/ Rubbish left on mountains by challenge groups

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llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
I had a walk on the Carneddau last Sunday - and came down off them with a tanalised timber post and its' dayglo sign 'V3K race safety sign- we will remove'.

Was up again in another area this afternoon. Another V3K sign at the detour off to yr Elen 'Turn L at carn' . Also scattered across the Carneddau at maybe half a dozen locations were canes and dayglo marker tape 'flags'.

'V3K' appears to be a vegan event over the Welsh 3000's which took place on June 28th. I thought vegans were a more environmentally friendly group than the bulk of the population. Turns out they're not.

Should people be on the mountains if they need markers to show them the way?



Lusk - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Next year, go around the night before and collect them all and dump them on their doorstep.
If they need signs everywhere, they shouldn't be out and about in the hills.
llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Lusk:

Indeed.
Just looked at their website. They bill the event as only suitable for individuals able to navigate!
Lusk - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

It's a joke!
I did Ingleborough one time, and there were signs for Y3P en route, on an up slope and you could see the summit!!!
richprideaux - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Have you contacted the organisers? Signs on events like these are becoming more common (debate the right and wrong of that if you will) but responsible organisers will have some procedure for removing them, usually with a 'sweep' runner collecting them.

I suspect if you let them know they have missed a couple they will send someone out to collect them. I have done this for companies I have worked for in the past.

And if you disagree with placing of signs (which should be with landowners permission)then it's probably best to lodge that complaint with the organiser. Removing safety signs without knowing if they have permission to be there is at best petty and at worst dangerous...
Skol on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to richprideaux:

> And if you disagree with placing of signs (which should be with landowners permission)then it's probably best to lodge that complaint with the organiser. Removing safety signs without knowing if they have permission to be there is at best petty and at worst dangerous...

The event was 28th June.
I'm grateful to Llechwedd that I won't have to see this litter tomorrow.
Well done Llechwedd.
Skol on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:
One Vegan walker to another.
'There were supposed to be back up signs. Where have Vegone wrong'?
Lusk - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Skol:

Vegans are German?! :-)
richprideaux - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Skol:

But if they collected most of the signs but missed two or three then they wouldn't know that they had some to go out and fetch. Once again, it would probably better to contact the organiser rather than coming straight to UKC to moan about litter in the hills.

I just want to play devil's advocate - there is often an assumption that anybody who does an organised activity in the hills is there only to ruin the landscape and annoy other users...
Luke90 on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to richprideaux:

> But if they collected most of the signs but missed two or three then they wouldn't know that they had some to go out and fetch. Once again, it would probably better to contact the organiser rather than coming straight to UKC to moan about litter in the hills.

Solving that problem shouldn't be rocket science for them, count them out and count them in!
Even better, number the signs individually so that if one's missing, they could know its rough location and go find it.
llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to richprideaux:

> Have you contacted the organisers?

Yes I left appropriate comments on their Facebook page.

>responsible organisers will have some procedure for removing them, usually with a 'sweep' runner collecting them.

Clearly they didn't

> I suspect if you let them know they have missed a couple they will send someone out to collect them. I have done this for companies I have worked for in the past.

So, we should leave the litter up on the mountain and hope they can send someone to clear up. Meanwhile, for the past fortnight, every other hillgoer has had the 'benefit' of their discarded signage.

> And if you disagree with placing of signs (which should be with landowners permission)then it's probably best to lodge that complaint with the organiser. Removing safety signs without knowing if they have permission to be there is at best petty and at worst dangerous...

I disagree.
You think I should lodge a complaint rather than take them down?
Very bureacratic.
Safety Signs?
It's a mountain. If competitors can't negotiate their way round up there then they should consider choosing a lesser challenge.
But, hey, that's how it it is today. Increasingly, people sign up for 'challenges' where the challenge is watered down. If it's billed as requiring navigation skills then it shouldn't need crap left on the hills.
Having said that, doing the Fourteen Peaks twice is physically demanding - I couldn't do it.

As for you comment about removing 'safety signs' and it being petty and dangerous, the event took place on the 28th of June. The signs were there today.





Lusk - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to richprideaux:

There's too much organised activity going on and promotion of the great outdoors.
The place is getting trashed.
It should be left to be discovered by people by chance or by friends.
Skol on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to richprideaux:

> But if they collected most of the signs but missed two or three then they wouldn't know that they had some to go out and fetch. Once again, it would probably better to contact the organiser rather than coming straight to UKC to moan about litter in the hills.

