, which arranged the funeral.