Winter Safety

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Michael Hobby, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Other members may be interested to see the following which
    is the text of a letter I have written to the Department of
    Education.

    I would welcome any comments you may wish to make, as long
    as they're not too rude!

    "On Saturday 13th March, whilst walking in Snowdonia, I
    noticed a large number of youngsters – predominantly girls –
    following the same mountain path as myself. There were, I
    believe, about twelve to fifteen teenagers with about three
    or four young adults “leading” them. The fact that I had
    seen them getting out of two mini buses adorned with the
    name of a school led me to believe they were a school party.
    Unfortunately I did not think to make a note of the name of
    the school but I believe it may have been somewhere in the
    Midlands – possibly Mansfield.

    The mountain weather conditions on Saturday could, at best,
    be described as “wintry” and were consistent with the
    forecasts. From about 1200 feet there were increasingly
    large patches of snow and ice and at 2000 feet I estimated
    that the wind was gusting at up to 30 mph. There were
    frequent showers of snow, sleet and hail.

    I became concerned when I noticed that no members of the
    party appeared to be adequately equipped for walking in such
    conditions and have to say that their clothing appeared only
    at best suitable for adverse summer conditions. Nobody
    appeared to be carrying ice axes – an essential item in
    winter – let alone trekking poles and some appeared not to
    have gloves. At one point four teenagers became separated –
    although not at that time dangerously so – from the main
    party whilst they were cavorting in the snow.

    Making light conversation with one of the adults, I was
    given to understand that they were intending to ascend
    Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, both of which are in excess of
    3000 feet. Although my intended route did not take me in the
    same direction I could see that conditions on the summits
    were worse with much more snow, presumably more ice and the
    added problem of cloud cover.

    I have, myself, taken many groups of young people into the
    hills and I would be that last person to want to discourage
    such groups from discovering the enjoyment of hill walking
    and mountaineering. However, in the light of some notable
    tragedies in the past involving young people and their
    “leaders” I believe, that as one who is experienced in this
    field, I have a responsibility; without being intrusive;
    towards ensuring that others act and conduct themselves with
    equal responsibility.

    As I mentioned earlier I was unable to identify the group
    but I am writing to you to bring these circumstances to
    light in the hope that, in doing so, this information can be
    passed on and, hopefully, another tragedy averted."
     
    Tags:


  2. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 19:23:03 -0000, "Michael Hobby"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    <[email protected]>:

    >I became concerned when I noticed that no members of the
    >party appeared to be adequately equipped for walking in
    >such conditions and have to say that their clothing
    >appeared only at best suitable for adverse summer
    >conditions.

    Agree wholeheartedly. There should be a big sign at each of
    the common start points for Snowdon warning that this is,
    for all its touristiness, a mountain on which people die.

    --
    Guy
    ===
    May contain traces of irony. Contents liable to settle after
    posting. http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk

    88% of helmet statistics are made up, 65% of them at
    Washington University
     
  3. Rifleman

    Rifleman Guest

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 19:23:03 -0000, "Michael Hobby"
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > <[email protected]>:
    >
    > >I became concerned when I noticed that no members of the
    > >party appeared
    to
    > >be adequately equipped for walking in such conditions and
    > >have to say
    that
    > >their clothing appeared only at best suitable for
    > >adverse summer
    conditions.
    >
    > Agree wholeheartedly. There should be a big sign at
    > each of the common start points for Snowdon warning
    > that this is, for all its touristiness, a mountain on
    > which people die.
    >

    Oh let them die. It's called Darwinism.
     
  4. On Mon, 15 Mar 2004, Rifleman wrote:

    > Oh let them die. It's called Darwinism.

    But think of the litter they'd make.

    --
    Chris
     
  5. I agree with everything you say. In fact you don't go far
    enough. There should be manned guard posts at all access
    points to the hills, where anybody wishing to venture
    further would be quizzed as to their knowledge and
    preparation for the prevailing (or potential) conditions. Of
    course, anybody attempting to take a party of children onto
    the hills would be immediately arrested and charged with
    attempted manslaughter.
     
