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Climbing: time to stop?

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Over the course of the pandemic I’ve generally argued that it’s ok to keep going out climbing. Having reflected on the latest situation, I’m not sure that is still the case. The new virus strain seems to be far more infectious, while NHS capacity is rapidly shrinking and we’re in the depths of winter with all the usual season pressures on the NHS. If the new strain does increase R by 0.4 to 0.9 as NERVTAG have suggested, that’s a game changer, in a bad way. Hospitalisation rates are currently at a very high, possibly already unsustainable, level of 2,000 a day. A still higher level will have been baked for the coming couple of weeks. Even with a spring-like lockdown, R won’t fall below 1 if this new strain adds 0.4 (it fell to only 0.6 in spring and that was with nicer weather, less indoor mixing and higher levels of compliance) - so those hospitalisations will keep growing.

The days are short and the weather is generally rubbish. Most people won’t be heading out anyway but a few will be. I think it’s best not to. Whilst all the previous arguments still largely apply (relatively low transmission risk, keeping things safe, local-ish travel, etc), I think we’ve got to a point where it’s best to just stay put because any risk of transmission or indeed injury gets to be too much risk. For those lucky enough to live a few miles away from the crags it’s perhaps less of an issue but for most of us I think the right answer is to refrain for the next couple of months.

I don’t say this lightly but it just doesn’t feel right to me at this juncture. As ever in climbing, if something doesn’t feel right, just don’t do it because it will still be there some other time. I’m still going bouldering on my own indoors. Perhaps I shouldn’t be. I go at quiet times so the risk seems manageable. I expect the decision will be made for me pretty soon - expecting T4 here in Birmingham soon after Xmas, early January at the latest. Followed by T5 with mandatory travel restrictions, which will also make the decision regarding outdoor climbing for most people.

Time to take up jogging, I think.

Thoughts? I’m sure some will agree while others will disagree but perhaps the balance of opinion is shifting.

Edit - quick poll: like = time to stop; dislike = let’s carry on. 

Post edited at 01:58
259
 DaveHK 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:>

> Thoughts? 

Exactly like before there's no blanket answer for this because it's not the same situation across the country.

I'm going to carry on climbing for now because I'm fairly confident that it's safe for me and won't endanger others. If you feel differently then stop.

9
 Si dH 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

For me the situation regarding climbing is no different from early spring. Back then we didn't know what we were up against and had almost no testing capacity, so measures needed to be at least as strict as now (I agree with you we will all be locked down as soon as 25/12 is over.)

But there is no single answer to your question. Just like in spring, I do not see any additional risk in going outside bouldering to an empty or very quiet crag on your own. It's lower risk than just going for a walk around your local street. I have never bought the arguments about limiting travel itself per se, as long as you do not interact with other people.

So I may still do a bit of outside climbing. But I will be on my own as usual and I will cut out any stops for coffee or snacks on the way. I would not meet someone else to climb now because we don't know if this new strain is infective enough that the risks are significantly higher outside.

2
In reply to Misha:

Wait, so, no going to an OUTDOOR crag where at this time of year you'll meet no one, but you're ok with going to the wall, which is INDOORS and rammed???!!??

1
In reply to Misha:

From a transmission point of view, you are focusing on the wrong are. Climbing outdoors has its risks but mitigation can reduce these. Shunting is a good idea for example, no contact. Doing laps on a route will keep you warm and give a good training load on a rare dry day. 

The biggest risk lies in the indoor stuff. Many walls are poorly ventilated, designed to fit in as much climbing area as possible and so as a result they are a collection of baffles effectively preventing any air flow. Mask use when breathing comfortably but not when breathing heavily? Come on, get real. 

Cue a barrage from mummies special soldiers who don't want playtime to stop. A special prize to the first to cite the "scientific" paper as evidence. 

Yes, yes, there it is bottom left, coloured black. 

22
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Not sure why people are so anti this apart from the tone maybe. 

I can't see how for the OP "the risk seems manageable" at an indoor wall but not outside. That's insane. Stop both, stop neither, but if it's one or other then FFS stop going to the gym first.

Post edited at 07:16
1
In reply to Misha:

I thought this was going to be a post about the risk of hurting yourself climbing and needing hospital treatment rather than transmission.

I can't work out how you've rationalised bouldering indoors at the wall but feel you should stop being on your own outside. Have you phrased something badly? Surely that's not what you meant? 

 TomD89 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

Indoor bouldering has been very quiet and outdoors, is outdoors. I'm not going to stop climbing. I don't doubt they'll pointlessly shut the walls again with yet another lockdown after new year but I don't think that'll achieve anything other than impoverish wall staff and make us all more unfit/worse at climbing.

It's pretty unsustainable to continue sweeping lockdowns. Where's the data driven approach, putting stricter measures on the areas/industries where transmissions are demonstrated to be most likely? Has anyone seen any headlines in respect to "gyms are hotbeds of covid infection"? I certainly haven't, so what are we basing these decisions on?

28
 AJM 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

Saying you're happy to boulder indoors but not outdoors is like doing a risk assessment aimed at relative risk maximisation.....

In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

There is a robust tone to my post because it is opinion that I have posted quite a few times before, always eliciting the same response. 

To Misha:

I am as frustrated or more frustrated than most on this. I have been shielding. I have made a single indoor wall visit during the period. I will not be going again. 

Instead, being of an age I am doing the things we used to do before walls/when walls were poor. Snatching dry half days, going for fell walks, I haven't yet resorted to big boot easy routes in the rain but it will come. Cue another barrage? 

1
 veteye 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

I agree with either don't go outside or indoors bouldering, or go to both, as mooted by several people.

In answer to others: If transmission is more readily made by the new strain of virus, is it not possible that it is more robust at lasting on contact surfaces, and that is how the increased amount of contagion has happened, in which case, possibly neither should be done, even if soloing routes, as you may be handing viral load onto the next climber to do the same route.

How could it get passed more readily on surfaces? Well possibly the viral envelope is more robust? It may not be more stubborn on surfaces, is another possibility, but I think that we should be a lot more circumspect about going to the crag or the wall. I have not been to the wall now for several weeks due to the expected queues at auto-belays, and in the bouldering room.

(Corrected grammar)

Post edited at 07:44
5
 kevin stephens 21 Dec 2020
In reply to veteye:

For me climbing outdoors would mean close proximity to a person from another household so I'm not doing it at the moment 

Climbing indoors at 9:00 am or 9:00 pm for an hour on the circuit boards when the walls are nearly empty and rarely anyone else near the circuit boards is much safer from a Covid perspective

(I have a fragile ankle so don't boulder outside)

30
In reply to TomD89:

Walls already shut in T4, which everywhere will be in soon.

http://ukwalls.epizy.com/

Deaths/day is touching half the rate it was in spring, and infections/day has doubled in the last week-10 days, so looks like we're committed to a new record on daily deaths in about a fortnight. 

2
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

This to me is about individual conscience as the coming third wave hits us. Things look so bad that I can't see any liklihood that most indoor walls (gyms... etc) won't be closed by mid January so I think outdoors might be the only option. Your talk of covid risks is backwards: transmission risk is always going to be much higher indoors.

I don't believe any significant risk of transmission is present to socially distanced outdoor climbers even with the new mutation but staying out of the overloaded hospitals from January might become important, so risk mitigation outdoors would be wise.

So in summary you can think what you want about people climbing and hill walking locally but whatever anyone thinks we can't stop individuals making that choice unless we end up with draconian lockdowns like Spain had in April.

2
 TomD89 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

What do you think is soon? You could argue that T3 areas will likely be T4 soon, but T1 as well? As I say, they'll likely force another lockdown and disregard the tiers so they don't have to make considered decisions.

 kevin stephens 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Socially distanced outdoors climbing is not possible unless soloing, solitary bouldering or in the same household or bubble

24
 ianstevens 21 Dec 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

So go solo bouldering. Lots of us do.

1
 kevin stephens 21 Dec 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

I appreciate you may have a short attention span but maybe you could read my posts a little more carefully? Thank you

14
 ianstevens 21 Dec 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

> I appreciate you may have a short attention span but maybe you could read my posts a little more carefully? Thank you

Lots of people don't bother to read the entire thread before posting, myself included. Apologies, as I didn't that you couldn't boulder outside. Hope the walls do manage to stay open for you; and it would be great if everyone could go at times of low traffic by themselves - however, this seems not to be the case in my semi-recent, somewhat uncomfortable experience of walls. 

 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

>  Whilst all the previous arguments still largely apply (relatively low transmission risk, keeping things safe, local-ish travel, etc), I think we’ve got to a point where it’s best to just stay put because any risk of transmission or indeed injury gets to be too much risk.

Your previous arguments are why we're in the position we are now, the more virus we have in the population the more chance it has of mutating, which it obviously has. So we now find ourselves with a more virulent strain, what's next, a more deadly strain, or a strain which won't be controlled by the vaccine?

We should have gone New Zealand's path, we're an Island so we could have managed it, with the right attitude, determination and testing regime, but it's obviously too late for that now.

Obviously, we can't simply blame climbers for this, but it seems to be a general attitude, that "what I'm doing is safe, it's others that are causing the spread", there's all sorts of reason we're in this mess largely government inadequacy and lack of action, but we all had/have a part to play and many of us didn't.

People will believe what they want to suit there desires, you only have to read the posts above to see how people assert things without any scientific evidence. What everyone know for a fact, is if you isolate, the virus can't spread, it's people that spread the virus.

Even more obvious though, going indoors is more risky than being outdoors.

Post edited at 09:07
3
In reply to Misha:

I think it has been made clear that we shouldn't travel any significant distance for leisure in any tier.  For Tier 4 they have said (unlike the lack of guidance up to now) stay in the same town or part of city (to me the implication of that is "nearest supermarket and park", to a fair extent, for most people).  So unless you live in Hathersage, that puts Stanage firmly out.

Given the awful weather, few people will want to climb anyway, so I'd say if you live within a very short distance of a crag go for it, but otherwise it's effectively out because of being asked not to travel rather than in and of itself.

Post edited at 09:04
5
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Wait, so, no going to an OUTDOOR crag where at this time of year you'll meet no one,

Stanage was surprisingly busy on Saturday, including of course me and my partner. Indeed when I got there at 1400 there were no spaces in the popular end parking. The Peak has stayed busy all autumn, climbers walkers and cyclists. Presumably limitations on other activities and people who got out in the summer and enjoyed it and have carried on.

Post edited at 09:09

 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

The proximity risks on trad apply to being within 2m for a significant time. With good single pitch route and belay choice it's perfectly possible to avoid spending any time at that distance. Transmission via rock, ropes and gear can be easily prevented with hand sanitising after each route.

This pandemic is here because people don't or can't follow basic rules; with all research evidence showing  all but a tiny minority of transmission is occuring indoors.

1
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Wait, so, no going to an OUTDOOR crag where at this time of year you'll meet no one, but you're ok with going to the wall, which is INDOORS and rammed???!!??

If you are going to climb, it certainly seems to make more sense to do so outdoors rather than indoors if that is an option available to you.

With regard to R, it's adding 0.4 to 0.9 to things as they are.  That won't be a flat addition, it will also be affected by varying measures.  That is, if you went "nobody leaves the house even if they die because they run out of food or medication" that would give you R very near 0, it wouldn't suddenly become 0.4.

 kevin stephens 21 Dec 2020
In reply to ianstevens:

Thanks Ian. Being old makes me more Covid sensitive but also means I can afford to work part time so go on weekdays too which makes a big difference. Hopefully the weather stays good enough for you to enjoy your outdoor bouldering 

In reply to veteye:

> In answer to others: If transmission is more readily made by the new strain of virus, is it not possible that it is more robust at lasting on contact surfaces

In short, no, if you've done any reading about it.  It enters cells easier, i.e. if it gets in (by whatever means it does) it's more likely to cause a viable infection for any given number of virions present.

1
In reply to TobyA:

I'm counting 6 people there. At the most popular crag. 

There were 61 in The Works yesterday. Similar at other walls. Just click the 'this week' button on my site, linked above, and then tell me where climbers are doing their spreading. 

Post edited at 09:16
1
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Yet your isolation logic leads us nowhere as who does the shopping? Shopping is indoors with proximity risks and with lots of shared short term surface contact. I remember a climber moaning from the first wave that he had to queue for the supermarket for half an hour at 2m from strangers then trying to convince me that being near a climber as you walk past them at the crag was a risk!?

What we need is perspective and epidemiological basics. Not only do research papers show risks are tiny outdoors when social distancing all those BLM protests where social distancing was often lax would have led to noticable spikes.

If you are talking about some climbers setting bad publicly visible examples outdoors I might agree personally but I have no rights to impose my views on others who don't.  The rules define household mixing limits, travel limits, good hand hygene etc and most are advisory only.

1
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

There were plenty more people than in that photo obviously, but I'm not saying it was 'busy' I said it was surprisingly busy for midwinter on an only ok day, not perfect. There were loads of walkers out walking a long the top and as I said all the parking I went by (NT and roadside by Fox House, Surprise View, Higgar, Apparent North roadside, and popular end) was still busy - most of that will be walkers but plenty of boulderers and climbers about too.

1
 joeramsay 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

I'll get back to you on this as soon as it stops raining long enough to make it worth packing a bag

 mrphilipoldham 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

If you're worried about pressuring the NHS now, after years of climbing through winter whilst the NHS was also facing being overwhelmed then you should never really climb again in winter. Unless of course a Christmas miracle happens and the NHS becomes adequately funded in future years, but let's face it... that isn't going to happen. Quite the opposite, if anything.

It is not going to be 'just this year'. 

8
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

Isn't "stay local" one of the government mantra's, so going anywhere, outdoors or wall, isn't the best idea unless it local. sadly, we've go neither, so we'd have to travel to climb anywhere.

 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> If you're worried about pressuring the NHS now, after years of climbing through winter whilst the NHS was also facing being overwhelmed then you should never really climb again in winter. Unless of course a Christmas miracle happens and the NHS becomes adequately funded in future years, but let's face it... that isn't going to happen. Quite the opposite, if anything.

> It is not going to be 'just this year'. 


So you think it's only about you? This is exactly the problem, it's not about a single incident, it's about you giving the paramedic covid, who then passes it on to a colleague, and then half a ward having to self isolate. How can people not be getting this at this stage of the game!! FFS!

It's about passing the virus around, when you have no idea you've got it.

17
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

It's spreading in households, in schools, in university halls, in hospitals, on public transport, in workplaces, and to a lesser extent in some shops and other indoor public areas. There is a much higher transmission risk indoor climbing than outdoors but contact tracing would have highlighted walls and gyms by now if they were major vectors of spread.

1
 mrphilipoldham 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Eh? Where did I say anything about 'me'? 

 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

It also almost certainly generates higher viral loads so droplet, aerosol and surface contact risks from an infected person all increase slightly. Proper attention to hands face and space will still reduce risks to very low levels.

2
In reply to Offwidth:

> Yet your isolation logic leads us nowhere as who does the shopping?

You have to food shop to eat.  You don't have to go climbing.

That's the difference.

The argument "X is the same risk as Y, I can do X so I should be able to do Y" is flawed.  It's about both risk *and* necessity (and cumulative exposure).

Post edited at 09:39
5
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

So what you are saying is, "well they're doing it, so why can't I"

> If you are talking about some climbers setting bad publicly visible examples outdoors I might agree personally but I have no rights to impose my views on others who don't.  The rules define household mixing limits, travel limits, good hand hygene etc and most are advisory only.

I'm not imposing my views on anyone. We, well most of us though reading the thread I'm not sure, all know what we should be doing, advisory or not, you know what stops the virus spreading, choosing not to do that for any reason, risks spreading the virus. So no one is advocating starving to death because you can't go to the shops (to suggest this is disingenuous to say the least and a very poor argument), it's do the minimum possible to help everyone, but you know this, I know this, almost everyone knows this, and yet, people think it's someone else's problem not theirs. 

Everyone is making their own excuses to do exactly what they want to do, even if it boils do to, "well it's not as bad as what they're doing".

Post edited at 09:40
5
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> It also almost certainly generates higher viral loads so droplet, aerosol and surface contact risks from an infected person all increase slightly. Proper attention to hands face and space will still reduce risks to very low levels.


Do you have any science for this, I've not seem much about it other than it's more virulent.

4
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

When dealing with a pandemic the basic message is the most important. Your overblowing of tiny risks is very much part of the problem. The basic message is in this case hands, face, space and when things get very bad don't mix households indoors unless you absolutely have to.

Your point on excuses that lead to covid spread is plain dumb when applied to climbing outdoors. Excuses about say unnecessarily mixing households indoors are simply not equivalent to climbing outdoors in any sense: risks are many orders of magnitude higher for the former.

