Hill walking stupidity

Fair comment.

I think a lot of people neglect to take into account the wind chill factor too.
Yes, even people who do a lot of walking and who you thought knew better, don't consider possibilities of a sudden change in temperature or heavy rain. They will moan about the cold but will seldom do anything about it and don't know how to improvise. Better to freeze or suffer than look a twat or carry a few ounces extra. When it comes to staying alive, nobody cares what you look like as long as you are not another statistic. Wickable base layers are great but failing that it makes sense to carry a light weight base layer or top to change in to. It may get a few glances, given that there is rarely any shelter atop a mountain for example, but certainly makes a difference. In any case, all it takes is a sprained ankle or having to linger for a while in an exposed location to lose heat very fast through damp clothing and wind chill.
 
As I said in my first post on this topic, if you can afford lots of snazzy walking kit, or the courses / training described n your post, then you can afford a 40quid insurance card. You insure your life, car, house, mountain bike I presume? And why shouldn't you pay for the services of SAR, if Mrs Scoggins and her youth club have to?

There's no way we'll get to a position where we have a system that says 'Mr X, you have "training, experience and qualifications" so you don't have to pay anything, but Ms Y, you don't, so you have to pay'. It's as irrational and daft as the system we have at the moment, where any f***ing idiot can go out onto the hills and because of their lack of training / equipment / common sense, play fast & loose with the lives of SAR crews, MRT teams etc with no consequence at all.
:plotting:

Im on a rescue team myself, have insurance through 3 different ngb's already and am unlikely to need a helicopter compared with some chavs going up snowdon in thr dark using an iphone as a torch (it happened).

I donate and have friends in a few different MRT's who i train with on days off, lend gear etc. i already do my bit.

If sombody tries to charge me 40 quid to walk up a hill i am going to ignore them as i expect most other people will.

If people cant understand that they should take a map or at least a compass and will walk up a mountain with a chavy tracksuit and trainers, what makes you so confident that they will buy a 40 pound insurance card before they do so?

As usual it will fall to the people who are members of NGB's (who would collect the money as part of annual subs) and donations. The idiots will pay nothing.
 

Sarastro

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
To give the other side of the story, I was out for an evening run up Sale Fell (between Keswick and Cockermouth) with the dog.

Very misty, and near the top found a chap with very expensive kit, Osprey rucsac, Rab jacket, OS Map in huge plastic case, GPS you could cross the Gobi desert with.

"Is this the summit?"

To be fair there's a few lumps on the top, so I took him to the right one. He took the opportunity during the short walk to berate me for being up there in the 'death zone' in running kit, before asking me how to get down.

I was tempted to point in the wrong direction and give him a cheery wave befire running off into the mist, but resisted.
See, this is why I'm slightly skeptical about the UK approach to hill walking. It does massively tend towards catastrophisation of what are, in essence, mostly pretty unthreatening environments. But the UK institutional approach, as with most things vaguely adventurous, is to treat a 300m mild incline bracketed by a town and an A-road, somewhere like Malvern hills, as day 4 of an Everest ascent.

Some (not all) UK hills, mostly in Wales and northern Scotland, have three problematic elements: the weather turns quickly and can get wet/cold enough for exposure after a few hours; it gets very misty; and they tend to lack cover on the hill with few to no refuges that you would find in the Alps or US. I'll add in that areas of northern Scotland and western Wales are remote, too, but that's specific to therm. That said, depending on the place and time of year, those three elements can mostly be defeated with two simple bits of technology: a raincoat of some kind, and going downhill. You might get a bit cold and wet and be technically 'lost', but in real navigation terms, it is generally pretty easy to find your way back to some kind of helpline, be it a town, house or road. There is no particular reason for UK hills to be any more fatal than anywhere else.

