118 in 2023
Scafell Pike
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Other Agencies
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A call was received from Cumbria Police about a walker reporting that two of his party were stuck somewhere on a ravine on Scafell Pike. He was initially very confused and was not able to accurately describe his route for the day or where they had become stuck.
It became clearer after some time and several police deployments and Team Leader conversations that originally there were four walkers that started out, but after splitting up, one walker was still unaccounted for. The three others were able to be located in two different locations in different valleys. However, the conclusion was that that the missing walker was last seen ascending the Piers Gill path towards the Corridor Route, attempting to get back to Seathwaite in darkness with no means of navigation.
Faced with this information, and the inexperience of the walker, preparations began for a search through the night. The Team Leader alerted Keswick MRT, RAF Leeming MRS, Lake District Mountain Rescue Search Dogs and also the Coastguard helicopter for possible deployment. Just as the decision to call the teams out was about to be made, the news was received with some relief that the walker had made it safely down into Borrowdale. Thanks to all the teams that willingly offered their support.
There are several things to highlight with this alert:
Stick together as a group at all times, unless each sub-group has appropriate skills and equipment.
All members of the party should have some awareness of the routes travelled (e.g. the different valleys in the area). Information quality is essential for a quick and effective response.
Communications with mobile phone are not reliable on the high fells in Wasdale.

Incident started at 20:46 and ended at 23:56 making 3.2 hrs in total. There were 4 Wasdale team members involved. Total rescuer hours: 13