It's a long way to forget three signs that they put up? Perhaps they were just lazy?

> I just want to play devil's advocate - there is often an assumption that anybody who does an organised activity in the hills is there only to ruin the landscape and annoy other users...

If they leave litter them the assumption is correct? The thing is, they could organise several laps of a forestry trail that is already marked, or they could put 'live markers' on the hill to walk off afterwards with any stragglers?:)

llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Luke90:

GPS and ticklist . As you say, it's not rocket science.

Maybe it's all a conspiracy by omnivores to discredit the vegans?
llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to richprideaux:

> Once again, it would probably better to contact the organiser rather than coming straight to UKC to moan about litter in the hills.

They screwed up. Litter is litter. I don't contact anyone else who litters and tell them they've left something discarded.
Name and Shame. Also helps remind other organisers of their responsibility.


> I just want to play devil's advocate - there is often an assumption that anybody who does an organised activity in the hills is there only to ruin the landscape and annoy other users...

No, I don't think that. But clearly the organisers didn't take their responsibility very seriously.
It also sends out a bad signal to individuals visiting the hills for the first time - quasi official looking signs left around, so perhaps I don't have to be too considerate of other hillusers either. Might as well get rid of this orange peel.

Skol on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:
Carneddau is Welsh for carnivore. It means ' the tooth of the carnivore'
Moley on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

That will be this lot then on the FRA forum: http://forum.fellrunner.org.uk/showthread.php?18669-Vegan-Welsh-3000s

Obviously should have known better and I'm a forum member - though not a vegan I hasten to add. IainR may know something more about the race? Not as a runner but his old area and has commented on the forum.
llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Skol:
'Carnedd' - I thought it meant a heap or a mound. Presumably of discarded safety signs.


Post edited at 21:53
Skol on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> 'Carnedd' - I thought it meant a heap or a mound. Presumably of discarded safety signs.

No , it's definetly Welsh for carnivores. Just wait until the scouse doggers attempt!'this way to the feckin frig point'
highclimber - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

You've made an error in logic by assuming a bunch of vegans are more environmentally savvy because they are vegan.
llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to Moley:

Yes, I saw that the organisers quoted IainR on their website.
The race was the Fourteen ( ?fifteen) peaks, Conwy- Snowdon, then turn round and run it back!

Its a long route and - IIRC- there was something about restricting numbers to about 20 runners. Given this arrangement, clearly they couldn't have marshals everywhere. Having said that, it's a relatively well defined route, so why is there the need for signage?

As you say, should have known better (than to leave rubbish up there)

llechwedd - on 11 Jul 2014
In reply to highclimber:

> You've made an error in logic by assuming a bunch of vegans are more environmentally savvy because they are vegan.

Yes, a slightly childish dig.

Having said that, I assumed that vegan principles were concerned with the ethics of animal welfare, of eating animals, and of environmental sustainability. The latter seems an overt nod to environmental concerns whereas the non vegans do not have such a defining principle, rather a variety of opinions.
Ron Rees Davies - on 12 Jul 2014
I too was concerned about the residual markings - both red posts, yellow dayglo sticks and also chalked arrows on rocks - which I found on the Glyderau last week.

As this is an area where I do some environmental surveying I get quite protective, and did indeed send a rather strongly worded email to the v3k organisers.

I've included part of the response below, but should also point out that 2 days after my email I was out walking with someone who invited their friend along ..... and it turned out to be the v3k person I emailed !

Suffice it to say the issue has been well and truly raised, the v3k organisers fully appreciate the issue and it is unlikely to happen again.

Ron

>>>>

Hello Ron

Thank you for getting in touch with us.

We're really sorry the signs etc haven't been removed, we had sweepers in place who's role it was to remove them and unfortunately we assumed they had. I will go out today and ensure all signage etc is taken down.

You are quite correct that those going into the hills should not need signage. We had joined with an organisation which insisted on us providing signage and this decision is now under review.

Our aim is certainly not to litter the hills or have a negative impact on the environment. In fact our aims are quite the opposite and we are quite devastated at our failing in this respect.

Once again, many thanks for drawing this situation to our attention I will be heading onto the Glyderau today to remedy it.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss this matter further.

