Winter climbing in a lockdown?

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 Excel991 24 Jan 2021

Am I missing something? But we have been told to stay at home and stay local. Some people are out Winter climbing in areas not local to them with others that are not in their household and they cannot be distancing themselves whilst on multipitch routes? Then they are logging their climbs on UKC logbooks? Eh?!

Is this not showing a complete disrespect for mountain rescue, should they need assistance from any injuries that occur from a sport that has such high risks?

This second wave is far worse than last March when Winter climbing and logbooks were not being recorded.

In reply to Excel991:

I agree.

One man's winter climbing away day is another man's houseparty.

It is no worse than, and indeed justifies, all the other gatherings people have, parties, boozing sessions etc. 

The numbers involved are irrelevant: it is the same dickish attitude that for some reason the rules don't apply to them. 

 tehmarks 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Just for the avoidance of doubt, where do you stand on local people winter climbing with their partner, significant other, housemate or support bubble, or soloing?

Post edited at 16:09
 Andy Peak 1 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

What do you no of risk and winter climbing, you look like a bit of a troll to me! Virtue signalling? 
no previous posts that I can see and no logged climbs! How do you no people Are not local? I’m out climbing most days were I live! Peoples logbooks are not always correct. 

 Lankyman 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Peak 1:

> What do you no of risk and winter climbing, you look like a bit of a troll to me! Virtue signalling? 

> no previous posts that I can see and no logged climbs! How do you no people Are not local? I’m out climbing most days were I live! Peoples logbooks are not always correct. 

There is know way you can no if the OP is a troll.

 Excel991 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Peak 1:

No Trolling here, I think the points I have put across are quite relevant.

With regards to what I know of risk within winter climbing, I have been actively winter climbing in Scotland for over 25 years up to Grade VII.

 Andy Peak 1 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Relevant yes! Emotive and inflammatory yes! Just looks like you want a reaction out of people for the sake of it! I still think your a troll by the way! 

 crayefish 24 Jan 2021
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

> One man's winter climbing away day is another man's houseparty.

> The numbers involved are irrelevant:

Covid is all about spreading... so numbers are most definitely relevant.

Both actions maybe bad, but its a scale, not just black and white.

Murder?  Bad!  Mass murder of 150 people?  VERY BAD!

In reply to L.A.:

> From todays news on Ben Lomond....A Culpable + Reckless Conduct charge

What they did wrong was to travel ouside their local authority area. Nothing to do with getting some exercise by walking up a hill.

 Lankyman 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Peak 1:

> Relevant yes! Emotive and inflammatory yes! Just looks like you want a reaction out of people for the sake of it! I still think your a troll by the way! 


Judging by you're posts I'd say your the troll

 Andy Peak 1 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

You can have a like from me for that 

 timparkin 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

> Am I missing something? But we have been told to stay at home and stay local. Some people are out Winter climbing in areas not local to them with others that are not in their household and they cannot be distancing themselves whilst on multipitch routes? Then they are logging their climbs on UKC logbooks? Eh?!

> Is this not showing a complete disrespect for mountain rescue, should they need assistance from any injuries that occur from a sport that has such high risks?

> This second wave is far worse than last March when Winter climbing and logbooks were not being recorded.

I'm up in Ballachulish and the guidance we have is that local guides are  allowed to work (I'm hopefully going out with one in the next week or two - helps keep them in business) plus the mountain rescue are having climbing days out (up to grade VII I think) and I think there's a couple of climbing policemen enjoying the winter. 

The mountain rescue and SMC have given guidance that seems fairly clear (although there's obviously some room for interpretation). It's obviously personal as to whether two people can climb safely but given that it's OK for guides if they observe working practice, it would seem OK for locals to enjoy the hills as long as they aren't travelling stupid distances to get there, not taking too many risks and they aren't breaking laws on the way.

The Ben Lomond rescue is far removed from what we were talking about I think. 

 Lankyman 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Peak 1:

> You can have a like from me for that 


Thanks. I just couldn't help myself!

 Andy Moles 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

I went winter climbing today, with my girlfriend/partner (yes, I live with her).

As a winter mountaineering instructor, it's beneficial for me professionally to stay current (if my first day's work in late February, say, is guiding someone up a grade V on the Ben, I'd prefer to have used my axes this year), but to some extent that's by the by, as people are allowed to exercise locally, and I know plenty of winter climbers who aren't instructors who are at least as capable of being safe as I am.

We cycled from home, and climbed an easy route. The cycle to get there was probably about as risky as the climb.

A member of the local rescue team has been in touch this evening, to ask what conditions were like, so that he can do something similar tomorrow.

The logbook issue is a non-issue.

In reply to timparkin:

> The mountain rescue and SMC have given guidance that seems fairly clear

MCofS, not SMC.

In reply to Excel991:

It depends... if people are local and suitably experienced, fair enough. If they’re travelling a considerable distance and/or aren’t very experienced, that’s just stupid. Still, as you say, it’s an inherently risky activity and I suspect a lot of ‘experienced’ people are a bit in denial about the real level of risk involved. Having any kind of accident requiring MRT and/or NHS involvement would be extremely stupid right now. Of course it’s possible to drop a few grades and be very mindful of avalanche risk but how many people actually do that? Plus the risk of spread if outside your household / bubble. I’m sort of glad I’m not local, so don’t have to think about what I would be doing in that situation.

In reply to Lankyman:

Andy is definitely not a troll but a friend and I call him Covid Andy due to his climbing partner promiscuity at this time 🤣

 rogerwebb 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Moles:

To be fair I don't think that the OP was getting at people doing what you are doing. 

If however I choose to drive down to Ben Nevis and do a route tomorrow his criticism would be justified. 

 Lankyman 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Andy is definitely not a troll but a friend and I call him Covid Andy due to his climbing partner promiscuity at this time 🤣


I no he's know troll - I can't spell it out more clearly

 Andy Moles 24 Jan 2021
In reply to rogerwebb:

True, but his post and title did elide several different issues.

I was only giving an example how not all winter climbing that's going on is an outrage.

 rogerwebb 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Moles:

> True, but his post and title did elide several different issues.

> I was only giving an example how not all winter climbing that's going on is an outrage.

I quite agree. 

(I am climbing the walls in Inverness. I suspect that every route I want to do is, was, or will be in great condition this winter. Hard to justify any as 'local' though. Then I remember the stress that a good friend of mine is going through as a nurse in Raigmore and get over myself) 

Post edited at 19:42
In reply to Lankyman:

He's definately a troll, I belayed him on the top pitch of Silly Arete and he seemed very at home crawling into the little niche (almost a cave) below the overlap. Didnt emerge for quite some time and was making some strange noises by the top of the pitch! 

 timparkin 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> MCofS, not SMC.

Quite correct - I'm busy trying to catch up with work having been out today and not got my brain switched on properly... 

Post edited at 19:41
In reply to Andy Moles:

People can appreciate your predicament and have no qualms with any of the local activity.

As the guidance says..climb within your limits and be conscious of postings on social media as others aren't as fortunate.

What I can't work out is someone climbing Bowfell Buttress one day,then a few days later climbing on the Ben..Work related movement?

I have cancelled my climbing..but don't begrudge people getting out.👍

 wynaptomos 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

> I no he's know troll - I can't spell it out more clearly

I’m sorry, but you could spell that out a hell of a lot clearer then that

 Andy Moles 24 Jan 2021
In reply to rogerwebb:

I really feel for a dedicated winterist such as yourself. It would be a lot easier to take if conditions were like around this time last year or the year before!

In reply to Andy Moles:

How was it? I've seen a number of routes have been done on Clogwyn y Ddysgl in the last week or so. I'm really jealous because since having done Fallen Block Climb in 2018 and the Arete in 2019, I wanted to go back and try some of the other winter routes on that face.

I think the Welsh rules are harsher in a way but also clearer, as everyone who is skiing or doing routes seems to be doing so only if they can walk or cycle from home. I've never thought Llanberis or Bethesda seemed the most attractive places to live (scenery aside obviously) but now I'm totally jealous of the skimo and winter climbing folk living there!  

 rogerwebb 24 Jan 2021
In reply to Andy Moles:

Thanks. 

It is though a small burden compared to those who are dealing with the crisis, losing jobs or stuck in flats in cities trying to home school children. I am lucky.

Have good days on the hill. The rest of us will be out to play eventually. All things pass. 

Post edited at 21:01
 Cog 24 Jan 2021
In reply to timparkin:

> Quite correct -  

Almost correct.

In reply to rogerwebb:

> It is though a small burden compared to those who are dealing with the crisis, losing jobs or stuck in flats in cities trying to home school children. I am lucky.

> Have good days on the hill. The rest of us will be out to play eventually. All things pass. 

Exactly. Some people just don’t seem to get that. The mountains will still be there next year. 

 Offwidth 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

MCofS? ..... Don't you mean Mountaineering Scotland?

https://www.mountaineering.scot/

In reply to Offwidth:

> MCofS? ..... Don't you mean Mountaineering Scotland?

Probably, if that is actually their official name now. Is it?

Post edited at 08:16
 timparkin 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> Probably, if that is actually their official name now. Is it?

I'll just put "them upstairs" next time

 Billhook 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Judging by the number of dislikes you've got I only assume that there's a number of people on here who think the rules do not apply to them.

Yes, we know the risk of passing the virus whilst being out doors is small.

Yes we know you may not get stuck, fall, need rescuing or may be lucky enough to otherwise meet no one else.

But those folk are simply are encouraging others who think other rules need ignoring too.

 DaveHK 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Billhook:

> Judging by the number of dislikes you've got I only assume that there's a number of people on here who think the rules do not apply to them.

Whether or not winter climbing is against the rules in Scotland depends on your location.

 Basemetal 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Billhook:

> Judging by the number of dislikes you've got I only assume that there's a number of people on here who think the rules do not apply to them.

My take on it is that many people don't accept the moral legitimacy of the laws that have been summarily enacted. Not just from thoughtless belligerance  but from consideration of the nature of our society and individual freedoms.

 We are subject to the laws of the land, but the politics that gives rise to them is neither faultless nor unanimous.

 Lankyman 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

> My take on it is that many people don't accept the moral legitimacy of the laws that have been summarily enacted. Not just from thoughtless belligerance  but from consideration of the nature of our society and individual freedoms.

>  We are subject to the laws of the land, but the politics that gives rise to them is neither faultless nor unanimous.


Isn't this what the followers of a recent ex-president believe?

In reply to Basemetal:

I'll pay good money to witness you saying that to the Policeman who pulls you over for speeding.

 Michael Gordon 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

I think this thread highlights the difference between what is 'allowed' and what is sensible. I'm not climbing just now but that's to do with the risk of hospitalisation/rescue if something goes wrong, not because of having to get in the car. To me it would be much more responsible to travel outwith one's own area to do a relatively easy route in good conditions than to stay local and push the grade / lead something scary / go soloing.

 Basemetal 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Lankyman

> Isn't this what the followers of a recent ex-president believe?

In reply to nickinscottishmountains

> I'll pay good money to witness you saying that to the Policeman who pulls you over for speeding.

Haha It's a diagnosis of non-compliance, not a recommended legal defence strategy. You could also have cited Hong Kong, Arab Spring, the Poll tax, Boston Tea Party, or whatever... 

The police enforce the laws, they're not the ones to engage in political discussion about them. My point observes that disagreeing with a law may result in non-compliance.

 Ramblin dave 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Billhook:

> Judging by the number of dislikes you've got I only assume that there's a number of people on here who think the rules do not apply to them.

I guess it could be people going "waaah, I'm gonna go climb if I wanna."

But I think there's a possibility that even people who are sticking strictly to the rules on recreation are getting tired of the endless rounds of self-righteous tirades against the small minority who aren't, particularly when this really doesn't seem to be that big a factor in  prolonging the pandemic. See, for instance, this, by a couple of psychologists and public health specialists on why news stories about "covidiots" and crowds at beauty spots aren't just an irrelevance, they could be actively distracting us from the stuff that actually matters:

https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2021/01/07/pandemic-fatigue-how-adherence-to-covid-19-regulations-has-been-misrepresented-and-why-it-matters/

"All in all, this narrative explains the worsening pandemic in terms of widespread non-adherence to rules which is a function of poor psychological motivations, which in turn are particularly prevalent in some people and some communities. 

