/ Ropes on pinnacle ridge

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McKEuan - on 15 Jul 2017
Hi all,

Did anyone strip ropes from pinnacle ridge yesterday or first thing this morning???

There where in place for the Lakes sky ultra if anyone did could we have them back!
captain paranoia - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

You forgot the (TM) mark.
Pedro50 on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Genuine question. Are fixed ropes permitted or within the spirit of the event? It's a grade 3 scramble apparently.
captain paranoia - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

LakesSkyUltra(TM) is a SkyRunning(TM) SkyRace(TM).

http://www.lakesskyultra.uk

They can make up whatever rules they like. May be they can call them SkySpirit(TM).
McKEuan - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

TM mark??

Thanks for your helpful input....
McKEuan - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I honestly don't know,

My brother is marshalling up on pinnacle ridge and they've had to alter the course.

I guess they just want to make it safe and fun! Not that running that far is fun. At all ????????
Pedro50 on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Well the website advertises all sorts of extreme fun including grade 3 scrambles. Put a fixed rope on it and it's not a grade 3 scramble is it? Sounds like a crock of pants to me.
McKEuan - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

Ye well.

I just wondered if anyone had taken the ropes or knew anyone that had.
steveriley - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

You could always just not enter? Unless you were planning a trip today, that just sounds 'my kind of fun is better than your kind of fun'. Peace.
GrahamUney - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Fixing ropes on a classic like this is bit mean on anyone else who might have wanted to scramble Pinnacle Ridge today in my opinion.
Mike Hewitt - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Fair swag in my opinion. If I was up there scrambling and the ropes were in my way, I'd have ripped them off too.

We have a strong tradition of self-sufficient fell running and trad climbing in the Lakes, is there room for this type of event here?
captain paranoia - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to steveriley:

I think the objection is to commercial events thinking they can just go and take over a crag and do what they like.
Ron Rees Davies - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:
Were the ropes clearly labelled with reason for being there, date of planned removal, contact details etc?

Its quite likely somebody assumed they had been abandoned after a retreat/rescue and thoughtfully cleaned up what many would consider to be litter.
Post edited at 15:14
steveriley - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

I think that is the objection, but I doubt more than a handful noticed or were affected. 83 people setting off at 7am, it'll all be over now. There's maybe a debate to be had but it's not really a threat to our existence. It's just a bit of fun in the countryside and climbers don't have a monopoly on that. Anyways, I'm not an official shill for them - I'm off out for a climb, or a run maybe
McKEuan - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Ron Rees Davies:
The post wasn't to start a debate about the ropes being there etc. I just wanted to ask if anyone has taken them. Or knows someone that has.

Post edited at 16:38
Pedro50 on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

I wasn't particularly trying to be goady. I think my point is that if a scramble is considered hazardous enough that the competitors require a fixed rope then it should not have been included in the event in the first place.
McKEuan - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

I get that, I just wanted a yes or no really.

I get your point but I didn't design the race I'm just asking as it has affected the race.
bouldery bits - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Why is everyone shooting the messenger?
BnB - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
> Why is everyone shooting the messenger?

How long have you been on UKC?
Post edited at 20:25
Jon Stewart - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Why is everyone shooting the messenger?

Because the person we want to ask isn't here!

In what universe someone posting on UKC "has anyone taken all my shite that I left all over the crag?" not get the response "why did you leave your shite all over the crag?"?
Robert Durran - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

> Why is everyone shooting the messenger?

Because he's there.
Goucho on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

> Hi all,

> Did anyone strip ropes from pinnacle ridge yesterday or first thing this morning???

> There where in place for the Lakes sky ultra if anyone did could we have them back!

They're already on Ebay.

If you want to buy them back, you'll have to be quick, there are already 17 bids and it ends at 10pm tonight.



bouldery bits - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to BnB:

> How long have you been on UKC?

Just checked.

Since 2007!!

Oh dear....
Simon Caldwell - on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

My understanding is that they were placed out of the way to the side and would presumably have been moved onto the route when the runners arrived. As for getting in the way of others - yes perhaps there's a point there. But they'd be out of the way more quickly with ropes in place than if they had to solo it. In fell shoes, after doing half the Fairfield horseshoe plus helvellyn plus both the edges.

Personally I'd prefer it without ropes and their presence is one of the reasons I've not considered entering. But live and let live.
Mike Hewitt - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

I agree that taken on it's own, this isn't really a big deal. But I believe that we need to protect our traditional fell races and climbing from any sort of creeping commercialism. I like paying £3 to do a fell race up Blencathra on a wednesday night, run by local runners and for the benefit of other runners. But I see that many more are persuaded to pay £60+ to do a 10k obstacle course in a field somewhere, run by who and to benefit who?

/rant
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3leggeddog on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

My granny had a charming phrase for losses such as this, "the tw*t tax". You have behaved like a tw*t and so have to replace what is lost.

Wise lady she was.
MFB - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

I'm a bit fed up with all the flags marking event routes in central lakes over last couple of weeks, visual intrusion.
Fruit on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

Shout it out loud!
pmordue - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

> Fair swag in my opinion. If I was up there scrambling and the ropes were in my way, I'd have ripped them off too.

> We have a strong tradition of self-sufficient fell running and trad climbing in the Lakes, is there room for this type of event here?

Comments and attitudes like this are bang out of order, you should be ashamed! I was on pinnicle ridge yesterday with some good friends and we came to where the gear had been removed. For your information it was only a tiny section that had been protected and in light of the conditions yesterday is probably why the organisers did it!
There were 9 in our party and we were not held up or inconvenienced at all by the race, in fact we were encouraging and having a good chat with all the competitors that came past!
We had a cracking day on the hill and it was great seeing so many out enjoying themselves.
Now with regards to your comment about, if you came to a section and someone had left gear you would rip it out! Shame on you!!!!
If that is your views and opionions then I'm my opinion you have no place on the hill!
I think in future, before you make uneducated and hateful comments you should take a moment and think!
Great day on the hill yesterday with great friends and brilliant watching all the runners, well done to you all ????
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to pmordue:
'Hateful comments'...?

Hardly.

Clash of cultures. British mountains have a century long tradition of self reliance, and minimal equipping of routes. They are not the alps. Organised, ? commercial, enterprises who disregard that are likely to encounter some friction, and rightly so. To borrow someone else's words, they have no place on the hill.
Post edited at 11:22
Robert Durran - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Organised, commercial, enterprises who disregard that are likely to encounter some friction, and rightly so.

Absolutely. The appropriation of the hills for commercial use needs to be nipped in the bud wherever it appears, whether it is "adventure" racing (or whatever the term is), guiding operations equipping descents or whatever. The impact of an individual event such as this might seem minimal, but the thin of the wedge must be resisted. One only need look to the Alps to see what can happen when it is not.

deepsoup - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to pmordue:
> For your information it was only a tiny section that had been protected and in light of the conditions yesterday is probably why the organisers did it!

No, not to do with conditions this year.

2015: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hph2tD2Ug0c
(At 1:10s "We've decided we're going to rope the ridge.")

2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0jj0-VR_G0
(You get a good look at the fixed ropes and flags from 2:20ish to 3:20ish.)

I've no idea whether the ropes were stripped to make a point, or perhaps removed in error by someone who thought they'd been abandoned. If the former, I guess the point has been made - either way though, they clearly weren't crag swag and ought to be returned.
Post edited at 11:50
Greasy Prusiks on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to pmordue:

> If that is your views and opionions then I'm my opinion you have no place on the hill!

In my opinion you owe Mike an apology for that.
timjones - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Greasy Prusiks:

> In my opinion you owe Mike an apology for that.

Is an apology due?

Regardless of your views on the ethics of using in-situ ropes for specific events. the ropes are not "fair swag" and ripping them off in a fit of pique is not the answer.

It would probably be a better idea if the organisers placed the ropes immediately before the runners were due to pass and left a marshall in-situ to remove them as soon as the competitors had passed by. There is little excuse for leaving them up overnight.
Pedro50 on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

I'm afraid the 2016 video just confirms my original opinion. It just looks so wrong.
Greasy Prusiks on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

Telling someone that they have no place on the hills is just a bit hysterical in my opinion.

