England's highest mountain has hard snow on its upper slopes at present. Photo: John Proctor CC-BY-SA-2.0

England's highest mountain has hard snow on its upper slopes at present. Photo: John Proctor CC-BY-SA-2.0

A Lake District rescue team warned that the summit of England’s highest mountain is covered in hard snow and winter gear is advisable.

The warning came after Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out to help a couple who were stuck on a ledge on Scafell Pike.

The team was alerted at 1pm on Sunday after the pair rang police to say they were stranded between the main path down from the 978m (3,209ft) summit and Pikes Crag.

The walkers had strayed on to difficult ground covered in hard snow and rescuers said the two were unsure where to go.

The Wasdale team used mobile phone technology to determine the couple’s position, and team members who were already on the mountain went to their aid.

Rescuers roped the couple to safety, cutting steps with ice axes.

A team spokesperson said: “Please note that the snow high on Scafell Pike is firm at the moment. Winter boots, axe and crampons are advisable.”

The 3½-hour rescue involved 10 Wasdale MRT members and was the team’s 69th of the year.

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