The cannabis user was rescued from Burnmoor Tarn. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The cannabis user was rescued from Burnmoor Tarn. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A walker had to be rescued after getting high while on the Lake District fells.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team responded to the call for help from a group at Burnmoor Tarn in the shadow of Scafell on Saturday, when one of the walkers was unable to descend after using cannabis.

Cumbria Constabulary said on Facebook: “Words fail us. Persons phoning Cumbria police because they are stuck on a mountain after taking cannabis. Now having to deploy mountain rescue, air support and ambulance to rescue them.

“MRT volunteers putting themselves at risk to prevent harm.”

A spokesperson for Wasdale MRT said: “Taking alcohol or another substance that could impair your judgement significantly increases risk of getting into trouble. It has no place on a mountain.

Wasdale team members went to the site, south-west of England’s second-highest mountain and brought the group to safety.

It was just one of five incidents the team dealt with in a 12-hour period over the weekend. The spokesperson said: “The four callouts that followed on Scafell Pike and Scafell were totally avoidable, one being further complicated as it involved drugs and alcohol.

“These avoidable rescues are down to inadequate preparation and planning and no real understanding of the difficulty of keeping safe in poor weather conditions. This coupled with limited or no navigational skills in bad weather and poor visibility and having totally inadequate clothing for a day or night out on the mountains spells disaster.

“Torches, map and compass, wind and waterproof clothing and some understanding of how to use makes a day out on the mountains safer and more enjoyable.

The team asked for assistance from colleagues from the Duddon and Furness team after two other walkers reported themselves lost on Scafell.

A Wasdale MRT spokesperson said: “This search concentrated on the west flanks of Scafell, above Burnmoor Tarn. The pair found their own way to the valley, evading their searchers who were recalled around midnight.”

During the two callouts, another pair of walkers reported themselves lost on the summit of neighbouring Scafell Pike. The spokesperson said: “Fortunately a team member who was guiding on Scafell Pike and other mountain professionals assisted the pair back to Wasdale Head without the team needing to divert personnel from the other incidents.

“Our tremendous thanks go out to an experienced Mountain Leader who was on Scafell Pike at the time of the callout. He, along with the group he was leading, assisted the Wasdale team in finding and safely walking down two walkers who set off at 7.30pm and were lost in the mist near the summit of Scafell Pike.

“This help allowed the team to concentrate on two other rescues that were taking place at that same time. This support from fellow mountaineers and walkers demonstrates the duty of care that everyone has to help others in need of help.

“Inability to self-rescue and thoughtless behaviour as demonstrated over the weekend puts mountain rescue teams under extreme pressure maintaining the voluntary service to our communities and those visiting Cumbria.

“Team members returned home around 2am but soon after 4am the team received the fifth call in 12 hours, this time for four lost walkers on Scafell Pike. Given that it was not long to daylight and was a warm dry night they were given time to walk out, which they did at 10.45am.”

Wasdale MRT had previously been called out to on Saturday to aid ambulance staff with an incident near St Catherine’s Church in Eskdale. The spokesperson said the incident was fatal, adding: “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the walker.”

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