MOUNTAIN rescuers have urged fellwalkers to learn better map-reading skills, after branding GPS and smart phone navigation systems ‘hazardous’.

Volunteers from the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team have issued the plea following a rescue operation at Lang How, Great Langdale.

Four team members were called out at around 6pm on Wednesday night, to carry out a 2.5 hour rescue operation on the fell.

Although the details of the mission are currently unclear, the team are now asking that all walkers learn to read a map.

A spokesman for the team said: “It is essential that you can navigate.

“Relying soley on a GPS, either free standing, or software on a smart phone, is a hazardous strategy, and can land you in trouble.

“Being able to orientate a map to the ground your are on, recognise features on the ground as they appear on a map and being able to tell you direction of travel and distance travelled are skills that not only make remote area travel safer, but it is also very satisfying.

“If your party gets lost, you cannot blame someone else for navigation errors.

“It's everyone’s responsiblity!”

He revealed that courses are available and are often taught on a day out, so time is not wasted time in a classroom.

He added: “The ability to navigate and keep moving in poor visibility, extreme weather, darkness and in unfamiliar terrain is a vital skill.”