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Thread: Bad planning and the BG Circus

  1. #21

    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Firstly, thanks for the constructive replies on this debate. Although some feel that my tone is too prescriptive and offensive, it was not my intention to upset anyone and I apologise for that, Stef F, ydt and paulo in particular. I did not intend to question anyoneís integrity in particular, only to use the attempt as an example of how I think BGs should not be organised to ensure the safety of all on the fell. The urgent request for help set up 2 weeks prior to the attempt generated responses from many strangers (be them potential new friends!!) and this made me feel really uncomfortable. As I understand it, there were mitigating circumstances behind the urgency of a quick re-attempt, but I still feel that as a result of the swiftness of organisation, perhaps safety concerns were put behind BG success. I only mentioned my credentials as a way of demonstrating my experience to post comment, not as a way to seek back-handed jibes as a perceived know-it-all. At the same time, please leave Rick out of it!!

    As for timing, like others have said, I have felt that this issue has needed to be raised for quite some time, and following the events of the weekend, I decided to go for it. I think the recentness of the incident and the timing of the post is a good thing. The event is fresh in peopleís mind, right in the middle of BG season, right at a time when a lot of aspirant BGers will probably be reading the BG part of the forum for tips and advice etc. I only want to invoke more thought and encourage debate on my general points around safety, i.e. the downfalls of having large groups (often virtual strangers) go out on the fells on an attempt and the merits of all people involved on the fell in an attempt to be competent navigators.

    IanDarkpeak and Mr1470 also raise valid points regards clothing and equipment carried and I totally agree. Itís another good example of the required preparedness on a BG to minimise the potential of accident. Of course, accidents happen know matter how prepared we are but like Mr1470 says, with increasing BG popularity, perhaps more guidance is required.

    I hope the debate can continue in a constructive manner and, once again, I apologise for an offense caused.

  2. #22
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Quote Originally Posted by arcman100 View Post
    Firstly, thanks for the constructive replies on this debate. Although some feel that my tone is too prescriptive and offensive, it was not my intention to upset anyone and I apologise for that, Stef F, ydt and paulo in particular. I did not intend to question anyone’s integrity in particular, only to use the attempt as an example of how I think BGs should not be organised to ensure the safety of all on the fell. The urgent request for help set up 2 weeks prior to the attempt generated responses from many strangers (be them potential new friends!!) and this made me feel really uncomfortable. As I understand it, there were mitigating circumstances behind the urgency of a quick re-attempt, but I still feel that as a result of the swiftness of organisation, perhaps safety concerns were put behind BG success. I only mentioned my credentials as a way of demonstrating my experience to post comment, not as a way to seek back-handed jibes as a perceived know-it-all. At the same time, please leave Rick out of it!!

    As for timing, like others have said, I have felt that this issue has needed to be raised for quite some time, and following the events of the weekend, I decided to go for it. I think the recentness of the incident and the timing of the post is a good thing. The event is fresh in people’s mind, right in the middle of BG season, right at a time when a lot of aspirant BGers will probably be reading the BG part of the forum for tips and advice etc. I only want to invoke more thought and encourage debate on my general points around safety, i.e. the downfalls of having large groups (often virtual strangers) go out on the fells on an attempt and the merits of all people involved on the fell in an attempt to be competent navigators.

    IanDarkpeak and Mr1470 also raise valid points regards clothing and equipment carried and I totally agree. It’s another good example of the required preparedness on a BG to minimise the potential of accident. Of course, accidents happen know matter how prepared we are but like Mr1470 says, with increasing BG popularity, perhaps more guidance is required.

    I hope the debate can continue in a constructive manner and, once again, I apologise for an offense caused.
    Fair comment.

  3. #23
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Quote Originally Posted by arcman100 View Post
    Firstly, thanks for the constructive replies on this debate.

    I hope the debate can continue in a constructive manner and, once again, I apologise for an offense caused.
    A positive reply well done Arcman

    A thought that came to me during the night was that how ever prepared the attemptee is (and most usually are) they can hardly be expected to check kit of thier supporters, I think this is an issue which should be put in to the "notes" of the attemptees plan and circulted to all the team. It's no use Planning every thing in fine detail to let a side issue put people at risk.

