/ Winter conditions over the years.

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CaelanB - on 11 Jan 2017
Hello all,

I'm 20 years old and have been winter climbing now for 3 seasons, as such I don't have much winter experience to draw upon when considering how poor a winter this really is.

Basically I wanted to ask for the wisdom of those who've been in the game a lot longer than myself and to see what you think about the changes to winter conditions over the previous years. In some regards it seems to have improved especially the late season ice (i'm thinking of the last 2 years) and skye had a stellar season last year, though it seems to me as if the early season is becoming later and later. Is this really the case? Have years like this happened before? Do any of you remain optimistic for the extended future of Scottish winter climbing?

Maybe I'm being a pessimist, and it looks like we'll have a good dump over the next couple of days so perhaps I should be more positive.

Cheers

Caelan

#keepthefaith
Andy Nisbet - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

1980/81 started like this and continued to give the worst winter of all.
1988/89 was similarly poor but I can't remember much.
1977/78 was like this but then turned into a great winter with conditions throughout May.

So there's hope yet but no guarantee.
elliptic on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

Yep January conditions are always a bit of a lottery, you never know whats round the corner though.

The standard wisdom is conditions tend to come in cycles eg. the late 90s weren't great but the early 2000s had a run of very icy winters when the mythical 70s / 80s thin face routes (Albatross, Galactic Hitchhiker, Gemini etc) were suddenly getting multiple repeats every weekend by punters like me. We currently seem to be in a similar cycle, but then again this might be the year the cycle moves on.

It's a long game; patience and optimism will generally pay off...
LakesWinter on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

It's cyclical but an irregular, unpredictable cycle. 2008-9, 9-10 and 10-11 all had very notable cold spells where many rarely formed routes came into condition. The following year, 2011-12 was fairly crap and indeed winter virtually finished at the end of February. The following year 2012-13 was the best winter I can remember since I started climbing in 1995-96 (which was also a cold one).

Last year was really shit until mid feb really, the warm thaw in mid Jan meant the ground didn't freeze properly til late in Feb at mid altitudes. This year the ground is far colder, which means snow won't thaw from underneath and also means the turf should freeze faster.

Most winters have a spell of decent conditions, it's a game of patience.
Dave Kerr - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

This time last year I'd done 2 routes. This year I've done 6. And not all of them in the Northern Corries.
Fergal - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

89" was a relatively poor winter, we still managed to make a repeat of Albatross, needless to say it was thin and proper Vll climbing, it seems wierd that because of a few fat ice years in 2000's it is now given VI.

The ice on Liathach was also really good that year we did Salmon Leap.

This is the worsed winter i can remember for lack of build up, never seen the Ben so bare.
Andy Nisbet - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

This week in 1982, the temperature never got above minus 20 in Aviemore even at midday.
Hat Dude on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

1985 - 86 winter started very unpromising but February was extremely cold & settled all month. I don't know what conditions were like in Scotland as I couldn't get away due to a young family but the Lakes and particularly Wales were very good.

http://www.ukweatherworld.co.uk/forum/index.php?/topic/49588-winter-1985-86-the-last-sub-zero-cet-mo...
Andy Nisbet - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hat Dude:

> 1985 - 86 winter started very unpromising but February was extremely cold & settled all month. I don't know what conditions were like in Scotland as I couldn't get away due to a young family but the Lakes and particularly Wales were very good.

It was pretty good in Scotland even early on (like November).

Mike-W-99 on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:
I remember 82, used to live not too far from Aviemore.
Our garden pond froze solid and the goldfish became popsicles. My sister was distraught!
Post edited at 16:48
wercat on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:
I tend not to expect anything in December-January, just dark, often wet and windy. I don't make any judgements till February is well in as nice surprises sometimes start late

(based on first going winter climbing as opposed to walking in 1988)
Post edited at 16:57
Dave Hewitt - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Hat Dude:

The new year 1985-86 had a couple of fantastic days in the west with good snow conditions down very low and beautiful weather; 29 Dec 1985 was particularly good, to the extent that Tom Weir (who was on Stob Ghabhar) wrote something to the effect that it was the best winter day, conditions-wise, he'd ever had in Scotland. I was on the eastern Mamores, Binnein Mor and Na Gruagaichean, and I've still not had a better day. A group us rented a house in Onich and I was first to arrive (on the evening of the 28th, I think) and the thermometer in the hall read -19C. The new year of 1988-89 was, as others have mentioned, very different - we were in Glenelg and it basically felt like autumn. I think the winter of 1981-82 was when there were quite big icebergy things in the River Don at Aberdeen - Andy will remember.
Robert Durran - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Mike-W-99:

> I remember 82, used to live not too far from Aviemore.

