/ Lake District Winter Climbing and the avoidance of damage
Interesting that some 'modern classics', Snickersnack and Gimmer Crack being the notables as far as I can see, are now out of bounds.
That looks like a very sensible approach overall to me. Lots of scope for winter climbing and a clear line drawn under the, to my mind, damaging trend of trying to climb 3 star rock routes under a light coating of rime.
Looks very slick and objective to me. Well done to the people who put this together.
There were always going to have to be compromises made.
A useful read but frustrating non the less
"Lakeland climbing community who seem determined that they have sole right to "their" crags and are oblivious to the environmental damage that they also cause!"
There were a good mix of climbers at the meeting including some of the Lakes most active winter new routers. Others who couldn't attend sent in their comments and assistance in the form of suggestions and photos. It's easy to see what is requested that people don't climb on, but also easy to miss, (as they are not stated,) the huge number of venues and routes that have been agreed to be 'in' even by the 'die hard "no winter" Lakeland climbing community'. I would agree that the language used can sound a little 'harsh' but it was accepted by those who compiled it that the document needed to be clear cut.
'Lakeland climbing community who seem determined that they have sole right to "their" crags and are oblivious to the environmental damage that they also cause!'
Have you any rational, examples or evidence to back up this observation?
According to your logbook you've only climbed once in the Lakes at Shepherds Crag. I can assure you that the 'die hard no winter' community doesn't really exist in the real world. Anybody who has climbed in the Lakes for a few years can't have failed to notice the damage that has been done to certain classic rock climbs and that it would be a real tragedy if the damage that has occured on Bowfell Buttress (or Gillercombe But./ C Ord./Engineers Slabs etc.) was to occur at the likes of Gimmer. The apologists who refer to the damage as 'cosmetic scratches' or the like are being disingenuous, take a look at Bowfell Butterss this summer if you don't believe me (or take a look at the logbook comments on this site for a taster!). Anyhow the article seems like a sensible attempt to draw a line in the sand and it will be interesting to see wether it has any effect in the long term...
Gillercombe Buttress, really?! That wasn't even in nick in that cold spell in January 2010, so I can't see that it would have been in much if at all even in the last few years.
Cheers for the post. Really positive.
I tend to think that Bowfell buttress should only really be done under a decent cover of neve...
The document is a failure from the outset, by "banning" some of the areas great testpieces as has been done here, the bmc are raising a red rag to a bull. No one likes being told what to do and many will rebel and do it anyway.
Without getting into the argument that seems to be on here year round, if I climbed SS at the weekend
a) what difference would it make?
b) what sanction would I face?
The answer to both is none. We have just had a new lakes winter guide, it will be a long time before the next, routes such as SS and GC remain "live" in the current guide and will be seen as fair game
Presumably the answer to (a) is "it would trash and scratch it just a little bit more and to (b) "none except being thought of as a dick by most climbers you might mention it to". I'm not sure what more you might expect.
As to what difference would it make:
The concensus of climbers, (who climb to a high standard in both Summer and Winter,) who had climbed SS in Summer and are more than capable of climbing it in winter is that a few more ascents could very well lead to the loss of holds / gear that would make it more difficult or impossible in both Summer and Winter. The same was felt to be the case for 1984.
GC was excluded because of aesthetics, a move backed, (suggested?) by at least one, (both?) of the first ascentionists.*
As to what sanctions would you face:
'Both are 'live' in the new guide book and will be seen as fair game.'
Only by those who completely disregard the views / wishes of a large number of local winter and summer climbers, (very often the same people,) who are trying to preserve quality rock climbs while ensuring there are plenty of winter objectives with no issues attached to them - working towards the two aspects of climbing can coexist.
Frankly them being in a guide book is in my view neither here nor there - there a plenty of rock routes in the South Lakes and Eden Valley guide that are not to be climbed.
I picked on those two routes as they show the futile nature of the restrictions.
GC is so rarely in condition, it will see precious few ascents. Indeed the crag is only really in winter nick when it is storming so bad that access to the valley is impossible, chances of aesthetic damage are minimal to say the least. The ban is a futile gesture
SS, both yourself and I have seen gable in its winter garb, no one can claim that Gable is not a winter crag. As a route, SS has been established for 10 years now and seen many winter ascents, it has a history and is one of the areas great testpieces. Personally I cannot see the ban on this route working.
I heard of the proposed restrictions a while ago, a friend mentioned it at a training session. The consensus of those gathered, all strong lakes winter activists was that we would just carry on as usual and pay no heed.
The whole tone of the booklet strikes me as "rock climber good cowboy in white hat, winter climber bad cowboy in black hat". Vilifying people like that is not the BMC's best move.
With regard to the Eden valley/South Lakes restricted crags, it is the landowners, not the bmc imposing these restrictions, a completely different issue.
To jcm, I climb for myself, not the adulation of others (though many do). If I climbed SS quietly and didnt get all billy big balls boasting about it , I doubt that you or anyone else would notice to sling your petty insults
From a fellow keen Lakes winter climber.