In comparison, while I've spent many days on UK hills, I've also spent many abroad. In what I'd call serious mountain areas, you get much more severe dangers. Proper existential remoteness where it will take days or weeks to get out on foot (northern US, Canada, Lapland, etc); dangerous animals (North America, Africa, Asia); massive fuckoff inclines that are impossible to move on with an injury or without kit (Alps; North America; Himalayas; etc); flash flooding (Asia, Middle East); disease (Asia); ground that can quickly break even prepared climbers or walkers (any rock/scree mountains like in the Middle East); serious and constant temperature exposure, hot or cold (Middle East; Asia); technical climbs (even lower Alps or Himalayas); and of course - altitude sickness.

Still, in many of those places, you get old ladies who live at 2000m and walk up there several times a week on foot with their shopping (Alps), kids who daily do several thousand meters incline and nights out to herd the goats (Himalayas, Middle East) and generally people exist on them with no kit and no rescue services. In contrast, the UK simply isn't a massively threatening environment. The hills are small, the ground is pretty good, the weather is unpredictable but not extreme (and yes, I've been in gale force winds and rain in Wales and Scotland, nothing that isn't manageable by hunkering down in heather or a sheep pen), and it's rare that you are really far away from 'civilisation'.

Doubtless there are idiots who still manage to get themselves into trouble, but there are people who manage to kill themselves plugging in a lamp. Personally I'm with @smartascarrots and reckon we should just leave them to it and let Darwin take over. But I also think there is a relationship between how the 'experienced hillwalker' crowd tend to treat UK hills (as some kind of high threat environment needing serious training and equipment) and the amount of numpties. Plenty of places in the world treat much more serious mountain environments as everyday places to live, don't get excited about kit or training, and get along just fine. Day walkers in the Alps do twice the distance and three times the height of the biggest UK hills, at 60+, with just a couple of ski poles.

Like Arkanstigger, it is perfectly acceptable to go for a run or dog walk up Pen y Fan or wherever, if you know the route, area and your stuff. The sniffy 'experienced hillwalker' approach that requires alpine gear of anyone venturing above 50m isn't helpful. There are plenty of UK hills where I'm content I could get 'lost' at night in 10m visibility and howling weather and still extract without major problems. Equally, there are places where I would not do that, because I don't know them. It's just common sense - that should be the baseline for how we treat hills. We'd quickly find that it sorted itself out as the people who didn't meet the baseline had such bad experiences that they either eliminate themselves from the pool or never go back.
 
See, this is why I'm slightly skeptical about the UK approach to hill walking. It does massively tend towards catastrophisation of what are, in essence, mostly pretty unthreatening environments. But the UK institutional approach, as with most things vaguely adventurous, is to treat a 300m mild incline bracketed by a town and an A-road, somewhere like Malvern hills, as day 4 of an Everest ascent.

Some (not all) UK hills, mostly in Wales and northern Scotland, have three problematic elements: the weather turns quickly and can get wet/cold enough for exposure after a few hours; it gets very misty; and they tend to lack cover on the hill with few to no refuges that you would find in the Alps or US. I'll add in that areas of northern Scotland and western Wales are remote, too, but that's specific to therm. That said, depending on the place and time of year, those three elements can mostly be defeated with two simple bits of technology: a raincoat of some kind, and going downhill. You might get a bit cold and wet and be technically 'lost', but in real navigation terms, it is generally pretty easy to find your way back to some kind of helpline, be it a town, house or road. There is no particular reason for UK hills to be any more fatal than anywhere else.

In comparison, while I've spent many days on UK hills, I've also spent many abroad. In what I'd call serious mountain areas, you get much more severe dangers. Proper existential remoteness where it will take days or weeks to get out on foot (northern US, Canada, Lapland, etc); dangerous animals (North America, Africa, Asia); massive fuckoff inclines that are impossible to move on with an injury or without kit (Alps; North America; Himalayas; etc); flash flooding (Asia, Middle East); disease (Asia); ground that can quickly break even prepared climbers or walkers (any rock/scree mountains like in the Middle East); serious and constant temperature exposure, hot or cold (Middle East; Asia); technical climbs (even lower Alps or Himalayas); and of course - altitude sickness.

