/ How foul does fulmar/petrel vomit smell?

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zezpwn44 - on 12 Sep 2013
I've heard that fulmars were birds that could vomit on you while climbing, and that the smell was unbearable...what exactly does it smell like? Is it any worse than human vomit? Can you wash it out easily? How bad is it?
highclimber - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44: fishy. like a bad case of bacterial vaginosis, apprently.
johncoxmysteriously - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

>what exactly does it smell like?

Half-digested fish.

>Is it any worse than human vomit?

Yes, although generally on a smaller scale.

>Can you wash it out easily?

No.

>How bad is it?

Worth avoiding.

jcm
puppythedog on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44: Again. Isn't this exactly the same as the last 'How bad does Fulmar...


I was able to wash it off my coat the next day.
mgco3 - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to highclimber:


Hmmm, so its not all that bad then..
Olli-C - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44: Its not unbearable but you wouldn't want to try and eat a sandwich while you can smell it. The stuff we got covered in wasn't fishy as such just smelt of nasty oil. Really difficult to get rid of because its so oily and hydrophobic. I had sacrificial outter clothes on so just binned them, the gear still smells a bit despite 2 washes and a couple of months. The wires seem to be OK now but the slings on the hexes are still pretty ming.
victim of mathematics - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

Very unpleasant, but not the worst thing I've ever smelt.

It washed off my vapour rise remarkably easily, given all I'd heard. 2 washes and a few hours on the line and it was as good as new.
Ciderslider - on 12 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44: Think cheesy sick and you're getting somewhere close
zezpwn44 - on 13 Sep 2013
Hmm, think it's bad enough to make humans feel nauseous?
Alex1 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

The smell does not come out of cotton - multiple washes and leaving a top outside for a month did not get rid of the smell.
davidbeynon - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44: You know you don't need to keep coming here and asking.

Fulmars aren't exactly rare up north, and it's quite easy to piss one off to the point where it will vom on you. Find the easiest Scottish sea stack you can, climb it in the spring and you have a good chance of finding out.
jtpj777 - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

Extremely fowl!
tlm - on 13 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

It smells like cod liver oil. I quite like it in a weird sort of a way. But it takes ages to wash it out. It isn't vomit, as in stomach contents, but a special liquid that they produce especially for defensive purposes and to use for food on very long flights. It is deadly to birds as it causes their feathers to mat, and for mammals it means that it becomes hard for them to hunt, because they stink!

The adults also give the oil to the chicks, so that they have something to eat while the adults are away, which is why the chicks can spew so much of the darn stuff all over you!

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/2012/03/14/living-pelagic-life-petrels-part-ii/

zezpwn44 - on 13 Sep 2013
It does sound quite fowl!
disco leg - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

There is a really good description from a couple of well known victims of fulmar vomit on the 'Long Hope' DVD
Jack Frost - on 14 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

I couldn't get rid of the smell from a Berghaus fleece after 4 consecutive cycles through the washing machine. It is evil. Mind you that was a long time ago when washing chemicals were probably not as effective as today's but hey-ho.
zezpwn44 - on 15 Sep 2013


The Long Hope DVD? I don't believe I've heard of it. Care to summarize their descriptions?
Kevster - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:
I can confirm that the taste sticks around for 45 mins, and the taste is just what you expect from the smell. I was a little disappointed it wasn't worse.
It's orangy oily and comes at you in quite small globules, somewhere sprayed.
Michael Gordon - on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to disco leg:
> (In reply to zezpwn44)
>
> There is a really good description from a couple of well known victims of fulmar vomit on the 'Long Hope' DVD

I was a bit disappointed there wasn't actually footage of this!
puppythedog on 15 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44: Washed out of my NorthRidge hardshell the day after, all I'd managed to do on the day was scrape some off with a stone. I was worried I was going to lose the coat but two washes the next day was fine.
ads.ukclimbing.com
zezpwn44 - on 16 Sep 2013
Aw, no actual footage in the DVD?
zezpwn44 - on 17 Sep 2013
I'm curious since I might go climbing soon, wondering how foul it is.
zezpwn44 - on 17 Sep 2013
In reply to puppythedog: Interesting that you managed to get it off; several others don't seem to be as lucky
Slugain Howff - on 18 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:
> I'm curious since I might go climbing soon, wondering how foul it is.

If soon - it won't really be much of an issue as the birds will mostly be back at sea and the chicks will have flown.

S
zezpwn44 - on 20 Sep 2013
I'm not sure when it will be, but I want to be mentally prepared for fulmar puke in case it happens!

Still can't quite picture the smell.
zezpwn44 - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Is there good actual footage of it anywhere? o_O.
zezpwn44 - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to johncoxmysteriously:

Oh, and what exactly makes it worse than human vomit?
Michael Gordon - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

Not that I know of.
zezpwn44 - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Hmm, ok. Still trying to picture what exactly it smells/feels like
Michael Gordon - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to zezpwn44:

It's really nothing to worry about - just wear old clothes! Pity you've left it a bit late but maybe you can still find a cliff to abseil past one?
davidbeynon - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to Michael Gordon:

He or she has no interest in finding out first hand. This thread has been appearing every year or so since at least 2010. New account, randomish username with lots of high letters & similar wording in every case.

http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=421777
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=471217
http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=562954

Note the complete absence of variety in the subject lines.
Ian Miller - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to davidbeynon:

How bizzare

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