  6. Marc

    Marc Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > Agree wholeheartedly. There should be a big sign at
    > each of the common start points for Snowdon warning
    > that this is, for all its touristiness, a mountain on
    > which people die.
    >
    " It's OK! it's "other people" that die!"
     
  7. C L Imber

    C L Imber Guest

    On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 19:23:03 -0000, "Michael Hobby"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Other members may be interested to see the following which
    >is the text of a letter I have written to the Department of
    >Education.
    >
    >I would welcome any comments you may wish to make, as long
    >as they're not too rude!

    Conditions weren't that bad on Saturday. There was little
    snow on Tryfan, although cloud cover could have been an
    issue. An adult - pupil ratio of 1:3 or 1:4 seems more than
    adequate so long as they were suitably qualified to lead a
    party in winter conditions.

    I frequently set off on an assent without wearing gloves, so
    I don't see that as necessarily an issue so long as they had
    some in their packs.

    Tragedies involving school parties in the mountains are
    blissfully rare, although that's no excuse for being
    complacent. It is far more important that children are
    allowed to take part in healthy activities than wrapped up
    in cotton wool, and if that means that 5 children per decade
    lose their lives on school trips, so be it. They are still a
    great many times more likely to be killed by cars than
    mountains. Indeed, a shopping trip in the High Street is far
    more dangerous that a hike along High Street.
     
  8. Paul Rooney

    Paul Rooney Guest

  9. In message <[email protected]>,
    Simon Caldwell <[email protected]> writes
    >I agree with everything you say. In fact you don't go far
    >enough. There should be manned guard posts at all access
    >points to the hills, where anybody wishing to venture
    >further would be quizzed as to their knowledge and
    >preparation for the prevailing (or potential) conditions.
    >Of course, anybody attempting to take a party of children
    >onto the hills would be immediately arrested and charged
    >with attempted manslaughter.
    >
    Why not just send them to Guantanemo Bay.

    --
    Martin Richardson
    227/284 Munros - 20% to go
    228/34 'Furths' & 439/439 Nuttalls - 0% to go
    229/89 Donalds - 64% to go
    230/1552 Marilyns - 73% to go /? Himalayans - 100% to go
     
  10. Fran

    Fran Guest

    [email protected] said...
    > Other members may be interested to see the following which
    > is the text of a letter I have written to the Department
    > of Education.
    >
    > I would welcome any comments you may wish to make, as long
    > as they're not too rude!
    >
    > "On Saturday 13th March, whilst walking in Snowdonia, I
    > noticed a large number of youngsters – predominantly girls
    > – following the same mountain path as myself.

    The gender of the party is only relevant for identification
    of the school or club. Don't forget they could have been
    borrowing the minibuses and may not have had anything to do
    with the school whose name appeared on the side.

    > The mountain weather conditions on Saturday could, at
    > best, be described as “wintry” and were consistent with
    > the forecasts.

    The forecasts are a relevant point.

    > I became concerned when I noticed that no members of the
    > party appeared to be adequately equipped for walking in
    > such conditions and have to say that

    But were they carrying anything? Clothing can be carried in
    bags, don't forget. And I distinctly remember one particular
    urw expedition whereat although we had very cold and windy
    blizzard-like conditions at the top of our chosen hill I
    nonetheless walked up the first bit of it in a short-sleeved
    T-shirt because despite the snow I was hot.

    > Making light conversation with one of the adults, I was
    > given to understand that they were intending to ascend
    > Glyder Fach and Glyder Fawr, both of which are in excess
    > of 3000 feet. Although my intended route did not take me
    > in the same direction I could see that conditions on the
    > summits were worse with much more snow, presumably more
    > ice and the added problem of cloud cover.

    Out of interest, did you find out whether any of them had
    done that route before?