Completely agree with the rest of your post though.
ChrisBrooke - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
> Absolutely. The appropriation of the hills for commercial use needs to be nipped in the bud wherever it appears,

Hear hear. I agree. I also propose we shut down commercial monstrosities like Glenmore Lodge, Plas y Brenin etc, all guides and instructors should cease and desist, and everybody should only use our precious upland resources in the way that I use them. I'd certainly rest easier knowing that people were only able to learn skills by unpaid word of mouth, or ideally by searching the UKC archives. Might seem a little extreme, but it is preferable to the continued grotesque besmershment of our glorious nation's pure hill-going soul by these cockroach-like so called 'adventure' racers, MLs, MICs and such.
I wasn't in the Lakes this weekend, so wasn't affected by the race, but knowing it was happening spoilt my bouldering session at Burbage. B4stards!
Post edited at 14:52
Robert Durran - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to ChrisBrooke:

I've no objection to guides and instructors as such. I just don't think they should have any more right than anyone else to put fixed stuff in the hills or on the crags for their commercial purposes.
ChrisBrooke - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:
Sure, but a rope that's up for less than 24 hours is hardly more 'fixed' than the gear I belay off at the top of a route. I've seen people take longer to lead and second the Peapod at Curbar than this Perhaps I'm mellowing in my old age but a temporary handrail on a Lakes scramble, taken down after the event, leaving literally no trace, causes me zero sleepless nights and is well within the tolerable. Not everything is the thin end of the wedge.... but perhaps I just don't get it, man.
Post edited at 15:02
ChrisBrooke - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

Or if I can stop being facetious on the internet for a minute: I agree. However, nor do I think they have any *less* right to do so. If I was organising a group of mates to do this and put a temporary rope up, I wouldn't expect to be burnt at the stake. Nor would I expect it to be nicked. To be fair I probably wouldn't leave it up overnight though.... but even so. I guess it just bothers me a bit that people seem so quick to get upset or offended by this sort of thing. It just seems to me like a slightly disingenuous need to 'play the hardcore traditionalist' against a more measured approach. Perhaps I'm either too cynical... or too naive.
summo on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to MFB:

> I'm a bit fed up with all the flags marking event routes in central lakes over last couple of weeks, visual intrusion.

Literal sign of the times. The majority of people like the notion of an adventure race etc.. but want to take zero personal risk and expect everything to be controlled for them. Combine this with the legal angle where an event organiser wants to avoid being sued for not taking all reasonable measures to keep racers safe etc..
MFB - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

I think the races are great but don't like the flags every 30m, just been up Middlefell butress and Harrison stickle, flags up the gimmer ascent route and across the pikes, as it happens I know some of the racers, not sure they really need the flags, hardcore mountain folk, insurance driving this maybe?
timjones - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to MFB:

> I think the races are great but don't like the flags every 30m, just been up Middlefell butress and Harrison stickle, flags up the gimmer ascent route and across the pikes, as it happens I know some of the racers, not sure they really need the flags, hardcore mountain folk, insurance driving this maybe?

I'd say it's just a different sort of event.

Some events will involve an element of navigation, others will be about pure physical performance.

Horses for courses.
JEF on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

> I'd say it's just a different sort of event.

> Some events will involve an element of navigation, others will be about pure physical performance.

> Horses for courses.

Can horses use ropes?
timjones - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to JEF:

> Can horses use ropes?

I thought we were talking about flags.

However, seeing as you ask, horses quite often seem to trail a rather dim specimen of a human being around on the end of a rope. I believe that they usually have that person trained to feed them, groom them and provide them with an expensive stable to live in
summo on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to MFB:

> I think the races are great but don't like the flags every 30m, just been up Middlefell butress and Harrison stickle, flags up the gimmer ascent route and across the pikes, as it happens I know some of the racers, not sure they really need the flags, hardcore mountain folk, insurance driving this maybe?

I think it's both. Organisers will obviously have to meet insurer requirements and want the event to appeal to a broad audience to bring in the entries, needing to appeal to those with a pedigree in the hills, but also the relative newbie who hasn't served an apprenticeship climbing and running.

I always like the lakes warrior O events, no fuss races, where if you went out on the hills you were expected to be self sufficient and know the hazards.
MFB - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to timjones:

For me the flags are an unsightly distraction from the landscape, I struggle to see the difference between the flags and the crisp packets/water bottles one occasionally spots on fells.
I suppose the real difference is the litter has generally arrived by accident, the flags by design, for a commercial reason.
I think inclusive mountain events, open to a broad church are great but the flags not so much
Is there another solution out there?
bouldery bits - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to MFB:


> I think inclusive mountain events, open to a broad church are great but the flags not so much

> Is there another solution out there?

Trail of breadcrumbs.
Jamie B - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to MFB:

Any event that is placing flags and other markers will have a team sweeping behind the last runners - the visual intrusion is a temporary one.
Ron Rees Davies - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Jamie B:

> Any event that is placing flags and other markers will have a team sweeping behind the last runners - the visual intrusion is a temporary one.

Try looking back to the thread on the Vegan3K 2 years ago for comments on that......


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Ron Rees Davies - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
> Trail of breadcrumbs.

"Breadcrumbs"? Surely you mean "Concentrated carbohydrate protein flakes [TM]"
Post edited at 21:22
MFB - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Jamie B:

So you leave the city, you spend time money and effort getting into the hills and they're covered in flags, yes the vast majority are removed but that makes no difference to the individuals experience.
I don't think it's an ideal system
MFB - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

What about pies, I'd be in for pies
Mark Eddy - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Jamie B:

If only this were true.
Currently the Lakes is full of flags, markers, signs, etc. Seemingly abandoned in the mountains and the problem is escalating. Some are being dealt with probably as we speak by some very caring friends.
I walked the Fairfield horseshoe yesterday and noted many flags, some blowing about in the high winds. Are they all being retrieved? No they aren't. The Lakes is a small place, maybe more of these 'extreme / ultra events should move to the Highlands where there is space.
Over the years i've ran in many fell races. The only places there would be markers are near the start / finish. The rest of the time it was down to the individual to navigate, rather than rely on a set course. Markers reduce the challenge thus reduce the reward for participants.

The ropes on Pinnacle ridge were hopefully not removed maliciously, but maybe they were seen as litter. I've found plenty gear on crags over the years, if it's unattended and seemingly left behind then i'll help myself to it 'crag swag'. I didn't know about the sky race until this weekend, so had I been scrambling Pinnacle ridge on Friday afternoon and come across a rope left at the crag, with no signage, I would likely have removed it and seen this as a good deed of picking up litter.
If folk are going to enter these races they need to be up to the job, it's not meant to be easy, so why make it easy by putting ropes in place and flags all over the place.
The responses so far suggest a fair few locals becoming increasingly unhappy with this. Personally, i'm still on the fence, I see the benefit of such races, but more thought needs to go into the planning.
Robert Durran - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Mark Eddy:
> The Lakes is a small place, maybe more of these 'extreme / ultra events should move to the Highlands where there is space.

Heaven forbid!
Post edited at 22:53
tom_in_edinburgh - on 16 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Heaven forbid!

Although, the path up the hill next to my flat looks pretty dangerous to me and if any race organiser felt like running some rope up there for safety reasons I absolutely wouldn't object. A 60m, 9.8mm Edelrid Boa would be perfect for the job.
daWalt on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Mark Eddy:

> I walked the Fairfield horseshoe yesterday and noted many flags, some blowing about in the high winds.
there was a race on Saturday.

Are they all being retrieved? No they aren't.
did you go back and check the day after?


tripehound - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Pedro50:

> Well the website advertises all sorts of extreme fun including grade 3 scrambles. Put a fixed rope on it and it's not a grade 3 scramble is it? Sounds like a crock of pants to me.

Yup. Its a crock of pants!
tripehound - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to pmordue:

> Comments and attitudes like this are bang out of order, you should be ashamed! I was on pinnicle ridge yesterday with some good friends and we came to where the gear had been removed. For your information it was only a tiny section that had been protected and in light of the conditions yesterday is probably why the organisers did it!<


Perhaps the organisers should have chosen an easier scramble that did not require fixed ropes.

tripehound - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to daWalt:

> there was a race on Saturday.