Each of these assumptions is both problematic and indeed dangerous."

 Fat Bumbly2 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:Same thing

 Henry Iddon 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

To me it's all about the guidelines / rules and 'stay local'. Do what you are comfortable with locally for exercise and to stay sane. I think it's reasonable to drive 20 - 30 mins locally. 

While I have every respect for the work MRT do - Corona Virus legislation is nothing to do with them. It's nothing to do with mountain rescue. I'm sick of some mountain rescue teams who like the sound of their own voice  sticking their 2p in and 'telling' people what they should and shouldn't do. 

Folks should be following govt / local authority guidelines - not the 'advice' of local volunteers.

In reply to Basemetal:

I think comparison of the political situation in the UK to that in Hong Kong or the Arab Spring is something of a quantum leap. If you go climbing in the UK and the police deem you are breaking the law they are not going to tear gas you, arrest you, torture you, and lock you up for life.

With regards to the point of the OP, there are a few people lucky enough to be able to winter climb within the current restrictions, and I am very jealous that they are enjoying themselves. Whether it is sensible to winter climb in the current situation is debatable.

 Basemetal 25 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> I think comparison of the political situation in the UK to that in Hong Kong or the Arab Spring is something of a quantum leap. 

I agree, whoever would actually make such a comparison? 

 timparkin 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> To me it's all about the guidelines / rules and 'stay local'. Do what you are comfortable with locally for exercise and to stay sane. I think it's reasonable to drive 20 - 30 mins locally. 

> While I have every respect for the work MRT do - Corona Virus legislation is nothing to do with them. It's nothing to do with mountain rescue. I'm sick of some mountain rescue teams who like the sound of their own voice  sticking their 2p in and 'telling' people what they should and shouldn't do. 

> Folks should be following govt / local authority guidelines - not the 'advice' of local volunteers.

Which mountain rescue are being outspoken on the issue out of interest? (p.s. Hi Henry!)

 Andy Moles 26 Jan 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> How was it?

It was pleasant, soft snow but not so much of it as to make the going slow. For what it's worth...as I look out the window today, the snow is rapidly becoming part of the same wet grey morass as everything else.

> I've never thought Llanberis or Bethesda seemed the most attractive places to live (scenery aside obviously) but now I'm totally jealous of the skimo and winter climbing folk living there!  

Bit of irony there, in that winter generally isn't the reason outdoorsy people are attracted to living here... more that, in addition to scenery, it's got the best one-hour radius in Britain for rock climbing variety. And quite a lot of friendly people. But the skiing was certainly good for a wee while there around new year.

 Hamster 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Somerset swede basher:

How is he on bridges and with male goats?

 Henry Iddon 26 Jan 2021
In reply to timparkin:

> Which mountain rescue are being outspoken on the issue out of interest? (p.s. Hi Henry!)

Lake District  seem to have been pretty outspoken - often misquoting the Police and discussing Police operational practice which, as I understand it, hasn't always been correct as far as Cumbria Constabulary are concerned. 

https://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/news/uk-news/lake-district-mountain-rescue-teams-urge-lancastrians-not-travel-cumbria-walk-fells-3081334

Not sure what team this is - but the insinuation is you'd get left at the road side post rescue. 

https://twitter.com/ITVborder/status/1347822920471633922?s=20

 Lankyman 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon

> Not sure what team this is - but the insinuation is you'd get left at the road side post rescue.

So, volunteers leave their homes or work to rescue a group of selfish prats and you think they should get a free taxi ride down to the nearest  point of their choosing? If I was a rescuer I'd want as little contact as possible with any potential covid threat. They're lucky anyone gives enough of a monkeys to go and pull them off the hill.

 timparkin 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> Not sure what team this is - but the insinuation is you'd get left at the road side post rescue. 

This seems right to me - if you're able to manage yourself at that point you can be discharged. Maybe they'll call a cab for you? I know a few MRT members here and I'd rather they got back to their family asap. 

The Lancaster quote sounds a little over the top but perhaps they're talking about people outside of the relevant council areas? 

I'll give some of them the benefit of the doubt as, having seen Derbyshire's police force get it utterly wrong, to expect a lot better from all MRT members is too much (although local guys seems to be on message - that could be because Scotland is more clear cutin message)
 

 Henry Iddon 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

No one, however inexperienced, goes out on the hill expecting to be rescued. The % of visitors to people needing rescued will be tiny - the % of that who are likely to need a hospital bed are smaller still. Lets not overplay MRT within the issue of Covid pressures on the NHS.  I don't think referring to those who need rescuing as 'selfish prats' helps the debate.

If you rescue people do a proper job. Not half a job. Going on TV and saying if you're not seriously injured we'll leave you by the roadside to sort yourself is pretty poor in my book - is it a 'threat' aimed at encouraging people to stay away. The whole tone of the comments made on the Border TV piece were pretty clumsy. Some teams  - Cairngorm  for example - have  communicated the issue in a far better way, by pointing out govt guidlelines. Lots of MRT people are undoubtedly experienced out door people - but plainly very inexperienced when it comes to communication and messaging. 

No one is forcing people to join MRT- and if MRT people feel uncomfortable doing it during Covid then it would be perfectly understandable for them to 'stand down' for a while.

The point is stay local, and follow public sector guidelines.

Post edited at 18:55
 Phil Lyon 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

We stayed local and still found a decent new route. 
 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcU0jEgSJ1s&

 petegunn 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Phil Lyon:

Hope youve logged it on ukc!

 French Erick 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Move to a better place for winter climbing and you’ll be reet too! 
classic fomo disguised in self-righteous outrage. 
enjoyable to read, entertaining to follow!

keep up the good work!!😂😂🤣

 TheGeneralist 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Henry Iddon:

> The point is stay local, and .....

No, the point is not to do risky sports during lockdown.

 Michael Gordon 26 Jan 2021
In reply to French Erick:

I think he was arguing against winter climbing, not saying he would if he could.  

 DaveHK 26 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I think he was arguing against winter climbing, not saying he would if he could.  

Aye, right. I'm not seeing many folk who can do it within the law telling others not to, it's all people who don't have the option telling others they shouldn't do it either.

For every climber in the Highlands this is payback time for the years of excess postage costs.  

 rogerwebb 26 Jan 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

Despite the rapidly improving infection rates in Highland, given the pressure that Raigmore is under, I'm not convinced that it is time to resume normal activity. 

High hopes for mid February onwards though. 

 DaveHK 26 Jan 2021
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I'm not convinced that it is time to resume normal activity. 

I'm certainly not advocating that. I just find this aggressive calling people out that seems to have become part of the new norm rather depressing.

 rogerwebb 26 Jan 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> I'm certainly not advocating that. I just find this aggressive calling people out that seems to have become part of the new norm rather depressing.

Totally agree 

 tehmarks 26 Jan 2021
In reply to TheGeneralist:g

Here's a bold hypothesis for you: I bet one is more likely to land in A&E having decided to do some home improvement than from climbing of any genre.

 DaveHK 26 Jan 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

> g

> Here's a bold hypothesis for you: I bet one is more likely to land in A&E having decided to do some home improvement than from climbing of any genre.

Or sledging. Multiple hospitalisations from that in the Highlands recently. But I suppose it's the cumulative effect of lots of lower risk activity that is the problem.

 Michael Gordon 27 Jan 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> Aye, right. I'm not seeing many folk who can do it within the law telling others not to, it's all people who don't have the option telling others they shouldn't do it either.> 

I don't think anyone is this thread has "told" people not to do things. Some have just made the point that we should be keeping risk levels lower than we would during normal times. How we do that is up to ourselves, after all a grade VIII climber will be able to do a VI with more security than I would. 

 French Erick 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Precisely! I have just come back from a run... well that was a daft decision as the place was rife with black ice. I reckon my 6km loop home to home was way more risky than romping up a V for me!

 French Erick 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I don't think anyone is this thread has "told" people not to do things. Some have just made the point that we should be keeping risk levels lower than we would during normal times. How we do that is up to ourselves, after all a grade VIII climber will be able to do a VI with more security than I would. 

Indeed, this is not business as usual. If it were, and with the current conditions, I would be ticking remote VIIs and may be attempt some VIIIs in the NW.

Now, at best I would only consider a V within a 30/40 min drive from home! With careful consideration of risk. Including the fact that I have not seen very many people since the 22nd Décember. Couple that with a relatively low incidence number locally and I am reasonably happy that I am not “bending the rule to suit my selfish urge”. If I were living in the Central Belt I would just walk in my local hills.

remember the tv program- location location location?

 French Erick 27 Jan 2021
In reply to French Erick:

This was my first 2021 run too, up to now I had left it due to it being too wintry. I thought that it was black enough .... and i was wrong!

 drew52 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

I think it depends on how local you are to the crags and how much experience you have in winter climbing. If you are driving 1.5hrs to get to The Ben then hacking your way up point 5 and this is your first or second year winter climbing then you need to have a serious word with yourself. Although if you live in Fort Bill or Aviemore and you have good experience then the routes are fair game!

The majority of the mountains and their routes will still be with us in our lifetimes. Just wait till next year?

Post edited at 14:40
 fred99 27 Jan 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

> g

> Here's a bold hypothesis for you: I bet one is more likely to land in A&E having decided to do some home improvement than from climbing of any genre.

When I was in hospital last September - motorcycle accident, NOT my fault - half the fellas in my ward were in because they'd fallen off ladders during DIY and broken their legs in some way !

In reply to tehmarks:

> Here's a bold hypothesis for you: I bet one is more likely to land in A&E having decided to do some home improvement than from climbing of any genre.

True.

Here's another hypothesis for you. I bet that if one lands in A&E for a climbing accident, you are way more likely to need surgeons, anaesthetists, intubation, aerosol generating exygen, aerosol generating surgery, radiographers, nurses, anaesthetists, hospital admission etc etc etc.

 tehmarks 27 Jan 2021
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

I'm not sure how my girlfriend's amateur chainsaw-wielding housemates would come off in an accident while they cut back their trees, but...

Our hobby is based around risk. Accordingly, we should be very good at judging and quantifying risk, and behaving accordingly. What are the chances of coming a cropper toproping on solid lowland outcrops? Or soloing classic I ridges in good condition? It seems hysterical to me to insist that climbing should be completely forbidden on the basis that it can cause injury, when across the country millions of people still go to work on construction sites to complete non-essential projects, millions of jobbing tradespeople still attend people's houses to complete non-essential works and millions of others still go to work in unsafe office environments.

If I thought there was a real chance that I would end up in hospital every time I go climbing, I'd have stopped climbing. If I fall off something and break my leg, again, it's very possible that I won't have a leg when I wake up. I'm thus very atuned to the risks of climbing — but like most of us, I'm also very good at behaving in a way to mitigate them as far as practicable in the circumstances of the day. The circumstances of today demand that I don't go pushing my onsight lead grade or go climb things at the top end of my winter (in)abilities. I'm not at all convinced that they demand that I stop moving on non-horizontal ground. Especially when we have the likes of Mischa (sorry Mischa) arguing not long ago that climbing outside was unconscionable, but climbing indoors was perfectly okay!?

Winter climbing covers a wide spectrum of movement, from walking along exciting ridges at one end to desperate thin mixed cracks at the other end. I'll freely agree that people shouldn't be out pushing themselves, but the risk of becoming a statistic while operating well within one's abilities, on suitable crags and suitable routes, is not a risk that I can get worked up about. Not while the DVLA continue to shoehorn staff into unsafe offices, refusing home working and threatening the vulnerable with disciplinaries if they don't attend work. Context is key.

And, as always, I think that if people focused on their own situation and their own lives rather than curtain-twitching at anyone whose risk assessment is even minutely different, then the country would be a happier place.

Post edited at 20:35
 tehmarks 27 Jan 2021
In reply to fred99:

When I had the pleasure of attending the RVI fracture clinic it was packed full every visit, and the vast majority seemed to be from falling over in the street and other mundane and unpreventable accidents. Climbing, I'm sorry, just doesn't even flicker on the radar screen of healthcare. Yes, we should care — but no, we should stop with the hysteria.