    > As I mentioned earlier I was unable to identify the group
    > but I am writing to you to bring these circumstances to
    > light in the hope that, in doing so, this information can
    > be passed on and, hopefully, another tragedy averted."

    Passed on to whom?
    --
    Fran If you need my email address please ask.
     
  11. In message <[email protected]>,
    Fran <[email protected]> writes
    >But were they carrying anything? Clothing can be carried in
    >bags, don't forget. And I distinctly remember one
    >particular urw expedition whereat although we had very cold
    >and windy blizzard-like conditions at the top of our chosen
    >hill I nonetheless walked up the first bit of it in a short-
    >sleeved T-shirt because despite the snow I was hot.
    I was walking across Derry Cairngorm and Bheinn Mhanach on
    Tuesday last week on deep snow and ice wearing a T-shirt -
    and almost suffering from heatstroke. I wished I had taken
    shorts and a sunhat with me. My bag was full of silly things
    like furry hats, gloves, waterproofs and a scarf.

    Mind you on Thursday I could barely stand up in the wind on
    Carn Dearg.

    But then, look, only 20% to go and I'll no longer need to
    put up with these silly weather extremes. Hurrah!

    --
    Martin Richardson
    227/284 Munros - 20% to go 34/34 'Furths' & 439/439 Nuttalls
    - 0% to go
    228/89 Donalds - 64% to go 0/? Himalayans - 100% to go
    229/1552 Marilyns - 73% to go
     
  12. Fran

    Fran Guest

    [email protected] said...
    > I agree with everything you say. In fact you don't go far
    > enough. There should be manned guard posts at all access
    > points to the hills, where anybody wishing to venture
    > further would be quizzed as to their knowledge and
    > preparation for the prevailing (or potential) conditions.

    Oh, absolutely. And GOMLs should be rewarded for their
    stance against irresposible use of hills and wide open
    spaces.

    > Of course, anybody attempting to take a party of children
    > onto the hills would be immediately arrested and charged
    > with attempted manslaughter.

    Oh I say, that's coming it a bit too strong, dontcher know,
    what? Attempted manslaughter? Surely anyone endangering the
    lifes of the next generation of hooligans should be awarded
    a medal for their efforts.
    --
    Fran If you need my email address please ask.
     
  13. Nick Kew

    Nick Kew Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Fran <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > Surely anyone endangering the lifes of the next
    > generation of hooligans should be awarded a medal
    > for their efforts.

    Is there something you need to tell us?

    --
    Nick Kew
     
  14. Chris Street

    Chris Street Guest

    On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 19:59:16 -0000, "Rifleman" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >"Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]>
    >wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 19:23:03 -0000, "Michael Hobby"
    >> <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >> <[email protected]>:
    >>
    >> >I became concerned when I noticed that no members of the
    >> >party appeared
    >to
    >> >be adequately equipped for walking in such conditions
    >> >and have to say
    >that
    >> >their clothing appeared only at best suitable for
    >> >adverse summer
    >conditions.
    >>
    >> Agree wholeheartedly. There should be a big sign at
    >> each of the common start points for Snowdon warning
    >> that this is, for all its touristiness, a mountain on
    >> which people die.
    >>
    >
    >
    >Oh let them die. It's called Darwinism.

    Darwinism on the part of the teachers is one thing, but
    leading minors to their deaths is another. There's accidents
    that can happen to anyone on a nice day and there is leading
    people into dangerous situations. If the conditions were as
    the OP says I'd have told the leaders they appeared to be
    heading into deep sh*t both legally and morally.

    >

    --
    79.84% of all statistics are made up on the spot. The other
    42% are made up later on. In Warwick - looking at flat
    fields and that includes the castle.
     
  15. Fran

    Fran Guest

    [email protected] said...
    > In article
    > <[email protected]>, Fran
    > <[email protected]> writes:
    > >
    > > Surely anyone endangering the lifes of the next
    > > generation of hooligans should be awarded a medal
    > > for their efforts.
    >
    > Is there something you need to tell us?

