/ how windy is windy?
I obviously look at temperature, humidity and cloud cover to guess conditions, but I never really look at wind.
Wind directio is an obvious, but what about speed?
When do things start to feel windy? Is 10mph windy?
People often tend to over estimate wind speed: "It was extreme, man. We were getting blown over in gnarly 100mph gusts" probably means around 70mph.
Depends what you are doing? Building a tower out of a pack of playing cards require less wind than flying a kite :)
Here's an image of a 300ft abseil where the wind was that strong you ended up crossing 2 hard shoulders and 6 lanes of motorway! Very windy, but not too windy to work.
The abseiler in the photo is Zaff Ali; if anyone knows what he's up to these days? He did some hard problems and routes in the Peak during the 90's.
It's enough to mess up my hair, and therefore 10mph is way too windy for me.
I've had too many epics in windspeeds higher than this to venture out in anything more than a force 2 gale now.
It's all a bit of a sliding scale really. badoom tish!
For the average climber in the UK, what you really need to do is work up some sort of conversion that includes air temperature, wind speed and sun intensity all together because any one can really bork the equation.
e.g. I find I can climb down to about 2 or 3 celcius so long as there is no wind and full sun somewhere between april and october but equally I could find that I can't keep circulation in my fingers at 15 degrees when there is a 30mph wind and the crag is in the shade.
Purely on the wind subject, for me:
10mph - light breeze, very pleasant.
20-25mph - fairly windy, not great for balancy routes but definitely something that can be put up with if you are keen
35-40mph - Clinging to the cliff to stay on, maybe only moving between gusts, not really climbing weather.
70-80mph - crawling only near cliff edge, very hard to set up anchor, can't let go of abseil ropes, dangling over Screaming Geo becomes seriously worrying.
Stick your head out of a moving car. Even 50mph feels pretty windy !
I have now ! hopefully not something I'll be needing to use in anger.
I rather agree with Owen on this. It also really does depend on other factors too .
How dry/wet the air is
If you're climbing, where on the crag are you
How fast you're moving.
How long your un outs are
Shade or sun.
Individual factors such as the clothing you are wearing and whether you are used to being in or out of the wind. I work outside in all weathers and it's noticeable how those I've been with who work totally indoors will say to me, "Isn't it windy today?", when I really don't think it is!
Well, yes, and at 15000mph, everything would burst into flames because of the frictional heating but I was sticking to what I have experienced ;)
In reply to subalpine:
Hasn't that been replaced by the Enhanced Fujita Scale? :P
25mph and gusting higher is enough to be unpleasant at venues like Stanage that catch all the wind going, I'd probably go out of my way for somewhere sheltered.
For example, an increase from 10 to 20 knots doesn't have much effect but an increase from 40 to 50 knots is a pretty big deal.
It was windy at Glenbrittle last May. 112mph, and not a tent survived.
But I was fascinated as to why the sheep and lambs carried on unperturbed.
Never been to Stanage so I can't comment.
Is it any good, out of interest?
you need this:
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