Swiftwater technicians from the Wasdale team cross the swollen beck in Lingmell Gill on Saturday. Photo: Wasdale MRT

Swiftwater technicians from the Wasdale team cross the swollen beck in Lingmell Gill on Saturday. Photo: Wasdale MRT

Rescuers have again emphasised the need for hillgoers to be prepared after a team received seven callouts to England’s highest mountain in 12 hours.

Scafell Pike and the Lake District were hit by heavy rain and high winds on Saturday, with mountain streams in spate and visibility poor.

The Wasdale team fielded several calls from walkers in difficulties on the fell, but rescuers said all were avoidable with proper planning.

The previous record for callouts for the Wasdale volunteers had been seven in 24 hours.

Met Office warnings were in place for high winds and rain in the Lake District. The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body for Cumbria’s 12 rescue teams, said: “Unfortunately all of the [Scafell Pike] rescues were avoidable by planning routes, checking weather – and not tackling the high fells during weather warnings – and had basic navigational skills. Four or Five were Three Peak Challenges.”

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team’s swiftwater technicians took to the fell to rescue four walkers cut off from their route by torrential water in Lingmell Gill. A team spokesperson said: “Team members went to the location on both sides of the crossing and team swiftwater technicians crossed the stream to help four walkers get on to the left hand side and walk down to Brackenclose where there is a bridge.”

The spokesperson added: “The weather conditions were challenging in Wasdale yesterday and it would have been hard to predict Lingmell Gill and the other crossing points would get as difficult as they did.

“But it has to be said that once again many of the incidents we received were down to navigational errors and we would encourage all those heading up the mountains to check the weather forecast beforehand and have the ability to find their way with a map and compass when the cloud is down.”

Two walkers were helped in the dark from near the summit of Scafell Pike by other walkers after they were told to retrace their steps by the rescue team.

Earlier in the day, two separate groups of Three Peaks challengers were reported overdue but managed to make their way to safety without the team’s help.

The team then received an incomplete emergency call from a walker, which was traced to Scafell Pike. The Wasdale MRT spokesperson said: “Fortunately they were determined to be safe and well before the team needed to deploy.”

Two walkers then reported themselves lost on the mountain. The spokesperson said: “With assistance from [the smartphone application] Sarloc they were located near Lingmell Col and helped off the fell by a team member who was already in the area.”

Elsewhere in the Lake District, the Patterdale team spent a few nervous hours keeping an eye on rising water in the beck behind its base as torrential rain again threatened a flood in Glenridding and Patterdale.

Patterdale MRT’s headquarters was inundated during the 2015 floods. The team said it was having flood defences installed at its base in the coming week.

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