My mate did the winter ascent of D Route on Gimmer with Steve Ashworth. Their original plan was to do GC, which was in, but chose a different target. He was in the bath in Kendal at 8.00am when Steve phoned him, drove through, did the route and was back in Kendal for a late tea. The idea that the crag is only in nick in a 'valley cutting off' storm is frankly rubbish.
It certainly wasn't 'rock climbers against winter climbers'. Brian Davidson was present for the meetings he could be at and contributed quite a lot - just one example of very active winter climbers involved. Vilifying of winter climbers hasn't gone on, but it does pay to not mince words in these sort of things.
SS was always going to be a sticking point as yes, Gable is a great winter crag. It was one route that was discussed at some length. To be fair though, it hasn't seen 'many winter ascents', it has had three; Steve and Woody on 3.1.03, Dave Hunter and Nick Bullock on 4.1.03, it then waited nearly a decade and saw a third ascent a couple of seasons ago. I have read of one further attempt but the pair backed off as it was getting late in the day as they'd waited for their mate who was going to film them to get into position(!) So it hasn't got a history as 'a great test piece'.
Personally I'd have left it in, but that's the nature of compromise for you - I have no reason to doubt those who have climbed it in Summer and could climb it in winter who feel that a few more winter ascents would make it difficult / impossible in both Summer and Winter. Jabberwick is a *** grade VII that is still in, and in condition as much as SS, although gear will be harder won, for people to test themselves on.
I know that the routes in the South Lakes and Eden Valley guide that are not to be climbed on are as a result of land owners, but your rational was that the routes are 'live' because they are in a guide, I simply highlighted that there are many routes in guides that are not 'live' so inclusion in a guide book on it's own is not a justification for climbing them.
Frankly, if there are climbers out there who plan on carrying on regardless then only time will tell how their actions will be seen by the wider climbing community. But I would warn them that they may increasingly be seen as a small minority who have thrown their toys out of the pram because the majority, who have compromised to help move climbing forward, see their actions as increasingly irresponsible and damaging. I would encourage these 'winter climbers' to engage rather than slag off those winter climbers who have put in the effort to work with others.
And can I finally add that these are my own personal views and not to be taken as representative of any group.
I think that the guidelines are pretty spot on, I thought a lot more crags would be classed as out of bounds for winter climbing, there is no mention of Bowfell or Cambridge crags and engineers slabs is still fair game.
For me I think the lakes holds lots of winter routes that are fantastic and not necessarily 2 or 3 star classics, I could write a list but there are far too many!
Obviously the big name routes will always draw attention but at the end of the day a tiny minority of climbers are climbing at VI or above. I think the guidelines do a good job of explaining conditions to more novice climbers, let's face it, one outspoken winter climber at the higher levels climbing a hard route on a "banned crag" is no where near as bad as a bunch of uneducated low grade climbers damaging sssi's or getting avalanched on easy gullys.
ss really is the sticking point for me. It has seen more ascents than you may believe, not all climbers are in it for the internet glory you know, many just get on with it, then go the pub, then do the same again, week in week out. I don't believe orders barked from the bmc or publicity hungry local "celebrities" will affect these folks much.
Given the right conditions, any crag can come into condition. I have seen Mandrake in acceptable winter nick. I should have grabbed the ascent but had a different agenda that day.
When torqueing picks in an E3 finger crack I think te damage would be greater than that
I think the tone of this document is appalling, for the BMC to put their name to such a document is a real shame. It could have been a really useful tool for inexperienced and experienced climbers but it just comes across as aggressive, dictatorial and counter productive.
The same message could have been conveyed in much better and conciliatory language. As it is, it comes across as rock climber saying these are our crags and if you want to play on them you must ask our permission first.
I add that I write my comments as a rock climber and someone who doesn't winter climb in the lakes.
Also you keep saying that is has been backed by x,y and z who are all gnarly winter lakes activist but to 99% of us who don't live in the lakes bubble that will mean nothing when we read this document with non of that context.
I fully agree a document like this is needed and that I would like to see it backed by the bmc but its needs to be professionally written not just sound like the published minutes of a slightly angry residents meeting.
I think the document may have lost a bit of credibility when they chose to include Lower Scout Crag on the list of crags that "should not be climbed on with axes and crampons because of the quality of the rock climbing"!
Right, and the whole point of the agreement is to make the distinction between "in acceptable winter nick" (if only occasionally) and "fair game with tools".
Yes of course it excludes some good routes that have been / could conceivably be done in true winter condition. If it didn't, there'd be no need for an agreement. On the other hand it also makes crystal clear that there's a place for modern winter climbing, including dry tooling, in the Lakes.
In reply to CrushUnit:
Did we read the same document? It reads like a model of clear and careful drafting to me.
Yep, pretty scratched up in June 2010 (although admittedly not as bad as the others).
>To jcm, I climb for myself, not the adulation of others (though many do). If I climbed SS quietly and didnt get all billy big balls boasting about it , I doubt that you or anyone else would notice to sling your petty insults
Well, good for you. If your own opinion of what is likely to cause acceptable damage is more important to you than consensus, then there's nothing anyone can do or say.
