WALKERS have been urged to prepare for the reality of winter conditions before setting out after snow fell on the Lake District.

"We would rather not be coming out for people who have not taken winter in our hills seriously enough," said a spokesman for Coniston Mountain Rescue Team (CMRT) on Facebook.

Advice offered by the rescue team included using crampons and ensuring phones had full battery.

A yellow weather warning for much of South Lakeland was issued by the Met Office earlier in the week. Pictures from members of the public revealed snow-covered peaks on fells in the district.

And the message from Coniston's mountain rescuers came as they announced the team had been called out to a woman 'stuck in snow' on steep ground on the Old Man of Coniston.

The rescue team, which was notified of the incident at around 1.50pm on Thursday, was forced to search for the walker the 'old-fashioned way' after her mobile phone battery died.

A CMRT spokesman said winter had 'finally arrived in the Lakes' and that there were 'proper winter conditions with cloud obscuring the peaks' atop the Old Man.

"Three Land Rovers were dispatched with teams to take three different routes to the top," said the spokesman.

"In the event, she had retraced her steps back over the summit, but was then unable to find the way down in the snow.

"Some passing walkers guided her down before meeting up with searchers."

The spokesman stressed that 'a simple walk becomes something much more adventurous' when snow and ice settled on the fells.

"An ice axe and crampons really can make you safer - even small pull-on spike sets can stop you sliding," he said.

"We see too many people going up and down the Old Man without any, and struggling."

He reminded people to ensure their phones were fully charged - not for navigation but in case they needed to call for help - and that phones should be kept in an inside pocket as batteries did not cope well with the cold.

"The days are short - take a torch just in case. Again, keep it in an inside pocket when not required," he said.

"Lots of warm clothing is needed. The 'feels like' temperatures now are touching -10C in the next few days - no place to be without proper gloves and a hat.

"We want you to enjoy the beauty of our fells in winter conditions.

"Just be prepared to meet them in real life."