Still, in many of those places, you get old ladies who live at 2000m and walk up there several times a week on foot with their shopping (Alps), kids who daily do several thousand meters incline and nights out to herd the goats (Himalayas, Middle East) and generally people exist on them with no kit and no rescue services. In contrast, the UK simply isn't a massively threatening environment. The hills are small, the ground is pretty good, the weather is unpredictable but not extreme (and yes, I've been in gale force winds and rain in Wales and Scotland, nothing that isn't manageable by hunkering down in heather or a sheep pen), and it's rare that you are really far away from 'civilisation'.

Doubtless there are idiots who still manage to get themselves into trouble, but there are people who manage to kill themselves plugging in a lamp. Personally I'm with @smartascarrots and reckon we should just leave them to it and let Darwin take over. But I also think there is a relationship between how the 'experienced hillwalker' crowd tend to treat UK hills (as some kind of high threat environment needing serious training and equipment) and the amount of numpties. Plenty of places in the world treat much more serious mountain environments as everyday places to live, don't get excited about kit or training, and get along just fine. Day walkers in the Alps do twice the distance and three times the height of the biggest UK hills, at 60+, with just a couple of ski poles.

Like Arkanstigger, it is perfectly acceptable to go for a run or dog walk up Pen y Fan or wherever, if you know the route, area and your stuff. The sniffy 'experienced hillwalker' approach that requires alpine gear of anyone venturing above 50m isn't helpful. There are plenty of UK hills where I'm content I could get 'lost' at night in 10m visibility and howling weather and still extract without major problems. Equally, there are places where I would not do that, because I don't know them. It's just common sense - that should be the baseline for how we treat hills. We'd quickly find that it sorted itself out as the people who didn't meet the baseline had such bad experiences that they either eliminate themselves from the pool or never go back.
The fact that our hills are so unthreatening is what makes them dangerous. People underestimate (just a quick run up to the top, i dont need a jacket) and become complacent which leads to cascafing mistakes / hole in swiss cheese lining up.

Some acomplished international climbers have been killed on uk hills.
 
Hey those trips to Tesco are an epic journey......I won't go to Walmart in November/December with less than a weeks worth of rations, a riot shotgun, and 1500 in cash. It's to dangerous to do anything less....
It sounds like you are wife hunting. Is Walmart a good place to meet women?
Remember:

DO dress smartly
DO be nice to everyone - smile, help people
DO put quality items in your basket/trolley

DON'T stare at her tits whilst getting a packet of doughnuts*

*This advice originally appear in the UK in Mayfair, and referred to Custard Creams. I have no idea if they exist over there.
 
The fact that our hills are so unthreatening is what makes them dangerous. People underestimate (just a quick run up to the top, i dont need a jacket) and become complacent which leads to cascafing mistakes / hole in swiss cheese lining up.

Some acomplished international climbers have been killed on uk hills.
There's an extremely informative presentation given by MREW or the MCof S, I forget which; it states that Ben Nevis kills more people over a given 10 year period than the Matterhorn.

There are parallels here to the "should we have armed police" or "should ID cards be mandatory" arguments; there is nothing at all about the UK that makes us 'special', regardless of how much we think we are.

If it works for other nations, why not here?
 
It sounds life you are wife hunting. Is Walmart a good place to meet women?
Remember:

DO dress smartly
DO be nice to everyone - smile, help people
DO put quality items in your basket/trolley

DON'T stare at her tits whilst getting a packet of doughnuts*

*This advice originally appear in the UK in Mayfair, and referred to Custard Creams. I have no idea if they exist over there.

I have been married/enslaved for almost a decade now... however, I would rather stare at the fit birds at my gym instead of going to Walmart to look for a fuck buddy....my wife would also agree with that sentiment as well. Walmart is a necessary evil like work, and just like a quickie. I get in, get what I want, and get the hell out.
 
The fact that our hills are so unthreatening is what makes them dangerous. People underestimate (just a quick run up to the top, i dont need a jacket) and become complacent which leads to cascafing mistakes / hole in swiss cheese lining up.

