Two walkers reported themselves lost on Scafell. They were inadequately clothed and wet and cold with no torches. The Leader talked them down to a point where they believed they were OK. They were still lost at 7.00 p.m. although they could see a big lake in the fading light. Contact could only be maintained via text and this was hit an miss. At 10.00 p.m. they were still not down safely off the mountain having been told to report in on ‘999’ when they were down. Five team members were involved in doing further investigation including taking a vehicle up the valley to check cars and the camp site. At around 11.00 p.m. a call came in from the walkers to say that they were traveling back to their campsite in Wasdale by taxi after descending into Stonethwaite on the Keswick side. Incident closed at around 11.30 p.m. We suspected that they had dropped down into Eskdale from the Pike, walked back up to Ill Crag and then descended over Greta End or Esk Hause (Sprinkling Tarn being the Lake they saw) and then down onto the Keswick side. Another avoidable situation with the correct experience and equipment. Weather conditions that day were poor with very heavy rain.
Incident started at 16:09 and ended at 23:30 making 7.4 hrs in total. There were 5 Wasdale team members involved. Total rescuer hours: 37