/ Lake Distict winter climbing guidlines
Not sure why the previous thread was pulled - it had nothing to do with current conditions (maybe it was all part of the big lake district winter climbing conspiracy).
Despite the usual bilge and vitriol that seems to go hand in hand with lakes wither debates i thought it was worth keeping this thread alive as i think it is an interesting/controversial step that has been gone to in banning crags and am interested in hearing people’s opinions
PS please don't anger Alan by mentioning current condtions
I think to be fair on Alan the other thread was getting a bit ridiculous. I, obviously, think it's a good start.
I'll give you that Exile, but the last posts from yesterday, definitely need discussing.
Yes lets just keep it nice, no name calling, I am fed up of arguments been pulled just as they getting interesting, do they not realise the best way of these things been dealt with is a debate of at least 30 thousand Lake District climbers on a forum.
I'll start, i don't agree with the new Lakes winter guide beacause:
1)It is worded in a way which looks down on other climbers and is from a rock climbers point of view. And also sounds like how I would address a group of idiots.
2)The secrecy invovled behind getting the document done.
3)Only the elite and climbers who climb extremely high and are well known had any invovlvement in it.
4)I like to make my own judgement on whether or not something should be climbed and will always go on the side of caution if any damage by me or the people i am out with is possible.
5)It's totally against everything the mountains are about for me.
6)The list of crags listed noone would surely ever climb with tools anyways.
7)The leaflet seems to go overboard with certain things, and if they are going to go this far they might as well go all the way.
8)The real people who this should be aimed at are high end climbers who can climb vdiffs or above with axes and crampons, as this seems to be the biggest problem, seen it while rock climbing myself, and total beginners who don't realise climbing easy gullies and buttress's with hardly any snow in/on them or on unfrozen turf damages turf and plantlife to a irreversible state. Yet it doens't seem to be aimed at either imo.
I thought it was based on discussions at a series of open meetings that anyone who lived within a reasonable distance and cared enough could go to?
Also, if it was done by a shadowy cabal of elite climbers, you'd expect them to be less down on mixed climbing (not that it seems particularly anti-mixed climbing to me) since the routes that get scratched up are total puntersville in summer but comparatively hardcore in winter, whereas most routes in the high E-grades are probably going to be too hard for winter climbing for a while to come.
The correct moan would be that it was commandeered by a bunch of hex-swinging trad bumblies who don't understand cutting edge mixed climbing
It is a guideline document and you don't have to follow it. You can continue to do what you do and enjoy the mountains.
OK fair point, but i guess what I am trying to say is:
It feels to me like the very people who are out there doing/done the damage to the rock climbs are now getting together creating a leaflet and blaming the damage on the next bunch of climbers to come along, who don't and probably never will have aspirations to climb these routes, who are quite happy bimbling along doing easy gullies, scrambles and north facing piles of choss noone ever visits, then been told by the elite "do not, no matter what, do what we are doing, ok?
Is it just me who feel like this?
>> I thought it was based on discussions at a series of open meetings that anyone who lived within a reasonable distance and cared enough could go to?
I live in Kendal and go to the Kendal wall twice a week, me and the 20 other people I climb with, who do not use this forum have heard absolutely nothing about it until this leaflet was sent out. If there was any advertising which i doubt there was, it did not imply the importance of what was to ocme out of this meeting, or that it wasn't just another old boys meet, otherwise ivited or not i would have been there to give my opinion whether people wanted to hear it or not.
Who is this then? Do you have certain individuals in mind? I'm now confused - I thought it was a group of dedicated Lakes summer rock climbers who aren't very interested in modern hard mixed climbing who object to winter ascents of rock routes? Dave Cumberland being the most vocal on UKC. Are some of the people who have done hard winter ascents of summer routes (Ashworth, Birkett, Cave for example) now saying people shouldn't mix climb in the lakes then?
