It's pretty apparent that the announcement last weekend divided opinion between those who saw it as a green light to go climbing, and those who decided now was not the time. I was just wondering what other sports people participate in are also having heated debates about what is acceptable?
Myself, I love a bit of sea kayaking and British Canoeing pretty much said get back in your boats (although in a responsible localised manner) with the social distancing element much easier to control, although many are still saying they will wait.
Good question. I'm also curious to know when people say they will wait longer for their activities, how long are they prepared to wait? At one point do they think its reasonable? As in if this stays in heavy circulation for 3 years, are people genuinely prepared to abstain for that long? Or are they just waiting for it to be ever so slightly better? - no hate to anyone that is btw but I'm genuinely curious that if this stays around for 20 years and no vaccine found would people give up climbing forever?
Also I think horse riders and surfers have also had debates among them from what I can see
The horse riders of the High Peak never stopped to even have a debate..!
I'm also curious what will happen if no vaccine is developed
> horses would be especially tricky as I can imagine they can catch the virus too (as mammals)
Wont necessarily jump between all mammal species. Covid-19 seems transmittable to cats but not dogs for example.
Although all the local fields do have signs up saying please dont touch/feed the horses so either is a known risk or they are erring on the side of caution.
For sea kayaking in particular I thought the advice was very much err on the side of caution and only go out if you are competent and know the area well due to the restrictions on RNLI etc.
Gliding clubs are starting to reopen but as it's solo only for now there aren't many pilots who'll still be within their club's currency guidelines, they may get relaxed a little but not much, it's important. As most clubs depend on dual flying instruction/experience income to subsidise operation I doubt many will be doing much beyond maintainance and launching a few of their most senior members in their own gliders, too expensive to put club ships back on insurance for very very limited use. Lots of retirees in gliding especially th instructors. We're basically screwed until this is near local eradication or there's breakthrough in instant screening, treatment or vaccine.
Very good question and it has highlighted to me that, without realising it, I am one of those people that you describe! Something for me to ponder.
i see the MRT are asking people not to venture into the hills, and rightly so given the risk it puts them at. So, how about if you do decide to undertake any activity that carries with it a risk of needing to be rescued you do it with the knowledge that you are on your own. So take a splint with you and crutches or be prepared to crawl down that hill.
Personally I will be restricting any kayaking to "bimbling" about. Low risk paddling is fine but obviously the risks of paddling alone should be considered unless you have another paddler in your household.
I will be sticking to inland sheltered flat water for the moment. I won't be travelling to the sea, but if you live there I guess a sheltered bay in calm weather would be ok.
I'm waiting for confirmation from my local club who are deciding if they will open the water or not. I won't be using the building.
I imagine the RNLI will be similar to MRT in that some of their volunteers may also be NHS and rather busy.
I also heard that rescue helicopters are needed to transport patients to hospitals at present.
It doesn't really work like that does it? If I were to find you breathing but unconscious at the bottom of Esk Buttress, the little sign around your neck telling me not to worry, you're totally self sufficient and happy to drag yourself back to the car isn't going to carry much weight.
Very much my thinking regarding paddling. I don't intend to do anything more than pootle around at the moment.
There are 2 of us in the household so it is a question of can we look after each other which is less risk than solo paddling. If as a pair we stick to places we would feel capable of self rescue if we were solo then I think it is more than reasonable.
It is an interesting question. Personally I've decided to skip this weekend as I think we should try to stagger our return and other folk are more desperate to get out than I am - I'm happy to let them have the space. I'll probably take a day/afternoon off work and get out next week some time then as we work out how the load is spreading on local crags return to something more like normal usage patterns.
I should fess up that the decision to stay home has been made easier by my OH being on nights and the dog having a bad leg.
I'm not a SOTA devotee personally but I believe long travel for the purpose is probably not encouraged in the areas where it is practised.
I too am curious to know when those who are holding back will feel it is time to continue.
As desperate as I am to climb, for me it currently doesn’t feel right (I’m not against those going out to climb for sure).
I was thinking of holding back until June to reassess the situation, but I’m completely torn when to continue. I think I will see cafes and car parks reopening plus the go ahead to see family and friends as more of a green light for myself personally.
That said, I also feel like I have a huge fear of missing out kinda thing going on too!
So my wife and I have a couple of kayaks we use on the Thames at Oxford, which we have access to a private slipway to. I'm trying to get my head around the latest EA email, which says in separate paragraphs 'So at this stage, we want to reiterate that boaters should avoid all non-essential travel on our waterways for the next few weeks and to make journeys only to access essential services and facilities' and 'from Wednesday you may see the resumption of angling and watersports on our waterways. We continue to encourage all waterways users to respect the needs of our residential waterways community and maintain appropriate social distancing, following the guidance of organisations such as British Canoeing'.
The way I want to read this is that we are not 'boaters' as per their first para, because that's talking about powered multi-person vessels, and thus according to the second para it's OK to go and pootle to Abingdon and back in the kayak. But I am genuinely not sure if that's right at all..!