Gillercombe Buttress is a classic route on perfect rough rock - done by many on a year-round basis in all weathers for rock-climbing, that certainly does not deserve to be destroyed as Bowfell Buttress has been.
It's not a winter crag though is it? I think it was included as Upper Scout had had a winter ascent of one of the great V Diffs in the last few years, and putting upper Scout in without Middle and Lower didn't make a lot of sense.
I'm struggling with this - publicity hungry celebrities - orders barked from the BMC - really?
We are obviously coming from dofferent points on this, but hearing somebody would have climbed Mandrake under winter conditions is, in my mind, all the justification needed for the documents existence and the language used in it.
I got to say I'm with elliptic on this - I really don't see it, and I am one of the climbers that would be grouped as 'a winter climber'. I, (obviously,) haven't got a problem with it as is the case, it would appear from the people at the meeting and posts above, for a good number of people who do winter climb in the Lakes.
However, it was always going to have people for it and against it, drawing any line always does.
As a relatively neutral outsider (I have done both summer and winter routes in the lakes) I also totally fail to see how the text could be seen as so incendiary unless you felt it was aimed at you somehow, or you had a 'proj' on one of the sectors they are asking people not to climb on.
I guess the idea of 'banning' certain sectors in winter is a bit hard to take if you are coming from a Scottish experience but the Lakes is different from the Highlands.
"Gillercombe Buttress is a classic route on perfect rough rock"
Ahem that wasn't my memory
I was rather disapointed and felt the crag may actually never have been developed for summer climbing north of the border!
I think we have applied Scottish ethics to the Lakes for a long time, but over recent years people have started to question it's sustainability - hence the document. A similar set of ethics has already been applied, with a great deal of success as I understand it, in Snowdonia.
This guide seems pretty sensible and reasonable with guidelines that I’d like to think most climbers adhere to anyway. However banning the entire A and B buttresses on Dow seems a bit arbitrary, Woodhouse’s route is one of the best I have done in the lakes and I felt followed a natural drainage line and defiantly one that came into good condition - and what’s the difference between Aręte Chimney and Crack on A and C ordinary (not that I’ve done either I’d always fancied C if conditions were right)? These are the same altitude and aspect. I’m sure many would argue neither should be climbed but it seems strange banning one and not the other?
The chances of it yielding a quality winter route are about as slim as the chances of it yielding a quality summer route ;)
If they can be listed as 3 crags then lower could be excluded from the list and it would look a great deal more credible IMO.
I'd also suggest that the claim that BMC area committees should be consulted before developing new dry tooling venues is out of order. I can think of a couple of shabby unclimbed chosspiles in my neck of the woods that I'd like to try dry tooling on some day and I'll be beggared if I can see why it is any business of the local BMC committee.
Tbh the summer ascents have already trashed C ord in terms of the appearance of the rock, and so winter ones won't make so much difference, although IMHO ACC is fair game as a winter line. That said, I shant be attempting it and shall respect the guidelines as laid out.
I must admit nowadays after having thought long and hard about these things I would be much less inclined to climb routes like C on Dow in winter – but what I really don’t want is the ‘winter police’ (those who weren’t out, had no idea of conditions but feel the need to have a go at everyone based on a picture and an old weather forecast) breathing down my neck and bashing me other the head with a set of rules, but that’s probably just a personal hang-up
Whilst I agree in principle with the idea of having such a document, I think there are a number of problems with the guidelines here as they stand. Firstly, they appear to exclude a lot of lines which are obvious prime candidates as winter routes such as Sphinx Ridge and Arrowhead Ridge on the Napes - a high mountain crag, routes of "mountaineering" interest rather than technical interest, routes with lots of grass on them - all the things which tick the boxes for a good winter climbing venue.
Secondly, while it is of course good practice to do our level best to avoid ripping out unfrozen turf, the article seems to claim that it is possible to ensure that it absolutely never happens. This suggests, to me, a poor understanding of what winter climbing is all about. It is not like going cragging in the peak district where you stand at the bottom looking at the entire route a few metres in front of you, see that is is all dry and form a fairly good idea of exactly what gear you will put in.
Winter climbing is intrinsically a very uncertain enterprise - Was it as cold as the forecast said it would be yesterday? Turf is not exposed here at the bottom of the route, but will it be exposed round the corner in the gully which I cannot see round? Will the snow at the top of the ice pitch be good neve or will it be unconsolidated crap leaving me needing to get my axes in somewhere else? With the uncertainties of winter climbing I think it is inevitable that turf damage sometimes happens, regardless of how hard we try to avoid it...
Er Arrowhead Ridge is all good clean rock and never comes in as a winter route as it gets too much sun, even in December.
I'm not going to disagree with you - it's obviously not the best bit of rock in Langdale, or even in the same field if you are into bouldering! However, I can see why it's there and I don't really think it's inclusion detracts from the document - I don't think Lower Scout's inclusion will be the tipping point for anybody taking the guide seriously or not.
The buttresses were excluded because of the number of excellent rock routes on them that could get trashed, (not just scratched but holds and gear placements broken,) if climbed under winter conditions - I have climber A, C & C in Summer and thought it would make a great mixed route, but I personally think it's loss to winter climbing is worth it to protect the likes of Eliminate A, Leopards Crawl, Halocaust, Nimrod, Tumble, Catacomb, etc, etc.