1
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Some virologists said the infection levels in the nose and throat were higher on the BBC news yesterday.

2
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Your point on excuses that lead to covid spread is plain dumb when applied to climbing outdoors. Excuses about say unnecessarily mixing households indoors are simply not equivalent to climbing outdoors in any sense: risks are many orders of magnitude higher for the former.

Correct, but still risks and still possible vectors for virus transmission, so let's not pretend.

If your travelling anywhere for "fun" you are putting more people at risk.

Once again, the virus can't spread itself, people do that.

5
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

That argument soon falls apart when you look at shopping patterns and psychological needs. You could shop once for months and give up on fresh produce if reducing that risk was crucial for you. On the other hand outdoor exercise is all that keeps some people functional and for some of them climbing is the most effective form.

I get all the social responsibility issues, haven't climbed indoors since Feb, really cut back on risk outdoors and just walked locally during tighter restricttions. If I lived near a suitable  crag for my use I would be on it during restrictions, being careful, as risks are just negligible.

1
In reply to Offwidth:

> I get all the social responsibility issues, haven't climbed indoors since Feb, really cut back on risk outdoors and just walked locally during tighter restricttions. If I lived near a suitable  crag for my use I would be on it during restrictions, being careful, as risks are just negligible.

I would agree that "near you" is the way to go.  So if you're fortunate enough to live in Hathersage by all means go for a boulder/easy solo on Stanage, but the people of Manchester and Sheffield probably shouldn't be getting in the car to go there.

I wasn't saying not to climb if you can locally, I was just saying that the "risk level" argument is not very sensible, because the risk is cumulative.  Yes, it might make sense for you to stock up on tins of beans and UHT milk and still go climbing, but doing both because they are the same risk level is not a sensible argument.

Post edited at 10:24
12
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

I'm not encouraging travel outside a local area during tight restrictions, that's against government advice for good epidemiological reasons.

 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

We probably agree. I'm just saying mental health risks and other risks are important as well, and climbing and covid risk is not the only factor in not climbing (staying local as I'm in Tier 3 is the main reason I'm not climbing this week). Experienced climbers are normally good at risk assessment so I find it very strange that some here can end up massively exaggerating tiny risks in this crisis and in that distract from the vital risk factors to keep in mind. It reminds me of a moron I met on the crag once who told me off for not using locking crabs on my belay, just before climbing that I had to turn away from as I couldn't watch.

Post edited at 10:40
In reply to Offwidth:

Probably true.  Trad climbing in particular is all about risk management, so it follows that climbers are going to be fairly obsessed with that compared with the general population.

 Graeme Hammond 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

I went bouldering at a deserted crag outside in the dark after a busy day at work yesterday with many people instead of going to the wall with even more people about. I don't understand why this is of increased risk of transmission or unjustifiable compared to going to the wall!

Post edited at 11:51
 Blanche DuBois 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Experienced climbers are normally good at risk assessment 

Is that really true though?  In my experience (which I don't offer up as definitive proof) experienced climbers seem more likely to take unnecessary risks (in climbing).

10
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Blanche DuBois:

Yes... but that extra risk is on purpose! The trick is to knowing at what point extra risk will lead to an accident and avoiding that if possible. Trad climbing has a remarkably low accident and death rate given the risks taken (for those experienced in the game).

Post edited at 12:13
In reply to Misha:

Interesting thoughts Misha, thanks for the reflection. I personally will carry on climbing as I estimate it makes no difference to the R value, specially when you see the images of a packed Regent Street with thousands of shopper not wearing masks. I only meet people outdoors, I get tested, wear mask and sanitize hands regularly if I'm out and about... I have a free conscience about carrying on climbing.

4
In reply to DaveHK:

I get that and I think a lot of people will feel the same way but I think this whole situation has got a whole new level now, if the initial findings prove to be correct. Where I've got to is it just doesn't feel like the right thing to be doing any more (with the exception of local activities either alone or with household members) and that will probably remain the case for the next couple of months.

This will all get taken out of our hands soon enough with mandatory travel restrictions across all four Nations.

Post edited at 12:20
5
In reply to Si dH:

I tend to agree and I was mostly thinking about climbing with other people. However I don't think this is the same as back in spring. Back then it took a little while for people to realise and accept what was going on as it was so new and unprecedented. Then within a few weeks you could see from the numbers that the tide had turned and the NHS had not in fact been overwhelmed. I think we are in fairly different situation now, as the discussion on wintertree's threads shows. 

Post edited at 12:23
1
 Offwidth 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

If things are as serious as wintertree and I suspect there will be a firmer lockdown soon and anything other than local travel for climbing won't be possible. Also your local wall will be forced to close.

Post edited at 12:44
2
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

I see your point but I'm going indoors at quiet times. It's been pretty quite here at the bouldering walls in Birmingham since they reopened 3 weeks ago - perhaps that's not the case elsewhere. At the Depot, which is a massive facility, there were about 20 people when I turned up by Saturday evening and there is hardly anyone up on the mezzanine floor where the circuit boards etc are even when downstairs is rammed. At the small wall I go to, I'm sometimes the only person in one of the two rooms or there are one or two others. Plus the other risks are negligible - I can easily walk from home to two different bouldering walls and I won't need MRT.

6
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

I am referring both to risk of transmission and risk of accident of some kind.

As I've explained above, given the relatively small numbers at my local walls, the risk of transmission there seems manageable. In any case, I suspect it's the last few days now. After that the debate will shift onto outdoor climbing and I wanted to get the ball rolling on that.

2
 TheGeneralist 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

Misha, just for the record, can you confirm.....

You're going to stop climbing outside, due to Covid, but will continue to climb inside.

Is that really what you are saying?

1
In reply to kevin stephens:

> For me climbing outdoors would mean close proximity to a person from another household so I'm not doing it at the moment 

> Climbing indoors at 9:00 am or 9:00 pm for an hour on the circuit boards when the walls are nearly empty and rarely anyone else near the circuit boards is much safer from a Covid perspective

This is my thinking - plus you pretty much derisk everything else associated with going climbing.

2
In reply to TheGeneralist:

Correct. See my explanation above about the wall situation in my local area. This may well be different elsewhere.

I just think for the average city dweller (the situation is different for those who live close to crags), not travelling to climb outdoors is an easy way to help combat the spread, which is getting to an unsustainable level with worse to come. Particularly at this time of year, when most outdoor climbing will be pretty rubbish anyway.

Edit - the other point is that by going to the wall I'm at least keeping any potential spread within my local area. What we have here is not just Covid but a new strain of Covid which is spreading around and we need to minimise contact between different areas.

Post edited at 13:01
12
In reply to TobyA:

Interesting belay party going on in the photo there. This is the thing with outdoor climbing - very few people actually actively distance with their partner, sometimes not even with other people at the crag. If this strain going round is indeed more infectious, what's been ok up to now might no longer be ok any more.

2
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I take the point about seasonal pressure on the NHS but I think what we're looking at is a whole different level. People have to recognise that.

3
 DaveHK 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

> I get that and I think a lot of people will feel the same way but I think this whole situation has got a whole new level now, if the initial findings prove to be correct. Where I've got to is it just doesn't feel like the right thing to be doing any more

In that case you stop. But don't tell me I should stop too because you don't know my circumstances. By circumstances I mean where I live, the incidence there and the kind of climbing I'm doing.

> See my explanation above about the wall situation in my local area. This may well be different elsewhere.

So you're happy to justify your wall visits on the basis of it being quiet and posing minimal risk but you seem reluctant to allow others to excercise the same sort of judgement.

Are you sure you've not just got a massive dose of FOMO? It can affect us climbers pretty badly.  

Post edited at 13:24
4
In reply to Misha:

Yes, maybe the two chaps multipitching Christmas Crack were from the same household? Who knows - seemed an odd thing to do even leaving aside social distancing.

I suspect that actually most people are reasonably aware of social distancing when outside - it's just so easy to do, and even if you pass by someone within 2 mtrs there is just so much 'ventilation' (if was of course blowing a gale at Stanage like always). Getting much within 2 mtrs of someone when there is loads of space around you for more than the time it takes to walk past someone is pretty weird anyway - invading personal space and all that.

In reply to Ramon Marin:

> when you see the images of a packed Regent Street with thousands of shopper not wearing masks.

I noticed the car park at Millstone was busy, this would explain it!

 Luke90 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

> If this strain going round is indeed more infectious, what's been ok up to now might no longer be ok any more.

If the estimates going around of 70% more infectious or R up by 0.4 are approximately correct, that doesn't seem like enough to lift distanced outdoor interactions out of the "pretty negligible transmission risk" bucket that they realistically sit in.

 mark s 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

I shall be climbing outside as much as possible, hopefully get an e7 done I have my sights on. Less risk from covid doing that than going indoors with others 

1
In reply to Misha:

That's some pretty selective reasoning. It makes no sense to justify going to BBC if you're not ok with going outside. The number of people who will breathe your air just isn't comparable. Even in an empty BBC you're still going infect Steve. Don't infect Steve. I like Steve. 

Another way to look at it, how many peoples' farts would you be able to smell in a visit to BBC compared to a trip to the peak?

Post edited at 14:03
In reply to Ramon Marin:

Give you have climbing on the doorstep and a household climbing partner, the equation is different for you. I was referring to the average person who has neither. I should have been clearer on that.

Regent St shopping has now been shut down and rightly so...

2
In reply to DaveHK:

As I've said before, and I should have made this clearer in the OP, for those with climbing nearby and who have household climbing partners (or who are happy to head out on their own bouldering or shunting), the considerations are different.

I don't generally suffer from FOMO. Nor am I telling you or anyone else to stop. I'm just saying I think the position has changed and I'm not sure that for most people (city dwellers without household climbing partners) heading out is still the right thing to be doing (the same might apply to indoors). So I'm urging people to reflect on this. Obviously you are free to do as you wish, for the time being.

5
In reply to Offwidth:

> If things are as serious as wintertree and I suspect there will be a firmer lockdown soon and anything other than local travel for climbing won't be possible. Also your local wall will be forced to close.

I agree. In some ways it's nice to have the decisions taken out of our hands.

In reply to Presley Whippet:

>  Cue another barrage? 

You don't seem to be getting a barrage. Do you want one? I think we should have a moratorium on anyone ending their posts with variations on "I expect this will get a lot of dislikes but..."

It's right up there with starting a post with "So..."

In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Obviously, we can't simply blame climbers for this, but it seems to be a general attitude, that "what I'm doing is safe, it's others that are causing the spread"

Well that's it. It's a whopping great cognitive bias and it's everywhere. Together with everyone who thinks they're an above average driver and thinks their children are of above average intelligence.

While normally I'd be a vocal advocate of taking individual responsibility, managing a global pandemic is one of those things where we have to acknowledge that large swathes of the population are spectacularly bad at it.

In reply to TobyA:

I don't disagree but that's only a tiny part of it. I'm not too concerned about SD with other people at the crag, unless it's a small crag with everyone crammed in a small area (the Masson Lees DT area was getting that way the last few times I visited; I haven't been for a few weeks now). I do think that, realistically, proper SD with your climbing partner is pretty hard to achieve and most people simply don't bother trying. Hence there's a big question mark over non-household climbing teams in my mind.

Add to that the travel. It's not the travel itself (some risk of breakdown or RTA but generally that's negligible) or the associated stops (it's possible to avoid coffee stops, much as I like them). It's more the general perception - people see other people travelling and think it's ok to do so. The herd psychology aspect of this is important.

4
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

We don't know for sure but with only one or two other people in the same large room the risk seems low. Viral particles will disperse and settle down. 2m is very much a minimum guideline but when it's 5m or more (a lot more, judging by my last visit to the Depot), could close proximity with your climbing partner throughout the day be actually worse, especially if it's not windy?

4
In reply to Luke90:

Is outdoors climbing (other than solo bouldering or shunting) socially distanced? In theory it can be. In practice we're just kidding ourselves. Of course it doesn't matter from that perspective if it's with household members.

9
In reply to Misha:

I would climb outside but only bouldering at nearby crags..... the weather has put pay to that!

I had a spell of going to the wall at 9ish in the morning before work, that was ok, it was really quiet. Not now we are into hols, it was pretty busy this morning. Also, too many people not attempting to social distance, stood around chatting at really inconvenient spots, not actually putting the mask on mouth and nose..... etc. Might have to just give it a miss now.

 JefB 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

We need to be responsible and lay off for now. Don't travel and try to keep away from people. It will all be settling by the spring and we will all be raring to go. It will make all value our freedoms even more.

15
 joem 21 Dec 2020
In reply to JefB:

I dunno Jef I think it's sensible to wind out collective necks in but if we get the right conditions I'm not sure I'll be stopping in. Looking out my window I reckon it's pretty academic. 

2
In reply to planetmarshall:

Maybe not this time. Peculiar seeing as I have used two of top 5 ukc triggers, stop climbing and climbing wet rock. 

What if I add in winter ascents of summer routes and abseil chains? 

😁

In reply to Misha:

> could close proximity with your climbing partner throughout the day be actually worse, especially if it's not windy?

If you labour the point by distancing at the wall then licking your belayer's eyeballs at the crag, then sure. Taking equivalent care in both situations, absolutely not.
And I maintain that however careful or not you are, you will express that level of care unto an order of magnitude more people at the wall. 10 times as many people will touch the holds you've touched, breathe the air you've breathed, stop and talk to you from closer than you're comfortable with.

I have data on wall occupancy every 15 mins back to August for every centre with a counter. UKC has its crag logbooks. If anyone can be arsed they are welcome to compare the number of people leaving their germs on each.

1
 gravy 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

There's a lot of different scenarios under the umbrella "climbing".

I've definitely stopped going to gyms that are crowded and I cannot realistically maintain social distancing.

I am still going to gyms that are not crowded and well managed and where I feel social distancing and overall safety can be maintained.

Ditto outdoors - I'm happy going outdoors where I can maintain social distancing with a responsible and well behaved partner.

I will not be surprised if T4 spreads or full lock-down returns but I do not feel that "climbing" will have contributed to that, just a combination of idiots and government by idiots.

Post edited at 18:21
 jelllytrad 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

 We have restrictions and rules to save human lives - climbing is saving mine right now. So no I won't stop. It's the only thing keeping me going and stopping me consuming 10 bottles of wine a week.

4
In reply to Misha:

Bear in mind I can walk to my local crags & mountains, so no non-essential journeying with associated risk of car smashes placing NHS etc under strain. The hang-up I have is that a climbing prang will drag out some sort of rescue service to recover me and then I impose myself on the NHS when it’s under duress. Lot’s of people exposed to me (no idea if I’m a spreader etc) and me exposed to lots of people (no idea if they are spreaders). My mates have all agreed that we stay apart - families to consider! So to keep sane I get out running or walking and get onto my fingerboard. This is just a blip in a lifetime of climbing.

There is no safe-age for catching this coronavirus so I look to this bit of mountaineering wisdom:
                “The mountains will be there tomorrow, the trick is to be there too.”

5
 GrahamD 21 Dec 2020
In reply to jelllytrad:

>  So no I won't stop. It's the only thing keeping me going and stopping me consuming 10 bottles of wine a week.

I really hope you find something other than climbing because if this is true, any minor injury (pretty much inevitable) is going to kill you.

7
 GrahamD 21 Dec 2020
In reply to gravy:

> I will not be surprised if T4 spreads or full lock-down returns but I do not feel that "climbing" will have contributed to that, just a combination of idiots and government by idiots.

The problem is that I suspect that very many people don't think their hobby or lifestyle contributes.

3
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> That argument soon falls apart when you look at shopping patterns and psychological needs. You could shop once for months and give up on fresh produce if reducing that risk was crucial for you.

You could if there's only one of you, if you live in a house where there's lots of you you need space to store it for a start, and why give up on fresh stuff there are lots of vitamins and other goodies in fresh food you can't get from stuff that will last for a month or more?

This is simply another spurious argument to justify, fun.

On top of that, people generally don't go with their mates to the shops, don't travel great distances to get there either.

I'm presuming most people would have to travel various distances to climb, obviously not everyone, but I suspect the majority on people here, I also suspect that most people don't have family members who climb, so that means climbing with a different household and travelling. So comparing it to shopping is plain daft.

If you and you partner live next to a crag and want to go climbing then no worries, but there aren't many of us in that position, are there?

Post edited at 19:20
6
 joem 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head

did i miss the bit where fun spreads covid. 
things are shit right now let’s mot make them worse by taking away things we can enjoy responsibly.

7
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to joem:

> In reply to Cobra_Head

> did i miss the bit where fun spreads covid. 

> things are shit right now let’s mot make them worse by taking away things we can enjoy responsibly.


