The group was found on the western flanks of the Helvellyn range. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The group was found on the western flanks of the Helvellyn range. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

More than 40 rescuers from two teams were involved in the search for a group of walkers who got into difficulties on the Helvellyn range.

Ambulance staff initially requested the help of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team on Saturday afternoon when the group reported one of its members had fainted.

A team spokesperson said: “The exact location was unknown and the informant described it as near the top of Birk Side near Helvellyn. The team could not get back in touch with the party who was with the casualty as their mobile had run out.”

Because of the lack of an exact location for the group of three, Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was contacted and both teams turned out to search for the walkers.

A Keswick team spokesperson said they were alerted shortly after 1.05pm. “A party of three inexperienced walkers were intending to ascend Helvellyn on the usual path from Wythburn, Thirlmere,” the spokesperson said.

“However, soon after leaving the car park they lost the main track but continued upwards for several hours into the mist.

“They eventually called 999 after one of their party was said to have fainted. Patterdale MRT were tasked but had difficulty contacting the party due to intermittent mobile phone signal. As their location was not known Patterdale initiated a search and Keswick MRT were asked to support.”

When the Keswick team arrived at Wythburn, below the western slopes of Nethermost Pike, they met a fourth member of the walking party who had returned down the hill, and happened to be on the phone with the group.

The spokesperson said: “During the call their latitude and longitude reference using the Google Maps app was confirmed as halfway up the deep and trackless Birkside Gill.

“With this information the group were quickly located.”

The Patterdale team then stood down from the callout.

The Keswick team said: “All were uninjured and were able to be walked down to the road just as it was getting dark and the just before the start of some heavy rain.”

The incident involved 27 Patterdale MRT members and 21 from the Keswick team, and lasted more than three hours.

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