> Are they all being retrieved? No they aren't.

> did you go back and check the day after?

You are absolutely right, I have come across markers and tape blowing about and left after these events.
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I've no objection to guides and instructors as such. I just don't think they should have any more right than anyone else to put fixed stuff in the hills or on the crags for their commercial purposes.

That's fair enough, but not quite what you originally said
> The appropriation of the hills for commercial use needs to be nipped in the bud wherever it appears

Statements such as that are often about preventing people charging for an event while continuing to tolerate/approve of guides. (Not saying that's your opinion, just generalising from what you said)
summo on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to tripehound:

There was a 100 plus glow sticks collected off Snowdon the other week, left behind by some commercial night time summit walk. It's a growing problem. Too many irresponsible leaders and companies, too many gullible punters who probably pay a fortune.
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to MFB:

> I'm a bit fed up with all the flags marking event routes in central lakes over last couple of weeks, visual intrusion.

This is part of the Skyline series, which always have fully marked routes. This is the main reason I've never entered - I like my fell races to be about navigation as well as running, it's the only way I avoid coming last!

But this particular event is very good about removing the markers, I'd be very surprised if there were any left by now. The V3K a few years back was less good but have by all accounts learned from their mistakes.
Others are dreadful, eg the 3 Peaks Cyclo Cross - we removed markers that were still there some 6 weeks after the event last year, yet this one is rarely complained about as it's been going for years and is seen as "non-commercial" for some reason.
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:

> Combine this with the legal angle where an event organiser wants to avoid being sued for not taking all reasonable measures to keep racers safe etc..

That's a fair ambition. But not the reason for the ropes on Pinnacle Ridge - it would be simplest and safest to miss that section out completely. Other events in the Skyline series include the Glencoe Skyline, which includes (unroped) Curved Ridge and Aonach Eagach. Both these events are heavily vetted, which is the best way off ensuring safety.
summo on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
> I like my fell races to be about navigation as well as running, it's the only way I avoid coming last!

Exactly. Ideally with some poor visibility too, get people focusing on their map and not running in a long chain over the hills.

> Others are dreadful, eg the 3 Peaks Cyclo Cross - we removed markers that were still there some 6 weeks after the event last year, yet this one is rarely complained about as it's been going for years and is seen as "non-commercial" for some reason.

If all the national parks weren't managed entirely independently there could be some national users agreement, like there already are in many places for group crag use. Anything left on the hills can only be out X days before and removed X days after, perhaps all with an event date and mobile no.

Edit. I agree entirely on the above about vetting, but I think some commercial groups favour event scale over quality.
Post edited at 10:32
ianstevens - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Mark Eddy:
> Over the years i've ran in many fell races. The only places there would be markers are near the start / finish. The rest of the time it was down to the individual to navigate, rather than rely on a set course. Markers reduce the challenge thus reduce the reward for participants.

Having done many of both, I can assure you that skyrunning (TM) (R) (C) is definitively not fell racing. It's meant to be a purely physcial challenge in the hills (or mountains if you're in the right part of the world, i.e. Europe) and not about navigation like a fell race can be. That's not to encourage "newbies", as most races require some sort of running or hill experience to enter (yes, you can lie, but that's not the point here). Markers don't reduce the challenge IMO, they change the nature to make it purely physical rather than involving navigation. Equally hard and equally rewarding, albeit in a different fashion.

> The ropes on Pinnacle ridge were hopefully not removed maliciously, but maybe they were seen as litter. I've found plenty gear on crags over the years, if it's unattended and seemingly left behind then i'll help myself to it 'crag swag'. I didn't know about the sky race until this weekend, so had I been scrambling Pinnacle ridge on Friday afternoon and come across a rope left at the crag, with no signage, I would likely have removed it and seen this as a good deed of picking up litter.

Surely if the hillside was "covered in flags" it would have been obvious to anyone that there was an event going on, and not exactly requiring the greatest amount of consideration to think that ropes and event flags may have been associated. I'd clean up event materials if I saw them mid-week, not at the weekend or on a Friday afternoon when they may be being set up or in use.

> If folk are going to enter these races they need to be up to the job, it's not meant to be easy, so why make it easy by putting ropes in place and flags all over the place.

See above, it's not meant to be about navigation. The challenge set is not one that requires a map/compass.

And yes, we can agree on one thing - sometimes the planning for these big events is piss poor.
Post edited at 11:28
Roadrunner5 - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:
It's one line, not a crag.

These events bring a lot to the area. Landowners may even get some Monetary value (I'm not sure).

Is it really that big of a deal?

I'm more and more convinced most outdoor goers go outside to find something to be offended about..
toad - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5: there are a lot of confounding issues here. It's quite tricky for landowners to charge for events, and even where they do (like the NT) it causes a lot of hassle in terms of management, conflict with regular visitors etc, that it often isn't worth their while.

Social media etc has also led to more people getting involved in these events, and the raising of their profile = more events, more often, and bigger numbers participating. That's great if you are block booking a country park, less good if they are being held in areas with uncontrolled access. The number of posts I see where X is feeling excited/satisfied/exhausted/ slightly bloated and liverish after completing <insert xtreem event here> is getting silly, but a subjective indication of their popularity

There are ( and this is probably a good thing) also more people getting out generally- they may not be doing the big routes, but they are using the same roads, car parks, accommodation etc that everyone else is. The upshot is more visitors, more events, more traffic, especially at peak times - nobody is going to run a commercial event mid week, outside of school holidays, because they won't get the number of punters they need- and that is going to lead to more complaints and more potential for conflict.

The worry is that there isn't a consistent mechanism for regulating these events, more local custom and practice, and that can lead to confusion, frustration and anger from both sides. Someone, or more likely, a group of someones, needs to get a firmer grip on these events.

Robert Durran - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> I'm more and more convinced most outdoor goers go outside to find something to be offended about.

Or maybe to get away from commercial shite.

Roadrunner5 - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Or maybe to get away from commercial shite.

Then go to the US. The U.K. Fells are agricultural land, land used for monetary gain.
Roadrunner5 - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to toad:

But there's also a need to have a more environmentally aware healthy populace.

Reduce health care costs and get people out to see why we need to look after what we have around us.

I think the hysteria from people like Robert is just crazy. For a start fell running started in commercial exploitation of the fells. It was about making money.

The environmental impact of these events is largely minimal. I agree signs should be removed, normally they are. I've suggested to the race just set up ropes on the day, with someone present. You can see how heavily liked posts are here that the climbing community is generally against these ropes. Yet when it suits them are happy to climb on permanently fixed hardware in other areas.
toad - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> Then go to the US. The U.K. Fells are agricultural land, land used for monetary gain.

It's more nuanced than that, and we have a planning system that accounts for these conflicts between personal gain and community benefit, but these events tend to fall between the cracks, and it's the inconsistencies in approach that are at least partly to blame
Roadrunner5 - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to ianstevens:
It's interesting that generally it's a different crowd doing sky racing. There's a few names I recognize but not many have stepped across to sky running.

But you are right, it's essentially different and removes the nav aspect but deals with more serious terrain than fell running. It's just a different type of challenge.
Robert Durran - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> Then go to the US.

But that isn't always practicable for an evening run or a weekend's cragging.
Goucho on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Or maybe to get away from commercial shite.

Having watched the video clip, I'm not sure the ropes fixed on Pinnacle Ridge are anything other than a token Health & Safety gesture to appease the events insurers?

The competitors are not clipping into them, and the amount of slack makes them not particularly good as a handrail. Also, if a competitor slips, they're going to need well honed reactions to grab the rope.

Personally, I've no problems with these events taking place, provided the organisers respect the landscape, minimise the intrusion of any route marking, and clean up all the accompanying shite immediately afterwards.



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Roadrunner5 - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to toad:

> It's more nuanced than that, and we have a planning system that accounts for these conflicts between personal gain and community benefit, but these events tend to fall between the cracks, and it's the inconsistencies in approach that are at least partly to blame

I'm not sure sky races do. Others certainly have, I know of a commercial rat race which never obtained land owners permissions but think the organization of the sky races is much stronger and nowadays these races work closely with the local community and development agencies to put them on.

