Author Topic: BMC says no more climbing or hillwalking until the Covid-19 crisis is over  (Read 495 times)

Offline David Rose

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I know there's a thread on whether we should go caving, but this just out from the BMC needs its own post, I think.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/climbing-and-hill-walking-its-time-to-put-it-on-hold


Offline Topimo

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And yet the British Hang and Paragliding Association say carry on... Posted to their Facebook page just now. They are out of date with their statement of the BMC's stance.

Embarrassed to be a member of this organisation in light of this.

Quote

BHPA statement - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

As I wrote in our statement published just 5 days ago on 18 March 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents us with a fast-moving situation.

I am therefore issuing this update on our previous advice. This should be regarded as being in addition to the previous advice and not in substitution of it.

Unusually, I would comment that the contents of this statement were agreed by a small majority of the BHPA Executive Council. There was a significant minority in favour of recommending a complete ban on flying, rightly pointing out that travel to any flying site would constitute ‘unnecessary travel’ in contravention of the government guidelines.

The recommendations of the Government's medical advisors, and those of the Welsh and Scottish Governments, remain that people should stay fit and get out and about whilst maintaining social distancing.

Who could ever have expected that, in the face of government advice to avoid unnecessary travel, over the last weekend Snowdonia would experience its busiest day ever! Many other areas such as the Lake District and seaside resorts were also extremely busy.

As a result, the National Trust, who have previously closed its indoor properties and allowed free access to its parks, has now closed all access to its parks and gardens. Many of its car parks are also closed.

Whilst all the British airsports associations recognise the possible poor public perception of us being seen to have fun flying and possibly having accidents, only British Skydiving ( formerly the British Parachute Association ) has recommended a cessation of activities. The latter is hardly surprising given the 'minibus' nature of many of their jump aircraft and the difficulties of maintaining 2 metres separation from a tandem student.

The CAA has not given any advice in relation to General Aviation.

The British Mountaineering Council highlights Government advice but does not recommend staying off the mountains or hills. British Cycling has cancelled organised events but advocates individual cycling; the British Horse Society has, overnight, reversed its recommendation that centres should close.

At this stage, there is little evidence that the medical services are so overwhelmed that a single unnecessary accident would be untreatable. However, it is clear that many of the Mountain Rescue groups, upon whom we often rely, are not equipped with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to deal with a Coronavirus-infected casualty and so their advice is to stay off the hills and mountains.

The problem for the BHPA in issuing a single statement of advice is that we cover such a wide range of sports and locations. These range from paraglider pilots gathering en masse on extremely busy hill sites, to individual or very small groups of paraglider pilots flying on remote coastal hillsides, to tow groups where the pilots lands back at take-off, and on to powered pilots flying from airstrips or private fields over remote and deserted areas such as moorlands and beaches. There are also a significant number of pilots, mostly powered paraglider pilots, who are not BHPA members and who may choose not to follow any BHPA recommendations ad who are statistically more likely to have serious accidents.

Decisions are therefore best made by individual pilots who know their personal circumstances, or, if it involves access to sites under a local agreement, clubs.

We would generally recommend that:

• Pilots should only fly when they are fit and well.

• Pilots should maintain social distancing whilst on the ground.

• Pilots may consider that attempting to fly in places where significant numbers of members of the public have gathered is not sensible.

• Pilots may consider that gathering together in large numbers on particular sites may be detrimental to the sport generally, simply due to our visibility.

• Pilots should bear in mind that flying where the local Mountain Rescue team would have to turn out in the event of an accident, it is likely to attract seriously adverse publicity generated by that Mountain Rescue team.

At this stage, the BHPA is not issuing a general recommendation not to fly to all pilots who fall within our remit. We would recommend that pilots bear in mind the above issues when deciding to fly or not. We would also ask pilots to bear in mind that the issues that affect their group of pilots, for instance hill launched HG Pilots, may have a much lesser effect on another group of pilots, such as tow launched parascending pilots.

We anticipate that it may well be necessary to further update this advice in the future.

Marc Asquith, BHPA Chairman

23 March 2020.

Offline Topimo

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Read the responses here:

https://www.facebook.com/BHPApage/posts/2846486095433295?comment_id=2846554785426426

Poor leadership in our little sphere (half / a third the size of caving in the UK).

Offline Alex

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Don't worry Topimo, I doubt they will be flying after half 8 unless they jump off their roof into their garden. Much the same as I won't be caving unless I start digging my own in the garden.
Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)

Online mikem

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It would have been drafted before the changes of the last 24 hours - I'm glad to hear we're all perfect though  ;)

Offline Topimo

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It would have been drafted before the changes of the last 24 hours - I'm glad to hear we're all perfect though  ;)


24 hours is a long time at the moment.

 

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