> Our garden pond froze solid and the goldfish became popsicles. My sister was distraught!

But after that big freeze I remember damp rock climbing in a snowless Glencoe at the start of February.

Lloydfletch - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

In terms of long range predictions, in a brief piece in a recent edition of summit Geoff Monks suggested that in 30-40 years time (or did he say 40-50) it's quite possible that only the very highest summits in the uk will see any snow at all, and even then only a dusting. Hopefully he's wrong!

From a skiing point of view there was little worth doing this time last year, ended up being ok though.
planetmarshall on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

People are notoriously bad at recalling stuff like this. For hard data, see the Met Office's climate anomaly maps.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/public/weather/climate-anomalies/#?tab=climateAnomalies

Alternatively, UKCs been going for a fair while now. You could check, say, the frequency of ascents of Point 5 gully. If I get time maybe I'll code something up.
andyinglis - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

Chin up dude, 4 months of potential winter left! It might have been a pretty average start to the season but loads of folks have got out and done a few routes (look at keeno Kerr!), its only the folks that haven't been able to that are complaining!

Write a hit list, check yer ket, train, train some more... buy big a f@ckin big telly! Keep the faith.

Fiskavaig on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Mike-W-99:

Did they survive when they thawed out?
Mike-W-99 on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to Fiskavaig:

> Did they survive when they thawed out?

Think how distraught my sister was when they froze. Think what she was like when they started defrosting.
CaelanB - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to andyinglis:
I mean I really shouldn't be complaining, I've already managed to get out a fair amount this season (8 winter days, if you include 2 winter walks) and will plenty more before the next term begins. I'm still optimistic for the late season, I'm just more miffed that the bad weather happens to fall exactly when I have time off from uni. c'est la vie
Post edited at 21:53
2
abr1966 - on 11 Jan 2017
In reply to wercat:

> I tend not to expect anything in December-January, just dark, often wet and windy. I don't make any judgements till February is well in as nice surprises sometimes start late

> (based on first going winter climbing as opposed to walking in 1988)

I agree with this....I started winter climbing in 1984 and certainly for glencoe/fort William area I soon shifted my trips to mid February onwards. Central highlands earlier and I recall regular trips to Wales for decent conditions which doesn't seem to be the case nowadays...
Dave Perry - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

I believe the record winter of 1947 didn't start until late Jan. Basing predictions or trends for just a few years (or two! Just doesn't work.
Doug on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

> 1980/81 started like this and continued to give the worst winter of all.

I remember climbing a couple of routes on Buachaille Etive Mor as wet rock climbs in January 1981 on a university club trip but fairly sure I managed some winter routes later in the year

Webster - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

we have been spoiled over the last 4-5-6 years or so, but I can remember coming to Scotland on 'skiing' holidays for February half term in the mid 90's and only having the alpha dry slope to go on... but by easter holls the whole mountain would be open. based on the long term average this winter hasent been particularly poor so far, its just been really frustrating because it seams each brief cold spell we get its 1 step forward, 2 steps back. consequently there is bugger all base which is disappointing. but as others have said, don't write it off just yet.
Neil Anderson - on 12 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

I recall late Feb 97 heading up for a Lodge ski Mt course, hardly a flake of snow below the plateau.....the ever fickle nature of Scottish 'winter'.

Any plans for a auto-biography , you must have some great tales to tell of the highs and lows of the winter scene ?
Andy Nisbet - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Neil Anderson:

Was it perhaps 1998? There was no snow that month.
CurlyStevo - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:
Every Winter is different. I think it was my first winter climbing over a decade back that no real snow came down until mid feb. Then there were the green winters before that!

