Langdale-Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team has issued some friendly advice following an abortive call-out.
The team was alerted by a call from Great Langdale’s National Trust website – which seems to be gaining a notoriety as the source of grief for rescue teams – which reported flashing lights on the crag above the dale.
Investigations by the rescue team revealed only a few climbers packing up their gear after a session on Raven Crag. A previous call-out was to a group of wild campers who happened to be playing football by torchlight.
Hence, another plea from a mountain rescue team (MRT) to use a little common sense before making the emergency call. Langdale-Ambleside has these words of wisdom for anyone considering picking up a phone and calling them out at night.
“Lights can ‘flash’ for many reasons. A star low on the horizon can flash when observed by a slightly drunk person! Someone walking down a path after dark by the light of a headtorch can appear to be flashing their lights, as their line of sight alternates between distant to underfoot.”
The statement says walkers and others in the outdoors should try to work out whether ‘flashing’ lights are stationary or moving: “As a rule lights going uphill don't need rescuing.
“Lights going downhill probably don't need rescuing. Only stationary lights probably warrant some serious study. Obviously any flashing lights accompanied by shouts for help need further investigation.”
So there, in a nutshell, is the MRT guide to flashing on the fellside. It may be wise to consider them before dashing to the campsite payphone to press 999, especially if you’ve visted the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel first.