33 in 2004
Scafell Pike
Other Agencies
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A paged message received from Workington police to request assistance for two cragfast and lost walkers, initially reported as two girls but subsequently established to be a male and female in their mid twenties. They had left Langdale earlier that day to climb Scafell Pike via Angle Tarn and Esk Hause. They were on the summit of the Pike at 1630 hrs and whilst descending became disorientated and lost on steep ground. They were contactable by mobile phone. Conditions that day were extreme with thunder and lightning and heavy rain showers. Cloud level was around Mickledore and they were lost in the cloud which put them high up on the fell above 850m.They were poorly equipped with no real waterproofs and were wet through and cold. The were sheltering under a blue umbrella but under the circumstances it was probably not the best thing to be under during a lightning storm.With limited information we had, the deteriorating conditions and condition of the lost persons, we enrolled the help of the Keswick, Langdale & Ambleside and SARDA Search dogs. Approximately 40 rescuers were involved. The lost walkers were located at around 2100 hrs on Rough Crag, around 200m below the summit of Scafell Pike on the Eskdale side, just above Penn. Visibility was abysmal with heavy downpours. The ground was very steep with loose boulders and scree. They were walked off the mountain after being kitted out with clothing and warmed up in a bivvy tent. We received refreshments in the Wasdale Head Hotel at midnight and they were then transported back to their campsite in Langdale. The Wasdale base was closed down at around 0100 hrs.Without their mobile phone and a good reception from their location on the crag, the alarm would not have been raised and it would have been the following day at the earliest before their shouts for help might have been heard. A strong case for carrying a mobile phone as long as it is not relied upon to get you out of trouble.

Incident started at 17:49 and ended at 01:00 making 7.2 hrs in total.