What a load of bollocks...
I don't know the Napes really - I have done Arrowhead Ridge as a rock climb in January in the sun, so as Lakes Winter suggests I would think it would be in acceptable winter nick rarely, and if it was there would be far better things to climb in the Lakes.
I don't think anybody would point a finger at anybody who pulled a lump of turf out of a frozen route - that happens from time to time. I don't think the article suggests that it absolutely never happens, and can garantee that those writing it understand winter climbing intrinsically. It is just to try to stop people climbing in unfrozen conditios - if it makes people think more about this then that's a good thing.
A succinct personal analysis
Fair enough – I guess what annoys me is this assumption that I need this guidance from the BMC to stop my otherwise ‘irresponsible climbing’ I think I know the difference of a winter route and a rock climb and am capable of judging conditions on the day. Surely by saying, as the guide very clearly does, doing stared summer routes under winter conditions is not acceptable is enough without going that extra step of actually banning things? the banned crag list is a bit of a joke, most are lowland or south facing crags that I’m not sure anyone in there right mind every considered fair game for winter accents and the higher north facing ones seem to contain a few inconsistencies, e.g. as a few routes stared 4 and 5 routes on Dow that even as Lakeswinter says ‘are fair game in winter’ are banned whereas similar routes on Scafell are not. I appreciate where this guide has come from and the powers that be are probably right in that some clear consensus was needed but perhaps they’ve gone a bit far?
It's an understandable reaction. I think the other side of the coin is that with a clearcut agreement and guidelines on the table, it should be easier for people to take an objective approach and back off when necessary, rather than that feeling of "everybody else is doing it, why shouldn't I?"
There'll always be anomalies in any list but it seems fair on the whole to me. (And the mixed lines on Scafell are in proper winter condition much more often than on Dow!)
To be fair you say your self that 'some clear consensus was needed' so the assumption that some need guidance, (it may well not be you personally,) was correct.
There are inconsistancies in some peoples eyes, there always will be. On a personal note there are winter routes I wanted to do that I now won't because they are on 'banned' crags, but in any process like this there were going to be compromises from both sides, (although I don't think there are sides as such,) so I can live with that. From a winter perspective there are still loads of things to go at and lots of new routes to be done.
Hay-ho you’re probably right I need to get off my high horse and compromise – I just think it’s a bit of a sorry state of affairs it’s come to this, I generally don’t think of all this controversy of the new-fangled high end mixed climbing normally affecting a mid-grade punter like myself!
For what is worth I actually hardly climb in winter in the Lakes nowadays as I think good conditions are often hard to come by on all but the most predictable crags and not being local I can’t make the most of good conditions when they do happen so I got sick spending my weekends, avoiding crowds looking for climbing before the enviable trudging up slushy gullies.
Often the case unfortunately, even for us who live here. Does makes great conditions even better when you catch them though.
that should be inevitable not enviable! Damm spellcheck
I just hope this doesn’t alienated people - i can just imagine going into a dinghy bar and having a dodgy bloke in a trenchcoat sideling up to me saying ‘here mate what to see the new routes book – none of that front of counter stuff – we keep a special one in the back with the proper stuff’
Time will tell, (but that would be amusing to see!)
I think it's good that the guidance is clear. I'm sure some sections of the BMC bolting policy is also very obvious to 99.9% of people for example but it's still good to state it. I don't think to makes it patronising by stating the obvious. Also, I think documents like these are useful for overseas visiters who are less familiar with our (sometimes unique) climbing ethics.
Good point - i hadn’t considered the analogy to the bolting policy (I’m not really familiar with it as I’ve never had the inclination to bolt anything). My point boils down the reasons some routes are banned and others not seems to be BECAUSE OF THE GREATER GOOD AND THE BMC SAYS SO! But if this is the only way to end the pretty heated arguments over winter climbing in the lakes of recent times and avoid damage to routes that should never be climbed in wither conditions then perhaps I’ll have to roll with it.
in reply to Exike
Since snow is down to ground level in Langdale, might go give the Langdale Boulders a shot with my axes and crampons, just while i can't get access to the Bowder Stone due to the closure of the Borrowdale road, nothing in the leaflet to stop this is there?
And yes i know about the neolithic carvings, but was just going to climb around the carvings as to not directly damage them?
I think as long its its not starred you're ok
What is the point you are trying to make Wesley?
Just that the bleeding obvious has been stated and they might as well go all the way.
Who is going to police it by the way? I mean a 16 stone guy with riot gear on and medieval weapons attached to his hands and feet who is dry tooling or climbing out of condition a banned venue obviously wants trouble.
AIUI (Exile / others can correct me if I'm wrong here) this document isn't the result some sort of behind-closed-doors deliberations by the shadowy elect at BMC HQ - it's the outcome of an open discussion by a largeish group of local climbers, and the BMC input was basically to provide a forum for that discussion and then summarise its conclusions and produce a pretty PDF. So the describing it as if it's the BMC laying down the law to the plebs is a bit misleading.