<<<<

Their email address is info@vegan-welsh-3000s.co.uk
SteveRi - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

I was thinking of doing this before getting ill (mate of mine placed top 5). Based on what you've quoted above I'd still think of it next year. I'd say what they have for dinner has little bearing on their race organisation skills :)
llechwedd - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:

> I too was concerned about the residual markings - both red posts, yellow dayglo sticks and also chalked arrows on rocks - which I found on the Glyderau last week. .. and did indeed send a rather strongly worded email to the v3k organisers.

> I've included part of the response below,> Suffice it to say the issue has been well and truly raised, the v3k organisers fully appreciate the issue and it is unlikely to happen again.

Considering that I was still carting their crap off the hills after their limited litter pick instigated by your email, I can't say I've much faith in their promises.

> >>>>

> "We're really sorry the signs etc haven't been removed, we had sweepers in place who's role it was to remove them and unfortunately we assumed they had. I will go out today and ensure all signage etc is taken down".


> You are quite correct that those going into the hills should not need signage. We had joined with an organisation which insisted on us providing signage and this decision is now under review.

Great that the decision to place signage is under review. We'll have to wait and see.

> Our aim is certainly not to litter the hills ...and we are quite devastated at our failing in this respect.

So devastated that 'V3K' didn't think to walk the entire route and check for other litter they'd left?

On a final note, I was incorrect in stating that the 'race' was the Fourteen Peaks out and back. V3K's 'Ultra Extreme' route missed out Yr Elen in one direction. From their published 2013 results, this event had 1 finsher last year.
On the basis of their completion times, the bulk of competitors in their far more popular event of the Fourteen (fifteen) Peaks seemed to be walking the route.


FactorXXX - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to Skol:

Carneddau is Welsh for carnivore. It means ' the tooth of the carnivore'

Carnedd is Welsh for Cairn.
Skol on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Carneddau is Welsh for carnivore. It means ' the tooth of the carnivore'

> Carnedd is Welsh for Cairn.

I know:)
gd303uk - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to Lusk:
hehehe
replace the day glow flags and signs with BBQ cuts of meat. ;)
Post edited at 17:35
highclimber - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> Carneddau is Welsh for carnivore. It means ' the tooth of the carnivore'

> Carnedd is Welsh for Cairn.

Lol.
Dave Hewitt - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

On a related theme, on my local hills the Ochils in recent summers there's been a tendency for organised charity walks up Ben Cleuch to be preceded a day or two beforehand by someone with a spray can (or something similar) who paints direction arrows at various path junctions (and also at various bleedin' obvious junctionless places, which seems very stupid). This summer there have been two instances of this, one for a walk coming from the Alva side, the other from the Tillicoultry side.

Quite how long the markings stay in place depends a fair bit on the weather, but generally it's about a month before they've completely faded. Even though the markings do fade, this always irritates me in a "leave no trace" kind of way. What most annoys me however are not the painted arrows but the painted crosses on the other branch of path-junctions, indicating that the charity walkers shouldn't go that way. Having no-go crosses on the hillside for several weeks never feels appropriate in a hill context unless there's a proper reason, eg a path closed due to rockfall or repair. It's not the worst thing in the world of course, but I'd much rather whoever organised these things (think it's a local Round Table in one case) either marshalled the route as per hill races, or put in temporary marker posts that would be removed by the mopper-up at the back of the group on the day.
ads.ukclimbing.com
llechwedd - on 12 Jul 2014
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

As the filling in of so many forms these days requires an affirmative cross in the box, I wonder if the painted crosses you've mentioned are a bit ambiguous.
So, rather than obtrusive spray paint and signs to corral the inept, how about motion detectors linked to speakers hidden in those pretend rocks you can find in B&Q?
A quick blast of a pre-recorded message of impending doom, delivered in the style of Brian Blessed or Private Fraser off Dad's Army should do it.

Agressively working sheepdogs could also be used for corraling. They have the added benefit of self retrieving after the event.
Clearly this wouldn't be an option for a vegan event...

captain paranoia - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Wingnut and I were walking in the Leanachan Forest near Spean Bridge earlier this year, and encountered a long trail of pink plastic tape festooning the trees every 10m or so; not just at obvious junctions, but all along even straight, unambiguous trails. It seemed to have been there a while. And no, it wasn't for marking trees to be felled...
FactorXXX - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to Skol:

I know:)

I knew that you knew...

:)
Skol on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to FactorXXX:

> I know:)

> I knew that you knew...