In reply to tehmarks:

>It seems hysterical to me to insist that climbing should be completely forbidden on the basis that it can cause injury

I totally agree. No one has suggested anything of the sort.

 tehmarks 27 Jan 2021
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

I agree that while the OP specifically mentioned those not local, they went on to say:

> Is this not showing a complete disrespect for mountain rescue, should they need assistance from any injuries that occur from a sport that has such high risks?

Climbing has 'such high risks' no matter where you're from, and I read that a a criticism of anyone choosing to climb. I'm not sure how else you could read it.

But this is the problem with forums and written word. We'd have this all sorted out in no time in the pub over a pint — shortly before all being fined and sent home of course.

 Basemetal 27 Jan 2021
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

> True.

> Here's another hypothesis for you. I bet that if one lands in A&E for a climbing accident, you are way more likely to need surgeons, anaesthetists, intubation, aerosol generating exygen, aerosol generating surgery, radiographers, nurses, anaesthetists, hospital admission etc etc etc.


When I have landed in A&E from climbing falls, twice in the past, I haven't. Concussion and bruising both times.

When I was an MRT team member I saw some who needed surgery but not all that many. Most who went to hospital were cases of exposure, hypothermia and simple fractures or sprains.

 JohnBson 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Bore off!

 andrew ogilvie 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

Have you seen The Deer Hunter? 

 Basemetal 27 Jan 2021
In reply to andrew ogilvie:

Yes.

In reply to fred99:

> Here's a bold hypothesis for you: I bet one is more likely to land in A&E having decided to do some home improvement than from climbing of any genre.

> When I was in hospital last September - motorcycle accident, NOT my fault - half the fellas in my ward were in because they'd fallen off ladders during DIY and broken their legs in some way !

I would reckon that DIY is less hazardous than winter climbing. I hypothesis that there is more DIYers in A&E because there are far more people who do DIY.

 rogerwebb 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Basemetal:

I fear that my experience in both roles does not match yours. 

To me the issue is should I travel from one community to or through another? Whether I am going climbing, bird watching, painting or whatever is irelevant. If I travel it is possible that I will transmit the virus. If I don't it isn't. While the individual risk is very low if everyone does whatever low risk activity they normally do then the risk becomes high. Given recent experience at how quickly the situation can deteriorate from one infection this is a real issue we should all consider.

Does this mean no one can go winter climbing? Not really if you live in Fort William why not climb on Ben Nevis, but should you be going to the Cairngorms?

As far as danger and risk. Raigmore is rammed. Should you on the basis that others are making foolish decisions, parties in pubs in Dingwall, people forced to go to work in crowded offices justify risking putting the system under even more pressure? However competent I might be at winter climbing do I seriously consider that leading in winter isn't putting myself at more personal risk than walking down an icy pavement?

Does this mean that no one should go winter climbing? I don't think so but those who do should probably make sure that the numbers are in the right order and lower than their limit.

It is worth bearing in mind two further factors. Any rescue in the Northern Highlands will result in considerable inter community mixing. Again not a reason not to go out if you are local but a good reason not to push it. 

Lastly bitter experience should tell us all that experience doesn't make you immune. Same conclusion. 

 Excel991 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Right guys, can some of you just read the first paragraph from the www.govt.scot website and tell me why going winter climbing or even climbing is an essential purpose?

‘To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a Level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.’

This is maybe why the UK is one of the worst affected countries in Europe for COVID deaths, because we wish to bend the rules. 
Maybe it’s because the people on here have had no one affected by it, I don’t know.

Post edited at 22:51
 Myr 27 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

I don't disagree with your sentiment, but...

'local outdoor recreation, sport or exercise, walking, cycling, golf, or running that starts and finishes at the same place (which can be up to 5 miles from the boundary of your local authority area) as long as you abide by the rules on meeting other households' 

...is technically given as an essential purpose for leaving the house. The government has the impossible task of balancing the societal effects of coronavirus on the one hand and the societal effects of declining mental and physical health on the other. Hence allowing such frivolous activities as golf, and outdoor recreation not directly linked to exercise, during a 'lockdown'.

 Excel991 27 Jan 2021
In reply to tehmarks:

>When I had the pleasure of attending the RVI fracture clinic it was packed full every visit, and the vast majority seemed to be from falling over in the street and other mundane and unpreventable accidents. Climbing, I'm sorry, just doesn't even flicker on the radar screen of healthcare. Yes, we should care — but no, we should stop with the hysteria.

Eh? That is because much less people go climbing compared to the mundane populous doing DIY etc?!
 

Post edited at 23:39
 tehmarks 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Err, right. But we're not talking in relatives are we? The problem is absolute numbers of people ending up in absolute numbers of hospital beds and needing treatment by an absolute number of doctors. Or rescuing by an absolute number of rescuers, or tending to by an absolute number of paramedics.

Yes, travelling to go climbing is naughty. Climbing itself? I don't see the problem, providing one employs common sense and doesn't go all 'Brave Dave'.

Post edited at 00:02
 tehmarks 28 Jan 2021
In reply to rogerwebb:

> However competent I might be at winter climbing do I seriously consider that leading in winter isn't putting myself at more personal risk than walking down an icy pavement?

Purely anecdote and not a serious contribution to the discussion, but I've ended up in hospital twice through climbing. One was from falling over on a sandy beach on the walk-in to a route and spraining my ankle badly, and the other was from breaking my leg while virtually standing still on skis. I fancy taking my chances climbing over the icy pavement, to be honest.

 DaveHK 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

> This is maybe why the UK is one of the worst affected countries in Europe for COVID deaths, because we wish to bend the rules. 

It's not bending the rules. Outdoor activity within the travel restrictions and restrictions on meeting others is a listed exemption. 

It can also be done pretty safely with regards to transmission so to suggest it's part of the reason or indicative of the reasons the UK has been so badly affected is nonsense.

I don't believe the appalling death rate in the UK has much to do with the public bending rules, I doubt we're much different to other countries in that regard. It's much more to do with our government's tardy and inadequate response.

> Maybe it’s because the people on here have had no one affected by it, I don’t know.

I don't understand why having been affected by it in some way would stop you doing healthy, legal activities.

Just to be clear, I am not advocating breaking the rules or carrying on as normal.

Post edited at 05:25
 Michael Gordon 28 Jan 2021
In reply to thread:

Apart from the 'being a good citizen' arguments such as not putting pressure on the NHS (which, being a selfish climber, I naturally struggle with), from a purely selfish point of view I don't want to end up in hospital where I might catch coronavirus from another (asymptomatic) inpatient, something which has happened to at least one person I know. 

 Excel991 28 Jan 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> I don't believe the appalling death rate in the UK has much to do with the public bending rules, I doubt we're much different to other countries in that regard. It's much more to do with our government's tardy and inadequate response.

Come on man, of course it is! Most the people I know are not following the guidelines, and that’s from people that come from all over the UK within the work that I do. 
The government are doing a shit job and people have no respect for them. They are  bored of lockdown, so are ignoring and bending the rules.
It also doesn’t help that we are one of the unhealthiest countries in Europe and our care system for elderly is shocking.......but this has nothing to do winter climbing.

 PaulJepson 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Chatting shit like that is how the government will get away with murder. 

The government were at least a week late to every lockdown, they have totally botched and wasted millions on test & trace which is still useless, the sold contracts to their mates who never had relevant experience, they were soft on mask-wearing, sent kids back to school, failed to demonstrate even basic leadership qualities, left the boarders totally open the entire time, and financially encouraged us to get back out and spread the virus again. High-profile members of the government were allowed to break the rules they set and get away scot-free, Johnson was dismissive of the virus and shaking hands. They fannied around with their rules and guidance so much that people lost the will to care. 

But sure, blame the people if you want. That's what the government want you to do, after all. 

 Excel991 28 Jan 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

I’m blaming both the government and some of the UK people.

Of course it’s not just the public’s fault! We all know the government have done a shit job as you have listed. But some of the public are doing a shit job too and you must be blind if you can’t see that or just ignorant.


 

Post edited at 10:28
 tehmarks 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

> The government are doing a shit job and people have no respect for them. They are  bored of lockdown, so are ignoring and bending the rules.

Many people have been sat on their sofa for the past ten months, barred from working or trading, excluded from any financial support, struggling to make ends meet and all but prevented from seeing anyone else. I dare say that some people are not bored of lockdown; some are at the very end of their emotional tether and close to becoming a mental health statistic.

Post edited at 11:04
In reply to Excel991:

I'm going to pull you up on your last point. I have been affected by it. Just recently and very directly.. Not me, but a very close relative and it was not a good outcome. Statistically, it is also very likely that many people on here will have been affected, either directly or indirectly.

I live in Highland region and I am not going to bend the rules, but I am going to operate within them, both for climbing and skiing. I am going to do this primarily for my own personal well being, while being as safe and reserved as it is possible to be.

 Michael Gordon 28 Jan 2021
In reply to PaulJepson:

> left the borders totally open the entire time >

According to many medical experts, this is the big one. You've only got to look at the Aussie / NZ figures to see where we could have been with good management such as hotel quarantine for incomers to prevent mixing. We're an island as well, after all - it would have been possible. As I think a labour MP remarked recently, considering how often the government's gone on about 'controlling our borders', they've been remarkably bad at it!

 Pina 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I don't think you need to be a public health expert to work out that closing borders tends to help against pandemics...

 Michael Gordon 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Pina:

Perhaps not, but I like to listen to experts rather than assuming things on the basis of 'common sense'. 

 tehmarks 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

If only the government had the same ethos?

 fred99 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> I would reckon that DIY is less hazardous than winter climbing. I hypothesis that there is more DIYers in A&E because there are far more people who do DIY.

In which case the government should ban DIY.

 timparkin 28 Jan 2021
In reply to fred99:

> In which case the government should ban DIY.

>

Just what I was going to say... and ban all walking on pavements, sledging, biking, etc.. After all, the numbers don't lie

 andrew ogilvie 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

If you end up in hospital after a winter mountaineering/ climbing accident you will be entitled to consider yourself very fortunate indeed if your biggest concern is acquiring a respiratory infection while you are there.

...I am aware I sound like one the Yorkshiremen in the sketch "Cardboard box...you were lucky"

 TheGeneralist 28 Jan 2021

> Here's a bold hypothesis for you: I bet one is more likely to land in A&E having decided to do some home improvement than from climbing of any genre.


> When I was in hospital last September - motorcycle accident, NOT my fault - half the fellas in my ward were in because they'd fallen off ladders during DIY and broken their legs in some way !

> I would reckon that DIY is less hazardous than winter climbing. I hypothesis that there is more DIYers in A&E because there are far more people who do DIY.

Thank god there's at least one person on this forum with a basic grasp of probability....

 Martin Hore 28 Jan 2021
In reply to Excel991:

> This is maybe why the UK is one of the worst affected countries in Europe for COVID deaths, because we wish to bend the rules. 

Some truth in that I think.

I rather expect that the specialist internet forums for all manner of pastimes that people are currently suffering withdrawal symptoms from are full of posts justifying their particular activity as "safe, because we're the experts in judging the risk in our activity", "safe, because we don't know anyone who has caught COVID doing our activity", "safe, because the chances of ending up in A&E doing our activity are much less than doing DIY" etc.

If I was lucky enough to live within walking distance of winter climbing I expect I'd be fairly tempted to be out doing some, but I think I'd be somewhat reticent about posting my justification for doing so on the internet.

Martin

 tehmarks 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Hore:

The alternative viewpoint: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/28/public-uk-covid-rules-ministers

Conveniently, while we all blame ourselves, the government sidle out of their deep hole unnoticed.

In reply to French Erick:

> I thought that it was black enough .... and i was wrong!

Is this what lockdown is doing to winter climbers...

In reply to tehmarks:

I get what you're saying but where I'm coming from in relation to all climbing at the moment (and winter climbing in particular) is this:

Risk of accident - yes, it's possible to drop a couple of grades but the level of inherent and objective risk in winter climbing is still pretty high. I think a lot of winter climbers are in denial about this - beginners more through ignorance, experienced people more through complacency ('accidents and avalanches only happen to others, I know what I'm doing, especially if I drop a grade or two'). I agree it's possible to play it sufficiently safe that the risk of accident is reduced to remote (as opposed to merely low) but the reality is that this would probably require dropping more than a couple of grades, as well as very careful choice of crag, approach and route.