    <G>
    --
    Fran If you need my email address please ask.
     
  16. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

    On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 23:22:36 +0000, Martin Richardson wrote:

    >I was walking across Derry Cairngorm and Bheinn Mhanach on
    >Tuesday last week on deep snow and ice wearing a T-shirt -
    >and almost suffering from heatstroke. I wished I had taken
    >shorts and a sunhat with me. My bag was full of silly
    >things like furry hats, gloves, waterproofs and a scarf.

    Derry Cairngorm *and* Bheinn Mhanach on the same day. That's
    one hell of a walk!
    --
    Phil Cook looking north over the park to the
    "Westminster Gasworks"
     
  17. Rifleman

    Rifleman Guest

  18. Ferlas Mor

    Ferlas Mor Guest

    "Michael Hobby" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > The mountain weather conditions on Saturday could, at
    > best, be described
    as
    > "wintry" and were consistent with the forecasts. From
    > about 1200 feet
    there
    > were increasingly large patches of snow and ice and at
    > 2000 feet I
    estimated
    > that the wind was gusting at up to 30 mph. There were
    > frequent showers of snow, sleet and hail.
    >
    > Making light conversation with one of the adults, I was
    > given to
    understand
    > that they were intending to ascend Glyder Fach and Glyder
    > Fawr, both of which are in excess of 3000 feet. Although
    > my intended route did not take
    me
    > in the same direction I could see that conditions on the
    > summits were
    worse
    > with much more snow, presumably more ice and the added
    > problem of cloud cover.

    A report in the Western Mail of the rescue, the same day, of
    2 apparently ill equipped walkers one of whom fell whilst
    descending from Bwlch Coch on Crib y Ddysgl can be read at
    http://tinyurl.com/3cg92 It would appear to confirm your
    opinion of the weather conditions Mike.

    I quote an extract:- "Chris Lloyd, Ogwen Valley Mountain
    Rescue Organisation member and spokesman, said

    ""These were some of the worst weather conditions we've seen
    this winter.

    I've no idea why they were up there - nobody else stopped to
    help them because there was nobody else up there as they had
    all heeded the weather warnings.""

    The team also criticised the pair's lack of preparation,
    saying they were not even properly equipped for a summer
    walk - the injured man was wearing light summer boots
    and his friend wore trainers, while neither had a torch
    or a whistle."

    One can but wonder.

    Gwyn
     
  19. In message <[email protected]>,
    Phil Cook <[email protected]> writes
    >On Mon, 15 Mar 2004 23:22:36 +0000, Martin Richardson
    >wrote:
    >
    >>I was walking across Derry Cairngorm and Bheinn Mhanach on
    >>Tuesday last week on deep snow and ice wearing a T-shirt -
    >>and almost suffering from heatstroke. I wished I had taken
    >>shorts and a sunhat with me. My bag was full of silly
    >>things like furry hats, gloves, waterproofs and a scarf.
    >
    >Derry Cairngorm *and* Bheinn Mhanach on the same day.
    >That's one hell of a walk!

    Sorry I meant Mheadhoin - it was late when I wrote that.

    --
    Martin Richardson
    227/284 Munros - 20% to go 34/34 'Furths' & 439/439 Nuttalls
    - 0% to go
    228/89 Donalds - 64% to go 0/? Himalayans - 100% to go
    229/1552 Marilyns - 73% to go
     
  20. C L Imber

    C L Imber Guest

    On Tue, 16 Mar 2004 08:32:48 -0000, "Ferlas Mor"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >A report in the Western Mail of the rescue, the same day,
    >of 2 apparently ill equipped walkers one of whom fell
    >whilst descending from Bwlch Coch on Crib y Ddysgl can be
    >read at http://tinyurl.com/3cg92 It would appear to confirm
    >your opinion of the weather conditions Mike.

    For weather details see
    http://www.fhc.co.uk/weather/archive/.
     
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