> :)

Oh:))
HAJ - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

I did this race (and you did need to navigate as visibility was 50m for most of it). I gather the stakes are the checkpoint punch points and the little day glo things are a skyrunner requirement. Not the organisers choice I believe but they should pick them up!

The v3k organisers seem like a reasonable crowd but hate to say that they were terribly disorganised. From the most basic thing (bag check) to the safety critical stuff they were poor. I know one of the v3k extreme competitors got a right hump for a checkpoint Marshall leaving their post. Happened to me too but near the end. They have a lot to learn quickly or else they will lose entries - it is already a bit niche.
llechwedd - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to HAJ:

Your mention of signage being a Skyrunner requirement prompted me to take a look at the 'Skyrunner'organisation

http://www.skyrunning.com/images/stories/pdfs/isf-sky-rules-2012.pdf

Reading these rules, it is clear that the International Skyrunning Federation do not exist merely to further their version of the sport, but also to ensure the primacy of their bureaucracy for control and commercial purposes.

Fine, that's modern sport you may say. But the concept seems to have originated from races in the Alps over routes which are more obvious paths, with obvious signs.
The Skyrunner organisation exert no proprietorial rights over the hills of Britain, where the long established sport of fellrunning coexists amicably with most other hill users. The informality of arrangement is one reason it does so. I believe the V3K ran quite happily before its' incorporation under the SkyrunnerTM logo.

Jake463 - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

At least they apologised and have gone out for the rest without getting a holier than thou humph.
I've seen plenty of anonymous signs on the hills left for weeks with no suggestion of who to contact / who left it. That really does irritate me.

llechwedd - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to Jake463:


> At least they apologised and have gone out for the rest without getting a holier than thou humph.

Yes, they apologised.
Yet if they'd then gone out for the rest, as you tell me they did, I wouldn't have had to carry their litter down on two occasions, after said apology. Nothing 'holier than thou' about that.

> I've seen plenty of anonymous signs on the hills left for weeks with no suggestion of who to contact / who left it. That really does irritate me.

So what do YOU do about it if it irritates you?
Presumably, if the anonymous signs had been there for weeks, either no one saw them before you did, or, more likely, as there were plenty of them, hillusers saw it as someone else's responsibility.

In the circumstances, the colloquialism 'Jog on' seems appropriate.

Jake463 - on 13 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> So what do YOU do about it if it irritates you?

Me? I always take a spare carrier bag and fill it with rubbish. Got fed up of my leftovers getting squished into a messy pulp in my food bag and started taking a spare for rubbish. May as well fill it with other stuff too.
To be honest, I'm far more concerned about removing bits of glass and other litter which scatters most of the popular hills - it's of more obvious danger to wildlife and the glass a fire risk. But I'll squeeze anonymous signs in too.


paulh.0776 - on 19 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

Perhaps the organizers should be reminded that leaving litter in the National Parks is an offence under the Environmental Protection act 1990, and carries a max fine of £2500. As they have placed these items deliberately, and presumably without permission, they should be given a warning and if they they offend again be fined appropriately, that should concentrate their minds a bit.
Mike Peacock on 20 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

I was on the Glyderau on Sunday 13th (after the email Ron got saying the posts would be removed). I removed a marker post from the upper scree slopes from the top of the Devil's Kitchen to Glyder Fawr. I hasten to mention that this was the upper slopes, as the route there is very well cairned and marker posts seem a bit superfluous. Anyway, I carried it down and binned it at Ogwen Cottage.
IainRUK - on 21 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> Indeed.

> Just looked at their website. They bill the event as only suitable for individuals able to navigate!

It was a sky race.. by sky rules it needs flagging.. but they should be removed.

Lusk: On the Y3P the race differs from the walkers at a few points so is occasionally flagged. But the y3P is very much a runners race, not a classic fell race, but more of a mountain race, good trails, flagged, fast running.. fantastic race for what it is.. but its not a peris/jura where mountain craft is key.
IainRUK - on 21 Jul 2014
In reply to Mike Peacock:

> I was on the Glyderau on Sunday 13th (after the email Ron got saying the posts would be removed). I removed a marker post from the upper scree slopes from the top of the Devil's Kitchen to Glyder Fawr. I hasten to mention that this was the upper slopes, as the route there is very well cairned and marker posts seem a bit superfluous. Anyway, I carried it down and binned it at Ogwen Cottage.