Well who was at the meeting then? exaclty noone knows, how about a list of names of the people who are deciding my future in the hills? I would like to hear this very much.
There is no way that a bunch of bimbly old rock jock climbers have come up with this.
Dave B I mean Cumberland.
Are some of the people who have done hard winter ascents of summer routes (Ashworth, Birkett, Cave for example) now saying people shouldn't mix climb in the lakes then
I think the general thing is this, high end climbers do the damage, then so that noone else can carry on in their footsteps they create a leaflet ordering every one else around, then they jump on every conditons thread going and slate them to the point of it becoming a complete joke and the threads getting banned then they get the conditions threads passed over to them, it's a conspiracy as stated earlier.
You keep writing things like this Wesley, but you haven't actually explained any way in which someone is going to force you to do or not do something in the hills. Of the actual 7 point suggested code at the end of the document I can't really see how any of them could be seen as controversial. I'm not really sure what it is you disagree with? You are at least giving the impression that you more resent feeling excluded from the process than the actual outcome of that process?
So - to be clear - are you accusing Paddy Cave of doing this, as he is now doing the conditions posts?
I don't remember him even contributing to the conditions thread previously though, let alone 'slating' anything or anyone on it. I don't think he has tried to ban anyone following in his footsteps either.
Perhaps you could just link to some posts that show what you are saying?
I can definitely see where Wesley is coming from, and I'm not the only one either. The other thread proved this.
I've just got an email from the BMC regarding a snowdonia meeting, yet I received nothing regarding the district meetings. So yes it doe's seem that this was kind of kept on the hush.
Like you say Toby, nobody can stop me making my own decisions while winter climbing. I'll just follow the high end climbers and carry on mixed climbing, as paddy has done yesterday and this morning.
a) There you go:
I appreciate that people don't bother looking at the BMC website that often, but putting stuff on there can hardly be described as keeping it in secret!
b) Surely the fact that people who have in the past been involved in hard winter ascents of summer routes are now turning round and saying "enough is enough" is a good thing? If it was all trad punters who occasionally muck about in easy gullies then a lot of wannabe hardmen would get all huffy about how the people who produced this document "don't understand cutting edge mixed climbing" and would probably ingore it. As it is, they might pay some attention.
c) I'm having massive trouble understanding why you - as far as I can tell, a trad punter / winter bumbly like me - are getting so riled up by a document which is basically squarely protecting the interests of the likes of us - as in, it discourages people from damaging routes that we might climb in summer, and basically has no impact on anything that we might realistically climb in winter. It seems like you're so desperate to pick an argument that, given that you can't reasonably get angry about the actual content, you're punching at shadows involving the tone or bizarre conspiracy theories involving the group of people who wrote it. Is there actually anything in the content that you disagree with? Do you think we should actually be encouraging winter climbing on more of the crags and buttresses it lists?
You do know that this thingy doesn't say "don't go mixed climbing", right?
That seems like a very small band of people decided what these rules/guidelines should be.
I see winter ethics as being pretty simple, but a lot of people like to complicate the issue! Yet this complicated issue was solved with a couple of meetings?????
The only person who suggested rules/guidelines was........ Dave Birkett
"Problems now because there are no restrictions
Therefore need some controls"
No surprise there then.
Yes, I didn't mention that it did, did I.
But the fact is, this massive debate has evolved from mixed climbing. Mixed climbing first carried out by the likes of Dave Birkett.
I see the point of some clear guideline for beginners getting into winter climbing and as such I see a guide as a generally positive thing - but actively banning crags just seems a bit too much – as I mentioned on the other thread two stared grade 4 and 5 mixed routes have been banned on Dow – so this does look like it affects punters to some extent
There seem to be some very strange editorial policies and interpretations of postings on this site.
Speaking as someone whose favourite winter pursuit is mixed (in the right place) these are the proposed guidelines that I would support, and the recent FRCC stance in the back of the new Langdale guidebook and BMC comes a long way to support them.