Snowdonia is slowly realizing the benefit of being an adventure sports hub but some are still against the influx of tourists it attracts but the area is in desperate need of more money as the old industries contribute less and less to the local economy.

But in the US our national parks are free from anything largely. No new skiing, no logging, no events. I do a local race on the presidential range which is invite only, no social media, low key, no race infrastructure at all so we can still race without the national park knowing. Even then they found out and have tried to stop it but we just run from another campsite. Limited to 30 people.

The U.K. National parks have always had a much more balanced approach and have had economic exploitation of the land as a core part of that landscape.
Robert Durran - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Goucho:

> Having watched the video clip, I'm not sure the ropes fixed on Pinnacle Ridge are anything other than a token Health & Safety gesture to appease the events insurers?

Yes, they actually look worse than useless, possibly just giving a false sense of security.
Oliver Houston - on 17 Jul 2017
Does anyone actually know what happened to the ropes?

I object less to the ropes than the flags/strips of event tape that cover the paths every 10m for some events, but it does seem strange that someone had an opportunity to strip them. If the organisers wanted them back, I think they should have cleaned them up quicker.

Either way, just curious as to whether someone took them to make a point? Or purely out of greed...
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to toad:

I've never organised any events in the hills, but from speaking to those who do, it takes significant effort to gain the required permission (and is becoming harder), and it's common for commercial events to be charged for the privilege.
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Oliver Houston:

> If the organisers wanted them back, I think they should have cleaned them up quicker.

They were taken *before* the event - placed the night before, gone before the first runners arrived the next morning. If they'd not been taken then they'd have been cleared by the sweeper sometime early Saturday afternoon.

I'd originally expected they'd turn out to have been taken by someone thinking they'd been either forgotten, abandoned after an ab retreat, or left following an accident. But their continued absence suggests otherwise
McKEuan - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Oliver Houston:

That was the point of this entire thread.

I just wanted to know where the ropes went!

Amazing me that people will use any excuse to have a pop.
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

This thread's been pretty civilised compared to some of the ones on Facebook!
Goucho on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

> That was the point of this entire thread.

> I just wanted to know where the ropes went!

> Amazing me that people will use any excuse to have a pop.

According to your profile, you've been a member of UKC since 2011, yet you're still amazed at the direction this thread has taken?

Oliver Houston - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Oh, I see... Plenty of people won't check here everyday, must have been a late nighter, or v. early starter. If they're camping in the Lakes for a week, the culprit/hero might turn up in a week or so.
toad - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
It's a slightly different situation where an event passes through a site, rather than a start/ finish, which requires infrastructure. For smaller landowners, it's a bonus if you get notified, and restrictions or charging discussions can get fraught if RoWs are involved. The first you may know is when you get a stream of MTBs, runners, walkers etc bimbling through. And notwithstanding way markers, the path is usually clearly marked by empty water bottles and gel packs
Oliver Houston - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

As stated, this is the internet. Welcome!

I hope you get an explanation, but 1) don't hold your breath, 2) be gracious even if you don't like it. It might be someone with a serious grudge who takes it out on all commercial/marked events in the Lakes if they feel like it.

TBH, I think they're should be a requirement for these events to publicise in a more coherent way, I.e. a calendar/map combo so non-competitors can easily check where to avoid during race season. Also, a tidier way of marking the routes (nav points only at corners/forks) and maybe noticeboards at nearby car parks. But I guess that would imply some kind of regulation, which would obviously ruin everything, so I won't hold my breath.
Simon Caldwell - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to toad:

Open Access doesn't apply to commercial events, so unless they stick entirely to rights of way (which this event certainly doesn't) then permission is required.
steveriley - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

This seems to have become a dumping ground for everyone with a beef about events in the Lakes. But unless whoever comes forward with the ropes and perhaps a point of view, it's just plain old nicking stuff isn't it?

Anyone who's ever climbed a sport route is guilty of the sin of fixed protection on a smaller scale eh? The only person that's been directly affected by the ropes has said what a great day they had. Funny old world. Far more activity on here than 'What did you climb this weekend?'. I'm going to put it down to the hot weather.
summo on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to steveriley:
> This seems to have become a dumping ground for everyone with a beef about events in the Lakes. But unless whoever comes forward with the ropes and perhaps a point of view, it's just plain old nicking stuff isn't it?

Professional events that leave kit dumps, usually fix a weather proof note, saying what it's for, the date and a mobile number.

Edit. I think most people are against the littering these events cause. The rope thread is just a good place to dump it.
Post edited at 15:54
McKEuan - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Goucho:

Oh I get it entirely!

I was just for a simple yes or no!!!

My mistake
McKEuan - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

Meh, I'm fairly thick skinned. Just wanted a yes or no (insert laughing emoji because ukc forum doesn't allow it)
birdie num num - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:
It's high time that Fell Running was banned from places like the Lake District, especially things like the Bob Graham round where occasionally they selfishly put fixed gear on Broad Stand.
All these so called ultras should be confined to well marshalled country lanes.
Preferably in Suffolk or somewhere like that
Scotch Bingington - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to birdie num num:

> Preferably in Suffolk or somewhere like that

Sod off. Those of us stuck in Suffolk have enough of our problems thank you very much!

veteye on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

The route should be on Pinnacle Ridge on Sgurr nan gillean with no fixed ropes, just to change the perspective a little, and then should go from north to south along the rest of the C ridge just to cheese off all those doing the ridge from south to north.
C Witter on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:
An interesting thread!

McKEuan, playing the role of incompetent policeman with finesse, has asked a stupid question and, hence, got the sort of answers he deserves. No one is going to admit they've nicked 'em; no one is going to grass someone up. So... SkyRun on?

As to whether this sort of event should happen at all...

The Lake District must be the most romanticised bit of so-called "wilderness" in the world; certainly in the UK. The idea of it as a place where one can escape from industrial/consumer society and the mores of bourgeois conventions and morality, finding space for solitude and contemplation of the sublime, owes a lot to Wordsworth and the space that has been created for him within British literature and the British cultural imagination. This has its positives, but it does tend to privilege an abstraction over the realities of Cumbria and its inhabitants.

Then there's the idea of "wilderness" as a commons: a resource that we all share and have rights to, but one also fiercely protected - not by law, but by tradition and custom. This is, in many ways, in tension with commercial and state activities - even as they trade in stock images of the "wilderness" as a precious resource, a common heritage. This feeds directly into debates in rock climbing, hiking and fell running about the "ethics" and "aesthetic philosophy" of these activities. E.g. what is/isn't allowed in trad climbing; an aversion to "summit bagging"; signage and path making; or the concept of self-sufficiency and unmarked trails.

Distinct from this is a concern for conservation; and this often meets up with questions of property, management, funding and regulation of behaviour. For some, regulation is the way of preserving this "heritage"; for others, the anarchy of the commons should prevail; for some the transformation of, e.g., Langdale into a NT money making machine, is how we will conserve and develop the Lakes; for others, with need to do our best to freeze the Lakes as it is.

And the local people themselves are divided - with some seriously affected by the effects of tourism (property prices, food prices, extortionate bus fares, destroyed and congested roads), whilst others are making plenty of hay whilst the sun shines.

All of these issues - and others - get condensed into a thick fug, clouding the discussion. But, one thing is for sure: the question of how we use the Lake District is extremely fraught and problematic. No one who spends time in the Lakes can ignore that. It's not just about "hysterical" people with anachronistic ideas and a well-developed sense of misanthropy.

It will be interesting to see how these problems develop now that the Lakes has been declared a UNESCO heritage site...
Post edited at 11:58
Jon Stewart - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to C Witter:
Great post.

Some half-baked thoughts here from a newcomer to the area - note: not a second-home owning / retired one ringing out the death knell of the Cumbrian people. I work in a job that's pretty helpful for the community and that there aren't any trained Cumbrians to do... [Climbs down from atop high horse/behind defensive barricade].


> An interesting thread!

> The Lake District must be the most romanticised bit of so-called "wilderness" in the world; certainly in the UK. The idea of it as a place where one can escape from industrial/consumer society and the mores of bourgeois conventions and morality, finding space for solitude and contemplation of the sublime, owes a lot to Wordsworth and the space that has been created for him within British literature and the British cultural imagination. This has its positives, but it does tend to privilege an abstraction over the realities of Cumbria and its inhabitants.