Some acomplished international climbers have been killed on uk hills.
I've just got back in from a 10 mile hike from my place over the fells to my mother's. I carried no more than map & compass, an extra layer, some water & snack stuff.
The important part to me is what I had on my feet, which is walking boots with proper ankle support, as I know there's some reet gnarly bits on the path. Knackering an ankle is a quick way to end up in deep shit, even when no more than a mile or so from the neared road.
If the weather forecast had been less certain, I'd have packed waterproofs
 
As I said in my first post on this topic, if you can afford lots of snazzy walking kit, or the courses / training described n your post, then you can afford a 40quid insurance card. You insure your life, car, house, mountain bike I presume? And why shouldn't you pay for the services of SAR, if Mrs Scoggins and her youth club have to?

There's no way we'll get to a position where we have a system that says 'Mr X, you have "training, experience and qualifications" so you don't have to pay anything, but Ms Y, you don't, so you have to pay'. It's as irrational and daft as the system we have at the moment, where any f***ing idiot can go out onto the hills and because of their lack of training / equipment / common sense, play fast & loose with the lives of SAR crews, MRT teams etc with no consequence at all.
The irony is that the insurance company would probably provide you with a "How NOT to to get in the $h!t" guide for free. My brother climbed Ben Nevis a few months ago as part of some organised event, and I think insurance was covered by that. I think he had a GPS tracker too. He runs ultra marathons and has done quite a few ultra type events.

I will see him this evening and will try to remember to ask.

The other thing about insurance is that it makes people think about possible things that might go wrong, and the ways of managing those risks. As a society we seem to be losing our ability to identify risks, or to deal with them sensibly.

My own experience of mountains (as opposed to Moors) is limited to climbing up one of the Snowdonia mountains as CLM.
 
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There's an extremely informative presentation given by MREW or the MCof S, I forget which; it states that Ben Nevis kills more people over a given 10 year period than the Matterhorn.

There are parallels here to the "should we have armed police" or "should ID cards be mandatory" arguments; there is nothing at all about the UK that makes us 'special', regardless of how much we think we are.

If it works for other nations, why not here?
our ability to make simple things into complicated, tangled messes is pretty special
 

Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
See, this is why I'm slightly skeptical about the UK approach to hill walking. It does massively tend towards catastrophisation of what are, in essence, mostly pretty unthreatening environments. But the UK institutional approach, as with most things vaguely adventurous, is to treat a 300m mild incline bracketed by a town and an A-road, somewhere like Malvern hills, as day 4 of an Everest ascent.

Some (not all) UK hills, mostly in Wales and northern Scotland, have three problematic elements: the weather turns quickly and can get wet/cold enough for exposure after a few hours; it gets very misty; and they tend to lack cover on the hill with few to no refuges that you would find in the Alps or US. I'll add in that areas of northern Scotland and western Wales are remote, too, but that's specific to therm. That said, depending on the place and time of year, those three elements can mostly be defeated with two simple bits of technology: a raincoat of some kind, and going downhill. You might get a bit cold and wet and be technically 'lost', but in real navigation terms, it is generally pretty easy to find your way back to some kind of helpline, be it a town, house or road. There is no particular reason for UK hills to be any more fatal than anywhere else.

In comparison, while I've spent many days on UK hills, I've also spent many abroad. In what I'd call serious mountain areas, you get much more severe dangers. Proper existential remoteness where it will take days or weeks to get out on foot (northern US, Canada, Lapland, etc); dangerous animals (North America, Africa, Asia); massive fuckoff inclines that are impossible to move on with an injury or without kit (Alps; North America; Himalayas; etc); flash flooding (Asia, Middle East); disease (Asia); ground that can quickly break even prepared climbers or walkers (any rock/scree mountains like in the Middle East); serious and constant temperature exposure, hot or cold (Middle East; Asia); technical climbs (even lower Alps or Himalayas); and of course - altitude sickness.