Any rock climb that:
1. Gets any Summer sun.
2. Becomes a dry line in Summer.
3. Is clean and free from drainage and vegetation in Summer.
4. Ever gets climbed in Summer.
5. Has no stars, one star, two stars or three stars:
Should NOT be climbed with axes and crampons.
Any line that:
1. Gets no Summer sun.
2. Takes drainage in Summer.
3. Remains vegetated and dirty in Summer.
4. Never forms a dry clean line in Summer.
4. Never gets climbed in Summer.
Could be climbed with winter gear subject to fully frozen conditions.
I would appreciate it if you could possibly recommend some venues for me please Dave, to develop my mixed climbing. I'm struggling to find suitable routes that are fair game, if I'm honest.
Well thanks for the information that you and Paddy Cave are both going to carry on mixed climbing then. I have literally no idea what your point is, though.
Ok, I will clarify it for you then:
" Like you say Toby, nobody can stop me making my own decisions while winter climbing"
Hang on: Pont 4 "Ever gets climbed in Summer" that rules out quite a bit doesn't it? I mean even the gullies have had summer accents at some point surely that basically means – any rock climb at all is a no go?
No not directly but it's an old boys club (soggy biscuit boys kind of) anyways every time I was slated for my conditions threads it was always someone with a blank profile or some grade v climber or above trying to prove that they know better and I know nothing.
No-one was slating your conditions threads, at least no-one at UKC. Massive threads like that just become a complete pain to moderate and we were getting a lot of reports about some very petty exchanges on them. The trouble is that people who report the exchanges never tell us where they are in the thread and finding out who said what to whom when there are 470 replies is a right pain.
Plus, removing threads usually slows down the bickering somewhat - I say usually here!
Plus, to me it seems more logical to have a Conditions Thread with a date which gathers comments for a while, then when a new report comes in we can transfer to that one. This makes the threads more manageable and more topical.
The debate about the BMC booklet has nothing to do with the conditions threads moderating.
Paddy Cave agreed to take on the reports after the original person we had doing them - Si Withington - said he wasn't able to manage it any more due to him being away. Si recommended Paddy, who I have never met, who kindly said he would do it.
As a final point, only one thread has been 'pulled' and that was your duplicate conditions thread which appeared moments after I had pointed people at the UKC Lakes Conditions thread. The other threads have been closed to replies - there is a big difference.
ok thanks for explaining this to me, much appreciated.
I would love to hear Dave's recommendations too.
> I think the general thing is this, high end climbers do the damage
thats simply not true Wesley, I did Asterix on Gimmer the summer after Steve Ashworth and Woody did it as a winter route, its not scratched up, Neither is Angel of Mercy on Gable which has also had a winter ascent from Steve, its routes such as engineers slabs, snicker snack and other popular crack lines which see unskilled winter novices who like the idea of a hard well protected route but who lack the skills that damage the routes.
This is what the guidelines are trying to protect against.
Of course you can do what you want, guidelines are just that, guidelines, not rules, although with your current high profile and penchant for publicising your days out, you might not be very popular.
Sorry Dave but the guidelines don't mention anything about mixed routes and novices.
It isn't fair you to say that novices can't attempt certain routes, to learn and develop you need to get on these routes.
If it's ok for pro's then it's ok for everybody else!
Again, who and when exactly? You keep making accusations, such as the one above that could only have only have been aimed at Paddy, but then you won't actually show evidence of this or back away when asked to be more specific. From what I remember only Dave C. 'slated' your conditions reports because he disagrees with your interpretation of winter conditions and worries that it encourages people to climb unfrozen routes, but he has always done so under his full name which is honest and open even if you disagree with him. I'm not sure what grade V climber you are alluding to in your reply above either.