This is where winter climbing is fundamentally different to rock climbing - it's a lot harder to make it 'safe enough' for the current situation. With hospitals still under extreme pressure, the bar is pretty high at the moment - higher than it was back in May or November. The tide is turning but very slowly and I doubt the pressure on the NHS will relent significantly much before Easter. 

Risk of spread - perhaps not high given it's an outdoor activity but I think it's higher than most climbers care to admit, given close interaction with your climbing partner on belay ledges etc. In reality, very few people go out of their way to SD at a crag, particularly in a multi pitch environment. This assumes you aren't sharing transport (I think sharing a car/van is very high on the risk of spread scale). Of course if your partner is in your household or bubble, risk of spread isn't an issue.

Travel - in principle, travelling 10 miles or 100 miles doesn't really make a difference but it's all about perception and setting a good example. If someone travels say 100 miles one day, they may well be tempted to travel 200 miles another day and so on. More importantly, their friends will get to hear about and think 'if it's ok for him/her, it's ok for me as well'. Soon enough, you have an increasing number of people travelling considerable distances. Simply keeping the number of cars on the road as low as possible also helps to create the impression that travelling any significant distance isn't really ok. Peer pressure does work - if no one is travelling, anyone who is tempted to travel will think twice. As soon as people start travelling, more people join them.

Social media - again, peer pressure is key here. If people do head out, it's a good idea to keep it under the radar and not post on FB, Insta or UKC (or perhaps log it on UK with last year's date). Posting on social media would almost certainly encourage someone else to head out.

General situation - I think there's something to be said for cutting down on non-essential leisure pursuits at a time when a lot of people are genuinely suffering, being if from being ill from Covid, looking after someone with Covid or struggling to make ends meet. Some level of exercise is essential but climbing is not. In a way, sharing the pain makes me feel better about things - I'm sort of doing my little bit.

In summary, could an experienced winter climber reach a reasonable conclusion that it's ok for them to go winter climbing because they will keep it safe and local? Probably yes. Is it a sensible thing for them to actually do? I would say not at the moment, not least because of the example it provides for other people.

At the end of the day, the crags and routes will still be there next year. I imagine conditions are good at the moment (haven't really followed things) but they will be good again some other time - if not next year then in a few years' time. Patience is a key asset for winter and alpine climbing; even for rock climbing, although to a lesser extent. I think sometimes people lose sight of that - perhaps a reflection of modern consume society, where we expect things to be served up to us on a plate for consumption at a place and time of our choosing and we get upset if it doesn't work out like that.

The reality is that we can't have everything our way and the past 10 months have been testament to that. Last winter I was on a sabbatical from work, climbing and skiing in the Alps. That came to a sudden end with the French lockdown in mid-March and I then had a month of doing absolutely nothing back home before getting back to work (when I say absolutely nothing, I don't count posting on UKC and reading the news). This was followed by a month of doing absolutely nothing other than work. During the November lockdown I went climbing once a week every weekend as the Covid situation didn't seem as critical as it was back in spring (and certainly wasn't as critical as it is now). Since just before Xmas I've done absolutely nothing other than work and haven't seen anyone I know in person. I don't actually see this as a big deal - my risk of getting Covid is near zero and my job is secure, so I count myself as one of the lucky ones.

So I guess I just fail to see why some people are so keen to get out in the current circumstances. I'm usually as keen as anyone, doing weekend hits to Scotland from Birmingham if the weather and the conditions are decent. Admittedly, I do have a high boredom threshold - I'm a tax adviser after all! As well as a vast amount of work which has kept me busy since June. Still, I do think people should sometimes chill out and enjoy the simple things in life. Climbing can wait until happier times. I hope things will be looking a fair bit better by Easter but we shall see.

Well done to anyone who's managed to get to the end of this turbowaffle ;-)

Post edited at 02:31
In reply to rogerwebb:

> As far as danger and risk. Raigmore is rammed. Should you on the basis that others are making foolish decisions, parties in pubs in Dingwall, people forced to go to work in crowded offices justify risking putting the system under even more pressure? However competent I might be at winter climbing do I seriously consider that leading in winter isn't putting myself at more personal risk than walking down an icy pavement?

Exactly. At the end of the day, it's not about benchmarking off the worst excesses of Covid rules breaches. If we benchmark ourselves against people going to illegal raves, pretty much anything else would be low risk and fine to do. That's not how it works. As the new government ads say (not sure if they're running them in Scotland) - can you look an NHS worker in the eyes and say yes, I did all that I could reasonably do to avoid adding to the problem?

In reply to PaulJepson:

I blame both the government and the people. You might argue whether the 'split' of the blame for the current situation is 27-75, 50-50 or 75-25 but I certainly don't think it's 90-10 or 10-90. Personally I think it's about 50-50.

 Andy Gamisou 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Well done to anyone who's managed to get to the end of this turbowaffle ;-)

Must admit, I read first few lines, saw how much you'd written, and thought *uck that for a box of soldiers!  Good effort though.  Might try again when it's not 4:45 in the morning and I've woken up a bit more.

 Offwidth 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

It is legal, low accident risk, negligable covid risk and vitally important to the mental health of some people to climb, mountaineer or hill walk locally whilst taking care to not push ones limits and to strictly follow basic covid regulations and guidance. I expect those who don't understand (especially some in the press) to attack this position but I find it sad coming from fellow climbers.

I think you are almost going down a rabbit hole of your own making, and seem to be trying to want others to follow. If think you are fabulously well intentioned but you really need to listen more: you say you don't understand, yet lots of people have clearly explained why they need to do what they do and (acceptably logically) why they disagree with your views on risks. People who still climb include some frontline NHS staff, who say its the best way to help them cope with the daily horror. Risk minimisation on its own is always a tricky issue in climbing and just being in the mountain environment, as if we follow just that strict logic none of us would venture into such terrain.

Your past justification of indoor climbing during the pandemic oddly took almost the opposite view (coldish indoor venues similar to many climbing walls are known to be covid risk points from some church outbreaks).  What you said about your local wall and why you climbed there made sense but it wasn't totally risk free in either accident or covid terms.

The article tehmarks linked is from a SAGE behavioural expert informing government policy on that subject. It is clear we need to stop obsessing about  some things and face the real issues .. pretty much all covid spread is indoors, venues with poor ventilation are especially a problem and risks increase with proximity, time,  poor hygene and without masks. Your job is secure and you are safe  but some people need to work and can't afford to self isolate because of government policy, and they are very significant in the spread of the virus.  Here is another useful link on the subject (the subthread looks at the massive problem due to poor population levels of self isolation compared to other risks) 

https://twitter.com/rowlsmanthorpe/status/1349459843833352192

I really don''t see anything fundamentally different in winter climbing that would make that unthinkable. Where I would have sympathy is some climbers seem to obsess about risk on rock but are weirdly blase about higher risks on ice and snow.  Climbing in popular winter venues when there was avalanche risk became difficult for me, despite personally knowing what to avoid, as so many people were taking on risk of the equivalent level of basic belay errors. The start of Ledge Route on the Ben being the most infamous. Some of the muppets rescued from rock routes in the first wave also seemed way out of their depth on appropriate experienced risk assessment. You shouldn't dictate to experienced climbers based on such behaviour.

A whole load of your argument is about something else other than the activity. In particular travelling 100 miles in a lockdown to do any recreational activity is just plain breaching legal regulations and is morally irresponsible. 

Finally things really were very different in March as covid risks were less well known, especially being over-estimated early-on on surfaces outdoors.

Post edited at 05:30
 Michael Gordon 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Risk of accident - yes, it's possible to drop a couple of grades but the level of inherent and objective risk in winter climbing is still pretty high. I think a lot of winter climbers are in denial about this - beginners more through ignorance, experienced people more through complacency ('accidents and avalanches only happen to others, I know what I'm doing, especially if I drop a grade or two'). I agree it's possible to play it sufficiently safe that the risk of accident is reduced to remote (as opposed to merely low) but the reality is that this would probably require dropping more than a couple of grades, as well as very careful choice of crag, approach and route.

> This is where winter climbing is fundamentally different to rock climbing - it's a lot harder to make it 'safe enough' for the current situation. >

I don't agree with many of your other justifications, but couldn't agree more here. I think some folk are kidding themselves when they think of a 'well protected' mixed route as 'safe'. In reality, in winter there are very few pitches which are complete clip-ups from start to finish - you've nearly always got to move a few metres above gear at some point, or the steep bit may be safe then you've got to do some bold grovelling onto a ledge while the axes threaten to rip. It's just not the same game as trad risk-wise.

 Michael Gordon 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Hore:

Re 'bending rules', I have concluded that the UK is naturally more libertarian/individualistic than many other countries. This of course leads to complacency and minor breaking of rules across a large swathe of the population. 

 DaveHK 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Re 'bending rules', I have concluded that the UK is naturally more libertarian/individualistic than many other countries. This of course leads to complacency and minor breaking of rules across a large swathe of the population. 

And Germans are ruthlessly efficient, the Spanish lazy, the French rude etc etc.

 DaveHK 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

>  It is clear we need to stop obsessing about  some things and face the real issues

This. With all this micro analysis of various activities and condemnation of people's behaviour we're right back where we were at the start.

Don't share air, wash your hands, wear your mask, avoid busy places, keep your distance, isolate if you have symptoms. If you're doing that stuff you're doing your bit. There's no need to obsess over relative risks of various activities or condemn others for doing slightly different things from you provided they're doing the above.

 DaveHK 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I don't agree with many of your other justifications, but couldn't agree more here. I think some folk are kidding themselves when they think of a 'well protected' mixed route as 'safe'. In reality, in winter there are very few pitches which are complete clip-ups from start to finish - you've nearly always got to move a few metres above gear at some point, or the steep bit may be safe then you've got to do some bold grovelling onto a ledge while the axes threaten to rip. It's just not the same game as trad risk-wise.

I really don't think that's the part of a winter day to be worrying about. There are plenty of clip-up routes that are really no different to trad routes in that regard. 

Thinking about the last winter route I did I reckon the MTB approach along a snowy track was probably the bit most likely to put pressure on the NHS but it's probably the climbing people would have got worked up about. Funny isn't it?

Post edited at 08:48
 wercat 29 Jan 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

as someone who mainly solos and has done for many years in winter, clipup potential is irrelevant to me.   No rope for insurance means you have to depend utterly on the objective conditions you take on.  You can't solo for very long without assessing risks very carefully.   And of course no minglin with solo walkin  or climbin

Post edited at 09:22
 tehmarks 29 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

I think offwidth has said much of what I want to say, certainly more eloquently than I'll manage before my morning coffee, and so I've mostly limited myself to brief thoughts:

> I agree it's possible to play it sufficiently safe that the risk of accident is reduced to remote (as opposed to merely low) but the reality is that this would probably require dropping more than a couple of grades, as well as very careful choice of crag, approach and route.

And, err, what is wrong with doing that? There's great fun to be had on the easy ridges of the world. We don't have to scratch our way up delicate mixed cracks or dodgy ice to enjoy the day. Do we?

> Risk of spread...I think it's higher than most climbers care to admit, given close interaction with your climbing partner on belay ledges etc...very few people go out of their way to SD at a crag...

People shouldn't be getting close and sweaty with those outside of their household or support bubble. Common sense tells us that.

> Travel - in principle, travelling 10 miles or 100 miles doesn't really make a difference but it's all about perception and setting a good example

I'm not arguing that people should drive the length of the country to go climbing I'm arguing against those who think that local climbers should sit and stare at the hills from their living room window. The argument about setting a good example, in my opinion, is patronising and irrelevant as I elaborate on below.

> Social media - again, peer pressure is key here. If people do head out, it's a good idea to keep it under the radar and not post on FB, Insta or UKC (or perhaps log it on UK with last year's date). Posting on social media would almost certainly encourage someone else to head out.