Still, in many of those places, you get old ladies who live at 2000m and walk up there several times a week on foot with their shopping (Alps), kids who daily do several thousand meters incline and nights out to herd the goats (Himalayas, Middle East) and generally people exist on them with no kit and no rescue services. In contrast, the UK simply isn't a massively threatening environment. The hills are small, the ground is pretty good, the weather is unpredictable but not extreme (and yes, I've been in gale force winds and rain in Wales and Scotland, nothing that isn't manageable by hunkering down in heather or a sheep pen), and it's rare that you are really far away from 'civilisation'.

Doubtless there are idiots who still manage to get themselves into trouble, but there are people who manage to kill themselves plugging in a lamp. Personally I'm with @smartascarrots and reckon we should just leave them to it and let Darwin take over. But I also think there is a relationship between how the 'experienced hillwalker' crowd tend to treat UK hills (as some kind of high threat environment needing serious training and equipment) and the amount of numpties. Plenty of places in the world treat much more serious mountain environments as everyday places to live, don't get excited about kit or training, and get along just fine. Day walkers in the Alps do twice the distance and three times the height of the biggest UK hills, at 60+, with just a couple of ski poles.

Like Arkanstigger, it is perfectly acceptable to go for a run or dog walk up Pen y Fan or wherever, if you know the route, area and your stuff. The sniffy 'experienced hillwalker' approach that requires alpine gear of anyone venturing above 50m isn't helpful. There are plenty of UK hills where I'm content I could get 'lost' at night in 10m visibility and howling weather and still extract without major problems. Equally, there are places where I would not do that, because I don't know them. It's just common sense - that should be the baseline for how we treat hills. We'd quickly find that it sorted itself out as the people who didn't meet the baseline had such bad experiences that they either eliminate themselves from the pool or never go back.

You should watch the film Edie with Sheila Hancock, they present Suilven as a 3 day trek, needed a row across a loch to access with two nights camping!

Whereas reality has it a 7 hour 12.5miler.
Suilven (Walkhighlands)
 
You should watch the film Edie with Sheila Hancock, they present Suilven as a 3 day trek, needed a row across a loch to access with two nights camping!

Whereas reality has it a 7 hour 12.5miler.
Suilven (Walkhighlands)
Well, to be fair, Ms Hancock is well into her eighties. That gives her added slow person points.
 
Well as promised I did ask my brother. He says although he was he was taking part in an organised race, his jaunt to the top of Ben Nevis was not. However he is fit and healthy and experienced in mountainous conditions.
 
Late on a winter afternoon on the Cairngorm plateau we were coming off in fairly average weather viz snowing horizontally. We came across what turned out to be a Sandhurst Officer Cadet in full combat clothing. He was going to meet his pal to "do some tops". He had no idea where he was and was distinctly uncooperative when we suggested that he come down to the car park with us. We were in civilian climbing gear but production of my Army ID reduced him to frantic saluting and "Yessirring"

Sure enough his buddy was sensibly sitting in the Cafe drinking coffee.
 
My own experience of mountains (as opposed to Moors) is limited
You are deprived.

Get thee to the Alps, next summer: even if you don't do anything strenuous, there's shedloads of places to go, things to do etcetera, and the scenery is simply jaw dropping (to judge by the reaction of my three sons, as we crested the last foothill on their first drive to the French ones) :)
 
although he was he was taking part in an organised race, his jaunt to the top of Ben Nevis was not
Forgive me, but you're slightly ambiguous:
was his jaunt not part of the organised event, or simply not covered by the organiser's insurance, and therefore undertaken at own risk?
 
The other loons we are starting to see around these parts now are the “ ultra runners”( sic).
I happened to call in shap in the summer on a weekend when one. Of those
Ultra/ iron man/ bollox weekends was being run.
It was a case history in narcasistic/ look at me OCD ponces.
The point being I’ve frequently seen them heading off into the hills in nothing more than running kit and a water hump, because they are invincible of course.

I take it that you will not be watching this then

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/spine-race-2018.268299/

Doing the Challenger in 2019 - was rather hoping that I may raising some money for Combat Stress and BELSMA

Mind you at 66, I will not be doing much running

High on the Hill
 
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