I think it's really good that things get discussed on UKC because more people can follow a discussion here than make it to a meeting in a local area, but if you accuse people of something be specific - say who you are criticising and exactly what you are criticising them for. Now we're on to soggy buscuits - who exactly do you say is in the soggy biscuit club? All the people who were at the BMC/FRCC convened meeting?
"Of course you can do what you want, guidelines are just that, guidelines, not rules, although with your current high profile and penchant for publicising your days out, you might not be very popular."
Wesley isn't publicising his days out, he was helping everybody get an idea of conditions. And he did a good job of it too.
I was made aware of it by a post Mick Ryan put up on UKC before the first meeting last Summer Wesley - somebody more IT savvy could probably find and link to it.
Dave I appreciate your clearly stated position above - that's helpful to know where you are coming from. Previously, as you don't have profile information on UKC and as we don't know each other, my impression was formed by reading your other posts. Quite a few of which seem to be you replying to Wesley telling him snow isn't the same as winter conditions, although sometimes a bit more aggressively than that.
> I would appreciate it if you could possibly recommend some venues for me please Dave, to develop my mixed climbing. I'm struggling to find suitable routes that are fair game, if I'm honest.
I'm not Dave Cumberland, but I'll try and answer your question.
The FRCC lakes guides and website with achived crags are really useful for working out potentially good winter crags that are less used in summer. Many of the crags which were cleaned in the 70's are not climbed on very much in summer now and are very vegetated and sometimes quite steep, perfect in fact for winter climbing.
Rainsborough Crag, up in the Kentmere valley, lots of old 60's/70's routes that are not popular beacause they are too vegetated.
Green Crag in Buttermere
Dale Head, Newlands
Cam Spout Crag, Eskdale
and plenty more, if you spend the time to work it out. Go and have a look and see what you think.
The reason summer routes have been developed and all this controversy has happened is that winter climbers trying hard technical lines, like clean crack lines to put their gear in, they can also spec out the route in summer and work out the gear placements. There are plenty of steep vegetated lines left in the lakes which are of absolutely no interest to summer climbers, why have they not been developed? Because people lack the drive and imagination - go and have a look xplorer and Wesley, you may be pleasently surprised.
I appreciate the reply Dave!
I actually enjoy researching, planning and scouting out new winter crags and lines.
ahh that explains your thread pulling actions
I knew there had to be some sort of rational
I do think that as a communicator you should have kept us, your audience, better informed
I am however glad that you have not turned out to be riding roughshod over innocent contributors but merely managing the forum
Although just to save people too much bother, I went to Dale Head in the winter of 2009-10 and climbed a couple of lines but the copious heather meant the quality wasn't great so I didn't record what I did and neither did my mate.
Well said MFB, your posts are always spot on!
not sure i can live up to that but thanks
Cheers for saving me the hassle I was thinking of heading there after scoping it out quite a bit in summer, but never got any conditions this season to get about as much unlike the last few years.
Dear All, surely you are smart enough to find your own winter venues without being told? Dave Ferguson has mentioned some.
Others are potentially:
Honister of course
Scafell and Great End, Pikes Crag, Ill Crag
Greenhow End and other high bits of Deepdale/Dovedale
So many more, at low level subject to conditions.
The problem that arose in the past ten years is that classic Lakes winter climbing is never going to give you anything harder than typically grade 5 to 6.
So the only way the top teams like Dave B, Steve A and others can get to do grade 7, 8, 9s and above like in Scotland is by climbing E2s E3s E4s and E5s with axes and crampons, hence we got into a problem with S Snack etc and the responses ten years after by the FRCC and BMC are a natural reaction. The current rush to climb every classic extreme in Scotland with tools will ultimately have the same Bowfell Buttress effect. It is sad because there are so many places to climb in classic style up there, and not everything is "indestructible" granite.
It has become consensus that no one wants routes like Astra, Cascade, Cruel Sister, Ichabod, Red Groove, Stoats Crack, Engineers Slab, Moss Ghyll Grooves, Flat Crags routes climbed with tools because the destruction will be too great like Bowfell Buttress.
