The pair reported they were stuck on large rocks on Scafell Pike

The pair reported they were stuck on large rocks on Scafell Pike

A Lake District mountain rescue team has described how a catalogue of failures by group tackling England’s highest mountain led to a frustrating night on what it said was an avoidable mission.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted by police at 8.30pm on Saturday after a pair of walkers declared themselves lost near the summit of Scafell Pike.

Team member Richard Warren said it was late evening but there were still many groups out on the mountain.

The two walkers said they were lost and stuck on large rocks somewhere near the top of the 978 m (3,209 ft) peak.

Mr Warren said: “Their location was digitally established by the team leader using the Sarloc system as being on a rocky path within 100m of the summit.

“They were very lightly equipped; no spare clothing, no map or compass but did have torches.

“They had ‘gone on ahead’ of the father and friend on the way to the top and became lost.

“The father had the only map and compass in the group. If the couple had a map they would not have known how to use it.

“As they were so close to a busy summit, the team leader worked hard to encourage them to make their way to the top and find some helpful walkers.

“They were unwilling to move as their ‘legs were seized up’ even though they knew the team would take a further two hours to get to them.”

He said a limited callout of four team members began, who joined another volunteer from the Wasdale team who was already on the mountain with a group and a member of Penrith MRT who was also on Scafell Pike at the time.

The father was found at Lingmell Col

The father was found at Lingmell Col

Mr Warren said: “The father and friend, who had presumably given up, were descending via Lingmell Col.

“They were quickly located by the team member on the fell but the father was not willing to re-ascend to assist in locating his daughter and friend even though their location was now accurately known by the team leader and they were safe on a path although cold and wet.

“The team eventually brought the pair back down to the valley bottom, after a very frustrating night for the team leader, and reunited the pair with the father who was asleep in his car at the bottom.”

The rescue took six hours.

Mr Warren said the incident was due to: “Inexperience, lack of equipment, insufficient preparation, inability to get themselves out of trouble, not staying together as a group and a less than helpful group leader – the father; another avoidable rescue to add to the many the volunteer teams are having to deal with.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Eight-hour night rescue for Scafell Pike walkers lost at ‘remotest spot’
  2. Scafell Pike rescuer collects six extra walkers as pair reported lost
  3. Walker with broken leg airlifted from Scafell Pike in six-hour rescue
  4. Lost Scafell Pike walkers found in stretcher box after search by 50 rescuers
  5. Warning of ‘extremely dangerous’ conditions after nine-hour Scafell Pike rescue