The lost walkers were found below Styhead Tarn. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The lost walkers were found below Styhead Tarn. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A group of walkers lost on the slopes of England’s highest mountain sparked a major seven-hour night-time search involving four mountain rescue teams.

The five young men became separated from a larger group of 130 while attempting to summit Scafell Pike on Saturday.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted about 6.40pm and requested help from the Keswick, Duddon and Furness and Langdale Ambleside teams.

Conditions on the Lake District fells were cold with a bitter wind, rescuers said.

A Keswick MRT spokesperson said the walkers had reasonable clothing but the group had only one torch between them. They were found near Sty Head shortly before midnight.

“Because of the lack of clarity about routes, and difficulties with phone communications with the party, Langdale Ambleside and Duddon and Furness teams were also alerted, and a comprehensive sweep of all the exit routes was planned,” the spokesperson said.

“Keswick were asked to cover the routes to Sty Head, Grains Gill and Langstrath, and three groups, along with three team search dogs, took part.

“The missing people were located above the national Trust Bridge between Sty Head and the 1,000 foot boulder, a prominent landmark above Seathwaite by a team member, and the group on that route then escorted them down to Seathwaite while the other units were stood down.

“The walkers were then given a lift to Keswick to meet up with the companions.”

The search and rescue operation lasted more than seven hours.

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