Covid-19 – The effect on climbing-related activities
- Wednesday 18th March 2020
As Covid-19 continues to dominate the immediate horizon numerous climbing-related events have been cancelled and climbing walls closed.
Following our earlier post about the latest news on Covid-19 and social distancing – click here for that post – we now bring further info (where known) on cancelled/postponed events as well as the closures/restrictions at climbing walls as well as club activities and the use of club huts as well as thoughts on outdoor climbing.
As numerous countries introduce travel bans and lock-downs – Italy and France, for example, have measures in place – non-essential international travel is being drastically reduced. In a recent BMC announcement, click here to read more, all insurance taken out after 6pm on March 11th will not cover losses related to coronavirus. Other service providers may well do likewise.
Numerous events have been impacted already including local, national to international climbing competitions as well as lecture tours and film festivals.
The BMC, Speakers from the Edge and other organisers have listed numerous events that have been cancelled or postponed on their website and social media channels. The following is a list of the cancelled and/or postponed events that Climber are aware of:
Amongst the (none exhaustive) list of cancelled events are:
- BMC Area Meetings
- The BMC Tremadog Spring Clean
- The peripheral elements of ShAFF (Sheffield Adventure Film Festival)
- The Emma Twyford Big Bang Tour
- Pete Whittaker’s Speaker from the Edge Tour
- Cathy O’Dowd’s Speaker from the Edge Tour
In addition, the following events have also been postponed:
- The National Development Squad training Weekend
- The Junior British Bouldering Championship
Click here for more details of cancelled/postponed events listed on the BMC’s website.
Climbing Wall Closures
The following is a (none exhaustive) list of centre closures that Climber are aware of. Users should see the centres’ social media or websites for further news including details of memberships.
- Awesome Wall Centres – from March 17th
- Beacon Climbing Centre – from 10pm March 17th
- The Boardroom Climbing – from 10pm March 17th
- The Climbing Academy Centres – from 7am March 17th
- The Climbing Centre Group – from March 17th
- The Climbing Hanger Centres – from March 17th
- The Climbing Station – from March 16th
- The Depot Climbing Centres – from March 18th
- The Mini Climbing Works – from March 17th
Climbing Wall Restrictions
The following is a (none exhaustive) list of centre restrictions that Climber are aware of. Users should see the centres’ social media or websites for further news.
- The Climbing Works: Unit E – limited to 50 people from March 17th
- The Climbing Works – limited to 100 people from March 17th
- City Bloc Leeds – limited to pass holders only from March 18th
Further to the advice with respect to social distancing (see our earlier post) and gatherings for events and meetings, the advice on outdoor activities is less clear. Outdoor activities, such as walking or jogging in open parks or stadiums or even cycling, are however listed on the WHO’s ‘Safe to Do’ list.
There has however been a number of ‘bans’ already imposed on outdoor activities; Spain for example has banned climbing at Siurana and Margalef as part of it’s lock-down. France has introduced a 14-day lock-down which started at noon yesterday. In addition, many cycling events such as races, sportives and time trials have been cancelled.
Advice on outdoor activities such as climbing is limited. Notwithstanding the travel advice, there is a view that it would be socially responsible for climbers to avoid crowded places such as popular crags and also to avoid any dangerous or high-risk routes which may result in serious injury and that might therefore result in rescue and/or hospitalisation and hence necessitate the use of NHS resources which might well be needed elsewhere as the Covid-19 virus affects more and more people in the UK.
Furthermore, ongoing climbing activities at places close to residential communities that house elderly or vulnerable people may promote the spread of the coronavirus and may therefore be an issue. Likewise, climbers traveling to/from and staying at remote climbing destinations and buying food and other goods may further exacerbate supply issues at that location reducing the availability for local residents.
Until further advice is given by the Government, it will be for climbers themselves to assess the possible impact that their climbing outside may have and plan their activities accordingly.
Club Meets and Use of Climbing Huts and Bunkhouses
Climber understands that the following (none exhaustive) list of Clubs have suspended meets and/or use of club huts until further notice:
- The Climbers Club
- Midland Association of Mountaineers
- Fell and Rock Climbing Club
For further info/advice on club meets and huts see the BMC website here:
Ongoing Management of Coronavirus Symptoms
To reiterate the latest (as of March 16th) advice with respect to managing Covid-19 symptoms is:
- Everyone, whether suffering from Covid-19 symptoms or not, should – under social distancing measures - stop all unnecessary contact with others, stop all unnecessary travel especially on public transport, work from home where possible, avoid public gatherings at places such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, conferences, markets, and gyms which involve a sizeable and flowing crowds
- Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms (a high temperature and new and continuous cough) should self-isolate for 7 days
- Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms living in shared accommodation should stay isolated for 14 days
Climber has received an update regarding ShAFF (Sheffield Adventure Film Festival) that will now NOT go ahead as originally planned. ShAFF Director, Matt Heason, emailed the following:
‘Following the message earlier this week I’m sad to say that the inevitable has happened, and The Showroom Workstation (the festival venue) has made the decision that they will close from March 18th, so we won’t be able to show the films after all. Gutted.
We’re looking at rearranging for a 1-day event in the Autumn to allow people who had bought tickets to defer, and hopefully celebrate.’