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Best winter ever coming up?

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Think about it:

Second Covid wave. Travel restrictions, especially in Scotland. Club huts closed. Private accommodation all booked up or else gone bust.

Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!

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 SamSimpson 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

I dont want to think about it. 😱

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 smithaldo 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

Isn't it about time for the daily express 'worst winter ever with months of below freezing temps coming our way' headlines.

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In reply to smithaldo:

Usually within the next fortnight, mid to end of Sept. 

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 galpinos 10 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Think about it:

> Second Covid wave. Travel restrictions, especially in Scotland. Club huts closed. Private accommodation all booked up or else gone bust.

> Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!

Don't you dare! I've sold my van.......

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In reply to smithaldo:

I imagine they're currently trying to induce panic about the upcoming good weather - give 'em a week or 2

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In reply to Misha:

Of course it will be, don't forget the superb weather at the start of lockdown. Perfect Ben ice days followed by perfect Ben rock day's. 

You know it is coming, deep breath, tough it out.

If you are one of the lucky ones who has accrued significant lockdown savings through not doing anything, you can always book hotels. 

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 jonny taylor 10 Sep 2020
In reply to smithaldo:

> Isn't it about time for the daily express 'worst winter ever with months of below freezing temps coming our way' headlines.

I think it was the Express reporter that asked Nicola Sturgeon yesterday what she was going to do about "not having enough gritters because of covid", or something along those lines. So they're clearly gearing up to press go on their annual headline.

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In reply to smithaldo:

> Isn't it about time for the daily express 'worst winter ever with months of below freezing temps coming our way' headlines.

Only using degrees Celsius for seasonally cold weather, sorry, "DEEP FREEZE FROM SIBERIA" then reverting back to their preferred degrees Fahrenheit for a nice summers day / "94° SUMMER SCORCHER". 

Normally followed by stating it's colder / hotter than Norway / Ibiza for a highly selective time period.

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In reply to Presley Whippet:

Accommodation is not the main issue, there will be something out there and I’ve got a van with a heater anyway. I think travel restrictions and potentially (un)official curbs on ‘risky’ activities will be the real problems. 

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In reply to Misha:

The signs are certainly encouraging: I made a winter ascent of Kinder Downfall, last weekend.

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 The Grist 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

That is a good point. I had blindly assumed the huts would be open by then. They clearly will not be. Fortunately you have a van. You need to start a booking process to use it and get used to sharing it! 

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 galpinos 11 Sep 2020
In reply to The Grist:

I doubt he'll let disease ridden Mancunians in in though........ We'll be locked down all winter at this rate!

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In reply to Misha:

I expect problems will arise with using the North face car park and other popular spots. 

Might be worth join FW golf club. 🤔

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 d508934 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

i'm trying to see if it is possible to plan a scotland trip this winter for 4 of us (all seperate households, all south of the border if that matters!). i think it could be possible if we effectively break it down into two trips of two people each - seperate accomodation (different rooms at same place). that way we are within 2 houshold limit, but could climb adjacent routes, have dinner on adjacent tables in the pub etc

car share i'm not sure about yet, may need to be in two cars. advice doesn't seem to state specifically that 2 HH limit applies but probably it does and i just haven't found it yet.

anyone else thinking about scotland winter trips also? obviously not going to be pushing grades, just some easy bimbles and only if we can be compliant with government regs.  

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 BuzyG 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

Just thought you would cheer all us southerners up ahy.

I'm sure many, like myself, had been planning to get up to Scotland for the end of last winter season, all cancelled as COVID hit. Not looking any more likely this season.  Lets just hope the Brecon Beacons are snow bound this winter.

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 d508934 11 Sep 2020
In reply to BuzyG:

so why do you not think possible this coming season? under regulations coming in from monday i do think two people can travel/stay/climb together (i think two households requirement is the limiting factor). 

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 BuzyG 11 Sep 2020
In reply to d508934:

The plan was for my son to come over from NZ and for us both to climb.  I could go on my own, but it's not quite the same.  I am also not comfortable with staying in accommodation at present, what ever the rules say.  COVID has killed more than enough people my age already.  My wife works in a Nursing home, which effects my view on this.

The Brecon Beacons I can simply drive there and back from Cornwall, for day trips, when the web cam and forecast show good walking climbing conditions are likely. Requires far less pre planning and no need for any accommodation.  Bring on the snow.

Post edited at 12:26
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 DaveHK 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

You can't expect winter climbers to stick to restrictions if ephemeral routes are in, that's above and beyond the call of duty. I'm sure Nicola would understand me breaking the rules to tick Snoopy or such like.

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In reply to DaveHK:

As long as its "specific and limited", it's all right, isn't it...?

