‘999’ call came in to Cumbria Police from a male walker who was lost in low cloud on descent from Scafell Pike. The man in his 30’s had been with a group of ten who were out on a stag weekend when he was left behind on the summit of the Pike with no equipment, no wet weather gear or suitable footwear for the heavy rain that was forecast for later that day. He made a valiant attempt to get himself off the mountain with no map but ended up on the crags above Great Moss on the Eskdale side. Realising that he was out of his depth he called the police for help. The Team were called and the Team leader made contact with him, asked him to retrace his steps to the summit and see if he could get back down to Wasdale from there. This he did but was happier to make his way back down to where he had been and then drop down into the Great Moss area of upper Eskdale and follow the river out. As his location and intended route was understood a limited callout was made and six team members went to meet up with him. He was eventually located ay around 9.45 p.m. between Scar Lathing and Sampson’s Stones. His walk out to the vehicles at Brotherilkeld was assisted by team torches. He suffered a minor knee complaint (and was very hungry as his last meal had been breakfast earlier that day). He was driven back to the rest of his friends who were staying in accommodation in the Eskdale Valley. The rescued man, although he should never have been put in the position he was in, had done the correct thing in calling out the team. He would have definitely been unable to get off the mountain that night and unsuitably kitted out for the bad weather front coming in. Incident closed at 11.30 p.m. Eight team members involved.
This very avoidable rescue would have been prevented by the group keeping just together or at least keeping in sight of each other at all times. Groups should always progress at the pace of the slowest members. Suitable equipment (including torches) and clothing. (His friends had eventually called the police at around 8.00 p.m. to report him missing).
Incident started at 18:33 and ended at 23:30 making 5 hrs in total. There were 8 Wasdale team members involved and the incident occured at NY 22002 05032 (altitude 363 m). Total rescuer hours: 40