If it seems inconsistent in some places, I'd guess it's probably because being logically rigorous was considered less important than arriving at a compromise that didn't piss anyone off too much...
I just like to put the point across for people shunned by the local clique Lake District climbing crew, either down to class or just don't fit in with there know better than vow attitudes, with no legitimate enforcement just there bullying tactics, it just makes them feel like they have a bit of authority over other climbers as they climbed first or can climb better. All complete bollocks imo.
Yeah ok but, i think my point still stands this is about one group laying down the law for everyone else to unquestionably follow.
As it happens i have a lot of respect for the judgement of many of the climbers I’m sure were involved as well as the BMC and believe in the greater good so will (perhaps begrudgingly) accept the guidelines. I do feel though that often when discussing crag development issues it does all very much hinge on the local aspect (why i never comment on the seemingly endless bolting debates to crags I’ve never been to) and as a result I feel the guidelines have got it wrong here - they should either have gone general or got it right at a local level - instead they’ve gone a bit half way which has led to inconsistencies and the aforementioned need to blindly follow the greater good.
As more and more wild areas diminish every day more pressures are been put on places like the Lakes, and as someone once quoted something like millions of every day people are realising that going out is actually going home, more people are heading out to these areas from all different levels of society for the freedom of the hills and these rules are a joke.
Only people on this forum are going to read them.
I mean no one enjoys climbing out of condition crags anyways and most after one dodgy ascent will never bother again.
I am all for the protection of the Lakes but this is going the wrong way about it.
Don't know anyone who would want to winter climb on 90% of the crags mentioned anyways
Wesley, I'm sure you're a nice guy and you've certainly been getting out on the hill more than many people lately, but there are times when you come across slightly deranged.
This isn't some imaginary clique trampling on the rights of downtrodden locals. It's about drawing a line so that Lakes winter climbing can move forwards for everybody.
Got it in one!!!
I'm probably dreaming here......
But how about a get together on a good conditions day, at a winter climbing venue of everyone's choosing. A chance to discuss certain issue's/problem's, face to face. A chance to climb and mainly have a laugh. I think a lot of people would be surprised how people actually are face to face, doing what everyone on here obviously has a massive passion for.
I don't see any reason why it shouldn't work, and I don't see any reason why everyone wouldn't want to get involved. Obviously it can't be a massive debate, or it will end in tears.
Out of all the sports I take part in, climbing seems to be the most anti social. Possibly because of the huge variety of classes and variety of person that take part. I must admit im loosing faith in the climbing community spirit.
THIS ISNT ABOUT THE POLITICS, OR DRAWING UP NEW RULES/GUIDLINES, IT'S ABOUT MEETING PEOPLE AND ENJOYING CLIMBING
Surely this has already happened, c.f. the various BMC meetings including the one which was filmed?
I'm not talking about another petty little office party!
A day of actual climbing, you know that thing we all supposedly love to do.
I'm sure if a professional climber posted is proposal, all the middle classes would jump all over it.
Try reading the snowdonia White guide and compare its language and tone to the affore mentioned lakes paper, they are very different! The white guide is very informative, neutral and concentrates on the real issue with winter climbing - protecting the environment. The lakes guide on the other hand reads like an anti dry tooling and mixed winter propaganda piece!
This is one of the worst ill-conceived ideas I have heard in this whole debate. if by some magic your organised the meeting to coincide with good conditions the last thing myself or I imagine any other right minder person would want is stand around spouting yet more crap on what and where and when we should be climbing, I’d sack that off and go climbing .... but no wait its really busy and I can’t get on any of the routes because some tool as invited everyone to the same crag arrrgghhh!
No wait – genius idea please organise such a meeting it might mean I dot have to queue for all those classics I never get on mwahahahahah
> I just like to put the point across for people shunned by the local clique Lake District climbing crew, either down to class or just don't fit in with there know better than vow attitudes, with no legitimate enforcement just there bullying tactics, it just makes them feel like they have a bit of authority over other climbers as they climbed first or can climb better. All complete bollocks imo.
Got to agree with elliptic - really?!? Are conspiracy theories in general your thing?
A group of Lakes climbers with widly varying but passionatly held views, (many of whom had never met before,) met at a series of three open meetings. Different views were discussed, compromises made, texts written, reviewed and written again. At the end of this process a pub was visited and the document was produced.
No alien invasion or CIA involvement I'm afraid.
There are no crag police, it isn't 'rock climbers' dictating to 'winter climbers', there is no hirachy, 'in' groups and 'out' groups, it is not a middle class conspiracy(!) - it was just a group of climbers trying to find a way for people to climb in the styles they like while respecting other climbing forms. People can rant on here about their version of the 'big brother' theory, but there isn't one.
(I know this will fall on deaf ears - the above will just bee seen as big brother covering big brother's tracks - however)
What is trying to be developed here is a set of ethics that will make all forms of climbing sustainable.
For those who resent, as they see it, other rules, would you rap down Scafell in December, place a row of bolts, then dry tool a pitch on black rock and think that was ok as a winter climber? If the answer is no then, (sorry if this is a huge revelation to you,) you are already following rules, (ethics,) others have decided upon.