Most of my fun involves other people not in my family, so yes "fun" for me would run the risk of spreading covid.

I also have "fun" privately, but that's not running the risk of spreading covid either.

I have fun with my family too, but we don't need to travel to do that, so once again, there's no risk of spreading covid there either.

I'd have a week worth of fun, travelling up to my mams and spending Christmas with my extended family, but we won't be doing that, because I love and cherish them.

Post edited at 19:24
7
 Si dH 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

Going to a local shop, walking past 20 people on the pavement to get there, spending 10 minutes finding things in the shop and talking briefly to the shopkeeper (with a basic mask on) adds up to way more transmission risk in my book than an hour's drive to go bouldering on my own at a quiet crag. Supermarket trips are another level entirely.

4
In reply to Si dH:

> Going to a local shop, walking past 20 people on the pavement to get there, spending 10 minutes finding things in the shop and talking briefly to the shopkeeper (with a basic mask on) adds up to way more transmission risk in my book than an hour's drive to go bouldering on my own at a quiet crag. Supermarket trips are another level entirely.

Good point. Given that infection levels in places like the Derbyshire Dales, then avoiding going into shops, petrol stations etc on the way to and from the crag would seem to be sensible.

Post edited at 22:06
 veteye 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> In short, no, if you've done any reading about it. 

No, I have very little free time, as I'm working too much.

It enters cells easier, i.e. if it gets in (by whatever means it does) it's more likely to cause a viable infection for any given number of virions present.

Thank you for that, as it saves me trying to find out the mechanisms of the pathogenicity.

 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

> Going to a local shop, walking past 20 people on the pavement to get there, spending 10 minutes finding things in the shop and talking briefly to the shopkeeper (with a basic mask on) adds up to way more transmission risk in my book than an hour's drive to go bouldering on my own at a quiet crag. Supermarket trips are another level entirely.


Exactly, but isn't this thread about climbing? You've picked a small subset, of our overall climbing sport, something that you can do by yourself.

But still you'r eon the roads, before you go or on the way back you might need petrol. You might breakdown or be involved in and accident, needing more people to interact with you.

You've also, chosen to live in a busy  place and took a long time shopping, I can walk to the local shop and pass no one, and I'm in and out in under 5 minutes.

So what you've actually done is prove what a number of people have posted, "people will make their own rules, to justify what they want to do".

This virus has mutated, because people can't or won't stop mixing with each other, it's spreading for the same reason.

10
 Cobra_Head 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Some virologists said the infection levels in the nose and throat were higher on the BBC news yesterday.


But this isn't the reason, it's a result. The mutation allows the virus to enter our cells easier and probably inhibits our immune system in fighting it better.

1
In reply to the thread:

What got me thinking was the latest news on the impact of the new strain on R, coupled with the already limited capacity of the NHS. It is potentially catastrophic, simple as that. I suspect a lot of people haven't quite realised this yet. This is what made me change my view on things. Looking at the posts from the regular posters, it doesn't look like anyone else has changed their mind yet (apologies if I've missed someone). At least not yet.

No Covid spreading here today, haven't left the flat all day in between work and UKC...

3
 Si dH 21 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

I don't make my own rules. I find that conclusion offensive. If the rules change I will follow them, but I apply the guidance that exists around them in a way that I think is reasonable and appropriate.

I didn't make up any of what I wrote as a straw man like you seem to imply - that's exactly my situation. Solo bouldering is not a small subset of climbing, as far as I can tell this year it's been a very large subset.

1
 Michael Gordon 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

> What got me thinking was the latest news on the impact of the new strain on R, coupled with the already limited capacity of the NHS. It is potentially catastrophic, simple as that. I suspect a lot of people haven't quite realised this yet. > 

I think a lot of people have realised that, but they also recognise that infections picked up through outdoor climbing are pretty much negligible in the context of shopping and all the other indoor environments folk have to or decide to negotiate. The risk is very low compared to pretty much any indoor environment you enter apart from your own home.  

2
In reply to topic:

I am finding the whataboutery in this thread astonishing. 

Yes shopping is a risk but eating is an essential whereas climbing a desirable. 

We have been in this for long enough now to arrange to negate shopping risks via delivery or click and collect, it is no longer a fair comparator. 

5

In reply to Andy Moles:

The full spectrum of risk is being argued above, from shunting alone through to busy (for current times) indoor climbing. 

One of the above I can justify, the other I cannot. 

1
 GrahamD 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

"Low" and "negligible" are not the same.

 sxrxg 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

I would agree that it would seem to be more risk to go shopping than bouldering however I am not a virologist.

It seems to be though that if you are driving an hour you are going against the travel advice for travelling into or out of a tier 3 area (unless you are in the tier 2 lakes or exmoor...). I cannot see how going bouldering is a valid reason for this travel from looking at the government advice. Yes it maybe low risk however I am sure plenty of others could also justify there activity as being a low Covid risk, once we all start travelling and therefore potentially mixing the problem just keeps growing. Unfortunately we don't seem to have the ability to understand that it is not just about us, it is about society. The more we justify traveling and undertaking our own activities that are important to us the more everyone else will and therein lies the problem. 

1
 SDM 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Exactly, but isn't this thread about climbing? You've picked a small subset, of our overall climbing sport, something that you can do by yourself.

He probably picked solo bouldering because, other than shunting (of which I have no interest), solo bouldering is the only form of climbing that is appropriate at the moment for people who don't live with a climbing partner but who want to minimise their risk of infection/transmission.

> But still you'r eon the roads, before you go or on the way back you might need petrol. You might breakdown or be involved in and accident, needing more people to interact with you.

> You've also, chosen to live in a busy  place and took a long time shopping, I can walk to the local shop and pass no one, and I'm in and out in under 5 minutes.

It is 2020. The petrol "argument" is a nonsense. If you care at all about reducing your interactions with others, you pay for your fuel by app. Filling up with fuel is an outdoor activity with no interaction with anybody else. I have not been inside a fuel station since covid began, nor will I.

Worrying about the remote risk of interacting with a breakdown service (who fix most problems at the roadside with no interaction required) but then doing your shopping in such small amounts (and therefore increasing the frequency of your visits) is bizarre.

You are worrying about activities with a tiny risk of transmission, while continuing much higher risk activities.

1
 SDM 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

> What got me thinking was the latest news on the impact of the new strain on R, coupled with the already limited capacity of the NHS. It is potentially catastrophic, simple as that. I suspect a lot of people haven't quite realised this yet. This is what made me change my view on things. Looking at the posts from the regular posters, it doesn't look like anyone else has changed their mind yet (apologies if I've missed someone). At least not yet.

It hasn't changed my position on outdoor low risk solo bouldering somewhere where I can keep well away from others. I would still deem this to be an acceptable risk.

It has changed which outdoor venues I would consider to be an acceptable risk. A few weeks ago, bouldering at Raven Tor while being careful to maintain distancing felt acceptable. I would not consider such venues to be acceptable now until more is known about transmission of the new strain. I'm not going to have the opportunity to climb outdoors until after Christmas now, but if I did, I would be looking for a quiet spot on moorland grit or somewhere esoteric where I would be unlikely to meet anyone all day.

By the time I have a chance to get out again, we should know a bit more about the new variant.

It has changed my view on going to the wall. My 6.30am wall sessions timed for when the wall was almost deserted were my highest transmission risk activity. It was the only activity where I was spending any time indoors with people outside of my bubble.

I had decided to stop going in advance of Christmas anyway. But if it wasn't for Christmas, I would have stopped going to the wall until more is known about transmission of the new variant.

This decision was taken out of my hands anyway, as my wall went from tier 2 to tier 4 in 24 hours.

 Offwidth 22 Dec 2020
In reply to SDM:

This is all feeling like 'fiddling while Rome burns'. I appreciate it's well intentioned but any climbers who are an important factor in spreading covid will be doing it away from their climbing (eg, inappropriate mixing households visiting others indoors ). This mutation looks really serious, so the much so I  think the whole of England needs to be in lockdown right now  and given the plots wintertree has so kindly produced for us its obvious even Boris will almost cetainly be forced to act before the new year.

Nowhere is safe Isle of White Tier 1 is up 343% on the week today. If that growth continues case numbers per 100,000 there will overtake Manchester on boxing day.

Post edited at 10:07
2
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> We have been in this for long enough now to arrange to negate shopping risks via delivery or click and collect

Given that there isn't the capacity to do that for everyone (indeed, in March lower-risk people were specifically asked *not* to use those services so they were available to those at higher risk), no we haven't.

1
In reply to Misha:

I've given up climbing for months now folks. 

I am not a worse person because of it. I am just awful as always. 

Cheers all, enjoy the apocalypse.

BB

3
In reply to Offwidth:

> Nowhere is safe Isle of White Tier 1 is up 343% on the week today. 

Goodness only knows why the IoW wasn't isolated from the mainland, other than for food and postal deliveries which could have been done without the lorry driver leaving the cab once on the island (go to the loo on the boat).

Post edited at 10:06
1
 SDM 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

I expect you're right. I don't think it matters whether I think climbing is appropriate because I expect the decision to be taken out of our hands before I would be able to climb outdoors again anyway.

After Christmas, I'm expecting a strict national lockdown. I would even go as far as to say hoping for a strict national lockdown, despite knowing how damaging this will be.

Even if there isn't a national lockdown, I don't see my area staying at tier 2 for long.

On the off chance that it isn't taken out of our hands, there will at least be more information available by then with which to make a decision.

>  any climbers who are an important factor in spreading covid will be doing it away from their climbing (eg, inappropriate mixing households visiting others indoors ). 

It isn't a binary choice. Someone who is a high transmission risk away from climbing carries that higher risk of being infected in to every interaction and activity.

I think it is a discussion that is worth having as it has the potential to affect people's behaviour and transmission rates both through climbing and away from climbing.

2
 SDM 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

My friends on the IoW report that life is effectively normal there, you wouldn't know there was a pandemic.

They also report significant numbers of people traveling over from Portsmouth and Southampton so they can go out for meals and go to the pub.

My only surprise is that numbers there have stayed so low for so long.

1
 SDM 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Given that there isn't the capacity to do that for everyone (indeed, in March lower-risk people were specifically asked *not* to use those services so they were available to those at higher risk), no we haven't.

Capacity for deliveries and click and collect have gone up massively since March. The supermarkets have increased capacity significantly and huge numbers of smaller retailers have introduced them too.

The supermarkets here are offering large numbers of late notice bargain slots which they only do when they have excess capacity.

There's a few days over Christmas where things are a bit crazy but other than that, they've had excess capacity here since the summer.

1
In reply to Neil Williams:

That was March, things have changed since then. Much improved capacity for delivery and an expansion of click and collect remove the risk if you choose to organise yourself to use them. 

Anecdotal personal evidence,i have had to shield, I have not once had to use this as a lever to ensure food supply. 

The climbing wall is not safe just because the supermarket is dangerous. 

2
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> That was March, things have changed since then. Much improved capacity for delivery and an expansion of click and collect remove the risk if you choose to organise yourself to use them. 

There still isn't enough capacity for everyone to use them.

> Anecdotal personal evidence,i have had to shield, I have not once had to use this as a lever to ensure food supply. 

Because people are already shopping in person if they can?

> The climbing wall is not safe just because the supermarket is dangerous. 

That is indeed true, it's cumulative risk that makes a difference, not if one thing is higher risk than something else.

1
 Offwidth 22 Dec 2020
In reply to SDM:

It's binary to the nearest percentage in my view. I'd guestimate infection risks being in a house in physical contact with someone who is infected at tens of %; proper social distancing and good hygene at a wall where someone is infected  0% to the nearest percentage integer; proper social distancing and hygene outdoors when someone is infected at 0.0%

9
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I think the risk of transmission between climbing partners is not insubstantial. I agree that the risk of transmission to other people at the crag is going to be tiny at most crags. But I also think there is a wider point here. People have been asked, quite rightly, to stay local. Outside T4 it's not mandatory yet but I think people would do well to stick to the guidance. Whilst travel does not in itself automatically spread the virus if you take appropriate precautions, it's also important not to add to the general perception that travel is ok, because in most cases it is not as travel involves people mixing with other people from a different area. By travelling to go climbing, climbers add to traffic on the roads and the perception that it is therefore ok for other people to travel. That's how it snowballs and this is the real issue for me. 

Within our climbing community, if the overwhelming view were that climbing is not ok (as was the case back in spring), that would put significant peer pressure on people and most people wouldn't head out. As it is, we don't have that consensus view (yet) and hence people are continuing to head out, weather permitting. That will include a lot of cross-household teams and some level of transmission WILL happen. Individually we might be able to rationalise that the likelihood is small and that may well be right in individual cases. However our individual actions will count towards the general impression in our community that it's ok to keep doing what we've been doing and that WILL cause transmission somewhere.

I've changed my view on this in the last few days because the situation now is (or will shortly become) significantly worse than it was back in spring. The new strain is a potential game changer - for the worse. When the facts change, I change my mind. If it turns out that the new strain isn't that big a deal and hospitals are still coping, I'd be happy to reconsider.

As I've said above, those who have climbing on the doorstep as well as household climbing partners (or who are bouldering on their own) are in a better position. However 90%+ of the climbing population are not in this category.

6
In reply to bouldery bits:

> I've given up climbing for months now folks.

That's impressive and full respect for that. Each to their own but I'd say that's OTT. There was definitely a period of several months when prevalence was pretty low. We then got into an increasingly grey area of what's ok vs what's not ok since about September. As I've said above, the new strain is a game changer.

5
 JefB 22 Dec 2020
In reply to joem:

> I dunno Jef I think it's sensible to wind out collective necks in but if we get the right conditions I'm not sure I'll be stopping in. Looking out my window I reckon it's pretty academic. 

Its easy for me to say, as I have a prolapsed disc in my neck. Fingers crossed it resolves or else its surgery, and who knows when that would be.

climbing on hold till ?..

1
In reply to JefB:

Yeah, I've not climbed since March because I first had a back injury, then deep vein thrombosis (which means you get calf pump walking down the street, let alone climbing), then being unable to do much exercise due to that I've got fat, so it won't be fun.

I won't pretend COVID really has much to do with it but I suspect it'll be another 6 months or so for the weight to shift before I restart.

3
 JefB 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Yeah, I've not climbed since March because I first had a back injury, then deep vein thrombosis (which means you get calf pump walking down the street, let alone climbing), then being unable to do much exercise due to that I've got fat, so it won't be fun.

> I won't pretend COVID really has much to do with it but I suspect it'll be another 6 months or so for the weight to shift before I restart.

Good luck With your restart Neil. At least I had a half decent summer rock climbing. I renewed a fair bit of gear for this winter but its not looking too promising for me now. Bummer!

1
 Michael Gordon 22 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> "Low" and "negligible" are not the same.

I meant negligible in the context of case numbers caused by those climbing outside as a fraction of those caused by anything else. I would think the effect on overall numbers would be pretty much negligible. 

1
In reply to JefB:

> Good luck With your restart Neil.

Cheers.  I think it might involve 4s and low 5s for a while :D

1
 tehmarks 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

It's already been covered, but I simply don't understand how you've arrived at the conclusion that it is safer to boulder indoors (quiet times or otherwise) than it is to climb outside by oneself.

1
In reply to tehmarks:

As I've explained above, the considerations for those able to climb locally either alone or with household members are different. Personally I don't go bouldering outside (alone or otherwise) as it doesn't really interest me.

When you say safer, presumably you mean in terms of spreading Covid. In terms of injury potential, bouldering on my own outdoors would be a lot more risky than bouldering indoors - that's another reason not to do it outdoors.

The other point is non-essential travel. It's something we should all cut right down on, not because our individual travel for climbing entails any meaningful risk of spread but because it creates an impression for others that non-essential travel is an ok thing to do. Which it definitely is not right now because someone's non-essential travel will lead to spread, especially with this more infectious strain circulating. We need to do the right thing to encourage others to do the right thing as well.

Number of people hospitalised up by 1,100 in a day from Sunday to Monday. These are people who got infected on average about two weeks ago. Think about it. Alarm bells ringing very loudly.

7
 mrphilipoldham 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

Bouldering on your outdoors does not need to be any more risky than it does indoors. It can be. But indoors can also be more dangerous. I'd rather do a lowball sit start outside above a mat on a perfectly flat grassy surface than drop off the top of a 4-5m indoor slab... and I'd be safer doing it. 

1
 Luke90 22 Dec 2020
In reply to SDM:

> Capacity for deliveries and click and collect have gone up massively since March. The supermarkets have increased capacity significantly and huge numbers of smaller retailers have introduced them too.

Capacity has doubled, at most. Which still leaves it as a pretty small minority of the total capacity needed to cover everyone's grocery shopping.