It really doesn't matter if its cairned.. many european routes are, plus many other trails.. sky races are flagged so you should be able to see one flag from the next.

Flagged routes are nothing new, the Ben race is flagged on the summit in a few places.. but that still doesn't mean taping shouldn't be removed..
IainRUK - on 21 Jul 2014
In reply to paulh.0776:

> Perhaps the organizers should be reminded that leaving litter in the National Parks is an offence under the Environmental Protection act 1990, and carries a max fine of £2500. As they have placed these items deliberately, and presumably without permission, they should be given a warning and if they they offend again be fined appropriately, that should concentrate their minds a bit.

why do you think it was without permission? That's very unlikely..
IainRUK - on 21 Jul 2014
In reply to Moley:

> That will be this lot then on the FRA forum: http://forum.fellrunner.org.uk/showthread.php?18669-Vegan-Welsh-3000s

> Obviously should have known better and I'm a forum member - though not a vegan I hasten to add. IainR may know something more about the race? Not as a runner but his old area and has commented on the forum.

I was asked for a comment on the adverts by the UK Skyrunning director, but was just told it was the 3000ers route… which it isn't.. so my comments are pretty redundant..

It'll be interesting of sky running takes off in the UK. I don't think it will from what I've seen so far. It needed investment in time and money and direction on the day from those who have sky raced.. or witnessed it close up and Ian was away in Europe as I understand..

If it is to take off it needs to run better early on.. see how the peak race goes. The organisers are more experienced with SR so it may go OK.. but I've a feeling its just going to be a new version of fell races too often and not like sky races in europe..
IainRUK - on 21 Jul 2014
In reply to llechwedd:

> Your mention of signage being a Skyrunner requirement prompted me to take a look at the 'Skyrunner'organisation


> Reading these rules, it is clear that the International Skyrunning Federation do not exist merely to further their version of the sport, but also to ensure the primacy of their bureaucracy for control and commercial purposes.

Well not always, european races also have many path junctions and often bare rock so flagging is handy.. but yes sky running is very much about grabbing a chunk of the running scene.

Very corporate. I like it in principle but its a bit 'its my ball'.. but the world mountain running assoc are far worse.. and if anyone has seen the safety in fell running debates.. fell running has its own issues..
llechwedd - on 21 Jul 2014
In reply to IainRUK:

Good to have your input.
Thanks.
V3K - on 22 Jul 2014
We've been following the thread, maybe should have added our input earlier...

It's true that we didnt have any experience in organising a Skyrunning event or even witnessing one, they approached us and we were honoured by this. In hindsight taking an existing "grass routes" race that has so much character and a very small budget into a more corporate style event was clearly going to be difficult. It's true we had expected and asked for guidance especially in course marking as we have no experience. Initially my concern was that people would feel overly confident in going onto the hill with no proper navigation skills and therefore put themselves in danger. Hence insisting that people had excellent nav skills. Last year we provided nav skills training and we will do that again next year. This year we organised 2 free training weekends so people had the opportunity to understand that this race should not be taken lightly.

Our strategy for course marking was to set the course on the Friday or early Saturday before the race, then have all signage collected by the sweepers, with a backup collection by marshals and a further sweep by me (RO). Unfortunately weather conditions were particularly grim on the Friday and the Saturday with very poor visibility. This hampered both the deployment and the collection of posts. Hence posts not being exactly where they should be and sweepers missing them. I have swept the course twice since the race, last time was 13th July (I would have been out since then but Ive been ill, I'll be out again over the weekend hopefully if I am fully recovered).

We have asked if people see markers to report them to us, photograph them, send us exact details where they are and I will personally go out and collect them. We have also told people that we will "reward" them for notifying us by sending a goody bag to their address.

We do not, at all want markers left on the hills nor do we want any litter, unlike other organisations we put our initials onto our markers so we were accountable, because we do believe in being responsible for our actions. There are many markers on the hills with no names on them and we didnt want that. We are all volunteers who organise V3K and most of us also volunteer for litter clean ups too.

This was our third year organising the route, first year it was just ten friends, last year we had approx 30 runners. This year 75. The race was started because we love the route and has continued because we want others to love the route too. I can't express enough just how important these hills are to us, and how very sorry we are for this situation to have occurred.

Let me reiterate, we are really sorry to have caused everyone so much upset, this was not our intention at all. If you want to talk to me about any of this in private or have seen a marker please contact me on info@vegan-welsh-3000s.co.uk

Kirsch

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