I don't buy the peer pressure argument. In fact, more than that, I think it's asinine. It infers that we should be policing the behaviour of everyone else. People must take individual responsibility for their individual decisions, and if they look at Mr. Lakelandfamily's photos from Sharp Edge and think it gives them justification to drive to the Lake District and get on Sharp Edge, they are morons. Mr. Lakelandfamily carries no culpability whatsoever.

People across the country need to stop concerning themselves with what other people are doing — it's no good, it does not lead to happiness, and it does lead to things such as NHS nurses having threatening notes left on their cars because they're seen leaving for work every day. It's unpleasant and it's wrong. Do your bit, but stop thinking that you have to be a productive constable of the Moral Police. You don't.

> General situation - I think there's something to be said for cutting down on non-essential leisure pursuits at a time when a lot of people are genuinely suffering...

I know I keep banging on about this, but for some (not many, but some), climbing is the lifeline that delivers them from their suffering. I said a few weeks ago that climbing literally saved my life some years ago. If I were in the same place now rather than then, I honestly don't think I'd be here to post this. We live in a time where a huge amount of the stresses and anxieties facing us are abstract and unsolvable; removed from our own influence. For me, if no one else, climbing is the best escape I can think of from those abstract real-world problems. When you refactor job woes, or debt woes, or pandemic woes in the context of the real and obvious existential threat of being high above the ground, literally having one's life in one's own hands, I find it very difficult to continue to be stressed about those real-world problems that I can't myself influence. When you are reminded of and concerned with your very survival, worrying about having a job next week is meaningless.

> In summary, could an experienced winter climber reach a reasonable conclusion that it's ok for them to go winter climbing because they will keep it safe and local? Probably yes.

This is the answer that we need. We can stop here, because:

> Is it a sensible thing for them to actually do? I would say not at the moment, not least because of the example it provides for other people.

this is irrelevant (my emphasis).

> So I guess I just fail to see why some people are so keen to get out in the current circumstances.

Not sure I count as 'keen' given that I've relocated my home to flattest Cheshire, but I have had nothing to do with my time since March 2020 other than sit on my sofa alone. I'm very keen to make best use of the time I've been given while I still have it, to save myself from falling into a fog of apathy and depression. I'll otherwise sit on my sofa, rage at the government's universal incompetence, and turn into a bitter and twisted man.

You're viewing a huge range of people through the lens of your own life.

Post edited at 11:24
In reply to Offwidth:

> It is legal, low accident risk, negligable covid risk and vitally important to the mental health of some people to climb, mountaineer or hill walk locally whilst taking care to not push ones limits and to strictly follow basic covid regulations and guidance.

I sort of get that for rock climbing but winter climbing is a whole different ball game. It depends what you mean by 'low' accident risk but I think at the moment any risk needs to be 'remote / negligible'. Winter climbing does is very rarely 'remove / negligible' risk. It can be on a low avalanche risk day and with a few grades in hand (by that I mean 3 or 4 grades, not 1 or 2 - and I suspect very few people will be prepared to drop the grades that much).

I agree that climbing is 'vitally important' for some people's mental health. In reality, there are very few people like that. I know only one person who is like that. There are plenty more who *think* it's vitally important for them but actually they can manage without climbing for a few months, particularly during the off season. I really don't think it's that big an ask at the moment. If people are being honest with themselves, I think the real answer for the vast majority who are continuing to head out is 'I'm doing it because I want to, not because I need to'.

It's a temporary state of affairs and things should improve in a couple of months just as the weather gets better and the days longer. Hopefully we have a relatively normal summer to look forward to, albeit probably without overseas travel but I can live without a summer Alps trip for another year.

I don't disagree with your comments about better knowledge since March.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Re 'bending rules', I have concluded that the UK is naturally more libertarian/individualistic than many other countries. This of course leads to complacency and minor breaking of rules across a large swathe of the population. 

Surely not more so than the US though? And the US do have a bit of a Covid issue... Though to be fair their death rate per 1m population is similar to ours, assuming they count deaths roughly the same way. So perhaps not so different after all.

In reply to DaveHK:

Yes but why not do all you can reasonably do and not go climbing until the situation improves?

In reply to tehmarks:

> And, err, what is wrong with doing that? There's great fun to be had on the easy ridges of the world. We don't have to scratch our way up delicate mixed cracks or dodgy ice to enjoy the day. Do we?

I suspect in reality very few people will drop their grade was far as they would need to. I can get up a VII, so I'd need to be doing a III or at most a IV, with decent gear, to reduce the risk to 'remote'. Mixed Vs can be pretty tricky, icy Vs can have pretty poor gear. If I turn up at a crag, would I actually do a III or a IV? It would be quite hard to resign myself to that. Perhaps others are more disciplined.

> People shouldn't be getting close and sweaty with those outside of their household or support bubble. Common sense tells us that.

I suspect in reality very few people will be maintaining proper SD. My general assumption is if you're going climbing with someone who happens to have Covid (asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, obviously I wouldn't climb with someone who has symptoms), there's a decent chance I'd get it. That's why I've been pretty careful around who I've been climbing with since the end of L1.

> I don't buy the peer pressure argument. In fact, more than that, I think it's asinine. It infers that we should be policing the behaviour of everyone else.

It's not about policing the behaviour of others. The fact is that in reality what other climbers think is acceptable to do has a significant impact on what we ourselves think is acceptable to do. For example, why don't people chip holds these days? There is nothing inherently wrong about it - it's just a piece of rock, it has no feelings and no one will see it from the ground anyway. It's because it's not considered to be generally acceptable within the climbing community. It's the same with everything. The more people start to head out, the more it will snowball. 

> I know I keep banging on about this, but for some (not many, but some), climbing is the lifeline that delivers them from their suffering. I said a few weeks ago that climbing literally saved my life some years ago.

I'm glad to hear that you're in a better place now. Perhaps you are one of the very few people for whom climbing is essential for mental health. In reality, this is a lot less common than you might think - it's just that a lot of people think it's essential for them.

> Not sure I count as 'keen' given that I've relocated my home to flattest Cheshire

Not a bad place to be based for rock climbing and better than Birmingham for winter climbing. I assume you aren't heading up to Wales, Scotland or the Lakes for winter climbing at the moment though... 

I keep saying 'in reality' because you do have to look at the likely reality of the situation, as opposed to how you might imagine or want things to be. In reality, we don't live in a perfect world unfortunately. If we did, Covid would be over by now...

 Michael Gordon 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Surely not more so than the US though? And the US do have a bit of a Covid issue...

Yes, Americans (or Republican voters) seem to take their right to do stupid things very seriously - keep guns, not wear masks, pretty much act as though the pandemic was no different to normal etc. It's perhaps surprising their rate isn't even worse than it is, though it's early days yet. 

"Though to be fair their death rate per 1m population is similar to ours, assuming they count deaths roughly the same way. So perhaps not so different after all."

Actually their rate is better than ours. We are second only to Portugal in worst rate of coronavirus deaths per head of population.

Post edited at 07:06
 Offwidth 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

Of course you can drop grades in winter. If you only ever led grade III, just winter walk. Avoiding avalanche terrain is part of the definition of experienced.

Splinting serious mental health problems from minor mental health problems is not possible, its a continuum ....and sometimes a rollercoaster for the individual. At the lower end, severe stress and anxiety is bad enough in the modern world without a seasoning of a pandemic and its lockdown. People build coping mechanisms that work and it's a very big ask to stop that. Even if someone is completely healthy and climbing is just recreational it's OK to do something legal when being careful on risk and on covid precautions.....it's their life to control, not yours. You are just insulting those people with what you say on the subject. Again, you need to listen.

 Offwidth 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Portugal are not even in the top 20 overall they are just doing very badly in the current wave. On overall data we are below a few small countries and Belgium (and if you look at the way deaths are counted to compare like for like, we might be above Belgium)

 DaveHK 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> Yes but why not do all you can reasonably do and not go climbing until the situation improves?

Stop telling me what I should do. It's patronising.

I am doing everything I can reasonably do. I am avoiding crowded places, limiting travel, washing my hands, working from home etc etc...

I think that giving up the limited, legal hill going I'm doing just now will have very little if any positive impact on the progression of the pandemic and a big negative impact on me.

Plus, if I didn't go climbing I'd probably go mountain biking and that's far more likely to put me in hospital.  

Post edited at 09:45
 Andy Moles 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

You seem quite the authority on other people's mental health, Misha. If only they knew themselves as well as you do, eh? 

 DaveHK 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> . Again, you need to listen.

Misha has quit climbing and the only thing that will do is for everyone else to now do the same regardless of location or circumstances. It's like a reformed smoker becoming an anti smoking evangelist. 

 tehmarks 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Misha:

> I suspect in reality very few people will drop their grade was far as they would need to.

Perhaps you are 'one of very few people' who aren't capable of finding joy in moving in comfortable terrain? Why does it have to be about the grade? I just like climbing, personally.

> I suspect in reality very few people will be maintaining proper SD.

Perhaps I wasn't clear. Don't go climbing with people outside of your household or support bubble. That, again, is not a reason to not go climbing.

 Michael Gordon 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

> Portugal are not even in the top 20 overall they are just doing very badly in the current wave. On overall data we are below a few small countries and Belgium (and if you look at the way deaths are counted to compare like for like, we might be above Belgium)

Well, on the BBC they said the UK was no.5 in overall deaths, and no.2 after Portugal in deaths per head of population.

 Offwidth 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I have no idea of the context of that which is why I speculated it must be based on the current wave (see link). The BBC is way too sloppy with many reports on the subject (they caught me out with the latest ONS figures as I'd forgot we didn't have any last week)

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/portugal/

The current average of nearly 300 deaths a day would be about 1700 if they had our population.

 wercat 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Offwidth:

probably why they have appealed to Germany for help - military already on scene

very very hard hit by the variant from SE England

Post edited at 15:56
In reply to DaveHK:

I think at the present moment in time it would be helpful if most people did hold off, like most of did back in April. That is pretty much what we are being asked to do at the moment - people might want to hear what they want to hear but generally the message is to stay at home other than local exercise like walking or running. The situation is a bit less critical than it was at the start of the year in that cases have reduced significantly and the number of patients in hospital has started to reduce as well but it’s still pretty much touch and go. Obviously people can do whatever they like but I think the general ‘ask’ of us is fairly clear.

I’ve previously argued that it’s fine to keep climbing, even as late as the November lockdown, but the new ‘Kent’ strain has proven to be a game changer in terms of the case load and the patient load. When the facts change, I change my mind. I expect that the facts will change in a couple more months’ time, if things go well. There’s certainly a light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t deny that outdoor activities are important coping mechanisms for some people and I can’t comment on people’s personal circumstances. The impression I get is that climbing is ‘critical’ for very few people but I may be wrong.

I also think it’s important to present a reasoned view which is different to some other people’s. And I can totally see where you and others on this thread are coming from. It’s just that, on balance, I take a different view. That could partly (mostly?) be because of my personal circumstances. I don’t enjoy the lockdown (who does?) but it’s not too much bother for me right now. I do appreciate that it can be harder for other people from a mental health point of view (as well as financially but we aren’t talking about that).

In reply to tehmarks:

> Perhaps you are 'one of very few people' who aren't capable of finding joy in moving in comfortable terrain? Why does it have to be about the grade? I just like climbing, personally.

I don’t disagree, just saying that in reality many people won’t be dialling it right down. Some (most?) will of course.

> Perhaps I wasn't clear. Don't go climbing with people outside of your household or support bubble. That, again, is not a reason to not go climbing.

Agree and in practice that means no climbing for me anyway, other than solo bouldering which I have no interest in outdoors (well strictly I could bubble up with someone but I’m really not bothered right now). However from what I’ve seen and heard there’s still cross household / bubble climbing going on. Strictly speaking, it is permitted but in practice proper SD is pretty tricky to maintain other than when top roping.

To your other point, hill going with careful avalanche risk evaluation is certainly safer than MTB. In fact winter climbing may well be safer than MTB...

Post edited at 19:55
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I suspect it’s a bit early to tell what the real death rates are across different countries, given the different ways that deaths are counted. It does seem that the UK is pretty high and clearly some countries outside Europe and the Americas are pretty low. I wouldn’t be that surprised if, once this is ‘over’ and the statisticians have had a chance to do a proper review of all the deaths data, a lot of European countries and the US all end up with relatively similar death rates. However we would probably still be towards the top of that unfortunate leader board. But we digress.