There was another winter around 08ish when everything melted back in late jan early feb bar the very deep accumulations. But then later that year the trig point on the top of the ben (several meters high) very nearly got completely buried.

Then of course consider the 09/10 winter which was one of the coldest for a very long time. The 10/11 winter was short and very early but also extremely cold for that period.
Post edited at 09:37
Dave Cumberland - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

> This week in 1982, the temperature never got above minus 20 in Aviemore even at midday.
Aye, Feb 82, for three weeks at my house the temperature never got above freezing day or night, lowest here -19.

Meanwhile today:
BBC WEATHER PROPAGANDA
BBC 5 live 0910 this morning - brainless presenter talks of "crazy weather" - "some would say due to climate change".
How moronic can the BBC be? They have lost all credibility.
The winter is normal
The temperature is normal
The snow is normal
The tides are normal
The sea level is normal
The wind is normal
Weather is normal
"climate change" is normal
Breathing is normal
Being a guilt-ridden metrocentric ignorant BBC journalist is not normal, except within the BBC.

To the OP, 12 days out in winter conditions in the Lakes is a good winter, 1 day in a season happens a lot.
3
planetmarshall on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Apart from the slightly hysterical tone, was with you up until this...

> "climate change" is normal

Historical data suggests that the UK's current weather is fairly normal. It also suggests that climate change patterns over the last century or so are anything but. You can't agree with one but not the other, not unless you have a climate model that supports your assertion.
3
Pay Attention - on 13 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

There has been an apparent reduction in the frequency (number of days) and duration of winter (date of high snow gully survival) in Snowdonia since I started climbing there in the late eighties. Snowdonia at Easter was once the training ground for the Everest attempt. In 2012 there was an astonishing burst of winter in the last week of March when plum ice routes were in. In a different forum (political) my argument on climate change was "disproved" by recent snow in the Sahara.
Neil Anderson - on 14 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

could well be; without looking up the logbooks not sure....it all seems a long time ago.

planetmarshall on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

I'm preparing a blog post on this subject, will report back when it's done. In the meantime, here's a graph that partially answers your question.

https://twitter.com/planetmarshall/status/821467045422333957

Yes, Dec 2016 really was poor.
Misha - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:
January not much better so far...
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 17 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Apart from the slightly hysterical tone, was with you up until this...

> Historical data suggests that the UK's current weather is fairly normal. It also suggests that climate change patterns over the last century or so are anything but. You can't agree with one but not the other, not unless you have a climate model that supports your assertion.

it's just what he does. still with Trump in the white house, he's got some pretty influential friends. we may have a chance to find out what will happen if the 2 degree threshold is passed. being able to say 'told you so' will be a pretty hollow consolation though...

2
george mc - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

If I recall winter 89/90 was pretty crap with mild temps; winter 1997/98 was similar; winter 2012 ended around the middle February - suddenly. That's from memory but are the main ones that I recall being "challenging". Scottish winter is often an exercise in managing frustration...
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:

Its not that unusual for things not to really pick up until mid feb either though. Its still (just about) early season (hopefully!)
george mc - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Hhmm... Well the ground is sopping wet so even if it (winter) does come in it's an outside chance the ground properly freezes. Also more often than not there is more build up - there is currently little to no build up on many north facing crags (snow came on west/north west winds so any build up is on east/southeast slopes and hollows.

So poor build up on north facing aspects, unfrozen sopping wet ground then better than even chance winter comes and then goes just as quick. Still live in hope but little in the way of long term signals via synoptics that there is a significant change...
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to george mc:
chin up - one thing we know for sure is we don't know

Looking back to 2009 things were dire in mid January but the season went on in to April on the Ben.

http://lochaberblog.sais.gov.uk/2009/01/is-there-anything-left/

Also wasn't it winter 2007 / 2008 (give or take a winter) which was fairly poor everywhere except the ben (and poor early season throughout) - which had some of the best mid to late season plastic ice conditions in a very long time and people were saying the likes of indicator wall and many of the other thin ice routes were an adj grade easier as they all had ice thick enough for screws on them.
Post edited at 08:40
Clint86 - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

