/ Do you go when you plan to go?

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roblew - on 04 Feb 2019

Do you go winter climbing when you plan to go? every time i plan and make arrangements for a weekend in the mountains climbing/mountaineering the forecast is more often than not rain, wind and fog/cloud and i end up putting the trip off. Just wondering what the rest of you do if the snow/ice conditions are good but the weather is bad.

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Padraig on 04 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Life is what happens when you're planning something else.....

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Ben Sharp - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Not anymore, I used to go pretty much whatever but it's £100 on fuel as soon as I step out the door and I don't have that kind of money to spend on sitting in the back of the car in the rain any more.

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Babika - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Yes, I do. 

Spend a lot of time getting wet, battered or cold but occasionally the forecast is all wrong, the front moves through quicker than expected and everything is stunning. 

Plus there's always the craic. Mountains with mates always beats a weekend at home surfing the internet or diy 

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TobyA on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

> Just wondering what the rest of you do if the snow/ice conditions are good but the weather is bad.

Have you read https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/chasing_the_very_bloody_ephemeral_winter_climbing_for_the_geographically_challenged-11510 ? I wrote "If you can only climb one day at the weekend, get prepared for climbing in crap weather. Crap weather is quite different from crap conditions; indeed to get good conditions you may have to go out in crap weather" and I think that's a really important thing to understand. Crap weather and crap conditions are very different things. In fact great conditions and crap weather can go hand in hand.

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=289037

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=305032

A couple of pictures showing days I had great conditions in bad weather.

 

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Harrison_Connie - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

> Just wondering what the rest of you do if the snow/ice conditions are good but the weather is bad.

For me, it will depend on a few things. How bad is weather is going to be? What crag am I heading for? What's the approach and descent like? What's the avalanche risk? Who am I going with and what's our skill level?

Winter climbing in Scotland is often grim, but if you plan ahead and make sensible decisions you can still get out and have fun. 

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doz on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Is always the plan but once you hit fifty accidents do happen.....

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pass and peak - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Will you please stop planning! Its obviously you that's ruining it for everyone! 

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The New NickB - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to Ben Sharp:

£100 in fuel, have you moved from where it says you are in your profile, or have you got a very thirsty vehicle.

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Eric9Points - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

You should always go somewhere.

If the weather looks minging, plan to go where it and the conditions will be best.

You can always go for a walk and keep your fitness up.

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J Whittaker - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Im lucky/unlucky both at the same time in planning my scottish winter. I work offshore in blocks of 3 weeks away 3 weeks at home. In my time off i can generally drop everything and head north. The flip side of that is as im away for 3 weeks at a time i can miss absolutely mega conditions and come back to nothing. Its happened both ways.

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The Grist - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

I am having the same dilemma for this weekend. What if the forecast is for freezing levels above the summit and 60mph gusts? It is hard to believe that the climbing conditions will be good. They may be adequate but not good. Although I accept that if you go to the right place they could be good. It is taking that risk and doing that research though.

Given that going up to Scotland affects time with other people on my life who do not winter climb (and costs a fair bit) I prefer to cancel and save the trip for another time.

Things were different in the days before having kids though..............

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Ben Sharp - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to The New NickB:

Mostly the latter, depends a little on where I'm going and whether I go after work or from home. It's getting to the stage where a small runaround plus the cost of a hostel would work out cheaper than fuel and sleeping in the back but you lose all your flexibility and finding a room is just another hassle.

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PaulTclimbing - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

I planned to go once...Friday night drive to Scotland from S Wales..felt rough at a mates and decided not to go as he felt rough too...so had a curry and a few beers and a couple of whiskies. Felt great at 1 am Saturday. Drove at 3 am to cairngorm walked in to savage slit by 11am and climbed it and then drove home as there was a forecast for 100mph winds.  A nice day trip to Scotland in effect. It was worth it.

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carr0t - on 06 Feb 2019

I find that most times you can always go somewhere and do something. Key is to remain very flexible on location and pick your battles. picking routes at the right aspect, location height will reduce likelihood of getting caught in poor conditions and weather for sure. It also maximises the chance of getting something done.

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morpcat - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

> Do you go winter climbing when you plan to go? 

No, not always.

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alexm198 - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to PaulTclimbing:

That's absolutely mental. But wait, you drove South Wales to Scotland...pissed?

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PaulTclimbing - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to alexm198:

Not I, no...neither did my mate..it was a momentary interlude for myself... I snoozed in the car.

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Misha - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Going when you plan to go irrespective of the weather, avalanche risk and climbing conditions is not a good plan. At the very least, you have to be very flexible on location and route choice. Living an 8 hour drive away from Scottish winter climbing (plus traffic delays on the way up), I find it’s easy to just sack it off and hope for better weather / conditions next time round. Just think of the money, time, tiredness and CO2 saved!

If conditions are good but the weather is bad, I might consider heading up and dropping the grade and/or doing shorter routes so as to cut down on the suffering. For big / hard (for me) routes, I prefer ok weather or better - the climbing is enough to contend with already, without having the weather against you as well.

Post edited at 23:15
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Misha - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to The Grist:

Well I looked at MWIS today and it confirmed what the met office had been forecasting for a couple of days. Thaw on Friday so the mixed will probably get stripped. Cold, snowy and 50-70mph winds pretty much all over the place on Sat. The mixed will come back in, possibly by the morning depending on how soon the snow and cold arrive, but it will be a miserable day. Ice will be ok but gullies will be spindrift hell. Decent weather on Sun and there will be mixed stuff to do but that’s only one short day. 

Conclusion: sack it off and hope it’s better next weekend.

I did consider a leisurely drive up on Sat to climb one day on Sun but not quite keen enough for that. Getting soft in my old age...

Post edited at 23:27
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Misha - on 06 Feb 2019
In reply to alexm198:

About as mental as driving all the way back to London after a mini epic on Agag’s Groove and walking straight into work on zero sleep. Of course I’d never do that myself. Seeing as I have to go only as far as Birmingham. 

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Euge - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to roblew:

Before the days of near accurate forecast and technology that we have now I would always go... I was young and hungry.

Now I am older, have more responsibilities etc, tend not to... which I always curse myself for later.

Euge

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