In reply to Offwidth:

The deaths/head of population list is:

1 Gibralter, 2 San Marino, 3 Belgium, 4 Slovenia, 5 UK

Obviously things will change with time and vaccine roll out. The UK figures have been bad all the way through but the new “Kent” strain made things significantly worse compared to many nations.

Post edited at 21:20
 Cog 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> The deaths/head of population list is:

> 1 Gibralter, 2 San Marino, 3 Belgium, 4 Slovenia, 5 UK

If the numbers of deaths per population are correct.

Gibraltar

San Marino

Belgium

Slovenia

England

Czechia

Wales

Italy

Bosnia and Herzegovina

North Macedonia

Liechtenstein

USA

Bulgaria

Andorra

Hungary

Montenegro

Spain

Peru

Croatia

Mexico

Panama

Portugal

France

Sweden

Scotland

Switzerland

Argentina

Brazil

Columbia

Armenia

Lithuania

Poland

Chile

 Offwidth 30 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Haworth:

That's based on official UK deaths within 28 days of a positive test. ONS deaths per million is a fairer comparison. The government's slow response to the Kent strain and to what SAGE said in September and December made things that bad.

 wercat 31 Jan 2021
In reply to Martin Haworth:

> Obviously things will change with time and vaccine roll out. The UK figures have been bad all the way through but the new “Kent” strain made things significantly worse compared to many nations.

the "Kent" strain has certainly wreaked havoc in Portugal

 wercat 31 Jan 2021

To all:

When there are reports of people going out along Striding Edge with no winter gear with icy exits and entries to both Edges on a day when windchill is -17 I'd say the risks of people going out and carefully assessing hazards, carrying the correct gear and taking car is comparatively minimal, particularly if solo

 French Erick 31 Jan 2021
In reply to wercat:

Very interesting. Do you think that a blanket ban would improve that situation? Genuine question.

If you’re daft enough to do what you have just described, you probably don’t give a flying f*ck about the rules anyways?

 wercat 31 Jan 2021
In reply to French Erick:

I described two ways of acting - I take it you meant the first line or so of behaviour

No I think a total ban on mountain access would be stupid, unlike stupidity itself being totally banned

Post edited at 16:44
In reply to Misha:

You do realise that your rather evangelical arguments throughout this are going to come flying back at you when the pandemic is over and we suddenly remember the much much bigger pile of shit we are in - climate change ? That we all should be doing all we can to limit our affect on the environment is undeniable. However, one might argue that the human race should be concentrating hardest on the greatest causes of CO2 or methane production, rather than the odd 1000 mile round trip for a weekend of winter climbing (Lets say from Birmingham to the NW Highlands for example.... ;-). Unfortunately I don't think you, personally, are going to be able to make that argument now. That is, I think somebody is going to call you out when you next jump in a car for a weekend away to do something you want, but that provides no tangible benefit to others, instead of sitting at home doing all you can to limit your effect on the climate.

Post edited at 10:06
 Euge 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

What I don't get is people looking for climbing partners, and I don't mean the ones looking for future partners in advance of the lockdown easing.

Euge

 rif 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Another case of fining in the Highlands -- and this time it's not numpty walkers, but Glasgow-based climbers needing rescuing from Minus Two on the Ben

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-55886753

In reply to rif:

> Another case of fining in the Highlands -- and this time it's not numpty walkers.

Numpty climbers this time.

 Flinticus 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Misha:

Is there any correlation with high death rates and accountable and open societies?

I can't but consider the published death rates for places like Iran and Brazil to be well under-reported.

We will never have a list that reflects the true death rate.

 Michael Gordon 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Graham Briffett:

It's two separate issues. Misha doesn't need to take a strong environmental stance just because he has chosen a laudable humanitarian stance regarding this recent worsening of the UK pandemic situation. And although he has strayed once or twice into being preachy, I'm sure he'd be the first to admit that it's an individual's personal choice at the end of the day. 

 DaveHK 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

The overarching moral issue is the same. Given two global crises where limiting ones activity is beneficial it would be hypocritical to do so in one and not the other.

 Michael Gordon 01 Feb 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

On a practical level that is non-sensical. Misha's concerns sound as though they are chiefly about not putting undue pressure on the NHS. Perhaps you can think of a connection, but I'd say that being more environmental has pretty much nothing to do with that.  

It is limiting activity for two different reasons. Just because someone feels strongly about one of them, does not in any way mean they should be expected to feel as strongly about the other. For example, I may have decided not to fly to another country to visit friends during the summer because of concerns about the virus, but once the vaccine has been rolled out in both locations, why shouldn't I? OK it's not great for the environment, but that's a different issue entirely. 

 Billhook 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> ...I may have decided not to fly to another country to visit friends during the summer because of concerns about the virus, but once the vaccine has been rolled out in both locations, why shouldn't I? OK it's not great for the environment, but that's a different issue entirely. 

Because there's no guarantee that having everyone vacinated prevents people from spreading the virus.

 ColdWill 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

Graham has a point and Misha has a little bit of cognitive dissonance.

 DaveHK 01 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> On a practical level that is non-sensical. Misha's concerns sound as though they are chiefly about not putting undue pressure on the NHS. Perhaps you can think of a connection, but I'd say that being more environmental has pretty much nothing to do with that.  

I think you've rather missed the point Graham made and I referred to. They are separate issues but there is a moral equivalence between them. There is an inconsistency in preaching limiting activity for the greater good in one instance and not the other.

Post edited at 19:19
 rogerwebb 01 Feb 2021
In reply to DaveHK:

> I think you've rather missed the point Graham made and I referred to. They are separate issues but there is a moral equivalence between them. There is an inconsistency in preaching limiting activity for the greater good in one instance and not the other.

Is there then an inconsistency in preaching unlimited activity in one but not the other?

Anyway is anyone arguing for unlimited activity or an outright ban on this thread?

I think you are being a bit hard on Misha. 

 Michael Gordon 01 Feb 2021
In reply to ColdWill:

>Misha has a little bit of cognitive dissonance.

I think he has made some good points. What you think of them probably depends on what 'side' of the argument you were on when you read them.  

 DaveHK 01 Feb 2021
In reply to rogerwebb:

> I think you are being a bit hard on Misha. 

I wasn't really replying to Misha so maybe that came across a bit harsher than it might've.

 Billhook 02 Feb 2021
In reply to Graham Briffett:

It is a fair point but it is also a case of reductio ad absurdum. The best way to prevent climate change is to live in a cave and tend a vegetable plot. My main contribution is not having any children. You could make a similar argument about many issues - give all your money to the global poor and so on.

No one is saying we need to be absolutist across the board. I am just saying that in the current situation I think the right thing to do is to stick with the ‘stay at home’ message as far as reasonably possible. The Covid tide is already starting to turn slowly and the vaccination drive is going well. We can look forward to a great summer season, probably in the UK but without too many restrictions. As for winter, there’s always next year.

Climbers aren’t the most patient of people but the sweetest rewards come to those who wait.

In reply to Flinticus:

Agree and that’s why it will take a few years for the statisticians to crank the numbers based on comparing total deaths (not just whatever happens to be reported as Covid related). Of course there will be other things mixed in there as well but a broad comparison should be possible. 

In reply to DaveHK:

It doesn’t make sense to me to argue that we should be either really good, really bad or sort of average at dealing with both Covid and environmental issues. These are separate things and you can be good in some respects and average in other respects.

In any case, looking at environmental issues through the lens of activity / travel is a bit simplistic - you have to look at all aspects of a person’s life (amount and type of travel, housing, diet, general consumption of goods, number of children and lots of relatively little things like recycling). Whereas with Covid it’s kind of simple - minimise social contact and don’t do anything with more than a remote risk of requiring emergency services assistance / NHS care.

In reply to ColdWill:

They are different issues though. I am probably around average on environmental issues. There is no reason I can’t take a firmer view on Covid. After all, that is in line with government messaging. 

In reply to Misha:

> In any case, looking at environmental issues through the lens of activity / travel is a bit simplistic - you have to look at all aspects of a person’s life (amount and type of travel, housing, diet, general consumption of goods, number of children and lots of relatively little things like recycling). Whereas with Covid it’s kind of simple - minimise social contact and don’t do anything with more than a remote risk of requiring emergency services assistance / NHS care.

And this is the point that I was making - one where I disagree and the the reason I chose to make the point that I did. On the one hand you seem to want all people to stop winter climbing, regardless of the sum total of their risk of picking up or moving the virus around or becoming a risk of being a burden to the NHS (an "absolute" rule). And yet you are also arguing for the same sum-total approach to be applied to your own life and pastimes and the environmental impact they have ("no kids, but lets forget about the long journeys to indulge myself"). If this isn't an example of cognitive dissonance then I don't know what is.

You say that "No one is saying we need to be absolutist across the board. I am just saying that in the current situation I think the right thing to do is to stick with the ‘stay at home’ message as far as reasonably possible. " But these two sentences are contradictory. You ARE being absolutist in your arguments to stop climbing - for all, regardless of the location or of the low risk approach some individuals have clearly pointed out that they are taking in their climbing.

Post edited at 07:56
In reply to Misha:

> It is a fair point but it is also a case of reductio ad absurdum. The best way to prevent climate change is to live in a cave and tend a vegetable plot. My main contribution is not having any children.

If we all followed your lead and had no children it would certainly solve climate change and stop all pandemics eventually.

 wercat 03 Feb 2021
In reply to Misha:

only if time is still on your side ...

> Climbers aren’t the most patient of people but the sweetest rewards come to those who wait.

 Billhook 08 Feb 2021
 DR 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Graham Briffett:

To me living in the tiny Glasgow City Council area, the thing that winds my neck in the most is the don't travel more than 5 miles outside your own local authority area. From north Glasgow I'm less than 25 miles from Ben Lomond and some of the easier routes on the north side of the hill but am not 'allowed' to make that journey whereas people living in Stirling are driving 50 miles to Bridge of Orchy to climb harder routes on Beinn Dorain and Ben an Dothaidh and that's OK. Is the sum total of my risk that much greater than theirs? No of course it isn't but I've stuck at home and gnashed my teeth. Technically I shouldn't even go for a walk up the Campsies as I have to go through East Dunbartonshire before Stirling but frankly, sod that!

Cheers

Davie

 Dave Hewitt 09 Feb 2021
In reply to DR:

> To me living in the tiny Glasgow City Council area, the thing that winds my neck in the most is the don't travel more than 5 miles outside your own local authority area. From north Glasgow I'm less than 25 miles from Ben Lomond and some of the easier routes on the north side of the hill but am not 'allowed' to make that journey whereas people living in Stirling are driving 50 miles to Bridge of Orchy to climb harder routes on Beinn Dorain and Ben an Dothaidh and that's OK.

It does seem unfair and quite postcode lottery-ish - and I say that as someone living in Stirling. For what it's worth, pretty much all the hill people I know round here aren't actually going to the furthest reaches of the Stirling council area, though - generally they seem to be going no further than the Trossachs/Ledi/Vorlich/Stuc, and even then I don't know many folk doing that. What a lot of people, me included, are doing however is spending a lot of time on the Ochils - the nearer end is within Stirling council anyway, and the five-miles-beyond thing brings Tillicoultry into play. Personally I've not been further than that, and haven't been west of the M9 since November - but I have been out locally lots (eg Sunday's Ben Cleuch outing was the eleventh of the year). Don't think I've driven ten miles to get anywhere since November, apart from a run to Larbert a couple of weeks ago to take stuff to a neighbour who was in hospital there.

Generally folk seem to be very cautious/restrained. Overall it is very imbalanced, though, especially for people in small urban councils such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee etc.

In reply to DR:

> To me living in the tiny Glasgow City Council area, the thing that winds my neck in the most is the don't travel more than 5 miles outside your own local authority area. From north Glasgow I'm less than 25 miles from Ben Lomond and some of the easier routes on the north side of the hill but am not 'allowed' to make that journey whereas people living in Stirling are driving 50 miles to Bridge of Orchy to climb harder routes on Beinn Dorain and Ben an Dothaidh and that's OK.