And no Wesley, I know I mentioned Revelation, but I wouldn't do a winter ascent of that either.
I'm paraphrasing from memory but the new Welsh guide states:
'If you plan on climbing a classic rock route with ice axes and crampons then go somewhere else.' A funny neutral.
I'm a real advocate of mixed climbing and think it's great - I was one of the people at the meeting who others would have said represented winter climbers and I contributed to sections of the text. I see absolutly no problem in continuing to mixed climb in the Lakes, climb new routes and enjoy the vast majority of the classics I haven't yet done - it's not an anti mixed climbing propaganda piece at all, just a way of making all types of climbing sustainable.
This thing happens all the time, in a lot of other community's. I cant understand what you have against getting out, being sociable and above all climbing.
UKC users post's paint the picture of them being hardcore climbers who are out everyday pushing the limits, but in reality most of the posters, never get out, never smile and are middle class clowns.
Like I've said, it isn't about the bullshit politics. Seems to me you're just another middle class climber, wanting the crag to himself, whos scared of social situations.
> But how about a get together on a good conditions day, at a winter climbing venue of everyone's choosing. A chance to discuss certain issue's/problem's, face to face. A chance to climb and mainly have a laugh. I think a lot of people would be surprised how people actually are face to face, doing what everyone on here obviously has a massive passion for.
If you take the climbing out of the above, (which I would suggest for the reasons ebdon states,) then that is exactly what did happen, just in a room at Kendal Climbing Wall.
> UKC users post's paint the picture of them being hardcore climbers who are out everyday pushing the limits, but in reality most of the posters, never get out, never smile and are middle class clowns.
Look, in all seriouslness, this is getting a little stupid now - or is it just me?
Not just you. His 'class' comments are complete non-sequiturs, coming from out of the left field.
. Damm straight i am - its why i got into climbing - you don’t have to make eye contact with anyone let alone speak to them - if you get into bigger stuff sometimes not for days! Also it provides a well needed break from reading the guardian, eating hummus and otherwise being thoroughly middle class.
Seriously though this topic does merit proper discussion and I don’t think banding around derogatory comments about peoples social background or personal skills really adds anything – please keep it relevant
shit! in all honesty, I knew exactly what the reaction would be.
Only in climbing does this bullshit persist!
> shit! in all honesty, I knew exactly what the reaction would be.
> Only in climbing does this bullshit persist!
Sorry - you've lost me.
you would rather sit in a room talking, going over the same fraff! rather than climbing.
Most people participate in sports to have fun, meet like minded people and get fit.
I don't know why having a mini winter meet, where UKC user's get to see the real profile, get out and climb, and have a laugh could in anyway be a bad idea.
I completely agree that certain issues and problems in climbing, do need discussing, but I do not believe for one minute, that the UKC forums are going to achieve anything on the continuous lakes conditions/ethics debate.
That happens to me too with Mr Xplorer. His thing seems to be to get "meta" fast. He's not overly interested in the specificities of an argument (is route X not a good winter line even if it's in sector Y or crag Z - a requested 'non-winter' sector? Has the turf frozen on Viking Buttress yet?) He told me yesterday he hasn't done a winter route in the Lakes this winter - not that that really matters much either way if you have some interest in the subject - but he seems to like to the move the debate onto epistemological grounds instead. So we have the nature of 'community' in the 'climbing community', or today a class-based analysis of the hierarchies of influence in Lakeland winter climbing! All good stuff, but perhaps not directly helpful for people trying to decide whether to try Red Tarn or Great End this weekend!
I don't understand your political jargon either dude!
And no I haven't done a winter route in the lakes this season, if I said I had, you would probably be the first to jump on the "conditions aren't in yet" argument.
I simply don't believe that discussing this endless ethics/conditions debate, sat behind a keyboard on UKC is doing any good to the sport.
Now as usual, you ignore anything positive that's been proposed or discussed and jump on the negative band wagon.
Climbing isn't about politics Toby, it never will be. Not for me anyway.
There's a bloody excellent document produced by keen activists who got off their arses, met up, argued their corners, looked for positions of compromise then sat down and typed out their best attempt at a mutually acceptable suggested policy position that keeps everyone reasonably happy.
You're the one trashing those efforts going on about "middle class" people dictating this that or other? Seriously mate - what are you on about? What exactly is your point?
that wasn't achieved by the UKC warriors. And I have never even suggested that the document produced isn't a good thing. I'll keep what I think about that PDF to myself!
If you look back, I merely suggested a mini winter meet, to get people to connect, climb and have a laugh. Like I also stated above, if a pro climber or the BMC proposed the same idea, it would have positive replies. The meet wasn't in anyway, suggested to be a political debate.
So toby, why is having a day of meeting people, and getting on some routes a bad idea? I take part in MTB meets, trail running meets all the time. And its all about enjoying yourself.
There is simply too much political jargon growing in climbing. Let the BMC do the political work, and the rest of us can get out climbing.
> I don't understand your political jargon either dude!
