Scafell Pike
The group of four climbers got stuck up Scafell Pike on Saturday (23 September).George Hodan / Public Domain Pictures

A group of four climbers who were under the influence of cannabis had to be rescued from England's highest mountain after becoming "incapable of walking", say Cumbria Police.

The intrepid climbers sparked a major mountain rescue operation after getting stuck on Scafell Pike in the Lake District on Saturday (23 September).

Emergency services received a call from the "incapacitated" group just after 6.30pm who were stuck up the 978 metre (3,209 ft) mountain.

The caller told police that they had taken the Class B drug and had become "incapable of walking due to cannabis use", said the constabulary.

Cumbria Police dispatched mountain rescue and air ambulance crews to the scene with the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team were drafted in to help the walkers, who were all guided down to safety.

As the drama unfolded, the force tweeted: "Persons stuck on mountain, after taking cannabis. Having to deploy M'tain Rescue, Air support and Ambulance to rescue them. Having to deploy Mountain Rescue, air support and ambulance to rescue them."

They added in a later tweet: "Persons rescued after becoming incapable of walking due to cannabis use. MRT volunteers putting themselves at risk to prevent harm."

On their Facebook page the Lake District Search And Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA), who were in attendance, said call-outs for incidents like these were "becoming a joke".

Unsurprisingly, social media users had little sympathy for the group with some calling them "idiotic" while others questioned if they should foot the bill for their mishap.

Chris Daly wrote on Facebook: "You all do such a great job and the decent people who genuinely become stuck due to accidents/unforseen circumstances are very greatfull to you all ... i still think if its time wasters or stupidity these people should be billed for the inconvenience".

While Alison Mortimer wrote on Facebook: "Surely when there is culpability, the emergency services are able to charge for their services? All credit to those who get called out tonight to 'rescue' these idiots."

A spokesperson for Cumbria Police: "We were called at 6.35pm to a report of a group of four people having come into difficulty on Scafell Pike."