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 rogerwebb 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

> Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!

Worry not, 

I think you may be describing March/April this year so Sod's law has already been applied.

This coming season will simply be excellent albeit with 80s style boulder dossing. 

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In reply to galpinos:

Well apparently Brummies are even more disease ridden...

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In reply to DaveHK:

The OP is of course tongue in cheek, as is your comment, but I think there are serious points there. There are likely to be some forms of restriction imposed in some parts of the country over the coming months. It might be on and off, though I suspect more on than off. A full lockdown is possible but I think not likely for various reasons.

The climbing community by and large respected the original lockdown restrictions. Will that happen again? I'm sure many people will respect any new restrictions but many won't (I'm talking specifically about restrictions on climbing and being able to travel to get to the crags). 

As an example, from Tuesday people in Birmingham, Solihull and Sandwell (but not the rest of the Black Country - yet) will not be allowed to socialise with other households. Haven't seen the regs yet, so not sure what 'socialise' means but I imagine it would include outdoor sport. Also not sure if that means we shouldn't 'socialise' with people from outside the area but I imagine it does (most of my climbing partners are from other parts of the country). So that would mean the only forms of climbing for me would be bouldering, shunting or soloing.

The reality is that I'm working from home and, although the office is opening one day a week from next week, I've said I won't be going in for the foreseeable future. My only contact with other people in Birmingham will be at the wall and at supermarket and those risks can be managed to a low level. So realistically it's unlikely (thought not impossible) that I'd get Covid locally. Therefore I'm going to continue climbing with other people (if they're happy to do that) - it's only a handful of people in total and I only climb with one or two at the same time, so my climbing / social bubble is pretty small. I would probably be breaking the rules but I'm ok with that as I think the Covid risk is low given it's a small 'bubble' and particularly where both I and my partner are working from home.

Besides, climbing is essential for my mental health. We're going into the autumn and winter months and, like many, I will need the psychological benefits which climbing provides - more so than during the lockdown. I'm perfectly happy to give up on general 'socialising' (I don't do much of that anyway) but I won't give up on climbing. I think many people will be in the same boat.

There is also a sense that people's sacrifices in the lockdown have been wasted through government incompetence and some people not adhering to the rules (I know that sounds hypocritical given I've just said I'm happy to break the new restrictions but what I mean is people having raves and things like that). So now I'm less inclined to follow the rules to the letter. I'm very happy to wear a face mask in a shop, not go to pubs or restaurants, not go to the office and generally avoid people except when climbing. But I won't give up climbing - not this time.

This is my current view on the matter. If Covid gets really bad, I may well reconsider but, for the time being, I'm going to continue making the most of opportunities to climb both indoors and out.

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In reply to BuzyG:

Well, on the plus side not being able to do trips up North saved on a load of driving - CO2, time, money... I was in the Alps when the (French) lockdown happened and was planning to do some big North Faces - Droites, Eiger, that kind of stuff. The weather and avalanche conditions were good and the climbing conditions were ok - a very rare combination these days. Ah well... there's always the year after next. Hopefully by this time next year a safe and effective vaccine will be widely available so that life could go back to more or less normal. We shall see... (Or Boris's 10m a day rapid spit tests - ha!) 

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In reply to Misha:

Edit - the announcement has been updated to say that the household restrictions which will come into force next Tuesday will not affect the hospitality sector. F*cking ridiculous! I get that pubs etc are meant to have measures in place to reduce the risk of spread between different groups but when people are sat at the same table there is no mitigation whatsoever. Just goes to show, forget the pub and go climbing instead...

I would spend as much if not more on fuel and coffees for a day / weekend trip as I would if were to have a pub meal and a pint - so do climbing trips count as supporting the economy? Higher tax take at any rate, given the level of fuel duty...

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 Dave Ferguson 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Presley Whippet:

knew I'ld get you joining a golf club eventually!

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 girlymonkey 11 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

I haven't gone searching for English restrictions, but in Scotland the 2 household limit does not apply to exercise or organised sport. 4 other households for exercise and even more for organised sport. Might be something similar for you guys

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-phase-3-staying-safe-and-protecting-others/pages/sports-culture-and-leisure-activities/

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In reply to girlymonkey:

Sensible. Although I wonder about risk of transmission in contact sports like football and martial arts. Not the contact itself but the heavy breathing.

The rule of six isn’t an issue for climbing anyway (well it might be at Stanage Popular or on the Malham Catwalk!). The bigger issue is the new Birmingham rules about no contact with non household people (apart from at the pub, which is apparently ok!!!). It’s not yet clear I’d there will be an outdoor sport exemption. 