> And no I haven't done a winter route in the lakes this season, if I said I had, you would probably be the first to jump on the "conditions aren't in yet" argument.
> I simply don't believe that discussing this endless ethics/conditions debate, sat behind a keyboard on UKC is doing any good to the sport.
> Now as usual, you ignore anything positive that's been proposed or discussed and jump on the negative band wagon.
> Climbing isn't about politics Toby, it never will be. Not for me anyway.
Nope, sorry, still lost
You will always be lost dude!
keep sitting behind your desk, going to meetings, being pedantic, if that's what you want to do. I couldn't give two shits about your non existent climbing career!
It's just happened: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/bmc-winter-ice-mixed-climbing-international-meet-2014-report
So on one hand, you hate cliques and want everyone to get together to talk the issues over. Which is, in fact, exactly how this agreement was arrived at.
And on the other hand...
...you want the BMC to decide everything for you. Err, come again?
> keep sitting behind your desk, going to meetings, being pedantic, if that's what you want to do. I couldn't give two shits about your non existent climbing career!
*snorts with laughter*
I bet they didn't even mention ethics, UKC, or the Lake District!
Their proper f*cking dudes!
You know the answer to that then, don't you?
"So on the one hand, you hate cliques and want everyone to get together to talk issues over - which is, in fact, exactly how this agreement was arrived at."
I hate cliques? where did I say this dude?
And like have clearly stated, a meet wasn't about talking bullshit at the bottom of routes, it was about getting out climbing, having a laugh. I think most of you would struggle with the having a laugh part. You take shit way to seriously!
Martin I've met you, and you talked absolute tripe then. nothing has changed
I was packing up next to some 'proper dudes' in SCNL during the winter meet last year and there was quite a lot of discussion over ethics I seem to recall (mainly trying to explain to Japanese climbers what the hell British ethics were all about, much to the Japanese’s confusion)
If only they’d had a handy leaflet......
Be sure you introduce yourself next time.
You'd be surprised.... and unbelievably quite a few of the dudes are middle class.
I certainly will fella. No problems at all. We can have a good old chat, maybe do a few climbs, couple of beers in the pub later, to discuss some ethics and condition debates.
You're quite right that it won't be a tipping point. However, it is part of the document and I consider it's inclusion as a negative point when working out how seriously I should take the document.
Sounds good, and I'd normally be quite sociable (which you know, having already met me), but as I only talk tripe I'll pass. Thanks.
No not into conspiracy theories at all just mountains, and the freedom of the hills remaining in place, and not having a bunch of jumped up control freaks ordering me about.
There you go again - chucking insults around and not actually discussing anything relevant.
I've come to the conclusion that Xplorer is what my kids tell me in Minecraft is called a "griefer". Fortunately for kids playing Minecraft, most server moderators just boot griefers off their servers.
my thoughts on this are that back in the 60,s we did Agags Groove in winter before Bonington and Mcinnes did the first winter ascent .it had a bit of ice and quite a bit of Rime all the way up .we climbed it in Boots as a Rock Climb quite hard .it certainly wasn't a full winter climb ,but if we had done it with full Regalia would it have been ? I think not ..
And there you go again, just ignoring the question I asked YOU!
and that aint no insult tobylerone
My question again dude:
So toby, why is having a day of meeting people, and getting on some routes a bad idea? I take part in MTB meets, trail running meets all the time. And its all about enjoying yourself.
You're the one sticking to the negative shit fella
OK, serious question Wes; what routes have you done that this document suggests should not be climbed in winter? And what routes would you like to do that also come in the suggested 'no winter ascents' sectors?
There are things we all don't do in the hills for both reasons of personal or communal ethics (no bolts on mountain crags for example) and actual enforceable laws (I think dropping litter is at the very least against National Park bylaws), and very few people worry about not being able to do those things. So "freedom of the hills" is more an ideal than a reality is it not? Are agreed bolting policies the work of jumped up control freaks ordering you and me about too?
There's loads of moaning on here isn't there! I can't see what the argument is about really. Staying off some decent quality classic rock routes to minimise damage while people are encouraged to climb on more reliable winter venues like Bowfell. Not rocket science, not a conspiracy and not anything beyond some common sense!!!
It's not a bad idea although I think it's rather impractical. On many winter routes it's hard enough hearing your second as to whether you're on belay or not, let alone discussing things like plant habitats or erosion caused by crampon usage with a large group of people.
It seems far more practical would be to meet up in a pub or similar and discuss all these things next to a fire and over a beer, don't you think? But I guess that's exactly what the parties who produced this document have already - sensibly - done.
"It's not a bad idea although I think it's rather impractical. On many winter routes it's hard enough hearing your second as to whether you're on belay or not, let alone discussing things like plant habitats or erosion caused by crampon usage with a large group of people."
F*ck the politics........ its about getting out and climbing, having a laugh. Do you generally do that?
It's not "politics", it's about trying to work together to keep our hobby sustainable. "Getting out" and going climbing doesn't actually do anything to resolve such issues.
I'm really not sure whether you are just being quite unbelievably obtuse about this or just really don't get what the issues are. If you do "get out" and "just climb" as much as you keep talking about, I'm sure you must understand what the problems are?