I reckon you're over-thinking this a little. The whole Wordsworth idealism thing applies really only to the little theme park area containing Ambleside, Grasmere, Elterwater. The rest is just "the mountains" with tourist spots like the Keswick/Borrowdale hotels and Coniston, and loads of quiet valleys like the Duddon, Longsleddale, Kentmere etc that have no tourist infrastructure to speak of. The landscape is preserved, just like the Dales and every other National Park.x

> Then there's the idea of "wilderness" as a commons: a resource that we all share and have rights to, but one also fiercely protected - not by law, but by tradition and custom. This is, in many ways, in tension with commercial and state activities - even as they trade in stock images of the "wilderness" as a precious resource, a common heritage.

I just think it's about access to a limited resource. We walk, run, climb and scramble in the mountains in ways which means we can all share. A commercial takeover of Pinnacle Ridge on a busy sunny Sunday is just someone being a selfish arsehole. There are a small number of classic scrambles in the area, and it's only fair to let everyone enjoy them in a low-impact, everyone-can-share fashion. It's a simple matter of courtesy that applies throughout life, not just to the romanticised Lakeland landscape!

> Distinct from this is a concern for conservation; and this often meets up with questions of property, management, funding and regulation of behaviour. For some, regulation is the way of preserving this "heritage"; for others, the anarchy of the commons should prevail; for some the transformation of, e.g., Langdale into a NT money making machine, is how we will conserve and develop the Lakes; for others, with need to do our best to freeze the Lakes as it is.

All good questions. I don't know enough to take a view really. I think Langdale is wonderful place to visit and is superbly kitted out with exactly the right infrastructure and it seems to work well. The parking costs a fortune, but there's always a space.

> It will be interesting to see how these problems develop now that the Lakes has been declared a UNESCO heritage site...

The big thing about that would seem to be house prices, which is a bastard for Cumbrians. As for the preservation of the landscape, I think flood prevention is going to be a more pressing driver than keeping a grass-only environment for aesthetic purposes only. There's a lot of planting going on (I assume this is the reason, never found any info on it).
Post edited at 12:24
TobyA on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

> I reckon you're over-thinking this a little. The whole Wordsworth idealism thing applies really only to the little theme park area containing Ambleside, Grasmere, Elterwater. The rest is just "the mountains" with tourist spots like the Keswick/Borrowdale hotels and Coniston, and loads of quiet valleys like the Duddon, Longsleddale, Kentmere etc that have no tourist infrastructure to speak of. The landscape is preserved, just like the Dales and every other National Park.

No Jon, you're under-thinking it! There's a whole area of history, sociology, and literary theory around "romanticization" particularly of mountains and 'wilderness'. What'shisface, thingy MacFarlane isn't it? His book is good on that from a sort of mountaineery perspective, but you could check out John Urry's "The Tourist Gaze" from (IIRC a perfectly readable to a non-specialist) sociological perspective.

"Just the mountains" is just a reflection of the hegemonic bourgeois power structures don't ya know? ;-) Although more seriously the Scottish Highlands is probably a better example of the romanticization of a wilderness because the clearances, and the use of military force for commercial interests line up nicely with the providing a 'wilderness' for the romantic movement to then gaze on in a new way.

TLDR: the vanguard of the proletariat, with their fully developed radical class consciousness, clearly nicked the ropes off Pinnacle Ridge!

andyjohnson0 - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> The U.K. Fells are agricultural land, land used for monetary gain.

Take that to its logical conclusion and the crags on those fells become resources to generate monetary gain too. Is that what you want?

I'm not saying you hold this view, but I think that treating the natural environment just as a means to generate money is rather sad. It exists in its own right, not as free infrastructure for businesses to seek profits.
Jon Stewart - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Haha. This is a classic example of not knowing exactly where you're coming from - the self-awareness and piss-take obscures a bit of genuine belief maybe? I'm sure if we'd met and I could really hear you saying the words I'd get it. But obviously I think the bottom line is that in our culture (for whatever reason, it doesn't really matter), we like hills, and we like them to look the way they do at the moment because we're used to it. And there's not a lot wrong with that.
Simon Caldwell - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

> the crags on those fells become resources to generate monetary gain too

You mean the way that guides and climbing instructors have been doing for the last few decades?
ads.ukclimbing.com
captain paranoia - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

I thought of you when I posted, given our previous disagreement over whether or not it is appropriate to go around spraying bright orange arrows everywhere, and on every tiny pimple on a track so your runners don't have to navigate or look where they're going.

For the benefit of others: I thought it was a bad idea. You thought it was perfectly acceptable.
TobyA on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:

The basic argument is that for huge sections of human history most looked on mountains as scary or annoying. It's only in recent times (200 years or so) that people started calling them beautiful, awe inspiring etc., painting them, writing poems and also started to walk up them and climb them for pure fun!

So basically we all see the Lake District as we do because of the cultural impact of Wordsworth, Shelly, Scott etc. But you're totally right, we do like hills - hence the popularity of the national parks, but that liking them is cultural rather than some biological type of thing.
Doug on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

& if Jon doesn't want to read 'What'shisface, thingy MacFarlane', he might try Simon Schama's Landscape and Memory which I found a more convincing read (& was almost certainly a major source for Macfarlane)
andyjohnson0 - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
No, I mean landowners charging for access to their "agricultural land".
Post edited at 13:39
Jon Stewart - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> The basic argument is that for huge sections of human history most looked on mountains as scary or annoying. It's only in recent times (200 years or so) that people started calling them beautiful, awe inspiring etc., painting them, writing poems and also started to walk up them and climb them for pure fun!

> So basically we all see the Lake District as we do because of the cultural impact of Wordsworth, Shelly, Scott etc. But you're totally right, we do like hills - hence the popularity of the national parks, but that liking them is cultural rather than some biological type of thing.

Yes, it would be ludicrous to argue that liking hills is an innate human trait, especially as most of the population do just find them annoying. My outlook is slightly different though, as rather than give credit to individual artists, I see them as just expressing something that resonates with broader culture. As our lives became more about drudgery than about survival, the mountains become an escape rather than an obstacle. You don't necessarily need a ditty about daffs to start thinking: it looks jolly nice up there where it's not overcrowded, miserable and full of disease, murder and treachery.
Rob Exile Ward on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

'The basic argument is that for huge sections of human history most looked on mountains as scary or annoying. ' That's the received wisdom though is it necessarily true?

There will have been lots of benefits to living in hilly areas, e.g. easier to defend, easier to see enemies at a distance, often healthier than low lying marshland; after all, the UK is littered with HILL forts, Corn Du has burial sites from the Bronze age, and remote villages in the Alps have been established for 1,000s of years ... hills play a special part in many religions, not least the Old Testament - 'I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my strength...'
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

and the Incas used to climb really big mountains 500 odd years ago (eg Llullaillaco 6739m-http://www.andes.org.uk/peak-info-6000/llullaillaco-info.asp )

though probably don't want to dwell too long on what they were up to up there...
maxsmith - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

can we stop this cultural discussion and get back to criticising the original poster please? thanks
captain paranoia - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> The basic argument is that for huge sections of human history most looked on mountains as scary or annoying.

Otzi rather buggers that argument, doesn't he? Showing that the use of summer alpine meadows for grazing was well-established 5000 years ago, and the clothing and equipment needed to venture into the mountains was also established; in fact, the type of grass cape he used was still in use in the area up to 100 years or so ago.

No particularly scary. Not particularly annoying, but a useful agricultural resource. And a place of refuge when your village is attacked.

It's also considered that H.s.neanderthalensis retreated to upland areas as H.s.s became dominant in the lowlands (due to their being more robust, and therefore better able to survive the harsher conditions). H.s.n extinction/sublimation estimated to ~30kya.