There are a lot of people who wouldn't agree with you. The natural world is changing fast.
2
Rob N - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Clint86:

Totally agree with this, climate it is changing very fast. Lots of proof out there too. The whole cyclical heating and cooling thing is true but this cycle is very different than before. CO2 is 25% higher than it has been for the last 800,000 years. 400ppm at the moment. So the world as a whole is definitely getting warmer and will continue that way for a while at least. As for the whole Scottish winter thing its way to complicated to work out what will happen in the long run.

https://www.bas.ac.uk/data/our-data/publication/ice-cores-and-climate-change/
3
Michael Gordon - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Yes, that was 06/07. It's OK if you knew such conditions were coming later but ultimately unlikely to happen this year (though would like to be proved wrong). And it is definitely mid-season!
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

When does mid season start?
Allovesclimbin - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Feb would surely be mid season. Jan is very early , sure you get mixed stuff sometimes early on ( first route this season was mid Nov!) but I have to admit this year is looking like '97-98 . Fingers crossed, I think the Stella 2013 year was slow starting ...
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Allovesclimbin:

Yeah I would still say its early season now too (just about!)

2013 I was climbing ice in devils kitchen on Jan 20th. This year is not looking hopeful for a while now.

I agree things right now don't look good and not to improve for a wee while, its still too early to know what will happen in feb / march / april.
Michael Gordon - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

> When does mid season start?

I guess it's a matter of opinion but I tend to think Nov/Dec - Early, Jan/Feb - Mid, Mar/Apr - late. A three month early season seems to be stretching things; the season ain't nine months long!
Dave Kerr - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:

It's early season for ice and mid season for snowed up rock.
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Michael Gordon:
Some years you can be winter climbing into June and as early as September (not sure if that's been done in the same year though). For me mid season in Scotland probably starts late January and finishes mid March. Mid Jan isn't reliable enough to be mid season.
Post edited at 14:46
D.Russell on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

What you should be asking is " does this mean an early start to the rock season?"
Let's hope so...
2
wercat on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

Someone from the Met Office was interviewed this afternoon and sees no great change for the next 2 to 3 weeks
French Erick - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

My only issue is that I need some days out to push the grade and I ain't getting it. Some harder routes were in nick but I certainly wasn't!
Who cares what you call the season, what matters is predicting where will be good, be there in top shape and right mind-frame with a partner in a similar mode.
Probably easier to align planets by sole mind power!
Clint86 - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Rob N:

Interesting to see how painful the process is to first acknowledge and then act on. China and India seem to be waking up to it largely because of the polution and smogs that are becoming the norm.
1
CurlyStevo - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to wercat:

Well MWIS say
"Over the weekend, higher areas will drop below freezing point, initially across England and Wales. Into next week, southwesterly winds will gradually bring wetter conditions, particularly to western mountains. Summit temperatures will vary, bringing freeze-thaw cycles to higher areas, the freeze periods may be brief from southern Scotland southwards.
"

I guess it just depends on how much thaw there is compared to freeze and when the precipitation comes
Dave Cumberland - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Clint86:

> Interesting to see how painful the process is to first acknowledge and then act on. China and India seem to be waking up to it largely because of the polution and smogs that are becoming the norm.

Think you might be confusing pollution and smog with CO2.
Smog is caused by dust, loess, soot, smoke, diesel particulates, industrial output, CO, NO2 and SO2, very common in winter high pressure zones in Beijing, India, LA, Paris etc, or Indonesia from forest-burning. It was particularly bad during the last ice age (dust that is).

CO2 is a beneficial trace gas in the atmosphere on which all plant life depends for prosperity (aka. photosynthesis). During the last ice age, CO2 dropped so low below 200 ppm that plant life almost ceased.

The optimum CO2 concentration in Dutch and Spanish greenhouses is 700-1000 ppm. Royal Navy submarines regularly enjoy much greater concentrations with no ill-effect.

The change from 300 or 350 to 400 ppm CO2 is inadequate to explain any climate effect.

Even for the tiny part of the increase that is due to man, and despite the prophets of doom, temperature in recent times has only increased 0.4 degrees Centigrade, significantly less than what the warmist models suggest, even if they knew what the mechanism was, or why the temperature has changed 0.4.