The council area thing is a lottery and it must be really rubbish to be stuck in a city, but, although it is not illegal, it's not really ok for people in Stirling to go to Bridge of Orchy given the "local" guidance. I'm in Perth and Kinross and could legally go to a big chunk of the highlands but am sticking to the Lomonds and Ochils.

 rogerwebb 09 Feb 2021
In reply to DR:

> To me living in the tiny Glasgow City Council area, the thing that winds my neck in the most is the don't travel more than 5 miles outside your own local authority area. From north Glasgow I'm less than 25 miles from Ben Lomond and some of the easier routes on the north side of the hill but am not 'allowed' to make that journey whereas people living in Stirling are driving 50 miles to Bridge of Orchy to climb harder routes on Beinn Dorain and Ben an Dothaidh and that's OK. Is the sum total of my risk that much greater than theirs? No of course it isn't but I've stuck at home and gnashed my teeth. Technically I shouldn't even go for a walk up the Campsies as I have to go through East Dunbartonshire before Stirling but frankly, sod that!

> Cheers

> Davie

'Legal' and 'ok' are arguably two different things. A cause of lot of the angst on this thread. 

 Dave Hewitt 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Incidentally, on the general subject of driving in the current situation, I've heard it said that quite a lot of people are having battery-related problems with their cars due to not going very far in them. Our own old Polo is an example - the battery as such seems OK (it's started every time thus far, anyway), but the central locking and the electric windows have packed in, and probably won't come back until there's a combination of warmer/drier weather and the freedom to travel more than just a few miles each time. It needs "a good run" as the saying goes.

However I know of someone for whom this led to much more significant consequences. In the initial lockdown last spring she stopped driving, but had a (non-Covid) hospital appointment scheduled. She didn't think she would need to attend this, but on ringing the hospital they said no, do come in. She then found that her car wouldn't start - flat battery due to inactivity - so she rang for a taxi. This duly arrived and the taxi driver had a hacking cough. My friend asked him about this but he said it was nothing to worry about. The hospital is about 15 miles away so she would have been in the taxi for getting on for half an hour. A few days later she went down with Covid and ended up properly in hospital. She survived, but the best part of a year on she's still not well - has Long Covid. She's as sure as she can be that she got it off the taxi driver. Obviously a whole sequence of unfortunate events led to this, but it wasn't a great situation. One wonders how many other stories there are of this kind.

 Offwidth 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

I think a public anonomised collection of how people thought they most likely caught covid would be a great resource.

 Kevin Woods 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

On the subject of cars..

I had three months of my car parked last winter as I was away on a trip. Got the car back in April, which then spent three months sitting on the street.

After a wet winter (so this is not totally Covid), the brakes all seized up and needed replaced. After three months of Covid, and in June, something in the suspension shattered although I can't remember the problem except the sound of loud smashing at the time. The car is a few years old, but in good condition otherwise.

Insurance came along at the same time and I ended up spending a couple thousand for the benefit of the car sitting doing nothing. I'm starting to wonder why I bother.

To go further, if you add a standard (non-Covid) year of fuel in, I'd do 20,000 miles - about £2000.

So either I'll pay in fuel or I seem to be paying in repair bills. The car seems to cost about £3-4000 a year. Say an  average of about 200 days a year (very optimistic at the moment!), that's £15-20 a trip.

If I paid that kind of money, say, for a taxi, 200 days a year, everyone would think I was mad. But it's somehow acceptable for the benefit of ownership.

At the moment Tesla seem to be aiming toward a non-ownership model (integrated with self-driving). With expenses like mine, I swear it would not take them much to undercut that. The private ownership thing is starting to look really absurd, especially with shite, dirty old tech like an internal combustion engine.

Post edited at 13:22
 Sean Kelly 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Dave Hewitt:

A battery charger and jump leads are a fantastic investment for any driver. That coupled with a tow rope. I've lost count of the number of other drivers that I have helped over the years, including a post van that was stuck in a ditch.

Post edited at 13:25
 Euge 09 Feb 2021
In reply to DR:

> To me living in the tiny Glasgow City Council area, the thing that winds my neck in the most is the don't travel more than 5 miles outside your own local authority area. From north Glasgow I'm less than 25 miles from Ben Lomond and some of the easier routes on the north side of the hill but am not 'allowed' to make that journey whereas people living in Stirling are driving 50 miles to Bridge of Orchy to climb harder routes on Beinn Dorain and Ben an Dothaidh and that's OK.

Staying local is not driving 50 miles.

I live in Carnoustie, Angus but I wouldn't drive to the Angus hills (35 miles) even though they are in my Council Area. That is not staying local, bummer because they are probably in the best condition they have been for years

Just my 2p

Euge

 Excel991 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

So, these guys were local but were they climbing within their limits? Not sure what route they were on but why are they taking these risks in a pandemic?

It also baffles me why people have been climbing and logging routes on UKC as high as grade VII and above. Surely this isn’t just getting out for some exercise and the risk of popping off a route at this grade is extremely high. Even for an experienced winter climber of good technical ability they are pushing it at these high grades.
 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-55995804

In reply to Excel991:

> So, these guys were local but were they climbing within their limits? Not sure what route they were on but why are they taking these risks in a pandemic?

Whether it is reasonable for people to be out winter climbing or not, it probably isn't a good look for the general public, who probably see climbing as reckless at the best of times, seeing news stories like this just now.

 dmhigg 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Although "Team leader Andy Nelson, who had been in the area with another member of the team, was involved in the rescue."

I bet they weren't hillwalking.

(..and just to clarify my own position, I'm jealous because I don't live in Glencoe but massively grateful that I'm still working fullish time at the moment. No axes grinding here.)

 LucaC 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

> It also baffles me why people have been climbing and logging routes on UKC as high as grade VII and above. Surely this isn’t just getting out for some exercise and the risk of popping off a route at this grade is extremely high. Even for an experienced winter climber of good technical ability they are pushing it at these high grades.

I’m sorry but that’s nonsense. There are plenty of safe mixed VIIs which are going to give much better runners than some of the classic snow-ice Vs. If you’re climbing at this sort of grade, doing a grade IV to keep UKC happy isn’t really going to give you much of a workout. 

 Emily_pipes 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

While we argue back and forth on these threads about whether winter climbing is or isn't "essential" or whether it is or isn't too dangerous, I would like to point out that horse racing has still been happening. National hunt. Flat. The lot. Riding in general has been accepted as kosher (except for me, because my horse has been lame ), but racing is actually pretty dangerous. Horses fall. Riders fall. Horses fall on top of riders. You really don't want a horse flipping on top of you as it falls over a jump. And there's a field of horses behind you who can squash you if you hit the deck. But does anyone care? Nope. Have racing accidents been reported in the media? Nope. Have there been some? Yep. I know someone who's an exercise rider at an NH yard. Is there more money in horse racing than winter climbing? Duh.

I just think this game of differentiating between outdoor activities (so relatively low COVID risk) that are essential v. non-essential, or too risky v. copacetic, a lot of it based on chaos theory, has become totally nonsensical.

Post edited at 22:01
 wercat 09 Feb 2021
In reply to Emily_pipes:

not to mention all the muttering in Keswick about the presence of "visitors" in holiday homes

In reply to Emily_pipes:

>Racing is actually pretty dangerous. Horses fall. Riders fall. Horses fall on top of riders. You really don't want a horse flipping on top of you as it falls over a jump. And there's a field of horses behind you who can squash you if you hit the deck. But does anyone care? Nope. Have racing accidents been reported in the media? Nope. Have there been some? Yep. I know someone who's an exercise rider at an NH yard. Is there more money in horse racing than winter climbing? Duh.

No different from other professional sports such as football and rugby? For better or worse, entertaining the masses has been prioritised.

Post edited at 22:28
 Emily_pipes 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

Exactly.

Arguably NH racing is more dangerous than football or rugby (and probably winter climbing), but there's big bucks in those sports, even if participants end up using valuable NHS resources for knee surgery when their ACL snaps. Or they end up under a horse after a rotational fall. People like watching them on the tele, so that's fine. I guess they are essential workers. LOL.

Post edited at 01:18
 Excel991 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Emily_pipes:

How is it nonsensical when others are bringing up the same subject on other threads? The risk of COVID is low in winter climbing but the risk of getting injured and putting stress on the mountain rescue and the NHS are real.

There is evidence of this with the rescues that have occurred this season, or maybe you are ignorant of that fact and are just comparing things to Horse racing.

Post edited at 02:20
In reply to Excel991:

This thread is unsurprisingly spiralling off on tangents... regardless of what other sports are or aren’t doing its self evident that while winter climbing is not illegal defining it as essential exercise (mountain professionals staying in training excluded) is a stretch. Regardless of grade there is some element of risk and a tricky winter rescue can involve lots of people and resources at a time when everyone is being asked to reduce pressures on emergency services. As for staying local - council boundaries set the legal limit - but driving many tens of miles is again evidently against the guidance and its intention to try and limit potential for transmission between communities. All together it would seem sensible to keep mountain activities low key and as local as possible - at most maybe within ones local MRT area. 

In reply to LucaC:

Interesting content.

Compared to the first lockdown when the likes of Dave McCleod stayed away..we are now suggesting  Vlls as a suitable workout...

There's actually of a clip of him returning to the hill to climb on the Brenva face after the lockdown.

It doesn't feel like a lockdown and I think for alot of climbers like yourself it's not...

👍stay safe

Post edited at 10:24
 Michael Gordon 10 Feb 2021
In reply to Shaun mcmurrough:

>There's actually of a clip of him returning to the hill to climb on the Brenva face after the lockdown.>

Pretty sure it was just before the first lockdown last year. Unless he nipped up there in June

 Michael Gordon 10 Feb 2021
In reply to LucaC:

> There are plenty of safe mixed VIIs which are going to give much better runners than some of the classic snow-ice Vs. If you’re climbing at this sort of grade, doing a grade IV to keep UKC happy isn’t really going to give you much of a workout. 

Although it's pretty cold at the moment and you may be able to find a roadside cutting, generally winter climbing in the UK involves a fair bit of walking as well. Doing a grade IV on top of that is significant exercise by anyone's definition. The government aren't looking for you to do a huge training session, PBs, battle up hard pitches etc to keep fit.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

Well spotted..I remember watching but couldn't remember the timing.

I wrote the reply and then posted it...

He didn't climb during the first lockdown...

Post edited at 16:37
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I was going to say that. The most 'exercise' involved with winter climbing is on the walk in and out! The climbing bit itself is exercise as well but, as you say, taking things in the round, a decent walk to do a grade IV is going to be plenty of 'exercise' by most people's definition. In fact a decent walk with no winter climbing involved followed by some ice axe pull ups at home is also going to be plenty of 'exercise' by most people's definition. The climbing bit isn't really about people wanting to 'exercise', it's about people wanting to climb.

This is where winter climbing is again different to rock climbing. Most rock climbing venues which are feasible at this time of year have short walk ins, so people could say that the climbing bit is the main part of the 'exercise'.

 Offwidth 11 Feb 2021
In reply to Misha:

You seem locked into a narrative that is drifting a further distance from reality. Climbing winter routes is always a massive amount of exercise for me (much more so than trad rock climbing)...harder sections require much more effort per metre gained due to the nature of axe use and carrying more weight and even easier sections on the climb were usually around aerobic threshold as I never want to be hanging around on such terrain. Then there is digging out runner placements and belays. Walking in too fast in winter is the last thing I wanted as it left me unnecessarily sweaty and dehydrated... better to just get up a bit earlier. Id argue winter climbing is almost exercise addiction at times.

In reply to vscott:

Regarding travel and boundaries: on the NW news last night and a woman got fined for driving 6/7 miles within her area - police where sympathetic but insisted it was not a reasonable excuse. 

In reply to Offwidth:

I don't disagree that winter climbing is harder work overall but my point is that as a % of the overall 'exercise' required on the day, the climbing element is lower in winter climbing compared to rock climbing at this time of year.

