The climbers were stuck in the chimney, centre left, on Scafell Crag. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The climbers were stuck in the chimney, centre left, on Scafell Crag. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Three climbers stranded on England’s second-highest mountain were rescued in a 9½ operation.

Passing walkers reported hearing shouts for help and a flashing light on crags on Sca Fell, above Hollow Stones on Saturday night.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was alerted at 9.50pm and, because of the location on Scafell Crag, the very cold weather and the onset of night, the team leader asked for help from the Duddon and Furness team, and also requested the assistance of a Coastguard helicopter with winching capabilities.

The helicopter airlifted 10 rescue team members to the summit of Sca Fell, along with crag rescue kit and ropes.

Other rescuers made their way to the scene on foot.

A spotter took up position and the aircraft crew used their infra-red camera to pinpoint the position of the three climbers. A drone was also used to confirm the trio’s location, and also provided light for rescuers.

The three climbers’ ropes had become jammed on the Slingsby’s Chimney route.

A Duddon and Furness team spokesperson said: “A twin rope system was set up on top of Scafell Pinnacle, and one at a time, three team members were lowered on 200m ropes, picking up the stuck climbers on their way past, to the bottom of the crag near the entrance to Lords Rake.

A Wasdale MRT spokesperson said: “All three climbers were lowered down the face on three separate occasions, secured to a team member, to a waiting party of rescuers who warmed them up, fed and hydrated them and then walked them down to safety.”

The Wasdale spokesperson said 750m of rope was used in the rescue.

The Duddon and Furness team said: “The masses of kit required for this rescue was then carried back down to the vehicles with team members returning to base.

“On the way back, the team discovered a vehicle that had partially come off the road with a front wheel off the road in a deep hole. A quick stop and some man handling of the car later, it was set back on the road.

“Some fresh members were awaiting the return to base at 7.30am so they could take over with kit checking after a very long and chilly night out for the rest of the team, relieving them to head home to bed.”

The rescue involved 12 Wasdale MRT members and nine colleagues from the Duddon and Furness team.

The Wasdale team spokesperson said: “A big thank you to the Coastguard helicopter as well as Duddon MRT again.”

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