Holocene started about 12kya. So the Lake District, as it appears now, really only existed after H.s.n was extinct. So that's probably quite a considerable period of hominid history... The 'big, scary and annoying' may actually be a brief attitude in relatively recent history, rather than that of our more adventurous ancestors.

p.s. I'm just being a bit argumentative for no good reason... I don't actually know how recent the geomorphology of the Lake District is, and whether it dates back to the last ice age, or earlier glaciation periods... Geologists please chip in.
C Witter on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:
David Craig elaborates the argument TobyA summarises in Native Stones - a great book, I think. It's not that no one used to go into the hills - Craig mentions shepherds and "nesters", for example. But, as TobyA hints, in the cultural imagination the mountains and crags were seen as a sinister, dangerous place. Craig notes that even in Victorian times, many polite folk would lower the train blinds as they went through mountainous areas, to avoid looking upon the "horrid sight of the dark crags".

Craig then gives a really interesting discussion of the different ways in which Wordsworth and Coleridge discuss the Lakes. Coleridge is an outsider, who grew up in Devon and London. When he finally comes to Cumbria, he goes on a bonkers tour around the Lakes not really minding where he went, but taking whatever route seemed most direct. Hence, he finds himself up shit creek on Broad Stand, where he has a sublime, visionary moment. The fear and danger and transgression of the mountains is part of their beauty, for him. But, Craig feels that Coleridge never really sees the fells: he only sees his abstract "idea" of what the fells mean.

Meanwhile, Wordsworth was a local boy. He used to go nesting. For Craig, he has a more authentic relation to the hills: he actually understands them, even as they come to signify many things for him: a place of restoration, a place opposed to city life, a place to connect with childhood and with God.

Either way, after the Romantic writers, we never saw the mountains in the same way again. More importantly: those many meanings that are written into the landscape so shape our understanding of them, that it's hard to have an 'original' relation to the hills; nor to see the reality, without transforming them into something other than what they are (e.g a place of "freedom", "beauty" and "nature" - whatever those things mean in this context).

I realise that's not a particularly fleshed out account, but TobyA and others can correct my errors and fill in the blanks.

Anyway, these days, I think, many of us don't see the Lakes as a place where people live, work, struggle; it's a gigantic museum/spectacle constructed to honour that elusive deity Nature (poor Nature, who has been seen, of late, doing a lot degrading zero-hour contract gig work for Capital). We often refuse to see it as an industrial - or even post-industrial - landscape, preferring to think of it as "unspoilt wilderness". To be fair, climbers and runners and folk who spend a lot of time there are probably more immune to these sorts of mystification than others who get less access to it.

On a different note: a primary school teacher friend recently told me that, when he took his 10 year olds to Windermere, they were blown away. "Wow! It's so beautiful!!" They were from a school in Lancaster, 40 minutes away and they'd never been before. I wonder if all this UNESCO palaver, and all the other "developments", will actually help kids like them to get a little piece of this precious "heritage".
Post edited at 22:21
Greasy Prusiks on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> The basic argument is that for huge sections of human history most looked on mountains as scary or annoying. It's only in recent times (200 years or so) that people started calling them beautiful, awe inspiring etc., painting them, writing poems and also started to walk up them and climb them for pure fun!

That's an interesting argument. I understand that there's been times when mountains have been unpopular (for want of a better word) because they are hard to travel on and make poor farmland, similar to forests really. I can think of examples of humans having a spiritual or religious relationship with mountains pre dating 200 years though. Definitely some artistic interactions as well.

Very interesting point though, thanks.
TobyA on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

Yes - of course, some people have always lived in mountainous areas - look at the Berbers for example, but agriculture is clearly hard in the mountains, particularly the high mountains with snow in them. Mountain people have often been seen as a bit wild and uncivilised compared to lowland neighbours though! I guess in part because mountain ranges are often hard to control militarily.
Rob Exile Ward on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

It's worth noting that societies that have moved from hunter/gatherers to agrarian have typically suffered a REDUCTION in standard of living - reduced life expectancy, poorer nutrition etc. What agrarian societies did allow was the evolution of elites who could organise things for their benefit.

Maybe being a wild man of the mountains wasn't/isn't such a poor lifestyle choice.
toad - on 18 Jul 2017
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:
. What agrarian societies did allow was the evolution of elites who could organise things for their benefit.

Like skyline races? Plus ca change..........



Puma - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to toad:

Ha, the first mention of elites. We probably need to update Godwin's Law.
Roadrunner5 - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:

> I thought of you when I posted, given our previous disagreement over whether or not it is appropriate to go around spraying bright orange arrows everywhere, and on every tiny pimple on a track so your runners don't have to navigate or look where they're going.

> For the benefit of others: I thought it was a bad idea. You thought it was perfectly acceptable.

Perfectly acceptable.. did I use those words? I doubt it. But less damage than other methods and not permanent.



The only time I've done that was on private land for a collegiate XC race.
Roadrunner5 - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to andyjohnson0:

> Take that to its logical conclusion and the crags on those fells become resources to generate monetary gain too. Is that what you want?

> I'm not saying you hold this view, but I think that treating the natural environment just as a means to generate money is rather sad. It exists in its own right, not as free infrastructure for businesses to seek profits.

No, but what happens when a land owner can't makes money from his land?

They find another use. Look at the recent new pump storage scheme in llanberis. The locals are up in arms but every other idea was rejected. And so now it's being flooded and a new power station installed.

I think eco tourism will protect nature in the end. Areas will see the need to protect land. The other way is for government to own the land, like US national parks.
galpinos on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> The other way is for government to own the land, like US national parks.

Which seems to be under threat..........

Roadrunner5 - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to galpinos:

> Which seems to be under threat..........

National monuments are, not Parks.
McKEuan - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to maxsmith:

> can we stop this cultural discussion and get back to criticising the original poster please? thanks

Please do!

Although I'm secretly proud to have started a thread that has had so many responses.

I don't even like running! Was just asking on behalf of a friend!!!
Roadrunner5 - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Have the ropes been returned yet?

captain paranoia - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

> Amazing me that people will use any excuse to have a pop.

Just for the record, I haven't disliked any of your posts, and I wasn't intending to direct to any malice at you. I took the piss out of SkyRunning's (TM) obvious obsession with attempting to trademark the f*ck out of every word or phrase, because I don't like the growing commercialisation of activities I can do perfectly well on my own, and the fact that these commercial outfits tend to take over public places.

You just happened to end up as collateral damage...
Post edited at 20:01
Leearma on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to McKEuan:

Having lived in The Lakes and been active on the fells for the last 30+ years I have seen a lot go on in that time...some I see as good and some I see as bad - others may see it differently.

The act of placing (perceived) foreign equipment on crags is nothing new, back in 97 Bonnington and Scott rendered unusable (smashed the c***) out of some bolts found on the classic Cautley Spout (just out of the Lakes), when winter climbing on the frozen fall. They were in the pub spitting feathers for weeks. It was later found that members of a local and now very popular climbing importer had placed the bolts so they could try the radical (at the time) new sport of canyoning.

The two bits that I struggle with in this case is the context of the event, I get the impression it was a running event, so why put the route up a classic climbing route? Bearing in mind we don't have that many routes (of that nature) in the UK never mind the Lakes. It is already well worn... and events like this change the character of route, through erosion and litter. To me it lacks imagination on behalf of the organizer by picking well known landmarks to sell their product...picking low hanging fruit.

The second point is the exploitation of the area, I appreciate that organisers are looking to make a living, some of the money may have passed indirectly into the local economy. But what contribution did the organiser make, directly to the conservation of the area, did they raise the question of a voluntary contribution from the competitors to assist some of the agencies involved in maintaining the area? Did they litter sweep the route?

With regards to the removal of equipment, there used to be a time when people would come of the fell, have a chat in the pub about the stuff left at such and such a point over a beer. It would then be decided that someone would go back up and remove the offending item if it had not been cleaned up. However, these days people will remove equipment and at times it borders on theft. The motivation for removal is not that they feel it detracts from the landscape but more the fact that they place value on the item. Demonstrated by a recent visit to Priest Hole where I ended up removing a significant amount of rubbish, disposable BBQs (Really!), shagged camping mats, waste food and batteries, amongst other stuff. If there was any value, I'm sure I would have found the place clean and tidy.

There is plenty of other stuff I would like to comment on but I have better things to do.

All in all this demonstrates that the values of the growing (outdoor?)community do not share that old school core criteria of loving the place in which we seek pleasure... Maybe we should finish with the mantra of leaving the area in the condition we would like to find it...or don't go round cocking up someone else's day. Because we would not then be looking for some ropes...