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 Devonr28 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

If we're lucky, the border will be closed and us Scots can have it all to ourselves.

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In reply to Devonr28:

Could always build a wall , apparently the foundations were put in around AD 122 so should still be solid enough

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 Michael Gordon 12 Sep 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> in Scotland the 2 household limit does not apply to exercise or organised sport. 4 other households for exercise > 

Great! Thanks for this; they've never once mentioned this on the radio or TV. There was me thinking I'd have to start breaking the rules again...

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 d508934 12 Sep 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I’m assuming the 2 household limit will apply to accommodation though - so more than two people and you can’t for instance stay in a self catering place that would normally accommodate say 4 people. Instead you’d need two such places. Anyone know if that’s correct?

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 Michael Gordon 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

Obviously if you can meet another household at the pub, you'll be able to meet them to go climbing (as long as you don't travel out with the area if not permitted).

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 DaveHK 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Obviously if you can meet another household at the pub, you'll be able to meet them to go climbing 

I'm not sure that is obvious!

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 wintertree 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

It is the tail end of a deep solar minimum...

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 Michael Gordon 12 Sep 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

Why? Being able to meet up socially indoors but not outdoors makes no sense whatsoever.

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 Michael Gordon 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

> when people are sat at the same table there is no mitigation whatsoever. > 

Depends how big the table is

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 DaveHK 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Why? Being able to meet up socially indoors but not outdoors makes no sense whatsoever.

I hope you're right but not all the restrictions have made sense in that way and it's not simply a case of activity A is allowed so activity B must be too. 

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 girlymonkey 12 Sep 2020
In reply to d508934:

> I’m assuming the 2 household limit will apply to accommodation though - so more than two people and you can’t for instance stay in a self catering place that would normally accommodate say 4 people. Instead you’d need two such places. Anyone know if that’s correct?

I would also presume this, not seen anything either way

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In reply to Misha:

There appear to be four levels of restrictions in England alone:

1. General restrictions that apply to every household in England;

2. The additional restrictions that apply to Greater Manchester (except Wigan) and other areas where you cannot socialise in another persons house or garden and only in pubs and restaurants in household (or bubble) groups unless outside.

3. Additional measures in Oldham and perhaps other areas where you cannot socialise with anyone outside your household group (or bubble) so that extends to sport, walks in the park and beer gardens etc.

4. Even more additional measures in Bolton, not 100% sure what these are.

It is not clear to me if Birmingham will be in 2 or 3.

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In reply to Devonr28:

You may get your wish - but it would probably come with internal travel restrictions. Nicola has been stricter for longer in that regard compared to Boris and it will probably happen again. It sort of worked for a while with hardly any cases but the Covid genie is out of the bottle again now. Whether that’s due to Scottish people going on overseas holidays or people coming over from Englandshire or an upsurge of latent ‘local’ cases, who knows - probably all of the above. 

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In reply to Michael Gordon:

> Obviously if you can meet another household at the pub, you'll be able to meet them to go climbing (as long as you don't travel out with the area if not permitted).

Not seen the rules yet but I suspect this is not the case. Pubs are driving the economy apparently so that’s ok. 
 

There are no travel restrictions in the UK as far as I know, apart from Carephilly. Yet. 

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In reply to Misha:

>  Sod’s law says there will be the best ever winter climbing and skiing conditions!

Local farmers etc reporting here that swallows are leaving at least a month early. Probably cooler weather and lack of flies will send them away, as swallows like crows can't necessarily predict the future.

DC

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In reply to The New NickB:

Brum (plus Sandwell and Solihull) is different again it seems. No ‘socialising’ with non household / support bubble, except in hospitality venues. Not yet clear wait ‘socialising’ means.

Bolton is pubs closed at 10pm I tho k and take away only in restaurants. This is actually sensible.

Arguably they should shut the pubs and extend furlough for them but would that drive people to socialise more at home, which might be worse?

One thing is clear, it’s chaotic and there is no strategy. We need to have several levels of restrictions which would be imposed locally as required but the restrictions at each level would be the same everywhere (E, W and S or at least E; NI should align with RoI). But... politics. Boris has recognised that it’s confusing and introduced the rule of six but the issue is that the next level of restrictions is already required in various places and that’s where the confusion lies. The powers that be are one step behind, as they have been all year. We are f*cked! Again. 

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In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Or they’re fleeing avian flu. 

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 Michael Gordon 12 Sep 2020
In reply to Misha:

> There are no travel restrictions in the UK as far as I know, apart from Carephilly. Yet. 

I find that surprising. When Aberdeen had a local lockdown you weren't meant to travel to the city or residents to travel out of it, except for work in both cases.

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