To be fair, Dave's route on the Gold Rush icefall was a fantastic winter route in the classic mold. Also Steve's routes on Custs Gully wall are modern technical test-pieces, fair game as no one ever climbs there in Summer conditions. These demonstrate the possibilities that do not destroy classic rock routes. Creative thinking will deliver more of these routes.
why have they not been developed? Because people lack the drive and imagination - go and have a look xplorer and Wesley, you may be pleasently surprised.
Totally agree with this post.
Although on Pillar I'd hope people have the sense to not scratch up the amazing 3 star rock classics around there? There's more than enough that has reverted back to nature in summer but which would make superb winter routes.
At the risk of repeating myself from the locked thread.
Where and when was the agreement to write and publish this document agreed.
I ask this because the document contradicts the show of hands vote taken at a more than quorate meeting. As I said earlier, one or two of the great and good have a change of heart and we all must fall in line?
If somebody can refer me to minutes, numbers for and against or some other form of evidence, I will let this lie but at the momentit appears to me that a decision for the many has been taken by the few in contradiction to their wishes.
Huw? did you get the rose I sent you yesterday honey?
Dave, Your interpretation is not correct and as far as I remember you didn't actually go to any of the meetings.
Wesley, The meetings were advertised at Kendal Wall. It is a shame more people did not attend, but such is life - in the end you have to go with what you get or things drag on for ever and a day. Those who did get to the meetings were a fair representation of experienced Lakeland climbers to my mind. There were a few, like Dave Birket and Brian Davison, who are top end mixed climbers, many like myself who are medium grade winter climbers and rock climbers, and maybe one or two who were there are who are rock climbers only. There were also represenatives from English Nature and the National Trust, both of whom happen to be climbers themselves.
To all, for ca 99.99% of winter climbers I suspect this won't make a blind bit of difference to your winter climbing. In fact, the resulting guidance is very similar to that arrived at by Ground Up/the BMC/local climbers in North Wales a few years ago and is a compromise between the desires of winter climbers, rock climbers and conservationists. As with all compromises few people end up with exactly what they want but as both a winter climber and a rock climber I personally think it is a pretty reasonable one. As someone pointed out above, most of these crags are ones that he wouldn't climb on in winter anyway.
> At the risk of repeating myself from the locked thread.
> Where and when was the agreement to write and publish this document agreed.
Looks like it was here: http://community.thebmc.co.uk/Event.aspx?view=report&id=3083
The meeting at Stavely was a long time ago, lots seems to have happened since.
You out tomorrow?
I said "comes a long way to support them" (the criteria I listed). That is clearly what the BMC/FRCC (new Langdale guide) guidelines do. Very common sense approaches "comes a long way". i.e. going in the right direction but not same as my listed criteria, didn't claim that.
There are plenty of people who didn't go to the meetings for various reasons, and plenty who didn't get to hear of them for other reasons.
Overall I think good progress has been made, I believe there is a consensus among the silent majority.
I'm not really wanting to get involved in the whole debate, but what do you mean when you say 'silent majority'? doesn't seem to make sense to me?
Going out with Tim tomorrow, You want to come? It may not be politic to mentioning possibilities on here :-)
Fair enough :-)
Thanks for the link Dave. Those at the original Stavely meeting which we both attended far outweighed the few present at the Feb 14 meeting.
Stavely was just over 2 years ago, I am not sure that much has happened since then. Off the top of my head I cannot recall any ground breaking ascents in those winters. Trespasser Grooves etc were prior to then I think?
The decision appears to have been made on conjecture and opinion rather than evidence and appropriate sample size. My autistic side objects to this strongly.
No missed the rose sorry fella!
1984 is the route that happened between the two meetings which seemed to move some peoples opinion.
There were three meetings, the first one linked to, the second had a poorer turn out and the third had more.