Have a safe and fully equipped summer
Robert Durran - on 19 Jul 2017
In reply to Leearma:

> It was later found that members of a local and now very popular climbing importer had placed the bolts so they could try the radical (at the time) new sport of canyoning.

So does that make the bolts ok or not? I'm not at all clear what point you are making here.

McKEuan - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

Nope!
ads.ukclimbing.com
Roadrunner5 - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to captain paranoia:
I'm no fan of sky running in the U.K. And think the main person is out to make a quick buck from the sport (others involved give their time freely for things like BGRs support).

But I don't think they take over public areas. They have the odd fixed rope, that should really only be placed the morning of, but otherwise it's pretty low impact.

I think it's only a matter of time before a runner dies because course markings are removed. It's happening more and more. Like with tacks at cycling events any deliberate attacks like that have serious consequences.
Roadrunner5 - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Leearma:
To answer your question.

Sky running deliberately targets scramble routes, in europe ropes/ladders are quite typical - I know it's not Europe. I'm just explaining that sky running targets much steeper terrain than fell running. It's actually against the rules of fell running for a route to go over terrain where running off or up a cliff is quicker, not that it doesn't happen though.


Sky running has been tried unsuccessfully in the U.K. For years and is now getting established but I think it has lessons to learn.
BrendanO - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to pmordue:

> Comments and attitudes like this are bang out of order, you should be...<muffled noises>...


The two comments you quoted are VERY different in attitude and tone. I am very suspsised you categorise them together.as for the rest of your post, you have been subjected to the mercy of the UKC mob.
BrendanO - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Careful what you wish for Tom - the Rat Race events have run through central Edinburgh before, next time could indeed be past yr flat!
tom_in_edinburgh - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to BrendanO:

> Careful what you wish for Tom - the Rat Race events have run through central Edinburgh before, next time could indeed be past yr flat!

Yeah, there's a couple of them went past my flat last year. Not sure if they were rat races but one in particular was embarrasingly crap with marshals to help people cross the road and provide a unending stream of very loud and very repetitive encouragement.
Simon Caldwell - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Leearma:

> It is already well worn... and events like this change the character of route, through erosion and litter.

An extra 98 fell-shoe-clad people in 2017 (actually fewer, as many retired before they got this far) aren't going to make a lot of difference to the erosion.

If you've got any evidence that litter was dropped then I suggest you report this rule violation to the organisers.
Roadrunner5 - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> 'Hateful comments'...?

> Hardly.

> Clash of cultures. British mountains have a century long tradition of self reliance, and minimal equipping of routes. They are not the alps. Organised, ? commercial, enterprises who disregard that are likely to encounter some friction, and rightly so. To borrow someone else's words, they have no place on the hill.

I don't actually agree at all.

Commercial guiding goes right back to the early days, the guides races, the earliest fell races were so rich victorians could brag they had the best guides basically..

'No place on the hill' who are you to say this? You're normally one of the more considered posters so I'm surprised you are so definitive that all organized commercial events which don't satisfy your criteria should be banned? Is that what you are suggesting?

The fells have been used for far more destructive purposes than these races? It was very very a small section of a 15+ mile run?

There's plenty of spots in the U.K. Mountains with permanent infrastructure so I'm amazed a very temporary fixed rope has brought in such a response. This isn't another cairngorm train? It's not power lines, it's not more fencing.

Also People need to work, guys like Shane only have been quite enterprising in making a career out of these events - dragons back etc, other sky running races.

I think it's harsh for people to dictate which careers are acceptable. In terms of impact on the environment there are plenty worse careers.

The odd gel will get dropped, walkers do it, climbers do it, we've all seen cigarette butts at crags. It shouldn't happen but I bet we've all had the odd wrapper or piece of wrapper blow out of our hands. But there's no reason to blame every wrapper on the hills on these events.





MG - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

I think you are on thin ice with this sort of thing. The next step is an expectation tricky sections will be protected and "made safe" (see many alpine routes). If you must have commercial races, have them in the terrain as is, not a sanitised, insurance approved version
summo on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

I think it's just the slightly unprofessional manner. Put the rope out the day before fully labelled up or take it in early the next morning. It's not far from the road or much ascent.

If you plan to use a popular route for a race, why not put up a thread on here and ukc hills, warning folk who might want a quieter route choice, just like many uni climbing clubs do for their meets.

A tail end charlie gathering, signs, glow sticks, litter etc.. Even if they don't gather in much anyone seeing them would see a more thoughtful professional approach being taken. You apply the same thing for the various 3 peaks walks and other mass events.
Roadrunner5 - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to summo:
I agree it could have been done better.

MG: tbh I think these cover the insurance tick boxes. Pinnacle Ridge is a pretty short section. I'm actually not a fan of using too narrow a section or specific route as you pretty much confine runners to one area and I think accidents are more likely.

But it's early days in the sport in the U.K. And as they get experience I think it will evolve.

Re advertising. Good point. They should. I do think they were naïve to leave fixed ropes in place over night. I put on sky running FB to check this thread to see how unpopular the ropes are (the amount of likes and dislikes show the general climbing community is not in favor). Clearly they can improve how this is done and carried out to avoid such setbacks. I just don't think it needs to go so far as no events like this.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:
the 'no place on the hill' comment was a rejoinder to the previous poster, who had said-

If that is your views and opionions then I'm my opinion you have no place on the hill!.

do i think there is no place for this? well- pinnacle ridge is pretty much unique in the lakes; its the sort of route that walkers who are moving into scrambling will aspire to, and is likely to be a highlight in that process. i should know- it was for me...

if you've been looking forward to it, perhaps for months, and then you get there and find a big rope in situ as a handrail across the bit you've really come to do, then that would be a major let down. yes, you dont need to pull on it, etc, but that's nonsense- the character of the experience it totally changed. and that it- its not like there is another pinnacle ridge on the next crag you can do to make up for it.

so this isnt the same as guiding- that doesnt change other people's experiences- and yes, there's infrastructure in other places, some of it quite controversial- but none of it changing the character of the most sought after grade 3 scramble in england.

if this sort of thing has to happen, the suggestions of the other posters- plenty of notice so that people can plan not to have their trip spoiled by finding the gear in place when they get to the crux, and putting it up and taking it down again on the day of the event, would seem the only considerate approach.
Post edited at 18:06
SenzuBean - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> The basic argument is that for huge sections of human history most looked on mountains as scary or annoying. It's only in recent times (200 years or so) that people started calling them beautiful, awe inspiring etc., painting them, writing poems and also started to walk up them and climb them for pure fun!

> So basically we all see the Lake District as we do because of the cultural impact of Wordsworth, Shelly, Scott etc. But you're totally right, we do like hills - hence the popularity of the national parks, but that liking them is cultural rather than some biological type of thing.

That's not really fair. The context in which mountains/hills weren't considered beautiful was when there was a lot of other natural beauty around. There is an innate need for nature/wilderness, and it was satisfied in other places before the industrial revolution all but removed them - leaving us with just the mountains as pretty much the last refuge. It's not that some poets magically convinced people that hulking barren chunks of rock were great all of a sudden.
TobyA on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

> There is an innate need for nature/wilderness,
There is? By innate do you mean genetic or something? Because I think anthropology shows aesthetic appreciations are social not innate at all.

> and it was satisfied in other places before the industrial revolution all but removed them - leaving us with just the mountains as pretty much the last refuge.

The countryside generally has been romanticised post industrial revolution, I don't think there was much appreciation of the rural versus the urban pre-industrialisation, it was just where people lived and worked to make a living.
SenzuBean - on 20 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> There is? By innate do you mean genetic or something?

There is no answer at the nuts and bolts level, and won't be for at least 50 years

> Because I think anthropology shows aesthetic appreciations are social not innate at all.

It only shows that the specifics are social and not innate - but it does not say that having an aesthetic appreciation at all - is not innate. I.e. I am confident there are no anthropological data to show that any large group of people uniformly hate all forms of nature, only that they would rank them differently.

> The countryside generally has been romanticised post industrial revolution, I don't think there was much appreciation of the rural versus the urban pre-industrialisation, it was just where people lived and worked to make a living.