No I really do understand the problems. I respect the problems too. I also respect anyone that actually gets involved in trying to actually solve them.
I don't respect a lot of the people on UKC though, that do have hidden agendas. That's not a conspiracy theory either, it's fairly obvious, but that's a whole different, complicated subject.
And I also believe that the whole Lake District ethics/conditions debate is way too over exaggerated. But I think that mainly comes from how UKC users preach their views.
Whenever I've been winter climbing in the lakes, I always meet what seem to be decent people. And I can honestly say I've never witnessed anyone doing anything they shouldn't, as regards to the ethics part of the debate. Can anyone else actually honestly say they have seen anybody destroying routes and not sticking to the ethics?
It just seems to me that a lot of people like to jump on a band wagon and fight against a problem, that doesn't exist as much as the UKC forums would have us believe. That doesn't mean that I don't recognise a very small ethics problem.
I would like to know where the go ahead to produce the document came from.
At the bmc agm in Kendal a couple of years ago, there was a big debate on winter climbing with presentations from Steve Scott, Dave Birkett and Steve Ashworth. A very cynical way of ensuring that your agm is quorate but I digress.
At this meeting all aspects of winter climbing were discussed, including the welsh "white guide". A show of hands was taken as to whether those attending would like to see a similar publication for the lakes. The answer was a resounding no.
Democracy in action?
A positive comment from me, a pretty unsurprising comment from 3leggeddog and it's all gone quiet! What a surprise!
Thank god you're back!!! You don't troll while calling people dude do you?
The above BMC policy is about as good as their insurance policy...
I was at that meeting and my lasting memory of it was Steve Ashworth taking a right slagging. I have got to say I can't remember a vote on a white guide, and given the general 'anti mixed climbing' vibe in the room a vote not to have a white guide, for want of a better description, would have been surprising.
It's not a BMC policy, they helped publish it. Can't comment on insurance.
I was at that meeting too (not the AGM!) and can't remember such a vote either. I don't remember a presentation by Steve Scott either, only Max Biden, Dave Birkett, Steve Ashworth and Simon Webb. Hmm...
Exact wording in the section entitled 'To scratch or not to scratch, that is the question.' (Page 7):
'The message is simple: if you are thinking of stepping out onto a classic rock route this winter, armed to the teeth with sharp ironmongery, please think again.'
As I've said, not particularly neutral.
But the real irony is this wording was rejected at the Lakes meetings as being to aggressive / confrontational - who'd have thought!
I was talking about the meeting GPN was at, which was in Staveley not Kendal. Are you talking about a different one?
None mate, good points but still don't like the way it's all been done or worded. Secretly by the elite.
What is going to be a good call this Sunday. North to north east facing venues are presumably out also exclude pinnacle ridge? So apart from sharp edge? Ideally I would prefer routes to ridges.
I fully agree with you, and I'll go a bit further. Through the whole of this 'debate' all I can think of is the fact that a miniscule minority have decided, during a meeting in the Lakes, and without asking the opinions of climbers throughout Britain, what, when and where we can and can't conduct a winter climb. How can decisions on behalf of the majority be decided by such an unelected and ridiculously tiny minority in a meeting that all but a few could possibly attend.
By the way, my view is that I agree with not climbing rock routes that aren't protected by snow and ice; i.e. I loosely agree with them, but would include in the 'ban' a lot of the routes they have said are ok, so I'm not biased against them. Yet I find it so arrogant that a handful of people can dictate to the majority, even though their view is basically my view. This will only wind people up, and rightly so, and in some cases achieve the opposite result. The 'document' will only make things worse, as I can hardly believe how far up their own a4ses the BMC are.
Arrogance is one thing that is certain to make people do the opposite.
Completely agree, hope my support doesn't downgrade your point!
I am talking about the Stavely meeting. The one where Steve Scott told us not to climb anything, Dave Birkett told us to do as I say, not as I do and Steve Ashworth, rather than defend his actions chose to point out the failings of his critics.
There was a show of hands vote taken, it was heartily against publishing a list of restrictions.
Last year a couple of activists had a very public, vocal change of heart which resulted in one of the most cynical pieces of publicity I have witnessed in the climbing world.
Superstars or at least those who believe they are change their minds and so we all have to fall in line?
I don't think so.
The Stavely meeting was videoed, If you wish to suffer it again, I am sure you could find footage of the vote.
Morning all. Right, I'm ducking out of this now as I've got sucked in and it's already taken up too much of my life. The document is there, make of it what you will, there are only so many times / ways I can point out it wasn't a conspiracy.
Good luck finding conditions this weekend one and all.
Things were just getting interesting, you didn't like what 3leggeddog posted, now you're running!
Last post I promise!
No it's you fella, with your witty ripostes and well thought out arguments mixed with an urban street vibe - really given me what for, me being a toff and all.
Can we stop all this nonsense please.
As discussed on other threads, the Winter Conditions Thread (for the current period) is here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=577893 . Please discuss Lakes winter conditions on there. Please keep the other rubbish on some other forum.
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