> The supermarkets here are offering large numbers of late notice bargain slots which they only do when they have excess capacity.

It seems most likely that those have only become available due to order cancellations since everyone's Xmas plans changed.

> There's a few days over Christmas where things are a bit crazy but other than that, they've had excess capacity here since the summer.

But a small amount of excess capacity is still a hell of a long way from being able to substantially shrink the number of people who need to shop in person.

1
 Rich W Parker 22 Dec 2020

Climbers and outdoor people are generally thoughtful and conscientious people, engaged in an outdoor activity that is beneficial to physical and mental health and where the accident rate is low compared to many other sports. 
Do you think the huge number of people in the UK leading sedentary and damaging lifestyles are agonising over the same questions?

4
 GrahamD 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Rich W Parker:

> Climbers and outdoor people are generally thoughtful and conscientious people, engaged in an outdoor activity that is beneficial to physical and mental health and where the accident rate is low compared to many other sports. 

You might not think it, reading these forums

> Do you think the huge number of people in the UK leading sedentary and damaging lifestyles are agonising over the same questions?

Many of them are, yes.  Probably the majority,  in fact.

1
In reply to Rich W Parker:

Yes, I suspect a lot of people are agonising over whether to go do something over the holidays. 

3
 Cobra_Head 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

> I don't make my own rules. I find that conclusion offensive.

Are you travelling to go bouldering?

2
 Cobra_Head 22 Dec 2020
In reply to SDM:

> Worrying about the remote risk of interacting with a breakdown service (who fix most problems at the roadside with no interaction required) but then doing your shopping in such small amounts (and therefore increasing the frequency of your visits) is bizarre.

Who said anything about such small amounts of shopping, I think once a week is reasonable. You make is sound like shopping every day.

> You are worrying about activities with a tiny risk of transmission, while continuing much higher risk activities.

I'm not worrying at all, simply pointing out what can happen when travelling for non-essentials, breakdown, accident all involve other people.

Once again, the virus does not spread itself, it's spread by people, and people alone.

Choose to do whatever you want, most people are doing exactly that, the people that aren't are trying to prevent people dying or aren't caring who they are endangering.

Saying climbing is not as bad as shopping, is still doing tow things, only one of which is essential.

4
 wercat 22 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

our car broke down at home today leaving us stranded 5 miles from shops etc, no public transport and no way of getting it fixed if there is a lockdown.  I think you can disregard breakdowns as a risk as they happen anywhere and everywhere

5
In reply to Rich W Parker:

> Climbers and outdoor people are generally thoughtful and conscientious people

There's absolutely no evidence to support this, and having read more than a few climbing biographies, I'd be inclined to take a rather different view.

If the front pages are to be believed, an extension of T4 will be announced as early as today, with a possible nationwide lockdown to follow in the new year. Which is inevitable really. 

8
 mark s 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

I bouldered outdoors yesterday. Totally safe. There and back was 6 miles. Please stop telling me and others we are putting people at risk. Especially when driving home I pass a packed asda. 

If you don't want to climb outside, that's your choice and I will not be critical of your choice. I'm sure you are taking measures to make sure you are safe. As am I in what I do. 

3
 GrahamD 23 Dec 2020
In reply to mark s:

> I bouldered outdoors yesterday. Totally safe.

No such thing as "totally safe".

8
 GrahamD 23 Dec 2020
In reply to wercat:

Breakdowns are a function of how much you use the car.

5
 Michael Gordon 23 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

Splitting hairs again I see. Obviously he meant in a coronavirus sense, and I think for him to make that comment we can assume he was alone. So yes, totally safe.

3
 Michael Gordon 23 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> Breakdowns are a function of how much you use the car.

But ultimately they are extremely unlikely in the context of how often you use the vehicle.

 Si dH 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Are you travelling to go bouldering?

Yes, sometimes. I'm allowed to do that. (1) there is no law against travel from/to tier 3 areas, just guidance that is aimed at people who would be meeting others at their destination (I haven't looked at the tier 4 legislation), (2) I live in a Tier 2 area anyway. But this needn't be about me. The point really is that a general blanket approach doesn't make any sense in this context, many climbing activities constitute vanishingly low risk and so your expectation that all climbers stop climbing is silly unless the government changes the law to require it (at which point, everyone should follow the law.)

Post edited at 08:13
4
 DaveHK 23 Dec 2020
In reply to thread:

This thread seems to be quietly slipping back into some of the whatifery we had at the start of the pandemic. What if your car breaks down, what if you have a climbing accident, what if the new variant is more transmissible on surfaces, what if you catch it or transmit it to your climbing partner etc etc.

There were a fearful few months at the start when we didn't know much about the virus during which elaborate chains of whatifery ran rampant and people were being demonised for any activity others didn't like. Breathing for example.

I'm not going back there. Until I'm specifically told to stop by the govt or local circumstances change significantly I'm going to continue climbing in some form because I love it and I'm not going to live in fear of what ifs. What I will also continue to do is all the things that have been actually shown to reduce risk of transmission.

Post edited at 08:22
4
 Si dH 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> Choose to do whatever you want, most people are doing exactly that, the people that aren't are trying to prevent people dying or aren't caring who they are endangering.

This is the sort of statement I take issue with. Most people aren't doing whatever they want. Most are deciding consciously what risks they are willing to take within the guidance available and with their knowledge of what the risks are. I would agree with you (I assume?) that some people, including climbers, are taking excessive risk or breaking the law (eg bouldering in large groups, which I have seen several times recently) and it's also true unfortunately that many people have a weak understanding of the risks because of poor communication vianpress, social media etc. However, to characterise everyone as doing whatever they want is completely unfair to 99% of society and doesn't help your argument at all.

In reply to DaveHK:

Well said.

In reply to Cobra_Head:

You can do your weekly shop in under 5 minutes?I'm genuinely impressed/surprised. Even if you live alone and are shopping for one - you must be super organised or buy a lot of just a few things!

 GrahamD 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

It is not splitting hairs.  Rare events are different to non occurring events.  Like lottery wins or serious car accidents or a hole in one, I don't personally know anyone who has any of those but I'd be an idiot not to recognise that they could happen.

This doesn't mean those risks are something  as a whole society we can't choose to accept, but they then have to be considered as a joint risk with those that want to go kayaking or horse riding or fishing or birdwatching or ....

Individuals are actually very poor at risk assessment on low probability events because, almost by definition,  they personally won't have experienced those particular events.

1
 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

> Yes, sometimes. I'm allowed to do that. (1) there is no law against travel from/to tier 3 areas, just guidance that is aimed at people who would be meeting others at their destination (I haven't looked at the tier 4 legislation), (2) I live in a Tier 2 area anyway. But this needn't be about me. The point really is that a general blanket approach doesn't make any sense in this context, many climbing activities constitute vanishingly low risk and so your expectation that all climbers stop climbing is silly unless the government changes the law to require it (at which point, everyone should follow the law.)


ha ha perfect, you've already been told not to to travel, what do you think this means ?

From the government web site.

Across all tiers you should:

where possible, stay local and avoid travelling outside of your local area, meaning your village or town, or part of a city.

See what I mean about people "adjusting the rules to suit what they want to do?

6
 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> You can do your weekly shop in under 5 minutes?I'm genuinely impressed/surprised. Even if you live alone and are shopping for one - you must be super organised or buy a lot of just a few things!


Come on you can do better than that.

6
 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

> This is the sort of statement I take issue with. Most people aren't doing whatever they want. Most are deciding consciously what risks they are willing to take within the guidance available and with their knowledge of what the risks are.

But you're taking risks on other people's behalf, it's not your risk we're talking about. It's the risk to people who don't have a choice, doctors, nurses, other family members.

8
 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> I'm not going back there. Until I'm specifically told to stop by the govt or local circumstances change significantly I'm going to continue climbing in some form because I love it and I'm not going to live in fear of what ifs. What I will also continue to do is all the things that have been actually shown to reduce risk of transmission.

You've conveniently left out the "what is I catch the virus" or "what if I catch the virus and give it to someone else".

I don't expect you to, go back there, but if you are travelling for non-essential reasons you are going against government advice. You're not alone, but at least be honest about it.

Let's not try and pretend what we're doing is safe or without risk, or that we're special cases, because.....

we're breaking the rules because we want to do what we like doing.

12
 Si dH 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> But you're taking risks on other people's behalf, it's not your risk we're talking about. It's the risk to people who don't have a choice, doctors, nurses, other family members.

So is everyone, all of the time. It's a risk of the type you identify whenever you have a beer or walk up the stairs. Nothing is zero risk or perfectly safe.  The point is, we all have to make judgements about what risk is acceptable. In the case of covid transmission risk,. the Govt puts legislation in place to ensure that everyone adheres to a minimum standard of risk reduction and then provides additional guidance to help us understand ways in which we can further reduce risk in most situations. This guidance should to be applied proportionately and with a knowledge of the context. For example, are you meeting anyone or not.

Your quote from the gov website demonstrates a lack of understanding of the difference between guidance and law. I do understand this; it's part of my job (as is judging health and safety risks).

Enough from me as I don't think I have any chance of changing your mind.

 AJM 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

I think of the guidance were more obviously risk based I would see a more natural link between the guidance and the law (as in, one would sit in a way as a circle within the other).

But whilst in tier 4 you can still work in people's homes as a childminder or a cleaner (I had this conversation with my parents yesterday - they live effectively in the epicentre at the minute, their local area had nearly 1300 per 100k in yesterday's data and I expect that to get worse for several days yet), and whilst in tier 2/3 you can spend several hours in a climbing wall with 50-60 people in it where mask wearing doesn't have to be mandatory at all times (my local does, but I understand that isn't universal and that some places allow masks off whilst climbing), I'm going to put limited weight on guidance telling me I shouldn't go out bouldering on my own, because I've yet to see a compelling argument as to why it would be higher risk than either of those two examples.

 Offwidth 23 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

As I said before in trad and bouldering outdoors accidents are surprisingly rare for experienced practioners, despite some significant pitting of skill against consequences on bold routes. That the black swan doesn't happen often in trad won't reduce the impact when it does and as hospitals really struggle in January with covid, the injured climber who was pushing things will look very foolish. 

I absolutely believe there is near zero risk of covid transmission for climbers outdoors  in quiet areas  taking full precautions under the advice. All the science points to that.

Where psychology lets us down as experienced in climbing is when we stop focussing. Risks around the climbing environment (forgetting to tie in properly etc) seem higher than normal;  risks of home accidents oddly high for such a propriaceptive part of the population.

Finally we have the risk of stopping doing something that is important for us to cope with life. This can be vital for some with mental health issues.  I look back at what I did in the peak of my career under severe stress for years and think to myself: was that even close to possible without the headspace regular climbing gave me?

Bottom line you can't cherry pick some risks and ignore others, or regard all risk incidences as equivalent. Try and advise as you like, but any advice will always  be ignored by some (the key reason the pandemic is so bad in the UK is significant failure of too many to follow the basic rules). In any case the whole argument is about to become academic in the inevitable lockdown, apart from those who live near crags.

Post edited at 10:53
3
In reply to GrahamD:

> Breakdowns are a function of how much you use the car.

Look I know this is off topic but I couldn't let this one go without commenting. Breakdowns are not only a function of how much you use a car when looked at on an individual basis. It is more about what make of car you have, how well you maintain it, how you drive it, how old it is...

It is a bit like saying "climbing accidents are a function of how much you climb", which would be misleading as that is probably not the most significant factor.

In reply to Misha:

For what its worth my contribution to the discussion:

I am climbing outside when the weather is ok (so not much!), I am minimising the amount of travel I do by selecting the nearest crags and I am climbing sport or easy stuff to help to minimise the risk, and have only climbed with a limited number of people. I am comfortable with my decisions and don't see it as a big issue. I have also ventured to the local wall (Rockcity) with my daughter, I was a bit wary of this as I see it as higher risk but the place was deserted on the two occasions we went, only two other lead climbers, and there are two lead rooms. I certainly wouldn't be comfortable at a busy bouldering wall.

However, I accept I am breaking the "guidance" about travel for tier 3 areas and travel in general, as my nearest crag is an hour away.  

 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

> Your quote from the gov website demonstrates a lack of understanding of the difference between guidance and law. I do understand this; it's part of my job (as is judging health and safety risks).

And your refusal to acknowledge what benefits the guidance provides, shows how people read the guidance to suit themselves. I don't think anyone has stated anything about breaking the law, it's about doing what we know to be correct. If no one travels then the virus doesn't spread! It's really that simply , making exceptions for what we want to do is a possible vector for the spread of the virus. If we all stayed at home the virus stops being an issue.

> Enough from me as I don't think I have any chance of changing your mind.

I'm not asking you to change my mind, and I'm not expecting to change yours, but you could be honest with yourself, if you are non-essential travelling, you are breaking the guidelines, therefore you are doing something you really shouldn't be, so why not just admit it, instead of making up reasons why it's OK for you?

Post edited at 12:27
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 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Martin Haworth:

Agreed

 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> As I said before in trad and bouldering outdoors accidents are surprisingly rare for experienced practioners, despite some significant pitting of skill against consequences on bold routes. That the black swan doesn't happen often in trad won't reduce the impact when it does and as hospitals really struggle in January with covid, the injured climber who was pushing things will look very foolish. 

I've witnessed four call out accidents, all were people climbing well within their grade, one was a fatality, so while rare, there are real consequences. I've also participated in a number of rescues of people who for whatever reason have ended up stuck of reasonably "safe" route, I've even been "rescued" myself a few times, from VSs when I was climbing HVSs so it happens, you saying it's rare doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

 TomD89 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> And your refusal to acknowledge what benefits the guidance has, shows how people read the guidance to suit themselves.

By definition guidance is read to suit the individual, otherwise it would be a decree/law/rule or policy. If there were no level of individual interpretation then it's not guidance.

> I'm not asking you to change my mind, and I'm not expecting to change yours, but you could be honest with yourself, if you are non-essential travelling, you are breaking the guidelines, therefore you are doing something you really shouldn't be, so why not just admit it, instead of making up reasons why it's OK for you?

Most brains will look at this phrase a detect something is wrong. You can break a rule, but you cannot break a guideline. You can ignore or follow guidelines. Ignoring a guideline is and never will be a crime or immoral, that's is reserved for rules and laws. To try and twist a guideline into a rule breaks the language surrounding the concepts, it looks and sounds wrong because it is fundamentally an incorrect interpretation by yourself.

Just a quick google comparison:

"A guideline is just that - a guide. It indicates the general direction. Any guide or indication of a future course of action: Rules, on the other hand, attempt to constrain behaviour by setting limits and parameters."

You've been beating this drum since at least the start of the first lockdown. There's nothing immoral about ignoring a guideline. You seem to want more stringent rules for your own motives, whatever they are, why not be honest about that fact?

3
 Offwidth 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

How many of those were experienced climbers during lockdown? Where did I deny accidents happen??

I've witnessed the outcomes of getting on for a hundred accidents outdoors in my climbing and even more indoors (mostly bouldering) but a majority where I knew the causes were inexperienced climbers or dumb decisions made through lapses in focus. It didn't take me long to realise some people simply shouldn't be climbing as they haven't come close to absorbing the hard realities of risk in the games they play, a situation advised against in the BMC risk participation statement.

"Climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions."

Post edited at 13:07
1
 Duncan Bourne 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

I see it not as a question of stopping climbing or not but one of keeping to the advice not to travel across tiers (though obviously this doesn't apply if you are in government), keeping contact with others outside your bubble to a minimum and minimising risk (not pushing the boat out on those upper limit poorly protected climbs).

If you are within easy reach of a crag I see no reason not to climb if the other things are taken into consideration. We regularly have gone on 12 mile cycle rides around our area and encountered no one. If we chose that would put us within reach of at least three crags that see little traffic.

 DaveHK 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> You've conveniently left out the "what is I catch the virus" or "what if I catch the virus and give it to someone else".

Does that not go without saying in these times? I'm taking lots of precautions to reduce the risk of that and I'm not convinced that stopping the limited climbing I'm doing will make much difference to the probability.

> I don't expect you to, go back there, but if you are travelling for non-essential reasons you are going against government advice. You're not alone, but at least be honest about it.

This takes us back to my first point on this thread, that there isn't a blanket answer to this. Where I live (Highlands) traveling for exercise is allowed and will continue to be so when we go into tier 4 on Boxing Day.

> Let's not try and pretend what we're doing is safe or without risk, or that we're special cases, because.....

I'm not a special case, the rules say I'm allowed to travel for outdoor exercise with members of other households up to 5 miles outside the region.

As for the risk, I never said there was none but I find the risk associated with fairly local travel for climbing to be acceptable. Your opinion may differ but then your circumstances will also differ.