I used to believe the 'I'll sort myself out' thing until experience taught me it's largely balls. It's one thing hopping home with a sprained ankle but a lot more painful with a snapped collarbone (unless your Joe Simpson) . And you're definitely calling for help when your girl/boyfriend knocks themselves out in a freak accident on an easy bike trail or your friend falls bouldering and breaks their back. You quickly find your determination to be self-sufficient goes out the window when it's someone you care about.
thats because some nobheads have been feeding horses stuff they cant digest and some horses have died sadly
> For sea kayaking in particular I thought the advice was very much err on the side of caution and only go out if you are competent and know the area well due to the restrictions on RNLI etc.
Yes the advice was to be cautious, but their first statement was something like "the Prime Ministers easing of lockdown has paved the way for a return to paddling" which had a lot of my friends jumping into their spraydecks. There was a lot of very good supporting information on how to act once the documentation was released, and potential pressure put on coastguards and RNLI and even how to start coaching and guiding 1:1. Personally I think they've done a great job with the current advice.
> i see the MRT are asking people not to venture into the hills
By and large I don't think they are really, they're mostly just asking people not to stick their necks out. In sea kayaking terms, I think the message from the Coast Guard and RNLI is much the same on the whole: take it steady, try to make sure you won't need rescuing.
I wouldn't be in that position so hard to come up with a reply hmm, I would personally, if I discovered someone probably try to help them, its in my nature to do so, my point is, in these circumstances if you go out and take risks expect to be on your own if things go sideways, and i suppose thats could be the acid test on what you choose to do, think about it, and the consequences, if you cannot live with them do not go out.
> Also I think horse riders and surfers have also had debates among them from what I can see
Funny, I thought surfers would be fairly open to returning. It can be a pretty solitary experience if you want it to be. Is the issue with the RNLI and coastguard requirements? I've a mate in the local coastguard who was training last night due to the expected weekend surge, and that they are all a bit rusty after 6/7 weeks off.
Sailors have been having very similar conversations to climbers, with the added complication that many of our boats are still in winter storage.
A big debate at the moment is whether it is acceptable to stay onboard overnight.
> Good question. I'm also curious to know when people say they will wait longer for their activities, how long are they prepared to wait? At one point do they think its reasonable?
For me, its when the government says its OK to assemble in groups outside your household in say 10s (for example). This is the state countries like NZ have gotten to where the virus is under control and people are allowed to socialise more. Sure, the government isn't the be-all and end-all of sound advice, but at this stage I feel local populations will be more understanding, and climbers around the crags will be more tolerant of others being in close proximity.
> A big debate at the moment is whether it is acceptable to stay onboard overnight.
Tricky. I know a lot of people asking the same about wild camping which in essence should be reasonably safe and self isolated. I guess the risk becomes if they are out for 1 night, surely 2 nights is ok, then 4.... And that puts the risk of someone getting caught out with the weather and requiring rescuing.
There has been a debate in surfing. It often comes down to 'I've never had a accident' and don't foresee themselves having one, vs. 'I've had accidents/experienced others having them' and can see the point of waiting a bit longer. Who is right? no-one - its value judgements that only individuals can make. We've all done dumb stuff and got away with it, and we've all done stuff that we thought would be fine and wasn't. There have been plenty of people surfing all through the lockdown as their 'exercise', but not all surfers think its been a good idea.
I'm currently awaiting advice, training and PPE for surf lifeguard stuff. The take home message is that if you do have a drowning incident in the water SLSGB lifeguard protocols, I think, will currently mean no O2/ventilation and chest compression/defib only. I'm not sure what RNLI will be doing just yet. The quality of response you're going to get at the moment is much less than it would have been 3 months ago. What would have been a serious, but survivable incident then, may not be survivable now.
Much paragliding involves getting some height and then flying off downwind like a maniac homing pigeon and being collected by a mate when you land. This is tricky to do within the current guidelines, unless you are fortunate enough to have a partner who is willing to come and get you, on the basis that you have accrued enough brownie points, etcetc.
Most sites are open subject to landowners' permission. Official advice is that bimbling about locally in light conditions is the way to go for the time being. I haven't bothered this weekend as I suspect everywhere will be rammed with non-current pilots desperate to get their boots in the air.
Local sailing club hasn't re-opened yet for some reason
I am a kayaker too and a new committee member for our local inland canoe club. We are trying to work out some kind of policy to satisfy:
- experienced members wanting to paddle on the local flat water river, many wanting to access their own boats stored in our clubhouse, who believe that going paddling with their other half or even solo has less chance of injury or catching Covid than the equivalent run or walk along the towpath.
- the worried folk who know that we can paddle safely, but are concerned that if we do it in public it will give other people ideas, who will go out and buy something from ebay or Lidl as you can’t hire canoes or take courses right now, and then need rescuing, plus there are press photographers who love to take photos of the river with a long lens and compressed perspective who will then use it to give us a bad name, so we need to wait and set an example.
- the council, who is the clubhouse landlord, who say that their interpretation of the guidelines is that clubhouses should be shut, and until clubs are allowed to do clubby things again they won’t put us on the waiting list to have our water supply checked and serviced, and until then the whole site has to be sealed off because the stagnant water is a risk for legionnaires disease, so does that mean that people can’t access their own boats?
