/ Wind speed & walking

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Flinticus - on 13 Mar 2014
Wondering what the effect of high winds are on walking (never having a wind speedometer with me on the hills, I can only ever guess by reference to a possible inaccurate former forecast).

What approx wind speed has you crouched over forcing a way forward? or that immediately chills exposed skin?

What effect would winds if about 50mph have on you & walking?
geordiepie - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

In my experience 50-60mph is when you really start to notice the effect of your walking e.g. leaning into the wind, getting blown sideways with sudden gusts. Anything above this and you have to start seriously considering your route choice and objectives.

I was out a few weeks ago in winds forecast at 80mph with 100mph gusts......the stronger gusts had me crouching on the floor hoping not to get picked up and blown away.

As you say though this is all based on forecasts so no real idea of actual wind speed...could do with an handheld anemometer really
Iain Thow - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

I usually reckon a 50mph gust stops me dead, 60 puts you pretty uncontrollable and 70 will blow you over. I once recorded a 100mph gust with an anemometer in the Cairngorm car park. Flattened all of us and sent a block of ice and turf through the bus window. It didnt sem as strong as the one that picked me up and threw me 30 feet in Uist once, but that might just be memory dulling the effects.
MikeR - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

There's a link to a youtube clip of one of the SAIS guys walking in 60 mph winds to give you an idea of the affect on you

It's worth noting that maximum forecast winds on mountain forecasts are generally for the most exposed places, so unless you're stood on the summit or an exposed ridge the wind is probably a lot less than the max forecast wind (assuming the forecast is right!).

The strongest I've experienced was when it was forecast to be gusting 90 mph. We had been out walking in the valley to the north of the northern corries, near the Chalamaine (sp?) gap, hoping to stay out of the stronger winds. It was more of a stagger, often on hands and knees, than a walk, and as soon as we got onto exposed ground we were blown flat on our faces. Quite scary and amazing how wild a place only a short distance from the road can feel in conditions like that. To give you an idea it took around 3 hours to walk the 2 km back to the sugar bowl carpark. And my friends waterproof toursers blow off when he tried to have a piss!
Flinticus - on 13 Mar 2014
In reply to MikeR:

Judging by that clip the winds on Tarmachan Ridge earlier this year must have been at that and gusting stronger ( I pulled back on that one after struggling in the wind).

Well, thats good for perspective, like I need to cancel my overnight walking plans in the Cairngorms for this weekend.

Maybe next weekend??
fmck - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

Check this link to Will Copestakes blog on his continues winter munro round.
Its a mental clip of him last Friday in a storm above Laggan. I guess its probably at this point you can no longer walk!

MG - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

The Beaufort scale is designed for this sort of thing - originally for judging wind speed from seas conditions but adapted for land conditions too. Here for descriptions of the effect of different wind speeds

Flinticus - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to fmck:

He picked the wrong winter for his round! Looks like a damned struggle to just stay in place.
Joak - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

I've just realised that it was young Will I bumped into and enjoyed a wee blether with on Cruach Ardrain on the 1st Oct last year. It'll take more than a wee blaw and some snaw tae hold him back, he's a hardy lad ;)
Flinticus - on 14 Mar 2014
Interesting wind fact: the force exerted by wind quadruples each time the wind speed doubles; that is, wind blowing at 40 knots pushes four times harder than a wind blowing at 20 knots.
Mal Grey - on 14 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

We were once on the Drumochter hills (A'Mharconaich) on a day when the wind was measured gusting 150mph on Cairngorm. I guess we got 100ish gusts, being 1000ft lower, during which we could only lie down with our limbs flapping around in the wind. As we were on a nice rounded ridge not too far from the road we crawled, literally, to the summit, rather than turn and run. A memorable experience. I'll never forget the 5 mins it took me to refit a strapped on crampon, whilst lying down, unable to stop my legs from blowing around for long enough to get the straps done up. I would guess it was constant 60 mph+, based on that SAIS clip, with gusts which just knocked us flat.

50 mph has you staggering about a bit. Its easier if constant than if gusting, but its never truly constant enough to 100% commit your full energy to pushing against it.
Katie86 - on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

I was up on Tryfan last weekend. Whilst bracing between rocks at the summit I recorded a steady 55mph on an anemometer. It was gusting stronger and whilst 55mph was still possible to walk into, the gusts were blowing everything. Infact, It felt like the wind had fingers as when I was holding onto rocks I felt like the wind was prising my fingers off.

In august I retreated from the Miners track on Snowdon as the gusts were almost picking me up and water was being picked up from the top lake at hurled across the path. A few years ago in winter in the Cairngorms we crawled across a mountain clinging onto each other.

I'm a but more wary the days as when I was out walking with my mum a few months ago on Yr Arran a bit gust of wind literally picked my mum up, carried her several meters and hurled her into some rocks. She had a nasty gash to her leg. If it wasn't for our families general stubbornness (the I'll sort myself mentality) then we'd have ended up calling out MRT. It was a day were a storm was forcast and it'd just rolled in sooner.
AlH - on 15 Mar 2014
In reply to Flinticus:

The gust at 2:17 in this video that knocks most of us down is 60-70mph. http://www.vimeo.com/88537197
Some people use 'the rule of the pints'. Each 10mph of wind is like walking with 1 pint of beer inside you… but I guess that depends on your tolerance!

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