WASDALE Mountain Rescue Team has urged hikers to stick to recognised routes avoiding a descent of Piers Gill where "something has changed".

Mountain Rescue team issues warning over Scafell Pike’s Piers Gill

WASDALE Mountain Rescue Team has urged hikers to stick to recognised routes avoiding a descent of Piers Gill where “something has changed”.

Rescuers say the number of incidents of people attempting to navigate through the gill bed from the Corridor route coming down from the summit of Scafell Pike has rapidly become more frequent.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team members descend Scafell Pike with a casualty

Piers Gill has long-been a danger, and its deceptive terrain betrays a lengthy history of serious injuries and fatalities.

The most recent incidents have seen almost fifty hours worth of call-out time using up to eight mountain teams as well as numerous helicopters, dog search teams and drones.

“Each one of these rescues has only been successful because of amazing luck in not suffering worse injuries or spending longer in the gill before being found,” said a Wasdale team spokesperson.

“Piers Gill is extremely hazardous because it comprises of a series of waterfall climbing pitches. They can only safely be attempted by rope access. It can be tempting to believe that the one just descended is the worst, but they get progressively harder. They are also more difficult or impossible to climb back up. This results in a ‘trap’ where either people become stuck, or they risk taking the next descent, thinking it is the last one.

“Eventually, either people fall, resulting in traumatic injuries, or become stuck with increasing hypothermia risk. Or both. For rescuers, it is also a hazardous location, primarily because of the steep sides and loose rocks. Almost nothing is truly stable, and so there is always a risk of rockfalls, even with a technically perfect rope system.”

It is understood the local authorities are looking to see what prevention measures can be taken to prevent people from straying to the top of the gill, but in the meantime, mountain rescue teams say they need help from the hiking community to spread the word about avoiding Piers Gill.

Several hikers have also reported that some mapping apps have shown trails that direct people into the hazardous area. The apps concerned have been contacted.

There have been suggestions that some mapping apps were leading people on to the dangerous route

READ MORE: The UK’s top 10 favourite walking routes


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