In relation to Staveley I really can't remember a show of hands for or against guidelines - I know that looks like selective memory but it isn't, and it does surprise me as the Staveley meeting had a much more 'anti mixed' feel than any of the kendal ones. If you say it happened then fair enough but things move on.
I've got to say though I struggle to see how one open meeting (Staveley) where a group of climbers who climb across many diciplines, but may favour one over the other, meet together at a meeting tagged on to a BMC one, discuss winter ascents of rock routes in a forum chaired by the BMC, and express their views at the end of it is seen as democracy in action, while a second set of open meetings where a group of climbers who climb across many diciplines, but may favour one over the other, meet together at a meeting which is completely free of BMC involvement, discuss winter ascents of rock routes in a forum not chaired by the BMC, and express their views in a document, which the BMC published, is a combination of the BMC and the Lakes elite dictating to the masses.
As to my views, they are very similar to those expressed by Steve Reid above, but he's put it far more eloquently than I can.
RE Sunday, would be good to report back on here tomorrow and we can compare nots on what we've got done.
1984, memory holes, how apt ;)
I find the Stavely meeting more valid by strength of numbers, cross section of interested climbers and the fact that the debate was relatively fresh.
Some folk will re debate and re ballot until they achieve the result they desire. Much easier to get a majority of yes men or no men at a smaller meeting.
Have a great day out tomorrow buddy
Some folk will re debate and re ballot until they achieve the result they desire. Much easier to get a majority of yes men or no men at a smaller meeting.
But to be fair some people will cling onto a vote they desire to prove their point despite changing opinion - and that's from somebody who was at both meetings and two and half years ago in Staveley, if there was a vote, would have voted for a free for all.
Still trying to double guess tomorrow, but a plan forming!
So, where did you get to?
I went to Gable but the glittering prize was a bit too black, consoled ourselves with some new climbing instead
We thought the mixed may be too black and were not sure about turf so picked some Lakes esoterica from the 'that would be good to do one day' list. We did the girdle traverse of St Sundays, left to right, (rather than the right to left described in the guide.) which turned out to be a far better day / route than we were expecting. Turf crap, but you didn't need to use any, snow very good, (although we'd finished climbing by mid day - felt a lot warmer on the walk out,) rocks not hoared but snow on ledges. What was the turf like where you were?
Dave Cumberland isn't his real name.
> Dave Cumberland isn't his real name.
well Dave's his first name it's just the last name that's wrong.
The weekend conditions were of interest - from this post on the other thread, although Gable Crag looked good from where I was, it turned out to be less frozen (turf I mean):
Posted by someone on the other thread:
We had a great day on Central Gully of Great Gable yesterday. Buttresses were still rimed high up but black lower down. Turf was unfrozen on the buttresses. Gully conditions were excellent though. A little inconsistent lower down (we needed to skirt immediately left of the first two short steep sections to find suitably stable snow) but really good for the upper two thirds. Some really good névé. Gear was hard work to find.
On the Helvellyn range, climbs were done but some of the exits were very serious due to fragile collapsing cornices,high snow volumes and avalanche risk. Seems from where I was that the very top was frozen hard on Hel, Nether and Dolly, then unfrozen below 2500 feet and no snow below 2000ft.
Hutaple looked good, but at 2100-2300 it may not have been frozen, don't know.
Some guys did report a big avalanche on Dolly northeast side.
Elsewhere on the site
This Winter Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are... Read more
The release of Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 12th December may not appear to link to... Read more
This years ROCfest will be slightly different. We've decided to run a Climbing Festival, not just a competition! Over... Read more
The Epicentre Mega Winter Sale starts in store 9am Christmas Eve. We have a great selection of in store only deals from... Read more
On Saturday 13th December Greg Boswell and Guy Robertson kicked off their Scottish winter season early by making the... Read more
F ounded in 1993, Mountain Hardwear are a pretty young mountaineering clothing and equipment manufacturer but are also one of... Read more