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“Know your limits”, Lake District hikers urged

Windermere as seen from Loughrigg Fell (Image credit: Getty)

Mountain rescue teams have reminded visitors to the Lake District to “know your limits”, after a sharp upturn in the number of callouts. With many hikers taking advantage of lockdown restrictions being lifted and summer weather conditions, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association reminded visitors to the area of the need to stay within their capabilities.

“Although there were only 38 callouts since the end of March – 28 injuries, one medical, seven searches and two others – compared to 141 in 2019, nearly half of these incidents occurred within the last seven days,” said a spokeperson for the association, which represents teams across the popular national park and tourist destination.

With the ongoing situation with the coronavirus pandemic meaning that teams have to social distance wear possible, wear personal protective equipment and perform decontamination protocols at the end of each rescue, rescues can be slower than they usually would be.

“This is unfortunately unavoidable and we ask for your patience and understanding if you are unfortunate in having an accident or medical emergency,” said the spokesperson. “We will come to your aid but it will take longer than usual.”

That means that – even more so than usual – visitors have a responsibility to keep themselves safe.

“The message is very clear. Getting onto the fells for healthy exercise is really good but you must know your limits.

“Keep within those limits and avoid taking risks. Know your own level of skill, competence and experience and those of your group. Make sure you have the right equipment for your trip to the hills and valleys noting that many of our callouts are low down in the valley bottoms.

“Learn how to navigate; don’t rely on smartphone technology – it can let you down. Take a torch, even on the longest days. You never know when your activity will catch you out or you go to the help of a fallen, cragfast or lost walker.”