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Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

London, United...
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Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

Very interesting idea and one that should hopefully help prevent injuries and death. So far this year there have been 8 deaths and there were 20 last year.

On the northwest news a couple of days ago a mountain rescue team member explained about the latest casualty they had to deal with and how many man hours it took. All by volunteers...

https:/…

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Liverpool, United...
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1. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

Excerpt from the link.

"A man’s body was found in Latrigg, a popular fell in the Lakes, in mid-April, shortly after a woman was found dead on Rossett Pike at Great Langdale earlier in the month."

Latrigg is probably the safest fell in the Lakes. It's actually wheelchair-accessible.

Dallas, Texas
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2. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

Put in some snow making machines!!

CUMBRIA
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3. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

The one thing we notice I when walking is the ignorance of many. For sure an accident can easy happen but at least have the correct clothing and foot ware, let someone know where you are walking and at what time you may be back ( if possible ). Take a map, a drink some energy and a plan! If the weather turns - then you should do the same! For a simple sprained ankle to happen, this could take a unit of The Mountain Rescue, a helicopter and much more behind the scene efforts. I feel grading the mountains is a fantastic idea, although this is often found and graded in some simple walking books

Champlon, Belgium
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4. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

You don't need to actually go walking to notice the general ignorance of the risks. You just need to read through TA forums to appreciate the general ignorance of the risks involved in any sort of mountain walking - and the gang ho attitude of some when appraised of those risks. People seem to think that they are going for a simple stroll and seem to be totally unable to comprehend that mountains kill. It is impossible to totally eliminate risk, I lost an experienced and properly equipped friend on Snowdon, but knowledge and proper equipment - and the ability to turn back when conditions worsen - will greatly reduce the odds against you.

I am not really certain that grading mountains will help much, after all we must all know people who have skied black runs that were really beyond their capabilities just because they were black. Much greater publicity about the number of deaths might just help, though, unfortunately, if often gets swept under the carpet because it might harm tourism and the income that brings.

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5. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

I think guidance at the main starting points on how long the climb and return will take would be the most useful bit of info together with a chart of sunset times.

As for the Latrigg death, people are always going to have medical emergencies (sometimes fatal) when exercising.

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

They say they believe the system would cut rescue incidents by 150 a year. I hope they are right. But trying to relate it to the number of deaths from all causes tells you nothing. How many of these deaths were nothing to do with the difficulty of the walk? Probably most of them.

My fear would be that a system like this will not discourage the people it needs to discourage, because they won't be aware of it any more than they are aware of all the reasons they are ignoring already. And there's a distinct possibility it will actually make difficult routes more attractive, not less. I think I've done most of the potential black routes in the Lakes. If there's any on the list I don't know, I'll be there at the first opportunity.

London, United...
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7. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

I think the two issues from the Mountain Rescue side are fell walkers:

1. Who haven't prepared properly.

2. Who are over-confident.

Health issues could always happen and if you follow the reports that the various teams write up it's quite apparent that there is a mix of experienced and inexperienced fell walkers that have accidents.

Judging by what the interviewee was saying it's 'wasted' man-hours taken up by incidents that could probably have been avoided with the right care that is the biggest issue. Frequently involving large teams running into double figures. And he emphasised that they are volunteers with families. And in some cases it makes it difficult for them to cover additional incidents. People becoming cragfast seems to be a common occurrence, particularly when inclement weather sets in.

If it makes people more aware that can only be a good thing. And whilst it's good to think people might go on TA for further info the fact is that the vast majority of the public don't use TA.

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8. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

Surely you this cause more issues not reduce them? It will breed complacency when people are walking supposedly lower grade mountains.

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9. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

Certainly an interesting idea, and if it helps, then that's great, but I'm afraid I share the general scepticism of some other posters here. The big problem is people setting off up on the fells without the proper kit or any sense of what they're getting into, and it's hard to see that simply grading the routes will change that.

I note that the article says specific routes will be graded, rather than fells as a whole. That is of course necessary: there is a big difference between going up Blencathra via the very well made path from the Blencathra Centre and going up it via Sharp Edge. But I wonder if those sort of distinctions will be lost the sort of person who sets off going up Scafell Pike wearing flip flops.

Anyway, I'm prepared to keep an open mind. If it turns out that it does help improve mountain safety, then I'm all for it.

London, United...
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10. Re: Lake District Mountains to be graded like ski runs

" But I wonder if those sort of distinctions will be lost the sort of person who sets off going up Scafell Pike wearing flip flops."

I think they're hoping to make it clearer to people like that. It's amazing how many people are ill-prepared. But they tend to go on popular walks like Scafell Pike. Catbells is another example. But the general public also need to be aware that even walks like Catbells have steep sections and a scramble. I've seen people come unstuck because of basic fitness as well as totally unsuitable footwear. Last summer it was a fairly portly man who was with his young son - both wearing Crocs. Although his son was ok he was totally out of breath before the scramble).

I don't think the MR teams are annoyed about rescuing people who dress appropriately, have all the right equipment and understand how quickly the weather can change - it's the other idiots, usually making on-the-spot decisions to go fell-walking, having issues, and then taking up the time of large rescue teams. 😐

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