Cumbria

Lake District mountain rescues at 'shocking' high

Rescue at Lingmell Gill Image copyright WMRT
Image caption So far this year the Wasdale team has handled 80 call-outs

Lake District mountain rescuers have criticised unprepared climbers and walkers, saying they are heading for a year of record call-outs.

The Wasdale rescue team said it was "shocked" at how walkers lacked "basic" outdoor skills.

Earlier this week the team dealt with six emergencies in 12 hours including 18 people stuck at the stream crossing on Lingmell Gill.

So far this year the Wasdale team has handled 80 call-outs.

This is more than it dealt with in the whole of last year. Spokesman Richard Warren said it was going to be another record year for emergencies.

Image copyright Cumbria Tourism
Image caption Mountain rescuers say they are being "pushed to the limit" by ill-prepared climbers

Advice from Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team

- Select a route suitable for even the weakest party members

- Get a weather forecast

- Leave a route card with your details, the intended route, your equipment and estimated time of arrival with someone responsible

- Wear suitable clothing - warm, windproof and waterproof whatever the time of year. Wear good walking boots with suitable soles

- Carry basic survival equipment, food and spare clothes for the time of year. Remember conditions can change quickly on the hills and even a mid summer day can have gale force winds and rain

- Always carry a map, compass and torch and learn how to navigate before going onto the high fells

"We have been trying to reduce the numbers of avoidable incidents with little success," he said.

"The Lake District is again heading for a record year for call-outs and it is becoming quite shocking the level of ill preparedness and lack of basic outdoor skills necessary to safely get up a mountain.

"We are all volunteers and there is a limit to what we can do."

He added: "We've had 80 '999' calls since the start of the year, 20 of these in the first three weeks of August and at least 14 avoidable."

The team deals with calls to Scafell Pike, which is the highest mountain in England and the central peak in the popular Three Peaks Challenge.

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