Page last updated at 11:25 GMT, Monday, 11 August 2008 12:25 UK

'Three peakers' spark 10th rescue

Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike is England's highest mountain

Walkers are being urged not to underestimate the Cumbrian fells following the 10th "three peaks" rescue this year.

Mountain rescuers spent five hours searching in darkness, heavy rain and thunderstorms for a group which failed to return from Scafell Pike's summit.

Later found safe, they were attempting to climb the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland in 24 hours.

It is thought they made a navigational error on Saturday afternoon.

About 25 volunteers from Wasdale, Keswick, Langdale Ambleside and Duddon and Furness rescue teams were called out, along with the Search and Rescue Dogs Association (SARDA).

The pike's peak is just a pile of boulders, which can be disorientating
Julian Carradice, Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team leader

The missing walkers were eventually located at the bottom of Hardknott Pass at about 0430 BST on Sunday.

Julian Carradice, the Wasdale team leader, said: "Navigating Scafell Pike's summit plateau is extremely difficult in bad weather.

"It's not like Ben Nevis or Snowdon where the paths are quite clear.

"The pike's peak is just a pile of boulders, which can be disorientating."

He urged walkers to think twice about their capabilities before embarking on the challenge.

"At least one in five of the team's call-outs are to three peakers," he added.

The popular task involves climbing Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in Wales - in 24 hours.

Rescuers say many of those taking part lack basic navigation skills, such as reading a map and compass.

However, the group rescued on Sunday morning were thought to have become lost despite being accompanied by an experienced mountaineer.




SEE ALSO
Walkers' vehicles hamper rescue
02 Jul 07 |  Cumbria

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