/ Is winter Lakes self-regulation hopeless?
With people climbing SE gulley on Great End yesterday and admitting it was not frozen, despite the guidebook stating the rare plant species present and insisting that it is only climbed when fully frozen, is expecting self-regulation of Lakes winter climbing hopeless? Climbing bird-restrictions are seen as a conservation success story and a great example of cooperative conservation measures which have worked but is it time to admit that self-regulation is hopeless with winter climbing? When you've come along way and may only get one chance at a particular route in a year is turning round if it's not in conditions realistically not going to happen. I've myself made stupid decision like backing off a route last year on Helvellyn I should never have started up despite being well aware of the situation having done a lot of Conservation volunteering and a botanist girlfriend. Will the NP threaten more draconian measures and how would they work?
I think both awareness and practices have improved in last 10 years, there will be exceptions.
Don't believe the NP will ever catch you
I'm sure we have all made mistakes re how zen a route is, but the guide book / white guide makes it very clear that SE Gully is extremely sensetive, and the route write ups from yesterday make it clear that the route wasn't frozen. Sorry gents, but a pretty poor show.
That makes the assumption that they were using the current guidebook. For example, I've just checked my old guide (Bennett & Birkett, 2nd Ed 1986) and the sensitivity of the flora isn't mentioned there. Even then they may not have the same level of awareness/knowledge as the OP or their judgement may differ a bit.
It may be worth adding a note to the specific route description on this site as well (it is only mentioned on the 'approach notes' to Great End, which some may not read if they already know their way).
Also worth linking to the BMC white guide (I'm a BMC member and wasn't aware of it until I read this thread and searched for it) https://www.thebmc.co.uk/lake-district-winter-conditions-guide
I think it'd be naive to suggest that folk who are capable of utilising the logbooks on here, are also not aware of the multitude of coverage regarding good winter conditions across the internet as a whole.
Plenty other routes. Why not just an outright ban on that line. Solved for ever.
> Have you got photos?
> ... people have different perceptions when there is no objective evidence.
Even a photo might not settle it - to me the conditions in the photo in the latest guidebook (and first on the UKC website) don't look that great (although I'm sure the 5cm turf temp reading would have been below zero!).
The short answer is yes. I've read many reports this season along the lines of route not really in, turf not frozen enough etc. but still been climbed. I think there are enough people travelling from further afield who don't seem willing to forego a days climbing for a more general winter day on the hill. There will be some ignorance too - I made some questionable decisions when I started but the more I did the more aware I became. Now I will back off anything where turf isn't frozen, whether my climbing partner likes it or not.
It is tough for the conservation bodies to enforce. Damage to SSSI or SAC sites (Helvellyn is definitely SSSI) has to be proven to be reckless to bring about any action. I'm not sure how Natural England would be able to prove this.
The person who logged it on UKC got in touch and admitted they'd made a mistake and have since acquainted themselves with the white guide so at least lessons have been learnt.
> The person who logged it on UKC got in touch and admitted they'd made a mistake and have since acquainted themselves with the white guide so at least lessons have been learnt.
Maybe they could amend their UKC Logbook entry to reflect that and in so doing so send out a reminder of correct practice?
Well done them. Real climbers.
Thanks for raising the issue. It shows real integrity for the person mentioned further up to acknowledge they made a mistake.
Good to hear, and well done him / her
what an amazingly positive outcome
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