Preparing for the worst weather but hoping for the best, mountain rescuers headed high to practice in the snow.

Members of Keswick and Kirby Stephen mountain rescue teams took up a residence in Chamonix, France, to get some extra training in.

Being well versed in safety is paramount and being prepared is a priority for the volunteer lifesavers - and the people they’re called out to help.

The teams have, in recent years, spent time in other countries, so when the wintry weather hits the fells they will know how best to manage a snow-covered rescue along with what they need to use in the different environments.

The teams regularly have training days across the Cumbria terrain, but snow is not always on the fells to test their skills and practice techniques.

The next best place if France.

Chris Higgins, Keswick’s team leader, said: “Our team members operate in some extremely harsh conditions and frequently very dangerous terrain when rescuing walkers and climbers for the fells.

“It is essential that we have the highest levels of knowledge and are well practised in the skills necessary to operate safely, especially in the more severe winter months.

“This is why we have, in recent years, sent members to the Alps to practice operating in snow and ice before the onset of winter.

“During the intense training, we cover personal safety - use of ice axe and crampons, safe travel techniques, winter belays, avalanche search and rescue techniques and other complex skills.

“Our members then return to the Lakes fully prepared to take on what winter throws at them.”

The training not only helps the rescuers help others they also spend time learning how to care for themselves in extreme conditions. This includes taking on one of the great alpine challenges, Arête Des Cosmiques.