Bear in mind water vapour makes up 95% of all greenhouse gas effect in the atmosphere, CO2 is only 3.6%.

Man-made CO2 is only 0.12% of greenhouse effect - if we understood how it worked.

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is 0.04%.

CO2 could triple to 1000 ppm with no additional discernible absorption-emission.

Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

CO2 is the gas of life.


12
Misha - on 18 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
Do you work for the oil and gas industry by any chance?

Your views are at odds with most scientists who work in this area. I wonder whom I should believe, random bloke on UKC or the body of scientific opinion.

2016 was the warmest year on record (see today's news), in fact 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have been since 2001. Glaciers are retreating - fact. These are things which suggest that the world is warming, you don't need to be a scientist to realise that.

Even if you argue that it's mostly not due to humans, shouldn't we be doing something to reduce the impact?

Are you seriously suggesting that we should have greenhouse type conditions for life on earth?

As for winter conditions, I guess in the long term winter climbing and skiing are screwed. Variation from one month to another or one year to another might be 'weather' or natural fluctuations but the general trend is there and it ain't that it's getting colder!
4
Michael Gordon - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> temperature in recent times has only increased 0.4 degrees Centigrade, significantly less than what the warmist models suggest,
>

Well I would hope it would be less than what the warmest models suggest; that's why they're the warmest models - they project the worse case scenarios. 0.4C is significant, and it is going to increase further, unfortunately.
2
Deleted bagger - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

Weather in northern Europe is closely linked to the solar cycle. This runs on an 11 year cycle. We are now on year 7-8. So another 3-4 years before activity on the suns surface will significantly influence winter temperatures here.
Dave Cumberland - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Misha:
> Your views are at odds with most scientists who work in this area. I wonder whom I should believe, random bloke on UKC or the body of scientific opinion.
> Even if you argue that it's mostly not due to humans, shouldn't we be doing something to reduce the impact?
> Are you seriously suggesting that we should have greenhouse type conditions for life on earth?
> As for winter conditions, I guess in the long term winter climbing and skiing are screwed. Variation from one month to another or one year to another might be 'weather' or natural fluctuations but the general trend is there and it ain't that it's getting colder!

I don't have a view - I'm just quoting well-known atmospheric observations. Odd that the post attracted 8 dislikes, as it is factual data and not opinion. Is someone trying to delude themselves and divorce from reality? When you say warmest year on record, you really need to put that in the context of the past 20,000 years, check out the well-known graphs. It's not as obvious as you think. We are in the coldest 1000 years of the past 20,000.
Glaciers ebb and flow with rapid patterns in the context of geological time and no one has yet figured out why (except perhaps Piers Corbyn and a few other astrophysicists).
The Earth is a greenhouse whether you like it or not, part of the atmosphere works that way, that's why it is green and habitable, although it has to be said there is more heat in the first 10 metres of the oceans than in all the atmosphere combined.
If you think you can control the climate you will have a very successful future, call the IPCC or the BBC immediately.

And you haven't answered Clint's point about pollution and smog which he confused with CO2.

Within 80,000 years any betting person would put money on a Milankovitch-driven ice age cycle, all the data point in that direction, this was the conventional wisdom in the 1970s also.
So I think our ephemeral winters will continue just the same as before, climbers may even write books about them, they are always fickle, but some are good and many are poor. Our summers are getting colder though, that is clear to any climber where I live.
Post edited at 09:53
6
planetmarshall on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> Glaciers ebb and flow with rapid patterns in the context of geological time and no one has yet figured out why (except perhaps Piers Corbyn and a few other astrophysicists).

Piers Corbyn??? Seriously? He's as much an authority on weather patterns as Graham Hancock is an authority on ancient history.
Milesy - on 19 Jan 2017
They always say that when the North Atlantic oscillation switches you can expect a major change in the weather for the time of year, but that can be incredibly warm or incredibly cold.
Dave Cumberland - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Piers Corbyn??? Seriously? He's as much an authority on weather patterns as Graham Hancock is an authority on ancient history.

