Please see below the latest advice for climbers and walkers. It is hard staying local I can see the big hills and I am lucky having a beach and forest to enjoy on my doorstep. Many are not so lucky.
Every day I see Ben Wyvis shedding it’s snow and long for the mountains. It’s hard at times and of course Governments have to make huge decisions ( which I do not envy) no matter their politics. Yet with over 40000 dead in the UK we have to do what we can and what is advised. More have died in this virus than were killed in wars we were involved in since the Korean War. It’s so easy to criticise with hindsight. Folk have died alone a few have had the chance to attend funerals.
I speak every day to an old lady in her mid 80,s who is confined in her room in a Care home. She is not allowed visitors and her wee room is her lonely world. This is life for her and has been for over 3 months. It is a hard time for many and I feel for them. I know many involved in the front line all over the UK who work in the medical world doing what they can to keep us safe.
Many mountaineers are heeding the advice and staying local but sadly a few are not. Please think when you go out and be careful. Follow the guidelines and remember that there are many vulnerable folk really frightened by this virus. I saw that the Police fined a pair who called out the Mountain Rescue team from Killin who travelled from the Central Belt to the mountains. We must remember it’s the Police who have the responsibility for Rescue in the UK. I have had a few comments on this but as someone much wiser than me said it is a Police Matter. There are also a few that worry that this may effect Mountaineers as the usual call may arise to fine or bring in Insurance for the hills. This is not what this is about its about trying to ensure that the advice we are given for this unique period is taken seriously. I for one have always defended the right to go out on the mountains and against Insurance for the mountains and wild places in the UK. Everyone has their views.
I see many out in my local area on bikes like me. Families where few wear helmets and are so unaware of the danger of head injury especially if not wearing a helmet. Please be careful enjoy the fresh air but I know several folk who have been hurt on bikes. One of my pals is a now paraplegic after getting hit by a car many years ago.
I have been lucky I have good pals and family who keep in touch. I live on my own which I enjoy but miss company. I miss like many my Grandkids their cuddles and love and giving folk a hug. Yet I have nothing to complain about.
I have no clue what will happen in the World beyond Covid 19 how will the economy recover. Will we appreciate what folk in essential services have done and pay them properly. Or will it all be forgotten in the recovery?
Will some folk still try to avoid paying tax yet still want a Health Service and all the other benefits that are payed for by the tax payer? Will the big companies still avoid tax as they always try?
My local shops and folk have been superb there has been much good come out. I have good neighbours and a wee village that cares in many ways for the old and vulnerable.It’s been hard at times but we in my view still have to listen to what we are advised and behave accordingly. I have never been one to follow rules even after 37 years in the military yet we must be sensible and look after the vulnerable.
I watch like many what is happening in America just now. It’s tragic and a powder keg all race related . I have many friends over there and great memories. I have seen how some folk are treated and was appalled. I got involved in my tour of the USA in 2008 in many discussions on politics and could not believe the hatred of Obama and his politics by some. He was standing for President yet digging deep it was his colour not the politics that were a huge factor.
Yet there are so many great Americans who I met who were not like that. I was over again on my Cycle to Syracuse 30 th Anniversary in 2018 and was told about the problems then by many. I feel for them just now and wish a better world for all. Yet it will come at a cost.
These are strange times I have rambled a bit but my mind is racing. I just hope that in the future we learn from many of these hard times.
So please if going out have a thought for others. Have fun enjoy yourself but be careful and think how your actions may effect others.
Mountaineering Scotland has produced guidelines for walkers and climbers in Scotland for Phase 1 of the Scottish Government route map for easing lockdown restrictions, which came into effect on 29 May 2020.
The guidelines have been created in collaboration with the Mountain Safety Group which includes Scottish Mountain Rescue, Mountain Training Scotland, Glenmore Lodge, and the Association for Mountaineering Instructors, as well as through work with many other partner organisations.
The purpose of this guidance is to provide a framework for hill walkers and climbers within the current Scottish Government public health advice and phase of exit from lockdown, and to highlight additional considerations to be aware of in the presence of COVID-19 when taking part in these activities.
It must be stressed that an easing of lockdown at Phase 1 does not mean a return to normal,and we urge everyone heading out to enjoy the outdoors to be mindful of how their individual actions reflect on the whole outdoor community. The key will be for individuals to take a sensible approach to their activities, use your judgement to manage the risks, and to consider the social responsibility we all have to each other, to protecting our emergency services and to minimise the transmission of COVID -19.
Please read the guidance in full before planning your activities and remember to:
- Stay local: Limit your travel to around 5 miles for recreation and follow the current public health advice for Scotland to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
- Be prepared: Car parks, toilets and other facilities remain closed.
- Be safe: Plan ahead and stay well within your limits – whatever your activity – to avoid the need for rescue and emergency services.
- Be considerate: Think about how your actions might impact on others and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code at all times.
If you are thinking of hill walking or climbing in your local area, please take some time beforehand to read our guidance for Phase 1, plan your activity, make sure you are fully prepared and think about how you can keep yourself and other safe.
Please act with consideration for others, and keep hold of your litter to #TakItHame. It’s not difficult, just requires a bit of thought and common sense! Please share.
Stay Local – Be Prepared – Be Safe – Be Considerate
Scottish Mountain Rescue Glenmore Lodge Mountain Training Scotland Mountain Training Association of Mountaineering Instructors Sportscotland Walkhighlands
Firstly, thank you very much to @Mountain_Scot for bringing this statement together.
Hill walkers and climbers have been reassured that they should not be penalised if they have to call on the services of a mountain rescue team.