News Item

Nav problems on short days

A mountain rescue highlights the importance of navigation capability as weather and daylight become increasingly unfavourable.

The rescue, in the Lake District, provides a further reminder of the increasing importance of having good navigational means when out walking - as the weather deteriorates and daylight becomes shorter.

Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team report that they were called out within the past week to help a family of 3 who were trying to walk over the fells from Grasmere to Great Langdale - they got lost on the way and became 'benighted' when darkness descended.

It seems that modern technology - presumably a smartphone that automatically gave its location - soon ensured that they were located, so rescuers were able to get them down off the fell.

But the 'Go Outdoors' website reminds us that there is no need for such 'voodoo' if people who head out on the hills take the right steps - to regard Ordnance Survey maps and a compass as being of equal importance to a pair of walking boots and the right clothing.

It reminds us that having a map and compass - and knowing how to use them - are important at any time, and particularly so when the weather or poor light may reduce visibility. It adds that torches are also something that will become increasingly important as the days get shorter - particularly as the clocks go back on 28 October.

Go Outdoors concludes that caution and good preparation are definitely needed in the Lake District fells, which include the highest land in England and are prone to changeable weather.

Much of the area of high ground around Grasmere and Great Langdale is over 2,000 ft, with the highest at 2,500 ft.

Details from Go Outdoors below.

  • 20 October 2012
  • NOF

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