I am regretting joining the committee now!
Interesting. Just wondering like if you waited till that stage when stuff reopens will you mix the two? As in when those things happen at that stage would your first port of call be climbing or cafe with a friend? Or would you hold back on public spaces too for a while in the same approach?
Honestly I think everyone feels a bit like that. Just measure if it's tolerable or not and look after your wellbeing whatever decisions you make
I guess I’ll see how it happens when the time comes, but my main things to do would be;
•climbing with a friend, ride sharing to the crag
•going to see family/ having family round
Other things can wait, although a dirty McDonald’s on the way to the crag wouldn’t go a miss. I’m not sure I’d hang out in a busy pub or cafe for a little while though. I think I’ll shuffle work and organise to go climbing midweek to beat the crowds. One of my main concerns at the moment is how busy the crags are; with certain areas and car parks closed, would this result in more people to visit one specific area? Or maybe a lot of the moderate routes more occupied as people will be playing it a bit safe? There’s also issues with SAR/ EMS, access, locals, travel...
From the people I’ve spoken to, many are holding out a bit and several are wanting to get out. I think the thought of a further lockdown is also making people want to get out while they can.
Hopefully, for me, waiting that little bit longer, getting back on the rock will feel like pure ecstasy. But maybe I am being harsh on myself for not letting myself climb. Maybe I’m being sensible and playing it safe. It’s hard to tell. A bit like the government guidelines!
Caving is banned in France - too confined
It does seem that response is very different depending on who you ask. Canal and rivers trust immediately gave the green light for water sports from last Wednesday. FWIW the club where I paddle has said no access to the buildings, no visitors, use sanitiser when you open the gates, use of the water is at your own risk.
May I suggest you speak to the council and explain that CRT is allowing padding, and that if you don’t open the club this may have the unintended consequence of people paddling more publicly on rivers and canals, which as you said risks the public thinking it’s a good idea without training or safety gear. If you have a member who works for the council, or the police or fire service they might get a better audience.
Pretty much on hold here to
Are you a caver - what do you think of the logic in this ? The advice might better have advised caution in choice of an outing. Some caves are spacious without need to rub shoulders / share the air.
In France specific advice has now been given for car-sharing. Two in a car seated diagonally - front/rear; wearing masks OK. IMHO if one person sneezes / coughs, NO chance of any mask containing droplets. All depends on aeration - better to keep the windows down.
So there's the comparison - confinement in a car v confinement in a cave. Any UK advice for car sharing ?
In France climbing is now allowed ex multipitch - for reason of confined stances. Here again - two persons in close proximity - evident, but outside with good aeration.
This link discusses risks indoor- the outdoor scene should never have been shut down - :
There will shortly be an app developed by the OS and others to provide guidance and info on outdoor activities as we come out of lockdown..or back in again. Couple of weeks
most UK caves have damp confined sections - hard to social distance / not contaminate.
The general consensus in British cavers - is hold off:
a) to keep goodwill with land owners / access agreements
b) to avoid rescue situations - there is no such thing as a simple cave rescue.
Then there is the whole ludicrous legal situation as to whether caving is an "open air Activity" - official Government quango line is it isn't - so not on the OK list (& also therefore not covered by CRoW). Honest . Judicial review possibly pending in Wales
Inland dinghy sailing is just getting going for informal, no rescue cover, no organised racing. I'm lucky that the club owns both the land and the water and have always permitted sailing at any time you like with no rescue cover. So we can now go to the club, and go sailing, but all club buildings and rescue boats are locked up. Online booking system to limit numbers on site.
Clubs that have lease conditions requiring safety cover available are having to get more creative. It's dealing with landlords etc that's causing most of the problems.
I've seen a local open water swim venue that is sort of opening.
No changing room , and rescue is non contact only. Effectively a drowning incident where you can't get out of the water yourself either to side or onto the boat will be fatal.
I can see the desire to stay swimming again, but I'll be giving it a miss for now. Others will take a different view.
I think you are not supposed to share a car with people not in your household.
I do miss swimming the most, but I don't have anywhere low risk to swim nearby so I won't be swimming for the moment.
I’m wondering if one of the reasons I can put in favour of kayaking on the local river is that there will, in this heat, be drunk teenagers jumping in and swimming this weekend, and sea kayaks make great socially distant rescue vessels to tow them to the bank, being as the bow grab lines are more than 2m from the paddler. For more complex rescues, I have been musing that a useful piece of safety equipment could be a heavy extensible boathook!
> Effectively, a drowning incident where you can't get out of the water yourself either to side or onto the boat will be fatal.
I suppose one ought not dictate a moral code to others, but it doesn't seem likely that anyone in a rescue boat encountering a swimmer in difficulty serious enough for them to not to be able to haul themselves onto the far end of the boat is just going to sit 2 metres away and watch them drown
They may not do, but the Emergency Action Plan says exactly that and people are being warned of this. What's the employer liability if they don't follow the employment rules?
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