  4. #24
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    I'm glad you apologised to Stef and hope you understand the offence caused in your OP. I feel I was a bit over-aggressive in tone and should apologise for that and move on

    The BGR ceased to be an elite province some decades ago (unless essaying a tilt at messrs Bland and Hartell) and has become a tough challenge for good and moderate fell runners to aspire to. A huge culture of support, sociability and shared knowledge has grown around it, not least on here, and taken on a life of it's own and I don't think anyone can turn the clock back on that (or should wish to). I see no evidence of the sort of mass negligence and ill considered sorties you seem to suggest to be prevalent, just a little intermittent human error as is inevitable in all human activity. The vast majority of those involved, be they good or poor runners, are very experienced in fell craft (not much correlation between running genes and navigation skills and good judgement AFAICT) and there is a cohort of genuine BGR experts who regularly turn out to help others. If recruiting strangers for support a further important skill is the ability to judge their suitability - a vital skill in many areas of work and play.

    If you want to find evidence of mass wilful negligence in fell running look in the bumbags of the elite end of most fell races and you will routinely find people with totally inadequate kit who would be utterly dependent on instant help from others if they broke their ankle up high - maybe worth devoting your energies to campaigning on that.

    Surely the "real" BGR is now at least as much about being heavily and seamlessly supported round by the DPFR machine or whatever as it is about solo, unsupported, hopping stark naked etc - I think with all due respect you need to acknowledge that reality, live with it and let individual runners and the BG club worry about the rest

    Regards, Paul

  5. #25
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Arcman100
    Firstly I give you some credit for posting and highlighting certain things yesterday. I would like to point out a few things with regard to your post that I thought damaged the name of certain people and that should be addressed.
    Okay you have come on and apologised but maybe a bit more thought could have gone into the first post.
    You state that the navigator was responsible and I think we all know who the navigator was in this instance. Okay I will say it. Yiannis was the navigator.
    I dont honestly believe it was his job to maintain that the group stay together. His job was to guide Stef down the parachute descent and get her down and finish the leg. He did that. It is unfair to put extra pressure on him for people that either didnt know the route or couldnt keep up. And as for you describing the descent as awful, cmon get real, its a grassy descent, steep yes but not that hard.
    Was he supposed to do a check list at the moot hall asking people their knowledge of the mountains, what they have done before, whats their fell running background. These people give their time for free good god. I just hope that you have not put Yiannis off navigating other people down that route.
    I was lucky enough for him to show me the parachute route earlier in the year when he was pacing a round. So I feel that I am qualified to post. As someone who had never done that descent before I took it on myself to ASK him if I could go UP the route first. He kindly showed me the route. I take that as him opening up a route and showing it to others to which I give him credit.
    I wanted to see it first hand and my actual thoughts was to see if we PENNINE could use the route to help some NON ELITES get round the BG.
    After he showed me I still think that Doddick is better but the Parachute for the right person who can descend is spot on.
    So to be fair I think you owe more than a posted apoligy to somone who has lets be fair NAVIGATED probably more people around the BG route than anyone I know.

    Now I will also add a scenario that happened on that BG on the parachute descent that I feel is how it should happen. I was due to pace Leg 3 with IDP. But as an extra I said I would hang back at the top of the parachute descent and be the go between Yiannis, the contender and the pacers, allow him to get the contender down and generally act as look out.
    Now unfortunatley we had a faller as well, near the top, it was a fair weather night and the faller was with someone. I asked the faller and other person, both are on the forum, if they was okay. There reply was we will hobble down. So as it was going dark ( Bear in mind I didnt know if Yiannis and the contender knew that we then had a faller, so would they be able to inform the road crew ???. Who knows.
    I then started running down the parachute descent after Yiannis and contender not even thinking of them as I knew Yiannis was doing his job.
    When I got to the road I informed people that we had Dave I think down but making his way off the fellside. The alarm was raised, the contender carried on, Yiannis finished his job.
    I then said to a few people that if they had not made their way off in 20mins I would go back UP as 8 hrs earlier I had done the UP for that very reason.
    Luckily the two hobbled down and that was that. But within 20 mins I was going to head back up no matter what.