He is an alumnus of Imperial and Queen Mary in Physics and Astrophysics.
Maybe that isn't good enough for you.
He has also beaten the Metoffice for credible forecasts, and put his money where his mouth is at the betting shop and won.
I suspect he knows more about what he is talking about than most "climate scientists".
So give us a reason not to listen to what he says since you are such an expert.
8
troybison - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

Wow. Doesn't it make climbs harder though - with all the ice & neve being so brittle? I've never experienced anything below -5C.
planetmarshall on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> He is an alumnus of Imperial and Queen Mary in Physics and Astrophysics.

But not in climatology. He does not have a PhD or any doctorate level qualification in the subjects you mention, nor has he published any scientific papers in these subjects, aside from a study on the size of pebbles. Surely these are minimal qualifications for expertise in a scientific domain?

> Maybe that isn't good enough for you.

It isn't, no. See above. He has also forbidden use of this forecasts in any newspaper articles critical of his methods. Hardly the action of a credible scientist.

> He has also beaten the Metoffice for credible forecasts, and put his money where his mouth is at the betting shop and won.

By what standards? Can you name a single corporate client that uses his forecasts? 'WeatherAction' exited AIM in 1999 after it's share price tumbled to 24p. Hardly a vote of confidence

> I suspect he knows more about what he is talking about than most "climate scientists".

You suspect wrong.
1
wilkie14c - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to CaelanB:

I've been dossing around the hills in one form or other for 30+ years and there is no doubt weather has changed. I can even remember Kinder downfall being 'in' and Edale train station platforms being packed one evening with climbers returning to the cities.
Misha - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

In reply to Dave Cumberland:
I suspect you are quoting facts (if they are facts) out of context and probably ignoring other facts. I think it's well established that the rate of warming over the past 100 years or so has been significantly faster than it has been previously. I can't control the climate but as humans we are collectively influencing it. Summers in the UK might not be any warmer but that's why it's called climate change - on the whole it's getting warmer but in a given place at a given time of year it might get warmer, colder , drier, wetter or not change much, but the global trend is there and in time it will bring massive disruption.

Where do you get coldest 1,000 years out of the past 20,000 - didn't we have an ice age 20,000 years ago? Anyway, isn't the last 50-100 years out of that 1,000 rather warmer?

The real point is this - the planet will survive and might cool again in time but will humans be around to witness that? We live in the here and now and if it gets much warmer, we really have a problem (lack of winter climbing will be the least of our worries). The fact that X thousand years ago it was warmer still is hardly an excuse for doing nothing as there weren't 6 billion people back then. A few million hunter gatherers could migrate in line with the climate. A bit harder to do these days!

You might say that there's no proof that human actions have caused this warming. I think the body of scientific opinion would disagree with that. However, on the off chance (I would say probability) that it's down to human actions, don't you think it would be a good idea to do something about it? After all, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking action on CO2 emissions etc.

You are right about smog being a different thing but that's not the point.
1
nileferd - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to Andy Nisbet:

In Jan & Feb 86ยด an anti-cyclone sat over Scotland pulling in cold Easterly to South Easterly winds, climbing conditions in the West were excellent on the Ben alone we did,The Curtain,Indicator Wall,Minus Two, Minus Three,Orion Direct,The Long Climb, Minus One.Conditions stayed good over March and into April and we did Left Edge Route and Smiths on 12th and 13th April. So heads up there is still plenty of time!
whippletom1 - on 19 Jan 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

I'm a journalist and occasionally I cover climate change. That means occasionally I come across Piers Corbyn stories. I once got so annoyed about him claiming to have been banned by betting companies from taking a punt on the weather that I phoned their press offices to check. They'd never heard of him.

I asked him for the evidence he has outperformed the met office. He never gave it.

All we know is he has a super secret method for predicting the weather on a thursday afternoon in Swindon six months hence, and he won't tell people what it is. What we also know (because I ran a check on his past 20 predictions for an article) is that the Express has run a series of front pages based on his forecasts, every one of which turned out to be spectacularly wrong. Every one.

Now, can we go back to discussing winter conditions? There's enough climate change bollocks without it infecting a sane site that talks about pleasant things like nice icy mountains, that I can dream about in the office while having to write about last year being the warmest year on record. For the third year in a row.

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