5 callouts in 12 hours - 4 totally avoidable

The Wasdale team was called out late Saturday afternoon (23rd September) for the start of an extremely busy and exhausting 19 hours, supported by Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue team, ending late Sunday morning.

The callouts unfortunately included a fatality and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the walker.

The four callouts that followed on Scafell Pike and Scafell were totally avoidable, one being further complicated as it involved drugs and alcohol. Taking alcohol or another substance that could impair your judgement significantly increases risk of getting into trouble. It has no place on a mountain.

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.

Our tremendous thanks goes 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 7.30 p.m. 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.