Are the Mountains Still Open?
As the Coronavirus pandemic impacts our lives more and more here in the UK, it is natural to be wondering what effects this will have on the outdoor pursuits we enjoy...
Climbing walls and gyms are beginning to close their doors, international travel bans are in place over much of the world and we have been advised against any unnecessary travel here in the UK.
Like many in our community, the great outdoors is more than just our playground. It’s our escape and our headspace. Can we still access the mountains, coastlines and national parks during this time? And should we?
The physical and mental benefits of being outside have been widely documented. With schools closing and much of the workforce now working from home, people need the outdoors more than ever.
However, there are risks of continuing our normal outdoor pursuits. Having an accident while in the outdoors would put additional strain on our NHS, risk infection and pose complications for our Mountain Rescue volunteers. The government have advised against unnecessary travel within the UK and even by using your own transport there is a risk of bringing infection to rural communities.
We have brought together the advice of Mountaineering Scotland, The British Mountaineering Council and the Scottish Mountain Rescue to advise our community in the most informative way. This is what these organisations are currently recommending:
- Follow current NHS advice regarding your health and social distancing.
- Do not organise group walks and meet ups at this time.
- Stick to familiar and safe areas.
- Plan walks and exercise at local parks, beaches and hills.
- Stick to low risk activities.
- It would be socially irresponsible to be taking risks in the outdoors, we need to avoid any unnecessary burden on the NHS and Mountain Rescue
- Do not assume mountain rescue will be available.
- There is the real possibility that there could be little or no cover in some areas. This also extends to coastal activities, Lifeboats and volunteer coast guards will also be experiencing cover issues.
- Think about your travel plans.
- Despite the environmental impact, travelling in personal cars rather than public transport is advised at present.
- Stay close to home.
- To help avoid infection in rural communities.
Here at Tiso we will be continuing to support our community through sharing content, outdoor inspiration and keeping you up to date as the outdoor access situation develops.
Do you have a favourite local gem that you are exploring? Share the inspiration on social media with #mytiso.