> we're breaking the rules because we want to do what we like doing.

See above, I'm not breaking rules.

Also, I see this kind of point being made quite a lot on this sort of thread. Basically that humans seek to provide seemingly rational justifications of their actions which are often rooted in desires. It's usually advanced as a criticism of someone's reasons for doing something.

On the surface it looks like a valid criticism mainly because it's true, we do seek to justify our actions. But actually it isn't a valid criticism for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, it takes no account of the possibility that the justification is correct or at least reasonable.

Secondly, we've all had to take decisions about our behaviour in this pandemic and it's right, proper and entirely unavoidable that our desires and wishes are part of that decision making process.

Post edited at 14:12
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 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to TomD89:

> You've been beating this drum since at least the start of the first lockdown. There's nothing immoral about ignoring a guideline. You seem to want more stringent rules for your own motives, whatever they are, why not be honest about that fact?

again this isn't about the individual, so not MY own motive at all. Can you see the difference?

1
In reply to TomD89:

There's nothing illegal about ignoring a guideline.  What you should morally do, though, is to use it to strongly influence your choice of behaviour.  I would say in this context that completely ignoring it is immoral.

2
 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> How many of those were experienced climbers during lockdown? Where did I deny accidents happen??

None, they were experienced climbers not in lockdown, the point being accidents can happen at any time and to anyone, people can be stupid and do daft things at any time.

And you didn't deny accidents happen you said something vague, "trad and bouldering outdoors accidents are surprisingly rare for experienced practioners" which suggested accidents are for people who don't know what they're doing, my examples were of people who did know what they were doing.

Anyhow, I'm out, it's got to that point again, where people are trying to convince me and themselves they're not risking anything, because they can weigh up the risks and covid will respect that, I don't think it does.

There are instances where we can all do what we like and the risk will be minimal, then there are other in which it might not be, the risk isn't always to the person doing the thing they think is safe. No amount of typing bollocks on here will change anyone's mind, same as people looking to travel to different places for Xmas, they'll think THEY'RE fine and it'll be OK for them.

I hope it is.

2
 Cobra_Head 23 Dec 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Does that not go without saying in these times? I'm taking lots of precautions to reduce the risk of that and I'm not convinced that stopping the limited climbing I'm doing will make much difference to the probability.

One would hope so.

> This takes us back to my first point on this thread, that there isn't a blanket answer to this. Where I live (Highlands) traveling for exercise is allowed and will continue to be so when we go into tier 4 on Boxing Day.

But then you are a special case, because you don't live in England and you have different advice.

I've posted our advice, and it's very different as you might have read.

If we all lived in NZ we could all get in the bath together, then go climbing and do it again.

The OP mentioned Birmingham though, I presumed they didn't mean Alabama.

> I'm not a special case, the rules say I'm allowed to travel for outdoor exercise with members of other households up to 5 miles outside the region.

But then you are a special case, because you don't live in England and you have different advice.

I was speaking as a whole and in general terms for most people on UKC, that don't live next door to a crag, that don't go solo bouldering, that don't have a climbing partner living in the same household. You we're the one that mentioned the "What ifs" if all of these are true, then you might have a case, except for having an accident, of course.

there's ;lots of other stuff which is probably more threatening, I walked past a restaurant the other day and it was packed and lost of people that looked like they were from different groups all together around tha same table, waiters with masks under their chins etc. but all of this doesn't mean I can go climbing safely and be not ignoring the guidelines.

Anyhow, we're at that point again, Merry Christmas and happy new year. Stay safe.

Post edited at 15:02
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 Michael Gordon 23 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> This doesn't mean those risks are something  as a whole society we can't choose to accept, but they then have to be considered as a joint risk with those that want to go kayaking or horse riding or fishing or birdwatching or ....>

I don't have a problem with any of those, provided they are done in a safe socially distanced manner. I would concede though that novices at potentially dangerous activities (risk of injury) should consider carefully whether now is a good time to start.

 Michael Gordon 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

> There's nothing illegal about ignoring a guideline.  What you should morally do, though, is to use it to strongly influence your choice of behaviour.  I would say in this context that completely ignoring it is immoral.

That, surely, depends on the guideline and is a matter of opinion. I see nothing immoral about driving for an hour to go hillwalking on my own then driving back, for example. Those who say it is immoral I can only conclude are those that decide to follow rules just because they are rules and have a poor understanding of relative risk.

1
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> That, surely, depends on the guideline and is a matter of opinion. I see nothing immoral about driving for an hour to go hillwalking on my own then driving back, for example. Those who say it is immoral I can only conclude are those that decide to follow rules just because they are rules and have a poor understanding of relative risk.

One of the aspects of this situation is that it really needs everyone to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

I think really they've got things wrong, anyway.  Guidance should be about protecting the individual, law about protecting others - which means the vast majority of the guidance at present should actually be law.

6
 GrahamD 23 Dec 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> That, surely, depends on the guideline and is a matter of opinion. I see nothing immoral about driving for an hour to go hillwalking on my own then driving back, for example. Those who say it is immoral I can only conclude are those that decide to follow rules just because they are rules and have a poor understanding of relative risk.

Everyone thinks they understand relative risk.

2
In reply to mark s:

If you read my posts, I noted several times that the considerations for those with local climbing options who go on their own or with household members are different. However you are in a lucky but small minority of the climbing population. 

2
In reply to DaveHK:

I think the new strain is a game changer until we manage to get on top of it somehow (probably through a nationwide lockdown for a month or two, I can’t really see another way). Particularly as NHS capacity is already dangerously low at a time of year when demands on the NHS are seasonally high. In that context, I think anything but local travel should cease - not because your journey entails significant risk of spread or RTA but because we need to get to a situation where people stop travelling. One of the ways to do that is through peer pressure. We all have to take one for the team, essentially. I’d say that this time of year that’s pretty easy to do as climbing days out will be short and largely crap anyway. We might as well refrain as really not missing out on much.

Look at our own climbing community. Have you seen lots of examples of people not observing SD this year? Of course, we’ve all seen it and at times we’ve all failed to practice it ourselves. Back in the summer that wasn’t a big deal. Now it is. As a climbing community, I think we need to send a strong message that what was ok a couple of months ago is no longer ok. Back in March there was strong power group pressure to stop and people did. We need that again and we need to lead by example. Even if our individual day out entails little risk, someone somewhere will head out and spread it. This is why I’ve stuck my head out and said - no, this needs to stop in the vast majority of cases.

I know that I’m going against my own arguments from earlier this year but that’s because the situation now is fundamentally different. It really is. 

Post edited at 23:14
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In reply to Misha:

Can't see why I'd that much want to climb in December, as it's either cold or tipping it down.  Hillwalking yes, to be fair, but it's not much to ask people just to walk locally for a couple of months.

What we have to do with regard to the new strain depends on where it's spreading, and I think we direly need to find that out with some proper old-fashioned invasive contact tracing (not the rubbish phone a friend service we have, but rather picking out some cases and properly tracking them - following their car around with ANPR, tracking them around the supermarket on the CCTV etc).

Post edited at 23:10
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In reply to Misha:

>  If the new strain does increase R by 0.4 to 0.9 as NERVTAG have suggested, that’s a game changer, in a bad way. Hospitalisation rates are currently at a very high, possibly already unsustainable, level of 2,000 a day.

If it is as bad as some people are saying with 4 day doubling period in SE England and we are already at 600deaths/day you just need to look at the numbers to see how bad it would be if the new strain had the same prevalence nationally.

Rationally, it shouldn't be about 'can I go climbing' or 'can I meet people at Christmas' we should be locking down harder than we did for wave 1 immediately and doing every possible thing to vaccinate as many people as possible as fast as possible starting with those that need to travel (like lorry drivers) or treat covid patients (to keep health service operating and stop infection back into community) or have a job that inherently involves customer contact (like shop workers and delivery drivers).

8
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I shared your approach until recently, when it became clear that the virus situation had changed significantly for the worse.  

6
In reply to Duncan Bourne:

I would broadly agree. 

3
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I agree. I’ve decided not to travel anywhere or see anyone for the time being. By January my area (the Midlands) will probably be in T4 anyway, unless they figure out that the new strain isn’t that bad after all (seems unlikely). Still, could be worse. The SA version sounds even worse...

3
In reply to Misha:

The SA version is definitely worth keeping out.  The variant we have seems to infect easier but not massively change the number of people (in proportion to the number of infections) who get ill.  The SA variant appears to make more people ill.  Which is an unusual way for a virus to evolve - they tend to get less harmful, not more harmful - but we really do need to keep that one out.

Post edited at 23:36
2
 DaveHK 24 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Look at our own climbing community.

This is a myth, there's no such thing as the climbing community as anything other than the people that go climbing. As for sending a message, a message to who? Other climbers? If they haven't got the distancing message by now some sort of half arsed voluntary abstention of a few other climbers isn't going to work.

If this thread was a plea for climbers to change their behaviour to reduce risk then I'd agree with you but it's not. You've said repeatedly that you don't want to impose your views on others but you keep trying (and failing) to build a consensus that we should stop climbing now. Is it possible that your circumstances are skewing your view? Many climbers do live in places where they can travel a short distance and climb quite safely.

> Back in March there was strong power group pressure to stop and people did.

This won't happen again because of what we now know about transmission and the inevitable lockdown fatigue.

Post edited at 08:05
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 Offwidth 24 Dec 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

More importantly back in March we didn't know how serious surface transmission risks were, neither did we know that mass protests would demonstrate outdoor transmission rates with less than ideal social distancing for significant times were much lower than expected. The science has developed and it's pretty clear to me that outdoor climbing risks with proper precautions are almost certainly negligible, even with a pair not from the same household (providing they social distance).

Everything we do in life has a finite risk so getting hung up on there being 'a risk' is just dumb. The real questions are how significant is it individually and on a population basis and how does that stack up against the risks of stopping. For outdoor climbing I think the first position is negligible and the second small but noticable (but that being mainly due to clear evidence of a minority of climbers and boulderers not taking  proper precautions) and the third vital for the sanity of a few of us and important for many more (but with stopping short term during lockdown being bearable).

When governments make pandemic response decisions on epidemiological and behavioural issues the alignment with individual risks won't always be so ideal. However, I think people should follow the rules and guidelines as much as they can, irrespective of actual risk. 

Post edited at 11:16
 GrahamD 24 Dec 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

What seems dumb to me is that everyone individually decides that their particular hobby has negligible risk so everyone just carries on with their own hobbies regardless. 

9
 DaveHK 24 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> What seems dumb to me is that everyone individually decides that their particular hobby has negligible risk so everyone just carries on with their own hobbies regardless. 

Firstly, most people aren't carrying on regardless. I haven't seen anyone on this thread advocating that. Instead, every climber I know has adapted what they do to reduce risk.

Secondly, the evidence IS that outdoor activities are relatively low risk. The fact that this aligns with our wishes as climbers does not make that evidence any less credible.

 Michael Gordon 24 Dec 2020
In reply to GrahamD:

> What seems dumb to me is that everyone individually decides that their particular hobby has negligible risk so everyone just carries on with their own hobbies regardless. 

It's silly to pretend not to recognise that taking part in a hobby outdoors and with few other people close by is low risk compared to a hobby indoors with others. One is likely to be safer than the other. 

 facet 24 Dec 2020
In reply to Misha:

Whats the craic here in the Highlands though? There is practically no Covid looking at the governments figures but we go from tier 1 into tier 4 on Boxing Day. Is this fair... no... So why? Well because people who aren't meant to travel from higher infection area's are still travelling here and this jump in levels is trying to send these folk a message... but punishing us at the same time.

Climbing: time to stop? 

Well in areas with no Covid like ours we should be allowed to carry on activities. If I lived in a worse covid area then I would have a different view point on this to reflect the situation I was in. 

11
In reply to facet:

Punishing you?  Keeping your COVID nice and low so people don't die while the vaccines get round, more like.

1
 facet 24 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Any area in the world that has low infection rates should be protected from further infection and allowed to get on with as normal a life as possible. Or would you rather globally everyone's economical factors, MH and civil liberties are affected In the same manner even if there are area's were it doesn't have to be at certain times due to many different factors?

In reply to facet:

The only places you can truly protect from infection are islands - so you could do it for the island of Great Britain, but it's just not possible to do it for part of it.

In reply to facet:

It would be nice if you could be ‘protected’ so you could do whatever you like. However sadly the reality is that Covid will spread to your area with time, unless you put police road blocks on the roads... So T4 / lockdown all round is the only way to protect your area. 

8
 Cobra_Head 27 Dec 2020
In reply to Si dH:

> Yes, sometimes. I'm allowed to do that. (1) there is no law against travel from/to tier 3 areas, just guidance that is aimed at people who would be meeting others at their destination (I haven't looked at the tier 4 legislation), (2) I live in a Tier 2 area anyway.

If you live in tier 2 you shouldn't be travelling to a tier 3. Call them what you will rules or advice you can still be fined for ignoring them.

6
 BillyBoredEU 27 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> If you live in tier 2 you shouldn't be travelling to a tier 3. Call them what you will rules or advice you can still be fined for ignoring them.

Bit like doing 80 on the motorway....but you'll never get fined....

1
 Becky E 27 Dec 2020
In reply to kevin stephens:

> For me climbing outdoors would mean close proximity to a person from another household so I'm not doing it at the moment 

> Climbing indoors at 9:00 am or 9:00 pm for an hour on the circuit boards when the walls are nearly empty and rarely anyone else near the circuit boards is much safer from a Covid perspective

Ventilation is massively important in reducing transmission. Outdoors you essentially have unlimited ventilation and air changes, and you only need to be close to someone for the brief period at the bottom / top of the route.  Indoors ventilation is much more variable / unpredictable, for reasons described elsewhere in this thread.

I haven't been anywhere near an indoor wall (routes or bouldering) since the first lockdown, and I don't want to. But outdoor single-pitch cragging is fine as far as I'm concerned (provided you don't deliberately breathe in each others' faces).

But I guess if you are going to go indoors, then go when it's empty.

In reply to Cobra_Head:

> If you live in tier 2 you shouldn't be travelling to a tier 3. Call them what you will rules or advice you can still be fined for ignoring them.

You can't be fined for failing to follow guidance.  You can be fined for failing to follow rules.  That's the difference between them!

Tier 3 to 2 is guidance.  In and out of tier 4 is law.

In reply to BillyBoredEU:

> Bit like doing 80 on the motorway....but you'll never get fined....

That's more like people from MK going to Northampton shopping, which is definitely going on at the moment despite MK being tier 4 and that thus actually being an offence.

 Cobra_Head 27 Dec 2020
In reply to BillyBoredEU:

> Bit like doing 80 on the motorway....but you'll never get fined....


No you're right, but it might cost you more the £100.

4
 Davidlees215 27 Dec 2020
In reply to Cobra_Head:

> If you live in tier 2 you shouldn't be travelling to a tier 3. Call them what you will rules or advice you can still be fined for ignoring them.

You can't be fined for ignoring advice. I live in Otley, north of Leeds and in tier 3. Some people in the North of Otley are in North yorks so are in tier 2. To get to the nearest shop they can walk half a mile to a tier 3 supermarket or drive 15 miles (partly through tier 3) to go shopping in Harrogate where it's tier 2. They wouldn't be able to go more than 100 yards from their house without trespassing or going through a tier 3 area. That is why they will not legislate for people to not travel outside their tier because a lot of people would find it impossible and it would be too difficult to put anything in legislation explaining who exactly could use exceptional circumstances. 

I work in different tier areas which is obviously allowed but also when I head out the house for a walk I often go through tier 2 as there are quieter walks and I'd have drive or start walking down the main road to stay in tier 3.

Post edited at 22:39
In reply to Davidlees215:

There's actually a sort-of-enforceable case of that.  Old Stratford, right to the north of MK, is in Northamptonshire (tier 3), the rest of MK is in tier 4 which is where they will want to shop etc.  However it's not clear without pouring through the messy legislation if 1-3 into 4 is illegal, or just 4 into 1-3.

Post edited at 10:11
 Davidlees215 28 Dec 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I've tried to work out if going in and out of tier 4 is actually illegal and I can't work it out. All I can find is some badly worded newspaper articles. There must be people in places where it is impossible or almost impossible to avoid in the way that it is for some people in tier 2 half a mile from where I live. There was a report of someone near me whose house is in tier 2 but their garden is in tier 3.

Also when I go out for a walk from my house I've no real idea where the border is, I'm guessing yesterday on a walk I passed in and out of tier 2 to 3 at least 10 times in 3 hours.

In reply to Davidlees215:

It doesn't seem that it specifically is, but rather that enforcement would be based on being in another Tier mostly not being a valid reason to be away from home, because you can exercise or go to the supermarket in tier 4, for example.  You can still go to work in a different Tier.