I must admit I don't read a ton of historical perspective, but I'm pretty sure that most people had a healthy appreciation for the forest. The rural landscape back then was also vastly different to now - 'intensive agriculture' didn't exist. My feeling is that people probably appreciated their landscape massively, but didn't write about it because it 'just was'. Only by the stark contrast of a lack of nature, did nature began to be sorely appreciated.
andrew ogilvie - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:
Two responses to your last post and my apologies for intruding into this interesting discussion at such a late stage.
Firstly, " there is no explanation at a nuts and bolts level and won't be for another fifty years". Didn't Yogi Berra, the American sports commentator, famously warn us that prediction is difficult...especially about the future. More seriously it's not logically rigorous to invoke imagined future evidence to support the reality of a thing ( genetic description of aesthetics) whose very existence is in question.

Your "feeling" may be that in pre industrial times people had an "appreciation for the forest" but this cannot be regarded as any evidence of an innate aesthetic response to the landscape because our ancestors at the end of the mesolithic took a great deal of trouble to chop and burn those pesky forests down. Perhaps the body of myth and folklore devoted to the forest is born out of nostalgia for a lost forest rather than enormous reverence for an existing one.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440312004761

In W.H.Murray's books he recalls taking school groups from Glasgow to the Cobbler in the thirties , when one boy reached the summit rather than admiring the view he got out his copy of the Sunday paper and read the football reports. It wouldn't be too different now.
Most correspondents on this site probably share a rather Romantic response to the landscape: it is possible, even probable, that this is now and has always been an unusual perspective. Furthermore it may be unusual because it is born of privileges which are still not as widespread as those who benefit from them, almost as a birthright, recognise.

Edited because of spell check problem and to add to paragraph 1, hopefully ok now
Post edited at 07:05
Doug on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Have you read EO Wilson's Biophilia ? Assuming I've remembered the correct book, he makes the case that humans tend to prefer open landscapes with scattered trees and suggests that this is because we evolved in a savannah like environment. I don't know how Wilson is viewed by social scientists today (remember the Sociobiology controversy ?) but as an ecologist he is one of the greats.
Leearma on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Robert Durran:

The Point?... The act of placing (perceived) foreign equipment on crags is nothing new...

With regards to bolts, if we start that someone will pipe up and want to discuss chalk... lets just save that for darken nights.
Leearma on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Roadrunner5:

Thanks for the info and there was me thinking we all wanted to get away from Europe. As you have identified Grisedale is not similar in equipment or ethics which is why I feel that planners need to be sensitive on route choice. Based on the response of this thread... there are people feeling that a wrong has been committed on both route choice and the rope removal. Not being aware of the route run but knowing the valley, there are other options, so I'm left wondering was it the fact that a stared climb would be conquered.
Leearma on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

A little jumpy aren't we?

I'm guessing that you are a stakeholder in the event form where the rope was removed.

My comments in relation
You appear to be defensive of the event and in your first statement you have agreed that there is some erosion...in your words "aren't going to make a lot of difference to the erosion". I'm not sure how you can justify that statement. The local area may be coping with the amount of visitors but the 90ish runners may be the weight that tips the scales??? I don't know...

What would be achieved by me chasing after a load of athletes to grass some litter hooligan up achieve? Anyway far too old and fat for that sort of behavior. But you do seem confident that that there was no impact through littering, which is something I just don't see. There is always some litter impact but I'm hoping the fact that points may have been at risk that would mitigate the impact.

Please note that I have recorded your details if I am ever in need of suggestions or advice... is this a 24 hr service and do you do a full range covering all those man things like troublesome ladies, problem cars, beer! Or is it just running event specific?

No quick response from me as the computer is going off now as away to enjoy some wide open (litter free) spaces
Simon Caldwell - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Leearma:

You guess wrong. I'm nothing to do with them, and it's not the sort of event I'm ever likely to enter (as I said earlier, not enough navigation, too much running, and I prefer my scrambles unroped). But some of the reactions have been bizarre to say the least.
Robert Durran - on 21 Jul 2017
In reply to Doug:

> Have you read EO Wilson's Biophilia ? Assuming I've remembered the correct book, he makes the case that humans tend to prefer open landscapes with scattered trees and suggests that this is because we evolved in a savannah like environment.

I wonder whether it is more that there is nothing in our evolution making us well adapted to crowded cities and that this manifests itself with a sense of well being in open, sparsely populated areas of any type.
Roadrunner5 - on 03:12 Sat
In reply to Doug:

> Have you read EO Wilson's Biophilia ? Assuming I've remembered the correct book, he makes the case that humans tend to prefer open landscapes with scattered trees and suggests that this is because we evolved in a savannah like environment. I don't know how Wilson is viewed by social scientists today (remember the Sociobiology controversy ?) but as an ecologist he is one of the greats.

Do you buy that?

I don't.

Ecologically we know vegetation reaches a clinax community.

Ok we evolved in Africa so why should that justify our tastes of today?

Plenty of African culture we know is unacceptable.
Roadrunner5 - on 03:22 Sat
In reply to Robert Durran:

So why risk with no material award?

I think you are right, we never evolved in this habitat we now find ourselves in but I'd say population density may be a lesser factor.
Robert Durran - on 11:33 Sat
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> So why risk with no material award?

Sorry, no idea what this means!

Doug on 11:36 Sat
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> Ecologically we know vegetation reaches a clinax community.

which in parts of Africa is savannah

> Ok we evolved in Africa so why should that justify our tastes of today?

justify - no, but it might be part of an explanation.

ads.ukclimbing.com
Roadrunner5 - on 14:13 Sat
In reply to Doug:
Of course, but we've spent a great deal of time out of that environment. We also had lived vastly different and more ruthless than today, we murdered, canabalized and much more..

But you are rob are cherry picking what we are evolved to do. I doubt we evolved to take great risks like climbing. We probably spent most of our days hid in caves of shrub terrified to be out in the light for fear of being murdered or eaten.
Robert Durran - on 16:58 Sat
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> I doubt we evolved to take great risks like climbing.

I heard a theory that we are programmed to take risks as young men to impress women with our hunting prowess, but that once that's worked and we have children we need to stay alive to provide for them, so we start hunting rabbits rather than tigers. This explains why once bold trad climbers tend to become risk averse in middle age and take up sport climbing.

Roadrunner5 - on 17:29 Sat
In reply to Robert Durran:
I can see the risk element, so climbing is just showing off after all...

But in those days we were dead soon after their 20s. few made it past 40. The evolutionary pressure post mid 30s would be minimal. Also very few men reproduced. For every man fathering kids there were 15-20 women reproducing. In modern day it's nearer 4:1 globally.
Post edited at 17:29
freeheel47 on 18:11 Sat
In reply to McKEuan:

Why don't you go and get all remaining signs back? For example the sign marking the way onto the Napes climbers traverse?
Thugitty Jugitty on 18:39 Sat
In reply to Roadrunner5:

> But in those days we were dead soon after their 20s. few made it past 40. The evolutionary pressure post mid 30s would be minimal.

Are you sure? Average life expectancy, or life expectancy at birth, might have been low but that would have been dragged down by infant mortality.

Roadrunner5 - on 20:30 Sat
In reply to Thugitty Jugitty:

> Are you sure? Average life expectancy, or life expectancy at birth, might have been low but that would have been dragged down by infant mortality.

Yes some will have made it to around 70 but not many. It's hard to find reliable data but annual mortality rates for adults seem to be in the 5-10% range, and for kids 30-40%.

Although some will have made the latter decades it's hard to believe that would have had that strong an evolutionary impact. 30-35 year olds would have been grandparents though.. Most males don't alter their risk profile until their early 20s, well after having kids in that society. Isn't it 23 or 25 insurance companies generally pick as a safer age group?
Robert Durran - on 20:44 Sat
In reply to Roadrunner5:


> But in those days we were dead soon after their 20s. few made it past 40.

Ok, stone age middle age. 20 or so?
Simon Caldwell - on 11:04 Mon
In reply to freeheel47:

> Why don't you go and get all remaining signs back? For example the sign marking the way onto the Napes climbers traverse?

If that's from the Lakes Sky Ultra then somebody was very badly lost!

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