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NEWS: COVID 19 - What Does it Mean for the Outdoors?

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 UKC/UKH News 17 Mar 2020
Does this count as avoiding unnecessary contact?

In light of yesterday's hardening of the Government position on Coronavirus, now seems a good time to ask - what's the situation regarding climbing and walking in the great outdoors? Unfortunately there are few definitive answers.

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In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Thanks Dan

as I’ve just posted on the forum, many petrol stations now enable you to pay via an app. One more way to reduce transmission:


 alan monks 17 Mar 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Well done to UKC for raising these incredibly pressing questions. Nat's article was very brave for tackling  it in the first place, particularly with the commercial pressures of the climbing community.  Levi's article really raised the stakes with a high level of scientific knowledge and expertise. And Dan's article on outdoor activity was very wise. The last point from the above summary "Unfortunately there are few definitive answers" really sums it up up.  In other words there are a lot of known unknowns and we need to plan accordingly. Plan for the worst case scenario!! 

Remember if you do not want to contribute to herd immunity don't act as a herd.  I walk every day with just the person I Iive with  because there are other people I love who may need me to help!   

(Even the concept of "herd immunity" is a known unknown... We do not know for how long after having the illness we are actually immune.... )

In reply to UKC/UKH News:

The Climbers Club huts are now closed.

A good call imo. 

 lithos 18 Mar 2020
In reply to Dan Arkle:

and FRCC huts

In reply to alan monks:

Thanks Alan. All the best to you and yours!

 septic 18 Mar 2020
In reply to lithos:

And SMC huts

 Matt Podd 19 Mar 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Just had 3 days walking in the Berwyns, and saw no one else at all. Nice

 drakshug 19 Mar 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Here in Ireland we are being encouraged to get out. However that has meant gridlock in some popular walking areas and large groups out walking. I go solo to less frequented hills by car. I pay by fuel card and I practice social distancing. 

As for non essential travel. I am in the process of cancelling my trip to Scotland in less than a month to do the WHW. A year of planning and training out the windae. Hopefully I will get my money back. Instead I will take 5 days out wild camping and wandering in the Wicklow mountains. Got to use up that dehydrated food  somehow. 

 Joerg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Message from Germany, thank you everybody for the very interesting article and the comments to it.

All huts in the Alps are closed until further notice. Travel to the Alps is virtually impossible, we Germans have to stay in our tiny section of the Alps.

The DAV (Deutscher Alpenverein) has cancelled all group activities untill further notice (outdoor and indoor)

Jörg (Climber and Emergency Physician)

 webding 20 Mar 2020

There are some who are taking a more optimistic view:


Michael Levitt, a Nobel prize winner for chemistry, points out that even on the Diamond Princess cruise ship which has a central air conditioning and heating system, and communal dining rooms, only 20% of people caught it.  His conclusion is that most people are naturally immune.

 Lemony 20 Mar 2020
In reply to webding:

> Michael Levitt, a Nobel prize winner for chemistry, 

It's important to remember that having a nobel prize in one thing makes you in no way qualified to talk about an entirely different thing, see also Linus Pauling.


All MAM huts closed also

 Smith42 20 Mar 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

I am fit and health and just got back to full strength after six month of treatment for elbow and wrist issues and am gutted to miss the Prime Time of the bouldering season.  (in joke that was a bogey problem i sent a few weeks back).

However, now is the time for collective social responsibility and not selfish irresponsible actions.

It makes me really sad (and angry) to hear of people justifying going bouldering because its low risk or for mental health reasons. 

We are all going through this.  It is really inconvenient.  Lots of good things are inconvenient.  Recycling on a wet rainy night is inconvenient.  Shall i not bother and let someone else pick up my slack?

Now is the time to do the right thing and give those less fortunate than ourselves a better chance of making it through this horrendous brief period.

 doctorgranite 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Smith42:

The Alpine Club/BMSAC George Starkey Hut is also closed along with foreseeable meets programme.

 Smith42 20 Mar 2020
In reply to drakshug:

Your in Ireland, iv not been following advice for there but its a different country and likely to have different approach.  Spain, Italy and China have been in total lock down at certain points but other countries are unaffected.

Just read something from Norwegian Mountaineering Association (?) where they believe the virus could live for weeks on hand holds.  Also its not just contact with affected people but avoiding moving through the same air space they have been in for at least 30 mins. 

How would you know?

We all have choices to make.  Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Post edited at 12:46
 Jon Read 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lemony:

Indeed, he doesn't seem to understand the nature of case ascertainment. Please ignore nearly everything he has said on this. 

Edited to appear more objective

Post edited at 13:15
 Lyndleme 20 Mar 2020

No more outdoors for now as we're all told to stay indoors. It's crazy!

 nizam 24 Mar 2020
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

I am disappointed that UKC is not keeping up to speed on this. Climbers (like me) are an anarchic bunch, who regularly flout the rules. But doctors (like me) and other health care professionals are trying to convey to the public that you need to stay at home. You may think that there is little harm in one or two of you heading to the Highlands, away from people and the risks of the virus. That's what generated Snowdon's busiest day last weekend. If you become ill (e.g. with coronavirus) is it fair that mountain rescue teams come to get you (because they will get called)? If you fall and end up in ITU, when we are taking over industrial complexes to create additional ITU space, is that fair? If your car breaks down on the way to the hill, are you going to leave it and walk away or call the breakdown people? Does the petrol attendant deserve to be exposed to your virus, which you may not know you have?

Mountain rescue teams, the Scottish Government, the National Parks Authorities are all crystal clear on this: NO MORE CLIMBING. STAY AT HOME.

UKC should have this as the first page you see.

If you want to keep fit do some press ups or better still carry some milk to the old people who can't go out.

 Andy Moles 24 Mar 2020
In reply to nizam:

> I am disappointed that UKC is not keeping up to speed on this.

That seems a bit hard on UKC. There's a pinned thread at the top of the forums that says 'don't go climbing', you can't open a crag or route page without seeing a header that says 'don't go climbing', and the main item on the home page is basically titled 'don't go climbing'.

 rogerwebb 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Moles:

I think you will find that Nizam has been rather busy over the last few days and will be until this crisis is over. I doubt he has had much time to follow UKC. He is right in the middle of the storm and will be doing his utmost for his patients. 

Give him a wee break. 

 Andy Moles 24 Mar 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

I'm not exactly laying into him, just pointing out that his suggestions are already being addressed, but apologies if it came across that way.

 rogerwebb 24 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Moles:

No worries. I was a bit tetchy too. Nizam is one of the good guys in this. 

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