People still going to keep heading out?

4
In reply to Misha:

I won't be climbing or going that far from where live. Running/walking it is....as long as i don't recreate or engage in leisure! 

'You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure'

3
In reply to Misha:

Certainly the tone of the guidance has changed, but for those determined to use the letter of the law to decide what they should and should not do, I suspect not much will change.

In reply to planetmarshall:

I suspect you’re right. 

In reply to Bulls Crack:

Does that mean exercise needs to involve pain? So you don’t enjoy it? ;-)

In reply to Misha:

Once the new legislation is available for perusal I will see how it compares with tier 4 in respect to exercise and the enjoyment of the countryside or whatever the phrase is.

I suspect that (as previously) there will be a significant gap between the legislation and the guidance.

Will I go climbing outside? - undecided but the weather's making that decision pretty easy at the moment. If we had a good period of dry sunny winter weather then I'd be doing a lot of umming and arring.

1
In reply to Neil Williams and others:

I know this response is a bit late and the tiers have been superseded by lockdown, but we'll probably return to tiers in the future and the legislation will then almost certainly be similarly structured as before.

So some points (from the legislation)...

Firstly, if any part of a property is in a higher tier (bit of the garden, outbuilding, etc), then ALL of the property is considered to be in that higher tier.

Also, the restrictions that apply to you at any time are the higher of where you come from (where you're living) and where you currently physically are.

Secondly, there are no restrictions on travelling between tiers - it's not directly mentioned (this is for England, I know the Scottish legislation is different, don't know about the Welsh or NI).

Tier 4, the main extra over tier 3 is you're not allowed to leave your property without reasonable excuse. Such excuses include for exercise or for enjoyment of the countryside (can't remember exact wording and I'm not looking it up from phone).

So the only "restriction" on travel (including inter-tier) would be if the distance you travelled to do exercise (for example) was considered excessive for it to still be a reasonable excuse.

Obviously this is a matter of interpretation, which may ultimately be decided in court (if a suitable test case arises) but I would speculate that it basically means "don't take the piss".

I would also imagine that if the reasonable excuse was to attend a funeral, then the "reasonable" travelling distance would be a lot further than for going for a run in the country, etc.

Not seen if it's available yet, but if the legislation for this lockdown is similar to previous lockdowns, then (in respect to travel) it will be as if we're all in tier 4.

The guidance on the other hand, is much clearer about what travel is desirable, and it's basically "travel as little as possible and avoid inter-tier if possible".

Herewith endeth the lecture 😁, wonder if I can get back to sleep now.

 Si dH 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Not seen if it's available yet, but if the legislation for this lockdown is similar to previous lockdowns, then (in respect to travel) it will be as if we're all in tier 4.

> The guidance on the other hand, is much clearer about what travel is desirable, and it's basically "travel as little as possible and avoid inter-tier if possible".

Thanks for posting that, it bugs me when people ignore what the law says and just spray their opinion about what it should be, so I'm pleased someone else has taken the time to read it carefully

I thought I should help clarify something a bit though. This is that within the law, in order for exercise to be a "reasonable excuse" for being outside of your home, it has to be "reasonably necessary" for one to be away from home for that purpose. That gives latitude for a court (or policeman) to interpret whether what you are doing is reasonably necessary in the context of the guidance that exists and other relevant factors. That's why the guidance is important.

In November the guidance about travel and limitations on exercise was fairly weak and I felt it was fairly clear we could still go climbing with a bit of interpretation. In Tier 4 it was a bit tighter, with words about staying in your own village, town or part of a city. Now it's tighter again with words saying to minimise the time you are outside of your home.  Unfortunately my interpretation would now be that getting in a car to go climbing (even a couple of miles away - anywhere outside of your village, town, etc) would probably not be considered reasonably necessary in the circumstances. Additionally, although the new legislation isn't out yet, the guidance makes it clear that the other reasonable excuse "to visit a public outdoor place for the purposes of open air recreation" is being removed - so things like stopping for a picnic are now illegal. If someone was resting between attempts on a boulder and the police rocked up, I think it would be difficult to explain the difference. It was that second reasonable excuse for me that always made a fair difference to whether a few hours out climbing was reasonable.

So I'm going to stop for the moment, at least until/unless someone in a position of authority gives a clarification that changes any of the above.  It's disappointing when solo bouldering is (imo) extremely low risk, but we can't expect them to give us a special exemption.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#exercising-and-meeting-other-people

Post edited at 06:57
2
 mark s 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

I will climb at the roaches as a couple of miles is local.

I certainly won't go anywhere else. The churnet for example is a 10 mile drive and that can't be described as local. 

Post edited at 07:51
2
 Michael Gordon 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Does that mean exercise needs to involve pain? So you don’t enjoy it? ;-)

I think type 1 fun is out, type 2 debatable but type 3 fair game. So going winter climbing in a blizzard, then getting lost and enduring an unplanned bivi is probably OK

1
In reply to Si dH:

Thanks for that and the link, hadn't given the guidance a good look yet. Is it just me or is the guidance this time much clearer - better layout? different language? Just seems much more understandable.

It does look like "open air recreation" is out which does make going climbing more difficult to justify solely on exercise grounds.

Mark S is lucky (not really lucky, fortunate to have been able to arrange his life in that way) that he's within walking distance of the Roaches, so him doing some bouldering there would be more likely to be reasonable - but I would think that this might be negated if he drove those couple of miles, rather than walking, running or cycling them.

In reply to Misha:

> People still going to keep heading out?

No crag in my local area so I couldn't.

If anyone genuinely could comply with the request to stay local and still climb, e.g. solo/boulder on a bridge (or be fortunate enough to live very near a crag e.g. in Hathersage), then I don't see why they shouldn't.

 meggies 05 Jan 2021

From here (my bold/italics):

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#exercising-and-meeting-other-people

Travel

You must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes). If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

work, where you cannot reasonably work from home

accessing education and for caring responsibilities

visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare

visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health

buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible

outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)

attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services

If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.

Avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing.

1
In reply to Neil Williams:

> No crag in my local area so I couldn't.

> If anyone genuinely could comply with the request to stay local and still climb, e.g. solo/boulder on a bridge (or be fortunate enough to live very near a crag e.g. in Hathersage), then I don't see why they shouldn't.

I can walk to Curbar, Froggatt etc from home, and do on the daily dog walks. However, we’re currently breaking the rule of 10 (no outdoors rock climbing on cold😂 minging crags below 10 degrees c), so lockdown training for me😁😂

 JHiley 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

I'll wait and see the legislation and guidance but my expectation is that climbing won't be allowed. I don't really agree with banning outdoor activities like climbing (provided it's kept local and with one other person/ same household) but I'm happy to follow rules I don't agree with as long as there's no fundamental moral reason to oppose them. Climbing just isn't that important, at least not in the context of a short term lockdown.

Generally my feelings about the new lockdown are best summed up as slight relief and not just because infections are clearly out of control, with all the misery and death that brings. I despise the 'Tiered' approach which tries for force people into a long term 'new normal' which robs people of their basic humanity at the expense of anything which makes a profit.

Lock-down hard till the end of March, then maintain a ban on international travel and group gatherings over a certain size until vaccinations progress far enough. Even if we did that, and banned climbing throughout, in a good year, with the winter weather I'd only miss a dozen or so routes. And, as I reminded myself while tying the laces on my work boots with gloves on and rain hitting me in the face, Winter climbing is miserable anyway.

5
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to JHiley:

I still can't see anything in the regulations nor from covid risk that would prevent someone like mark s from climbing locally. It's outdoor socially distanced exercise.

The idea crags are universally minging in January is pretty odd... some fast drying lines and a large amount of bouldering are at their best on crisp winter days.

2
 GrahamD 05 Jan 2021
In reply to all:

If you are in the minority and local to a crag, just shut up and get on with it - carefully.

The rest of us - the majority - save us the barrack room lawyer routine and just read the very clear guidelines.

In reply to JHiley:

> I'll wait and see the legislation and guidance but my expectation is that climbing won't be allowed. 

Why is that your expectation?  None of the legislation in the past specified which activities fitting within the realms of "exercise" were permitted or not.

It's the request to avoid going outside of a very local area (given the wording) that will mean most people can't, because the vast majority of people don't have a crag "in their town, village or part of their city" (slightly paraphrased).  If you do, go for it.

Post edited at 10:01
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

Trouble is they are not as clear as they should be.. still too many guidance  'should's which could have been legislative 'must's. Also why was Boris in the morning saying schools were safe then closing them in the evening?  If the government were serious in wanting to be clear they should be way more consistent in their messaging and they should  legislate not rely on guidance; especially when a population has seen abuses from the PMs advisor forgiven. Also they might try keeping Gove off the TV the day after.

Nothing they did was ever likely to stop local people exercising with care on a local crag.

1
 Smith42 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

Seems pretty clear the message is stay at home unless it’s essential.

Outdoor exercise is permitted if you stay local which i would understand to mean within walking distance so approx five miles of home. 


if you have access to crags within this range then I’d be okay with climbing but avoid trying anything that could result in hospitalisation. 
 

It’s a shit situation but it’s hopefully only for a few weeks/couple months.

1
 deepsoup 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Si dH:

Not really replying to you specifically, but this phrase jumped out at me:

> .. solo bouldering is (imo) extremely low risk ..

We all reckon we're very good at assessing our risks on here, but I think it's worth a mention that it's extremely low risk with the underlying assumption that we have a fully functioning health service.  We're all used to thinking of a trip to A&E with a relatively minor injury as a pretty routine non life-threatening* kind of a thing. 
*(Ours or anyone else's.)

Those of us still climbing, for the time being maybe we should recalibrate to think of climbing at Stanage or the Roaches more like an expedition somewhere really remote: if you break a leg someone who probably has better things to be doing will have to drop everything to come and get you and if you're lucky you'll get basic hospital treatment beyond a bit of first-aid some time the day after tomorrow.

4
In reply to Smith42:

> Outdoor exercise is permitted if you stay local which i would understand to mean within walking distance so approx five miles of home. 

It's actually stated what it means this time, though as guidance "within the same village, town or part of city" is roughly the wording, which if taken literally is very strict in some cases.

Post edited at 10:18
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

I'd say an experienced boulderer being careful is more likely to slip on an icy pavement and hurt themselves (let alone discussing the risks of road bicycles on icy roads). Any outdoor exercise has risks and the government has sensibly deemed it worthwhile.

7
 TomD89 05 Jan 2021

In reply to:

So what gives with the only exercise once a day advice raising it's head again? Can anyone honestly defend this? Outdoors is definitively the least likely place to transmit or catch the virus so..?

Post edited at 10:34
 WVRox 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It's actually stated what it means this time, though as guidance "within the same village, town or part of city" is roughly the wording, which if taken literally is very strict in some cases.

Yes exactly  - and this is far more prescriptive than in lock down one, and gives the police far more scope, should they choose to exercise their powers. This suggests there should be nobody on the Lakes fells, nobody on Peak grit, nobody on Kinder......

Really? Is this how it's going to pan out?

It also effectively rules cycling out as a form of exercise  - unless you cycle round and round your town! Anybody seen on a bike on a country road gets nicked? Scary stuff......

 JHiley 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

I can't see any reason to stop climbing from a covid risk point of view and if the law allows it I'm not going to make up my own rules against it or criticise anyone who interprets the rules differently (within reason).

However I haven't seen the legislation this time, only some guidance and the claim its going to be "similar" to March/ April. In the March lockdown I interpreted the rules to mean you couldn't go climbing, as did almost everyone else including the BMC. Like I said, I'll have to read the legislation.

Regarding conditions, yeah, I've had some good winter rock days and I'm local to Wharnecliffe (could walk) which is OK in winter and Rivelin (short drive) which is best in winter but it's still rare for me to do more than a few routes between Jan and March even in a normal year.

Regarding Winter-winter climbing with spindrift and stuff, I'm definitely not local to any and I've been having a 'crisis of faith' recently that means I'm not sure I want to keep trying since it's years since I've had a good day.

 stp 05 Jan 2021
In reply to TomD89:

Well it obviously requires a good bit of common sense. The key question you have to ask yourself is: are going out to go climbing or going out to socialize?

In one way climbing could be ideal because you take yourself off away from just about everyone and if you're doing safe routes the risk would extremely low. But if you're going out more to socialise and hang out with mates then that's different. Going to Raven Tor or other hotspots is probably not the smartest idea. But there are so many places where you're unlikely to see anyone else so risk will be very, very low.

1
 chev1n 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

I think it's OK to climb if we are able to do so safely in our local area. I am lucky enough to live near local outcrops and Bridges within cycling distances. I only boulder so I believe it is safer than many activities we could be doing with our friends. I do this alone and don't take many risks. I think it's OK to lead climb if it is with one person in your bubble or one other person outside your household. ( I am unclear on that last bit as we are now in Tier 5)

Lead soloing and top roping I think would be OK again the latter would be better as it is safer. I do think these activities are good because you are alone and outdoors. Surely it is too cold to spread it. Walking I think would be better as this is more suitable given the temperatures. It is hard to get motivated to boulder outdoors especially when it is below freezing. That is why I miss the wall so. During the last lockdown it was easier in this sense. Therefore I have put up pull up bar and fingerboard attachments. Starting a home gym as I'm now prepared for the possibility that a lockdown could last a long time. This is something we have to accept now 😊

Yes cycling is such an excellent activity and building up on my running and getting really back into it. 

But climbing if it's local and its not some crazy high risk project or highball problem is similar to running and cycling with regards to covid risk ie not high at all and the benefits to one's mental and spiritual health far outweigh any minor risks

4
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'd say an experienced boulderer being careful is more likely to slip on an icy pavement and hurt themselves (let alone discussing the risks of road bicycles on icy roads). Any outdoor exercise has risks and the government has sensibly deemed it worthwhile.

Whilst all these seems eminently reasonable it doesn't take us beyond the 'not having learned anything from last time'. We're 10 months into a pandemic because people move around. Whilst no doubt the hastily drafted guidance/rules are imperfect surely we're still not debating ways to not take the big message of stay at home? 

Yes we can exercise. But local has now been defined. If you've got a bit of rock next door, great. If you're having to start up an engine to get there... Really? And the guidance says exercise - yes, leisure or recreation - no. Are they going to list every fricking exception? Unreasonable.

The lockdown only stops what we've got now. What happens in 10 - 14 days time is now baked in. There's no rowing back from that, and it could very well be worse than before. We really want to prolong it? Do we really need this govt. and their appalling record to have to tell us what we should have done last year? 

Post edited at 10:52
3
 GrahamD 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

In every day parlance, "should" and must" are clear.

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to JHiley:

Things are different from the March lockdown. We didn't know that outdoor surface contact risks were much lower than we thought then.

My normal winter day at Wharncliffe (it's a really good winter venue) would be 30 odd routes/problems as its better to move fast on easier terrain unless you have a hard project (when its down jackets off and back on).

3
 Snyggapa 05 Jan 2021
In reply to WVRox:

> Yes exactly  - and this is far more prescriptive than in lock down one, and gives the police far more scope, should they choose to exercise their powers. This suggests there should be nobody on the Lakes fells, nobody on Peak grit, nobody on Kinder......

My opinion, without seeing the legislation - is that the exact opposite will happen. The guidance will say "thou should not" but the legislation will not say "thou must not" - hence the police will be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Those that insist (legally, probably correctly) that they can ignore the guidance because it amounts to nothing more than a polite request from the government. And those that demand that the police prosecute those breaking the guidance but not breaking the law. And of course the third issue of the police prosecuting or otherwise interfering with those breaking the guidance and then getting a load of "you don't have the power to do that" from the high and mighty brigade.

The solution is of course obvious - to make the law the same as the guidance - but so far our glorious government have been too stupid to do that and I can't see it changing. 

1
 JHiley 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

I guess that's my expectation because I heard "similar to March" and rumours there wouldn't be an allowance for outdoor recreation. I've always considered climbing recreation first and exercise second. Also, if they go for 'one form of exercise' again, for me that pretty much rules out climbing unless you literally live in the Robin Hood's cave or on Windy Ledge since you have to actually use some muscle power to get there.

Maybe I just interpret things pessimistically, I'm very strict on eliminates. However as I said, under the March lockdown rules most people interpreted them to not allow climbing, BMC included. I read the text of the law and agreed. I haven't read it yet this time round.

Post edited at 10:59
2
 WaterMonkey 05 Jan 2021
In reply to TomD89:

> So what gives with the only exercise once a day advice raising it's head again? Can anyone honestly defend this? Outdoors is definitively the least likely place to transmit or catch the virus so..?

