The search of Scafell Pike was called off after the walkers were found driving home

The search of Scafell Pike was called off after the walkers were found driving home

A major search for missing walkers on England’s highest mountain was called off when police found the missing trio heading back to their home in Lincolnshire.

The three had called for help from Scafell Pike on Sunday after getting into difficulties on the fell.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team’s volunteers were called out about 3.30pm after the walkers reported they were very cold in strong winds and sleet on the 978m (3,209ft) mountain.

By evening, the team had still not found the missing three, and called in help from the neighbouring Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team.

The Langdale team joined the search about 8.20pm and car parks in Borrowdale, Eskdale and Langdale were all checked to try to find their vehicle.

A Langdale team spokesperson said: “During this time they were located by police heading back to Lincolnshire, seemingly not thinking it important to respond to the voicemail or text message attempts to contact them, or notify the police that they were safe.”

A Wasdale MRT spokesperson said: “It helps us out if people can phone in if they get down themselves as soon as practical, potentially via a land line when mobile signal is poor, otherwise we may need to put people on the mountain just to prove no one is still out there.”

On Saturday, the Wasdale team rescued eight people lost on Scafell Pike and warned conditions were unseasonably cold on the felltop.

Two groups of walkers were also reported overdue from the mountain on Sunday, but turned up safe in the valley.

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