/ Winter Climbing - when did it change?

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Back in the day winter conditions meant properly frozen, with ice and stuff

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=103123

Nowadays it looks like an inch of snow and 'nearly frozen turf' is enough to attract the tooled-up masses out in search of 'winter' sport.

Odd!


Chris
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
when we stopped regularly getting winter conditions like those shown in the picture?
Sam Simpson - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: not been doing it long so cant really compare it with the winters you used to get however I feel the 'tooled up masses' are pursuing something which is exciting and fun whilst we seem to have milder winters when ice does not come into condition.I can only see it as a good thing.
CurlyStevo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to samsimpson:
I personally think climbing soft turf is generally not fair game and just because a route is easy doesn't excuse it. Only time will tell if the mountains suffer unduly to erosion or not because of this, along with the loss of rare habitats and plants.
timjones - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
> Back in the day winter conditions meant properly frozen, with ice and stuff
>
> http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=103123
>
> Nowadays it looks like an inch of snow and 'nearly frozen turf' is enough to attract the tooled-up masses out in search of 'winter' sport.
>
> Odd!
>
>

Rose tinted spectacles?

Have things really changed?

The internet among with greater participation means that peoples activities are very visible these days. I suspect that do climbers have always traveled long distances on the offchance of finding good conditions and climbed anyway even if conditions were poor. We just weren't aware of it happening in the way we are today.

Lukeva - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: I’m interested,; traditionally must the conditions be such as those presented in your photograph to climb whilst ‘tooled up’, or, ethically is it acceptable so long as the turf is frozen, ice is formed and the plants are protected, as the forecasts and peoples comments on UKC would lead us to believe is the current state of play?

This is a genuine question because I though that the conditions predicted for the hills this weekend are fair game?
Milesy - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Hmm Not all routes have ice like that so I am not sure the purpose of the photo you linked?

Here is me on good frozen water ice and it was just a year ago.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_OzhJhHnFjAA/TRiQEBlhevI/AAAAAAAACiY/BF8M5FXR74A/s1600/Pc240250.jpg
smithaldo - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Lukeva: The situation you describe is perfectly acceptable, it is not often like chris' photo nowadays!

The problem is that alot of people now seem to think that turf freezes within twenty minutes of the temperature dropping below freezing.

In reality it probably takes two-three days to be properly climbable, perhaps longer.
Phil J Booth - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to timjones:
> The internet among with greater participation means that peoples activities are very visible these days. I suspect that do climbers have always traveled long distances on the offchance of finding good conditions and climbed anyway even if conditions were poor. We just weren't aware of it happening in the way we are today.


Agreed, and actually, the internet stops a lot of people because we can know the likely conditions from proper conditions reports and forums and say "I can't be arsed" if it's marginal, will save the petrol money until it's worth the trip!
Chris Harris - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
It all went downhill when someone invented the phrase "White in appearance".....
In reply to Chris Harris:

> It all went downhill when someone invented the phrase "White in appearance".....

So sometime in the mid-80s then? How long have you been winter climbing?

Lukeva - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to smithaldo: Thanks, looking forward to Saturday.
Robert Durran - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Phil J Booth:
> The internet stops a lot of people because we can know the likely conditions from proper conditions reports and forums and say "I can't be arsed" if it's marginal, will save the petrol money until it's worth the trip!

Yes. I would have certainly more often climbed in marginal conditions or crap weather twenty years ago. The internet all too easily gives convenient excuses not to bother.

Only a hill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
I find it interesting that back in the 1890s climbing classic rock routes in snowed up conditions was considered just as much a part of winter climbing as it is nowadays. What goes around comes around...
Only a hill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Harris:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> It all went downhill when someone invented the phrase "White in appearance".....

Sounds like something O.G.Jones said in about 1896 when considering the first winter ascent of Napes Needle. I don't think that much has fundamentally changed if you go back far enough, but as with most things, winter climbing is subject to fashions.
Robert Durran - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Harris:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> It all went downhill when someone invented the phrase "White in appearance".....

Yes, things have become rather anal recently. People used to just go out and climb whatever they found. Nowadays they get shot down by the "white in appearance" police on the interenet.

Ramblin dave - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> I find it interesting that back in the 1890s climbing classic rock routes in snowed up conditions was considered just as much a part of winter climbing as it is nowadays. What goes around comes around...

Although presumably the gear and technique was a bit different back then? Or were people pulling fig-fours on torqued alpenstocks left right and centre?
Chateauneuf du Boeuf - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: Troll.
Only a hill - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:
You might be surprised--NE Buttress on the Ben was first climbed in winter in the mid 1890s, and is a Grade IV. Not sure what grade Napes Needle gets in winter but must be higher. I've certainly come across accounts of 'combined tactics' that can be compared with some modern mixed techniques (although you're quite right, gear was very different!)
sheep - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Only a hill:

Not sure what grade Napes Needle gets in winter but must be higher.

Same grade as it gets in summer, tho your fingers may get a bit colder.
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Chris Craggs:
In the 1970`s, it was not considered to be "winter climbing" until everything was frozen up.
One or two of us did early ascents of mixed type routes in the Lakes during this time . These where also dismissed as " not proper winter climbing".
We took the view ( may not have been original) that if a climb was easier to do with axes and crampons than without,it was a true winter ascent.
Robert Durran - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Last Thursday:
> (In reply to Chris Craggs)
> In the 1970`s, it was not considered to be "winter climbing" until everything was frozen up.
> We took the view ( may not have been original) that if a climb was easier to do with axes and crampons than without, it was a true winter ascent.

These two conditions are not consistent.

alan moore - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:
I spent a few winters dry-tooling with the masses in the Northern Corries and Whatnot. You needed crampons for the approach and descent but I swear the well snow-ploughed classics like Pygmy, Fingers and the Seam could have been done in rock boots (and been 3 grades easier for it).
Odd. Yes
Rubbish as well.
I spend my winters on UKC now.
LakesWinter on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs: That's an ice route, not a mixed route. Mixed routes are as old as rock climbing like Alex said above. Indeed Britain led the way worldwide in the development of technical mixed routes such as Oblique Chimney on Gable in the 1890s and Bowfell Buttress in the 1930s.
Fergal - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to alan moore:

< high five scooby dive >
Like it, you would still fit right in, love the irony in your post!

Call me old fashioned, but i always thought unless, you were forging ahead ploughing your own furrow it was cheating, elitist perhaps, but who really wants to follow in someones wake, where is the challenge, pristine unsullied territory for the win, those spurs are earned.

For some strange reason it always seemed proper nick, when the route was plastered, this now seems perverse, hours spent hoovering up mixed lines, aesthetic and beautifull but hard work.

I spend my winters in B&Q now, pining for the fjords.

Matt Rees - on 15 Jan 2013
In reply to Andrew Clarke:

You are Slartibartfast and I claim my five pounds.
In reply to Robert Durran:
Poor English sorry. The general view by most was that a full freeze was required before anything was "in".
A group of us took the view that if it was easier to climb with an axe and crampons than without , then it was a " winter climb"
In reply to Chris Craggs: Here's a good one for discussion, according to this bloghttp://mountainzblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/breaking-trail-on-curved-ridge.html Agag's Groove got an ascent yesterday. Big pic http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FII1ZR78rk8/UPXKe5JrnHI/AAAAAAAAAnU/TAYNity8vZQ/s1600/P1152988.JPG Everything else looks very white and snowy but the Rannoch Wall seems to steep to hold much and no hoar frost.
xplorer on 16 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris Craggs:

Strange post this one!


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.