Because they really want everyone to stay at home as much as possible where you are even less likely to catch or spread it.

2
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to GrahamD:

You and I know that, the attitudes of others, that they can bend guidance to travel further to walk and climb are the problem. I've not climbed indoors since Feb (as social distancing is less than ideal) and outdoors since the second lockdown (as the crags are too far from Nottingham and the local sandstone wall boudering is a bit crimpy for my current physique and conditioning, so would risk pinging fingers tendons).

1
In reply to WVRox:

It is guidance, so the Police don't have any power to enforce it per-se.

I suspect it's been done deliberately like that in the way speed limits used to be pre-cameras, i.e. if you want people to do 50, set the limit to 40.

Post edited at 11:05
In reply to Misha:

> I don’t say this lightly but it just doesn’t feel right to me at this juncture.

I don't say this lightly, because I bloody hate running, but the crags are minging anyway and I've put my bouldering pad under my inconveniently high fingerboard and have taken to running along the Manifold.

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Learn what from last time? Social distancing climbers and hill walkers taking extra care were not a covid risk  last time either (but we didn't know surface risks were so low then). Rules on not traveling is not about individual covid risks its about population risks (ie stopping covidiots).

3
In reply to JHiley:

> I guess that's my expectation because I heard "similar to March" and rumours there wouldn't be an allowance for outdoor recreation. I've always considered climbing recreation first and exercise second.

It is exercise.  It doesn't state aerobic exercise only; I see no reason why exercise that develops strength etc would be seen different from aerobic exercise.

> Also, if they go for 'one form of exercise' again, for me that pretty much rules out climbing unless you literally live in the Robin Hood's cave or on Windy Ledge since you have to actually use some muscle power to get there.

They didn't go for "one form of exercise" this time, the guidance is already on gov.uk, just asking for it to be once a day.  So you can for example cycle somewhere for a run if you want, it was bizarre that that wasn't allowed last time.

> Maybe I just interpret things pessimistically, I'm very strict on eliminates. However as I said, under the March lockdown rules most people interpreted them to not allow climbing, BMC included. I read the text of the law and agreed. I haven't read it yet this time round.

I don't think most did interpret them not to allow climbing per-se, it was more about how far you should stray from home, which as most people don't have a crag that close to them rules it out that way just as it might rule out going open-water swimming for most people, too, but clearly not if you live say on the Brighton seafront.

(Whether we should choose not to do activities that have a high risk of requiring rescue is a bit different - one argument regarding cycling was to only go as far from home as you'd be willing to walk back in event of a mechanical failure - but if you'd be happy with a several-hour walk go for it).

Post edited at 11:12
In reply to Offwidth:

> Learn what from last time? Social distancing climbers and hill walkers taking extra care were not a covid risk  last time either (but we didn't know surface risks were so low then). Rules on not traveling is not about individual covid risks its about population risks (ie stopping covidiots).

Because as soon as one cohort/group of people believe they're an exception, no matter how small they perceive the risk to be, then every man Jack starts making themselves their own flavour of exception.

And, as has been evident from a very large portion of the population, people are shit at making 'their own judgement call', because what that usually means is 'I don't want to stop doing the thing I like'. 

3
 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

Yes I'd agree with that point on exceptions, which is why I've always said climbers should follow the guidance not the strict legality,  but climbing and hill walking (carefully) locally for exercise just isn't an exception.

Post edited at 11:30
4
 deepsoup 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> I'd say an experienced boulderer being careful is more likely to slip on an icy pavement and hurt themselves ..

Not my experience of 'experienced boulderer' friends' occasional trips to A&E, but no doubt you can calibrate your "being careful" there in a 'no true scotsman' kind of a way so that you'll always be right.

But yes, do let's be extra careful on icy pavements too.

On point for me actually as I found myself unexpectedly running on snow that had been compacted into slippy ice up on Hallam Moor the other day and had a moment of clarity about just what a cnut I'd feel if I needed a trip to A&E, let alone a carry off the hill and a bus ride there*.  Vanishingly unlikely fortunately, because like you I'm "experienced" and "careful" and oh so f*cking tough but a bit of a wake-up call nonetheless.

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

You know experienced bolderers who ended up in A&E during lockdown?

In icy conditions in January pavement and road risk is always a lot higher. If you want to avoid this extra risk, exercise indoors and don't go out. We all make our choices.

I could wind you up by saying you stated position is similar to the Derbyshire police but I'm more understanding, these are worrying times so I understand your perspective.

7
In reply to Offwidth:

> Yes I'd agree with that point on exceptions, which is why I've always said climbers should follow the guidance not the strict legality,  but climbing and hill walking (carefully) locally for exercise just isn't an exception.

I don't disagree with that nor you. But the actual numbers of people who can claim to have a crag/bit of rock that is local (now defined) which doesn't require a car journey must be miniscule.

Guidance says you can travel to an open air space; I'd assume that was if there wasn't somewhere to exercise locally to an individual (because leisure and recreation is excluded in the wording). If I drove up the road to an open air space but I had a local park walking distance from my house I'd say that's not what I should be doing. 

Post edited at 11:53
2
In reply to Bulls Crack:

> I won't be climbing or going that far from where live. Running/walking it is....as long as i don't recreate or engage in leisure! 

> 'You can only leave your home to exercise, and not for the purpose of recreation or leisure'

This may be clarified later today...maybe

1
 raussmf 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

I've generally gone out since the day we were allowed to travel for exercise. I'm stopping now as nearest crag is 9 miles away. Its cold, wet and unneccessary right now imo. Not to mention clearly not allowed by the regulations.

If someone drove 15 miles to go  go-karting with their mate I'd think they were an entitled tw*t.

 deepsoup 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> You know experienced bolderers who ended up in A&E during lockdown?

No.  I know experienced boulderers who ended up in A&E after bouldering, but none (so far) who ended up there after falling over on slippery pavements.

> We all make our choices.

We do.  Based on our own judgements and risk assessments, which in turn are generally guided by certain underlying assumptions that we're not necessarily aware of.  I'm suggesting that we should take a moment to examine those underlying assumptions and think about whether current circumstances mean we should reassess.  That's all.

> I could wind you up by saying you stated position is similar to the Derbyshire police

You wind me up all the time, weirdly though I don't think you can do it on purpose.

You'd be wrong about that.  My problem with their position in a nutshell was that they were being excessively judgemental and that's usually more your speed than mine.  At least when we happen to be talking about an activity you don't approve of.

 WVRox 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It is guidance, so the Police don't have any power to enforce it per-se.

Is it not becoming law tomorrow?

In reply to WVRox:

> Is it not becoming law tomorrow?

Not all of it will.  Generally speaking, if you read through the guidance on gov.uk the bits that say MUST will be law and the bits that say SHOULD will be guidance.

 sheppy 05 Jan 2021
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Nice to see someone else has the "rule of 10" I usually apply it to route climbing only but as we have no decent bouldering in the local area its looking like a month of training on the home board... again!

 Offwidth 05 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

I agree with a reassessment, I made mine. It is ironic that I was being told just yesterday by a friend how how an alpinist friend of his broke his leg on an icy pavement.

You're right about me not winding you up on purpose. I enjoy your strident posting style which seems to come from the heart. Almost as much as I enjoy Jon.

I see the police as having more of a right to be publicly judgemental than individuals when public health is at stake. What activities do you think I don't I agree with you on, in approval terms, as a matter of interest?

 GrahamD 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Snyggapa:

> The solution is of course obvious - to make the law the same as the guidance - but so far our glorious government have been too stupid to do that and I can't see it changing. 

It's obvious to anyone who hasn't seen the result of rushed legislation.  There is a reason why reasonable excuse is still the requirement.  Because it allows leeway for reasonable excuses.  I'm just surprised that what constitutes "reasonable excuse" (interpreted in the light of guidelines) hasn't been tested in court as yet (as far as I know).  Legislation nearly always requires a legal precedent to establish the interpretation. 

 mark s 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/visualisations/dvc811/msoamap/index.html

Regarding what's local or what isn't. This is the government's map of local deaths. So maybe this is what they consider local. If stopped by the police surely if you are withing their own definition you will be fine. 

In reply to mark s:

> Regarding what's local or what isn't. This is the government's map of local deaths. So maybe this is what they consider local. If stopped by the police surely if you are withing their own definition you will be fine. 

What about hospital admissions. i.e. beds available? Death is only part of the picture. The reason people aren't dying at the first sight of Covid is because of some pretty intense hospital care. Beds are filling up. 

1
 mark s 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I wasn't using it to display deaths, it was just an idea as to what the government may call local, seeing as it had a covid link, the government and local. 

In reply to mark s:

> I wasn't using it to display deaths, it was just an idea as to what the government may call local, seeing as it had a covid link, the government and local. 

They've already done that.

"If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home

2
In reply to Offwidth:

> The idea crags are universally minging in January is pretty odd... some fast drying lines and a large amount of bouldering are at their best on crisp winter days.

I was up at Castle Naze on NYE and was pleasantly surprised to find Scoop Face more or less dry despite the descending fog.

In reply to deepsoup:

> Not my experience of 'experienced boulderer' friends' occasional trips to A&E, but no doubt you can calibrate your "being careful" there in a 'no true scotsman' kind of a way so that you'll always be right.

No true Scotsman would ever be caught bouldering.

 Ramblin dave 05 Jan 2021
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> And, as has been evident from a very large portion of the population, people are shit at making 'their own judgement call', because what that usually means is 'I don't want to stop doing the thing I like'. 

Maybe it's nitpicky but I think it's worth saying that someone who, say, drives from Sheffield to Burbage to do some shunting or easy bouldering isn't really "doing the thing they like" - probably what they'd actually like to be doing is pushing it hard on lead or climbing classic multipitches in Cornwall or bagging wintery munros in the highlands or cycle touring in Provence or having friends over for dinner or jamming with their band or taking the kids to see their grandparents or going out raving or whatever, but having accepted that none of those are reasonable things to do they're making do with one thing that they think is.

You might argue that a twenty minute drive and some shunting or easy bouldering is still pushing it too far, but it doesn't help the discussion to talk like anyone who disagrees is just selfishly refusing to put themselves out in any way.

1
 lithos 05 Jan 2021
In reply to planetmarshall:

> No true Scotsman would ever be caught bouldering.

you gonner tell malcolm smith ?

In reply to Ramblin dave:

> Maybe it's nitpicky but I think it's worth saying that someone who, say, drives from Sheffield to Burbage to do some shunting or easy bouldering isn't really "doing the thing they like" - probably what they'd actually like to be doing is pushing it hard on lead or climbing classic multipitches in Cornwall or bagging wintery munros in the highlands or cycle touring in Provence or having friends over for dinner or jamming with their band or taking the kids to see their grandparents or going out raving or whatever, but having accepted that none of those are reasonable things to do they're making do with one thing that they think is.

> You might argue that a twenty minute drive and some shunting or easy bouldering is still pushing it too far, but it doesn't help the discussion to talk like anyone who disagrees is just selfishly refusing to put themselves out in any way.

I'd quite like to be back at work (self employed - 60% down on income inc. SE grants); I'd quite like my kids to go to school for more than one day; I'd quite like my wife to go to work not fretting (NHS clinical).

Are we just going to keep stacking our medals on the table or are we all going to realise that the quicker we all do the right thing we get this over with sooner rather than later? Or are we just going to be having the same argument after the fifth iteration of a mutated virus and endless lockdowns?

To be fair to you, your post is very measured and I'll me mindful next time that there's usually someone on the other end of the keyboard. 

Post edited at 16:38
2
 Cobra_Head 06 Jan 2021
 afx22 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> "If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live."

To be clear, I have no intention of going out bouldering.  My nearest crags are over 10 miles away but...

I used to live in a town, with a borough that is 30 miles across and 20 miles North to South.  There are climbing venues within that town.  Under the rules, would I have been allowed to travel across town to climb?

I now live in a city, so I’m to stay in my “part of the city”.  I’m not clear on how that area is defined.  If I go running from my front door, I’m more likely to be close to other people than if I drive 2 or 3 miles, where I can run where there is more space and less people?

I’m not trying to bend the rules - just trying to understand them.  I just want to keep in shape, take in some sunlight, not catch COVID and not pass it on.

Post edited at 18:57
In reply to afx22:

It's guidance, not rules.  You may just have highlighted why.

Lancaster is a city.  It's about 4km one way by 6km the other way.  It would not at all be unusual for a typical runner to end up running round most of it in one go, even if starting/finishing at home.  It has two parks, one of which is considerably bigger than the other.

Milton Keynes is a town.  It's about 10km by 20km, very-ish.  Even cycling all the way round it is considerable effort, more than Mr Average would do, let alone running.  There are several areas of parkland dotted around it.

The guidance says you should keep to your bit of Lancaster but the whole of MK.  Clearly in any meaningful sense they are the opposite way round.

It's fairly clear from reading it what the spirit of it is (to exercise from as near to home as is practicable and not to be driving miles to somewhere else), and that's probably what we should do rather than picking holes and finding exceptions.

Post edited at 19:01
In reply to afx22:

> To be clear, I have no intention of going out bouldering.  My nearest crags are over 10 miles away but...

> I used to live in a town, with a borough that is 30 miles across and 20 miles North to South.  There are climbing venues within that town.  Under the rules, would I have been allowed to travel across town to climb?

What I'd do is probably something like this: big message is stay home where possible. Exceptions are to exercise. That's good. Doesn't specifically say I get to choose what form that should take though. But stay local. It does say I can travel "if necessary" to a local green space for exercise. If I have to travel I'd go to the nearest green space. But I'd be weighing that up against am I travelling further than I should because I want my flavour of exercise not just the one I could do very locally. And with over 1000 deaths, hospitals nearly full, ambulance attendance times on the increase etc. I'd probably go for a from the door run and some hangboarding at home. 

> I now live in a city, so I’m to stay in my “part of the city”.  I’m not clear on how that area is defined.  If I go running from my front door, I’m more likely to be close to other people than if I drive 2 or 3 miles, where I can run where there is more space and less people?

I'd say unless you're specifically stopping to hug and lick strangers for upwards of 15mins, you'll be fine. Please warn me if you do though! 

> I’m not trying to bend the rules - just trying to understand them.  I just want to keep in shape, take in some sunlight, not catch COVID and not pass it on.

Yep to that. Stay safe. 

In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

I'd say the "part of city" thing is to avoid obvious honeypotting.  This is again why it's guidance.

If you live in a London suburb should you head to Hyde Park to exercise?  Absolutely not.

If you live on the edge of Lancaster should you get on your bike and ride a loop round the Trough of Bowland?  I don't overly see the harm in that as you wouldn't be near anyone else for any of it.  Though if it's icy you might reconsider due to the high chance of accident.

If you live in Salford (not the Manchester one, a tiny village just outside MK) would it be wrong to go for a cycle round the rural roads or a run round the footpaths rather than just lapping the loop of village roads?  I don't see why it would.  Should you drive to MK to run round Willen Lake where there will be lots of people?  Clearly not.  Though if you were in a wheelchair that might be your best option.

"Do I need to travel?" is the question to ask yourself.

Post edited at 19:26

My initial interpretation of the rules was stay at home and keep exercise door to door (run/walk/bike etc).

Went for my first run in months yesterday at the local park - it was so busy that despite best efforts everyone was passing within 2m of each other, plus my legs hurt now.  So went for a walk in my next closest park today at a more off-peak time.  Just as bad (i regretted not having a mask despite being outdoors)

So I could find another dog walking, lunchtime* plod hotspot or take a 9 minute drive to Burbage, loads of pads, easy landings and keeping the grades low with my housemate and I spotting each other.  

* Knowing that only creeps, peados and park runners with immolating headlights hang out in parks after dark, the congregation of people being bottlenecked into lunch breaks is making these local public spaces far busier than usual.  My heart goes out to those in bigger cities. 

2
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I'd say the "part of city" thing is to avoid obvious honeypotting.  This is again why it's guidance.

> If you live in a London suburb should you head to Hyde Park to exercise?  Absolutely not.

> If you live on the edge of Lancaster should you get on your bike and ride a loop round the Trough of Bowland?  I don't overly see the harm in that as you wouldn't be near anyone else for any of it.  Though if it's icy you might reconsider due to the high chance of accident.

> If you live in Salford (not the Manchester one, a tiny village just outside MK) would it be wrong to go for a cycle round the rural roads or a run round the footpaths rather than just lapping the loop of village roads?  I don't see why it would.  Should you drive to MK to run round Willen Lake where there will be lots of people?  Clearly not.  Though if you were in a wheelchair that might be your best option.

> "Do I need to travel?" is the question to ask yourself.

I can only relate to one of those areas from experience but what you say doesn't sound unreasonable.