    What I am trying to say is that the only way we can educate people in the ways of the Bob Graham round is to post how we experienced people think it should be done. Lets post things like I have then maybe aspiring people will think hang on lets just way up the 100 scenarios that can happen on the BG
    Maybe Arcman you should have come on and asked someone like Yiannis what he thought before posting. The thread could have been titled how can we learn.
    lets not change the BG, its fine, lets just give people the information to help them. YDT and lots of others have given hundreds of hours devotion to help others get round.
    I wont say anymore

    Thanks
    Daz H, 3 years thinking about it, 2 years hob knobbing around it, 1 year doing it with marvin, 3 years helping other, now having a break from it.
    Last edited by daz h; 01-06-2011 at 03:45 PM.

  6. #26
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Keyboard warrior

    I challenge you sir to stand up show yourself and take the said parties who you have knowingly accused on here for a pint, to discuss this.


    Thanks
    Steve Taylor leg two supported 17 times leg 4 six times, Leg 3 once tried it did not complete it, will never have the chance again.
    Going to try again....

  7. #27
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    It all does make me wonder a bit. Not wanting to go on about this particular incident, there does seem to be a trend for bigger groups these days.

    I was out on Saturday navving leg 1 for a friend. We had a pacer with us who was an excellent runner but a leg 1 novice, and it was just the three of us. The contender knew the lines probably better than I did, so there was redundancy in the group (we needed this - I battered my foot in a windy blast on the top of Skiddaw and called it a day at the Skiddaw House track because I wasn't going to be able to keep up). Owen and Matt were able to continue fine on their own.

    But with many more than three people on the hill, I think most of them must just be getting in the way really. A serious BG attempt is no place for people to be tagging along to learn the route or whatever - if they can't keep up, nav/pacer and contender have to drop them to keep the attempt on track, then you've got people potentially without the necessary fell craft out on the hills at night...

    The best way to learn the route IMHO is to recce in good conditions and daylight first, then introduce poor visibility and darkness. Ideally everyone involved should be capable of doing each leg on their own (and also returning to civilisation via an escape route unassisted if necessary) - that builds in much more safety.

    This incident discussed above seems to have been a trip/slip which could happen to anyone and did happen to me on Skiddaw on Saturday night (I have the bruise on the top of my foot to prove it). It's a shame to take someone's attempt and use it as a specific example, and it seems to me on the basis of what's been said on here it's probably not a good example anyway, but the theory in the discussion is interesting.

    I'm not a greatly experienced fellrunner, but I have spent 30 years walking and climbing in the hills, much of it on my own, and I'm convinced we do need to make sure that less experienced fell-runners have every opportunity to learn enough fell craft to ensure that they can survive on the hills. The BG is very different to a well marshalled fell race in that respect. We can never impose any standards, but those who have the experience can try to lead by example...

    Just my opinion, guys and girls. I hope you all have safe and successful experiences on the hills - get well soon Nigel...
    Jim Tinnion
    (Mercia Fell Runners)

    http://midlands-fell.blogspot.com/

  8. #28

    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Quote Originally Posted by IanDarkpeak View Post
    Map compass bivvy and the ability to use them + spare dry clothing are an absolute starting point for ANY trip in the mountains
    do you carry all this for fell races Ian?

  9. #29
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    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    Quote Originally Posted by ZootHornRollo View Post
    do you carry all this for fell races Ian?
    if required to by the RO although not sure of the relevance in this context though unless I've worded my post badly, my meaning is that any one venturing in to the hills for a prolonged time on there own or supporting should be properly prepared esp at night. Races have a slightly different issues. Races such as MM Long cat races and races in winter then yes I would take those things, Why wouldn't you? (collective "you" rather than you personally)

  10. #30

    Re: Bad planning and the BG Ci

    I think some people on here owe Ricky Lightfoot an apology!!!
    THE GAVALANCHE

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