Compare walking in and out of a relatively accessible crag like Sneachda and doing a moderate multi pitch routes there in reasonable conditions (whatever 'moderate' might be for so, so for me say a grade III or grade IV), versus walking in and out of Stanage Popular and doing a few moderate routes there (again whatever 'moderate' might be, so for me say VS or HVS). The winter route would require more effort compared to the Stanage routes. However even if you just walk in to Sneachda, go to the plateau up the Goat Track and come back, that's going to be pretty decent exercise for the day. Whereas if you walk in to Stanage, scramble to the top and come back, that's hardly going to be much exercise. We aren't talking about going to Cloggy here!

 Offwidth 12 Feb 2021
In reply to Misha:

Not for me, as I said, I amble in to winter climbs (and amble out if I finish on time) and am either pretty full-on on the climb or belaying. The only time I physically felt the same after a similar length day on Stanage is when climbing large numbers of routes in a day.  The exception on winter route approaches is when breaking trail in deeper snow, which can be very hard work.

 Excel991 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Further calls from mountain rescue to stay at home. Come on guys, have some respect for the teams and their families.

The people that are logging climbs on UKC in winter condition should be disgusted with themselves with their selfishness.

 JohnBson 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

> Further calls from mountain rescue to stay at home. Come on guys, have some respect for the teams and their families.

> The people that are logging climbs on UKC in winter condition should be disgusted with themselves with their selfishness.

Go swivel you boring twit. How many MRTers were climbing with ice axes on multiple days this last week? Plenty of doctors and other medical staff out too, hear they're particularly selfish, like bankers but worse. 

 Michael Gordon 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Nothing wrong with going to the hills - I'm amazed this has to be said! 

But I agree with you that those lucky enough to be able to get out should have some humanity and keep quiet about it.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> But I agree with you that those lucky enough to be able to get out should have some humanity and keep quiet about it.

If people are getting out legally and within the guidance, why should they keep quiet about it? Next we'll have people unlucky/daft enough to live in London telling those if us lucky/sensible enough to live in Scotland to keep quiet about our winter day trips in normal times.

Post edited at 09:32
 wercat 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

I think going out carefully and thoughtfully is far less risky than indulging in Eat Owt to Spread Owt was

keeps me fit and healthy and modest local trips keep the car fit for purpose

by the puritan tone here Eat Owt to Spread Owt should have been heavily condemned because lots of us couldn't take part

I take no advice from anyone who ate owt or had a holiday

Post edited at 10:41
 wercat 16 Feb 2021

In reply to Shaun mcmurrough:

bloody hell

 Excel991 16 Feb 2021
In reply to JohnBson:

Who says Twit these days....Ha!

In reply to wercat:

..shake the boredom 🤣🤣...any more?

 Michael Gordon 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> If people are getting out legally and within the guidance, why should they keep quiet about it?

Out of consideration for those less fortunate, obviously. Surely they can curb their narcissistic urges for just a few months?

In normal times there often isn't much in the way of winter conditions south of the border for much of the season, but at least there's the option of travelling north. Same with those living in the four largest cities in Scotland.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Out of consideration for those less fortunate, obviously. Surely they can curb their narcissistic urges for just a few months?

You could, as I said, say the same about the less fortunate living in London in normal times.

> In normal times there often isn't much in the way of winter conditions south of the border for much of the season, but at least there's the option of travelling north. 

Not for a day trip from London.

Where does this end? keep quiet about any trip that the less fortunate can't afford? Climbs for which the less fortunate don't have the talent? 

Yes, I'm envious seeing posts from those fortunate enough to live on Skye at the moment, but I wouldn't suggest they shouldn't post them.

 Michael Gordon 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

This is getting a bit silly. The current restrictions exclude the vast majority from winter climbing; in normal times this barrier doesn't exist. The pandemic is not something anyone really foresaw, so how it affects people in whether they can get to the hills or not comes down to luck. 

I know it must be difficult for some to not say "look at me!" the whole time. Being a bit less vain, if only for a while, could be good for their health...  

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> This is getting a bit silly. The current restrictions exclude the vast majority from winter climbing; in normal times this barrier doesn't exist.

But not everyone. I just think it is daft to tell people to stop sharing their stories and photos of legitimate climbing.

> I know it must be difficult for some to not say "look at me!" the whole time. Being a bit less vain, if only for a while, could be good for their health...  

I don't consider it by any means necessarily vain. I like reading other peoples' stories and seeing their photos. If it's a problem for you, just avoid doing so. Why deny others?

 Michael Gordon 16 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

It's not telling, just a request. As we all know, there's 'oh isn't that nice' for lots of things, but winter climbing does FOMO like nothing else!

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> It's not telling, just a request.

Maybe, but it seems a pretty unreasonable one to me.

In reply to Robert Durran:

> I just think it is daft to tell people to stop sharing their stories and photos of legitimate climbing.

It's more complicated than that though. Putting winter climbing photos etc on social media encourages other people to head out. It creates an impression that it's ok to go winter climbing. The people doing it may well be sufficiently competent and operating within the travel rules but by creating FOMO and a perception of "everybody else is doing it so why can't I" it encourages other people to head out. Some of these people will be accidents waiting to happen and/or breaking the travel rules. As I've said elsewhere, we all like to think that we aren't influenced by peer pressure but the reality is that we are.

A big reason why a lot of Scotland based winter climbers aren't heading out at the moment is likely to be that there is collective agreement within the climbing community not to do that (I know there are travel restrictions so that's a consideration as well but given that enforcement is presumably fairly patch I can't see that being the only thing to stop people). The more people head out, the more others will follow and gradually a trickle will become a flood. That may well be fine in about a month's time but for the time being the Covid / NHS situation is still fairly serious.

So if someone feels the need to head out, the least they can do it keep it under the radar - log it on UKC with last year's date (that can always be changed later) and keep the photos to themselves (they can always be put on Instashite later).

 French Erick 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Misha:

It’s all in the sea now anyways. But i urge all paddlers to not head out. This would clearly be irresponsible because:

1) My whitewater days are far away and I haven’t got the necessary skills to go paddling within a reasonable margin when the conditions are good.

2) My drysuit neck seal is buggered and thus it would be dangerous to head out.

3) My whitewater canoe gunnels are f*cked on my main paddling side and this could become a potential for injury and I wouldn’t want to burden the NHS.

I would also urge people to not post anything online because one way or another this will incentivise me to blinker one of the 3 reasons for not going stated above because the FOMO pull will be so hard that I won’t manage to overcome the pull.

Should I remind people that essential exercise is that which keep you healthy by raising your heart rate just enough to keep it ticking? So some internet smut would probably be enough.

This thread is the only one that iI have been following and it is the gift that keeps on giving. I am glad I added my 2p worth in this futile mind trench war. Clearly, NOBODY contributing has been swayed by the other side’s arguments. 

Watch out for wood lads, the rivers are going to be HIGH! I’ll trust you to make the RIGHT call, whatever that may be for yourselves.

I won’t be heading out but would love to see what is being done. It might motivate me to sort the 3 barriers I have for safe and reasonable paddling.

Edited due silly automatic changes of words

Post edited at 07:56
 Nathan Adam 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Excel991:

Wish people would just give up with all the sanctimonious rubbish and stop acting like they wouldn’t also be out winter climbing if they lived in FW or Aviemore. 

As far as the “stop rubbing our noses in it by logging routes and posting pictures” argument goes, maybe spend less time on the internet looking for things to be pissed off by. Anyone who is going to break rules to go winter climbing is going to do it regardless of the photo or log they seen on UKC/Facebook/Instagram.

Take a day off from caring about things that don’t affect you in any way shape or form. 

In reply to Nathan Adam:

I would even go as far as to actively encourage being public about what people are doing. In fact, in an ideal world, make it compulsory! If anyone is hesitant about being open about their activities then they should probably be seriously asking themselves whether they should be doing it in the first place.

 jezb1 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Nathan Adam:

> Wish people would just give up with all the sanctimonious rubbish and stop acting like they wouldn’t also be out winter climbing if they lived in FW or Aviemore. 

> As far as the “stop rubbing our noses in it by logging routes and posting pictures” argument goes, maybe spend less time on the internet looking for things to be pissed off by. Anyone who is going to break rules to go winter climbing is going to do it regardless of the photo or log they seen on UKC/Facebook/Instagram.

> Take a day off from caring about things that don’t affect you in any way shape or form. 

Have a like.

 Michael Gordon 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

> I would even go as far as to actively encourage being public about what people are doing. In fact, in an ideal world, make it compulsory! 

Thankfully your 'ideal world' remains theoretical.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Thankfully your 'ideal world' remains theoretical.

But I bet there would be a lot less climbing going on if it wasn't!

 Michael Gordon 17 Feb 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

I'm not sure. Generally it seems to be folk acting legally (winter climbing locally), so not much chance of repercussion. Of course, whether engaging in a fairly risky activity at the present time is sensible or not remains a matter of opinion.

In reply to Michael Gordon:

> I'm not sure. Generally it seems to be folk acting legally (winter climbing locally), so not much chance of repercussion. 

Naturally they are the ones being open about it and which you therefore know about!

 Michael Gordon 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Nathan Adam:

> Wish people would just give up with all the sanctimonious rubbish and stop acting like they wouldn’t also be out winter climbing if they lived in FW or Aviemore. >

Of course we will never have any real idea of the numbers either way, but it is rather disingenuous to suggest that everyone who lives in the highlands thinks it's a good idea and that it's only those who aren't legally able to do it that think otherwise.

 Nathan Adam 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I mean, I didn’t actually suggest that everyone in the highlands thinks it’s a good idea. I pointed out that the vast majority of people complaining are hundreds of miles away and it shouldn’t really concern them. It’s quite obvious that a lot of these complaints are through frustration rather than anything else. 

If there’s climbers in the highlands not climbing just now, fair play to them and that is their decision to make. But to think not going climbing somehow makes that person morally superior is just a bit silly. 

 Michael Gordon 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Nathan Adam:

> I mean, I didn’t actually suggest that everyone in the highlands thinks it’s a good idea. I pointed out that the vast majority of people complaining are hundreds of miles away and it shouldn’t really concern them. It’s quite obvious that a lot of these complaints are through frustration rather than anything else. > 

You may be correct that a lot of the complaints have been from Englanders, but to draw conclusions about motive based on this alone is a leap. For one thing, I would expect a high proportion of UKC users are from south of the border. Surely it's just as likely to be a genuine feeling about the sense in taking risks in the current situation, and if that point shouldn't be made on UKC then where?

I think you're the only one to have used the words 'morally superior'.

 rogerwebb 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Nathan Adam:

> If there’s climbers in the highlands not climbing just now, fair play to them and that is their decision to make. But to think not going climbing somehow makes that person morally superior is just a bit silly. 

I don't think many are feeling or claiming to be morally superior, just geographically challenged.

A quick dig into local area figures for covid  on the Scottish government website shows that Highland has not had a uniform distribution of infection. In January Inverness (and the inner Moray Firth generally) had an infection rate that was far far higher than where you live in Fort William (400+ per 100k as opposed to less than 3). The same applied to other climbing areas. As such, given that large numbers of people are asymptomatic and so don't know if they are carriers, it seemed a bit unreasonable to travel from a high risk area to a low risk one.

No moral superiority involved, just envy.  

That situation is changing as the rates drop. 

If you live with handy climbing go for it (perhaps not in the sense of go for that long runout...)

Post edited at 10:41
 wercat 19 Feb 2021
In reply to rogerwebb:

perhaps there is a little moral superiority provided by acting a little indecently - I think there is a real negative side to glorying/flaunting in doing something in full view of people who can't.  Bad form?

It is the activity that is worth pursuing, not the social media prestige from being seen to doing it.

 timparkin 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Misha:

> A big reason why a lot of Scotland based winter climbers aren't heading out at the moment is likely to be that there is collective agreement within the climbing community not to do that

Where are all these Scottish based winter climbers ignoring their local hills? I haven't seen many locally... 

 Euge 19 Feb 2021
In reply to timparkin:

> Where are all these Scottish based winter climbers ignoring their local hills? I haven't seen many locally... 

It depends what is defined by local.

I live in Angus, Glen Clova is in my council area and was probably in the best condition in years and years, so legally I can get there... although I don't think an 80 mile round trip is local so I haven't.

Euge 


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