The question of "do I need to travel" is hinted at in the legislation - can travel if necessary. Which, as you've hinted above, you might need to to get some clear space exercise.

It's perhaps why I'm getting my gears ground a bit especially from the west Sheffield climbing massive (which geographically I'm part of). Loads of places to run or walk from my door (and my neighbourhood is rows of terraces and a busy road so no ivory tower) without getting in my van to drive to Rivelin (because we've already established that the Ruffs are, and Agden is a bit mingy now). 

1
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Could you not have run on the grass? Or are you saying every available 2 metre area had someone in it? 

1
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

> * Knowing that only creeps, peados and park runners with immolating headlights hang out in parks after dark, the congregation of people being bottlenecked into lunch breaks is making these local public spaces far busier than usual.  My heart goes out to those in bigger cities. 

Yeah, I suspect the "part of city" thing is mostly aimed at London, Birmingham and Manchester (principally) in that they are big cities and have large, dense populations that will otherwise congregate at the same places, which is to be avoided.

I also think the ethos is that as much of the time out that can be is spent exercising.  I seem to recall some Police Forces last time using the principle that the exercise should take longer than the drive, which seems a reasonable way of doing it give or take anyone who thinks that means they can drive from London to the Peak and back provided it's for an all day hike.

Another one that I thought summed it up nicely last time was what you'd say if you were telling your partner about it.

"I'm just going for a run/walk/bike ride" - probably OK

"I'm going to the Peak for the day" - probably not OK

Post edited at 20:06
3
 mrphilipoldham 06 Jan 2021
In reply to napoleon_dynamite:

Surely paedos would be better hanging around in parks during the day? 

 Cobra_Head 06 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> It's guidance, not rules.  You may just have highlighted why.

That's the excuse everyone who wants to do what THEY want uses to make themselves feel better.

Tell that to the nurses looking after 4 or more ICU patients when they should be sharing 1 patient. This is when "it's guidance" ends up, nurses stressed and crying at the end of every shift.

10
In reply to Cobra_Head:

So do you think I should follow it to the letter, and go swanning around MK as I like (because it is a town, but the size of a city), but the people of Lancaster should keep within a tiny part of it (because it is a city, but the size of a town)?

Don't be utterly silly, and please keep the emotion out of it; it's getting very close to "think of the children" and it harms the quality of the discussion.

Post edited at 07:19
5
 JHiley 07 Jan 2021
In reply to JHiley:

> Generally my feelings about the new lockdown are best summed up as slight relief and not just because infections are clearly out of control, with all the misery and death that brings. I despise the 'Tiered' approach which tries for force people into a long term 'new normal' which robs people of their basic humanity at the expense of anything which makes a profit.

Should read "For the sake of anything that makes a profit." Makes no sense otherwise.

In reply to mark s:

> I will climb at the roaches as a couple of miles is local.

> I certainly won't go anywhere else. The churnet for example is a 10 mile drive and that can't be described as local. 

Not unreasonable. You could walk to the Roaches if you wanted to if you're that close. And you would know how to minimise risk. Whether you actually want to head out in this weather is another question...

2
In reply to Michael Hood:

> So the only "restriction" on travel (including inter-tier) would be if the distance you travelled to do exercise (for example) was considered excessive for it to still be a reasonable excuse.

Saw a reference to NPCC issuing guidance saying there is no limit on travel for exercise. Thing is, personally I think we're way beyond looking at what the rules might still permit. It's a case of going with the guidance even if it goes beyond the actual rules because it is clear that staying local, staying at home and staying away from other people as much as possible is the right thing to be doing. Just look at what's happening in London - and it's coming our way...

With 1 in 50 infected at any one time, I wouldn't actually be very comfortable climbing with someone else, even if I wanted to. I'd need to enforce proper SD and that would just make the day a bit shit and a total faff.

Easy for me to say though. The only types of climbing I'm interested in at this time is winter climbing (clearly way too far to travel from Birmingham and pretty dangerous as well, so a total no-no at the moment) and dry tooling (closes is an hour and a half drive which isn't exactly local, not entirely safe and completely pointless right now as there's not winter climbing to train for). So I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything really.

2
In reply to Offwidth:

> I still can't see anything in the regulations nor from covid risk that would prevent someone like mark s from climbing locally. It's outdoor socially distanced exercise.

Only the purists would argue with that (I wouldn't) but most people aren't in Mark's position.

In reply to JHiley:

>  I've always considered climbing recreation first and exercise second.

Agree for outdoors. Indoor climbing is much more about exercise / training. An interesting philosophical debate. Would make an interesting court case... 

2
In reply to Neil Williams:

Clearly an element of common sense is required. Another one is staying in your village. So if you live in Nant Peris, which has virtually nowhere for exercise within the village itself, you can't go for a wander up to the Pass? Or you can't go for a walk along Stanage if you live in Hathersage? My parents live in Newmarket, which is right on the border of Suffolk and Cambridgeshire and within the length of an hour's walk door to door it's possible to cross the county boundary several times, as well as going outside the town boundary within about 10 minutes. People just have to be sensible.

1
In reply to Misha:

> Saw a reference to NPCC issuing guidance saying there is no limit on travel for exercise. Thing is, personally I think we're way beyond looking at what the rules might still permit. It's a case of going with the guidance even if it goes beyond the actual rules because it is clear that staying local, staying at home and staying away from other people as much as possible is the right thing to be doing. Just look at what's happening in London - and it's coming our way...

We should choose to follow the guidance (its spirit, not just its letter).  I have no issue with Police stopping people and asking them to consider what they are doing if they are taking the mick.  However, no fines should be issued for people who have not broken the law.  If we, the Police or anyone else feel the law should be stricter, there are processes for making that point.

Post edited at 09:02
In reply to Misha:

That's probably why it is guidance.  I've cited a few examples elsewhere, but to use them here again...

1. Milton Keynes is a town, but it's bigger than a number of cities.  Should people all congregate at Willen Lake (probably the main place to go for a walk)?  Clearly not; better to spread out, even though going there doesn't contravene the letter of the guidance it does contravene the spirit, as while it's legally a town it's practically more like a city.  Though if Willen Lake is your local parkland, you may actually be better choosing to drive to parkland you know is quieter, there's lots of it in MK.

2. Lancaster and Durham are both very small cities (I would cite St Asaph/St David's but they're in Wales ) and are more like towns in practice.  There are I'm sure others.  If you went out to run say 10K you'd end up round most of it, so clearly these should be treated as towns.

3. If you live in a 3-houses-and-a-pub village alongside a main A-road with no pavement, clearly you aren't meant to just walk up and down that, don't be silly and use some sense, perhaps drive to a layby by the end of what you know to be a quiet public footpath.  Nant Peris is a great example - nowhere but a main road to go - so I would suggest that in this case driving up to Pen y Pass and walking up Snowdon *actually would* make sense (in the context that hardly anyone else should be there at the moment).  Welsh law however is less forgiving (specifying no driving for exercise at all unless you have a disability), and so the people of Nant Peris can't exercise safely at the moment unless they are confident road cyclists.  Which is nuts.

Etc.

Post edited at 09:08
 deepsoup 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> (I would cite St Asaph/St David's but they're in Wales )

Wells?  Arundel?

But it's a perfectly valid definition of the word 'city' to say it's something like a town but bigger, and that's obviously the one to go with in this case.  Unless you're just enjoying being pedantic for the sake of it, in which case I'm saying nowt.

 wercat 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

living rurally you'd be having a lot of social contact if you had to do as a lot of people who stayed at home in March and call out the rescue service for a dead battery.   I intend to keep the car running enough to be sure it is in good order and from experience I know that winter trips of 5 miles with lights, fan etc don't keep the battery charged enough.  It is a 2007 model and we both depend on it exclusively for transport as there are no bus services

In reply to deepsoup:

> But it's a perfectly valid definition of the word 'city' to say it's something like a town but bigger, and that's obviously the one to go with in this case.  Unless you're just enjoying being pedantic for the sake of it, in which case I'm saying nowt.

I'm being pedantic with good reason - if things are in law, then they need to be pedantic.  This is why this guidance isn't suitable for enforcement.  To do something enforceable, you'd have to do something more specific or with fewer holes - perhaps just a radius from home - which is what basically every country that has enforced it has done.  Or a time period out of the house.

An effective law needs people to be able to know clearly if they are complying with it or not.

Arundel isn't a city by the way.  (I know what they all are; in 2018-2019 I did a running challenge in which I had to run 5K in each one in the UK, so I've been to all of them )

Post edited at 11:23
3
In reply to wercat:

> living rurally you'd be having a lot of social contact if you had to do as a lot of people who stayed at home in March and call out the rescue service for a dead battery.   I intend to keep the car running enough to be sure it is in good order and from experience I know that winter trips of 5 miles with lights, fan etc don't keep the battery charged enough.  It is a 2007 model and we both depend on it exclusively for transport as there are no bus services

Why not just purchase a battery charger?

2
 GrahamD 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> I'm being pedantic with good reason - if things are in law, then they need to be pedantic.  This is why this guidance isn't suitable for enforcement.  To do something enforceable, you'd have to do something more specific or with fewer holes -

This has to be taken through the courts, of course, but I disagree.  For instance, health and safety legislation is full of "reasonables" and "best efforts" and "shoulds and should nots" but it is enforceable because the accepted meaning of these terms is established by case history.

 GrahamD 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

> Why not just purchase a battery charger?

That occurred to me too as the obvious answer.

In reply to GrahamD:

> This has to be taken through the courts, of course, but I disagree.  For instance, health and safety legislation is full of "reasonables" and "best efforts" and "shoulds and should nots" but it is enforceable because the accepted meaning of these terms is established by case history.

That works normally; the problem with this legislation is that there isn't (and hopefully won't be) any decent caselaw because it is by its nature time-limited.

1
 GrahamD 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Neil Williams:

It is surprising to me that since "reasonable excuse" was around in March that it hasn't been tested yet.

In reply to GrahamD:

> It is surprising to me that since "reasonable excuse" was around in March that it hasn't been tested yet.

Exercise is by definition a reasonable excuse as it is listed as one without qualification in the legislation.  What could be tested, though, is when a trip out becomes more than just exercise, or what other reasonable excuses may be valid other than the ones listed.  But really, you need to develop a good body of case law over time; this law won't last long enough for that to happen.

Having said that, I retain my view that anything enforced by FPN should be explicit and strict-liability only, e.g. exceeding the speed limit, so any challenge would, like with a parking ticket, only need to consider simple fact.

This whole mess could be avoided by specifying a distance from home for exercise.  10 miles radius would be enough for pretty much everyone to find somewhere safe and suitable while avoiding any significant cross-regional spread.

Post edited at 16:34
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In reply to Neil Williams:

I agree. Ely is another very small city. Anywhere with a cathedral is a city I think.
 

Nant Peris has a path going up the Pass as well as into the slate quarries so the situation now is better than in spring when it was surrounded by ‘off limits’ ‘honepot areas’ land. 

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In reply to wercat:

Yeah car batteries are an issue. Mine died in spring after 3 weeks of no use but I have a charger thing so no need for a call out. But leaving them dead for a long time kills them completely so it’s an issue. Especially stop start AGM ones. I was thinking I’d need to do a half hour motorway run every week to keep it going - not something I want to do as it’s a waste of time and money but it’s essential in my book. However it seems that weekly supermarket runs are enough so far.

DPF is the other issue and a much bigger one, if you have a diesel with a DPF. Short local trips end up clogging it up so it needs a decent run every so often. Though mine seemed to be doing an auto regen last weekend after the supermarket trip so seems ok for now.

Is it permitted to do a half hour motorway run to sort the battery and DPF, if you have to? Not listed as a reasonable excuse but I think it pretty clearly is reasonable. Now if you were to stop off and go climbing for the day as part of that journey, that’s moot at best I think. 

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In reply to Misha:

The need to regen a DPF is in my understanding caused by the accumulation of particulate "muck", which is accumulated in the course of running the engine and needs to be burnt off.  If all you're using it for is a weekly supermarket run, it isn't going to need a regen for a fairly long period.

Post edited at 17:42
In reply to Misha:

> Is it permitted to do a half hour motorway run to sort the battery and DPF, if you have to? Not listed as a reasonable excuse but I think it pretty clearly is reasonable. Now if you were to stop off and go climbing for the day as part of that journey, that’s moot at best I think. 

Given that the regulations specifically allow petrol stations and vehicle repair services to stay open, I think one could conclude that the intention is that people are allowed to keep their cars in working order so that they are can be used if necessary.  On that basis I think you could argue that a “maintenance run” is allowable.

In reply to Misha:

Although I keep on posting about the legislation, I think I should point out that at the moment I am effectively following the guidance. As you say - at the moment with the weather/conditions there's no real conflict - certainly not for my personal circumstances and desires (warm dry rock).

Where I'd start to find it difficult would be if it was like last spring with great weather - then I'd have to seriously consider whether I thought it was ok (in terms of social responsibility, morality, legality) to go against the guidance but stay within the legislation. But at the moment there's no point in properly considering it, I'll wait until/if it's necessary.

I would still be interested to know why there is such a large gap between the legislation and the guidance and why the legislation could not be more definitive especially with respect to travel and distances. I suspect that it's the fear of a right-wing revolt about people's civil "rights" being trampled on, but all that implies to me is yet another example of the poor leadership this government has repeatedly displayed.

If there's another reason for the difference (especially a technical reason) then I've not heard it.

In reply to Neil Williams:

> it isn't going to need a regen for a fairly long period.

But that fairly long period may just end tomorrow - I'm not sure about this but the impression I got from my Car Handbook was that it wasn't a great idea to stop once the DPF regen has started.

I went and did a lap of the M60 (I think that was during lockdown light in Nov) - regen took about half of that but being a regen virgin I had no idea how long it would take.

 Dave B 09 Jan 2021
In reply to deepsoup:

Arundel is a town. The cathedral is RC, so no city status.

 deepsoup 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Dave B:

I've had that wrong for an embarrassingly long time.  Ah well.  It's a good cathedral though, proper pointy gothic one.  It'd really dominate the skyline were it not for the great big castle next door.

Ooh.  I just remembered something from just up the road from there.  A town (or even two towns) can also get together and become a city by swimming a length, retrieving a brick from the bottom of the pool and inflating a pair of pyjama bottoms and being given a special certificate by the queen:

https://www.mybrightonandhove.org.uk/topics/miscellany/city-insights-166

Post edited at 20:24
In reply to Misha:

> . Whether you actually want to head out in this weather is another question...

I’d have loved to have been out today. Perfect connies (so it looked from my house in S7....)

 GrahamD 09 Jan 2021
In reply to Simon CD:

> Given that the regulations specifically allow petrol stations and vehicle repair services to stay open, I think one could conclude that the intention is that people are allowed to keep their cars in working order so that they are can be used if necessary.  On that basis I think you could argue that a “maintenance run” is allowable.

What a load of bollox.  Fuel stations are open because front line workers need fuel, not as an encouragement for joy riding.

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In reply to GrahamD:  I didn’t say anything about joy riding.  Perhaps you should get your eyes tested.  Opticians are open too.

In reply to Neil Williams:

> The need to regen a DPF is in my understanding caused by the accumulation of particulate "muck", which is accumulated in the course of running the engine and needs to be burnt off.  If all you're using it for is a weekly supermarket run, it isn't going to need a regen for a fairly long period.

This is true but eventually it will need doing.

1
In reply to Simon CD:

Indeed. Keeping a car running, if you have one, is pretty essential in the current situation, given we are discouraged from using public transport (and rightly so). You never know, you might need it to go help friends or family members who are ill or self isolating and live far away. I almost needed to do that during L2 but things worked out without my help in the end. Also could need a car to go for a Covid test or indeed to hospital for whatever reason.

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In reply to ChrisBrooke:

Hmm, I went for a walk in Birmingham, grey and cold, took a glove off to type some of my posts above and ended up getting mild hot aches afterwards. Rock climbing? No, thanks! 

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In reply to Michael Hood:

> Where I'd start to find it difficult would be if it was like last spring with great weather - then I'd have to seriously consider whether I thought it was ok (in terms of social responsibility, morality, legality) to go against the guidance but stay within the legislation. But at the moment there's no point in properly considering it, I'll wait until/if it's necessary.

Exactly. I'm hoping that by the time it gets warm enough for me to consider climbing outdoors around Easter the regulations will be loosened and indeed the Covid stats will start to improve. 

> I would still be interested to know why there is such a large gap between the legislation and the guidance and why the legislation could not be more definitive especially with respect to travel and distances. I suspect that it's the fear of a right-wing revolt about people's civil "rights" being trampled on, but all that implies to me is yet another example of the poor leadership this government has repeatedly displayed.

I think this is the main reason.

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