Picture this. Myself and a couple of friends are hiking up a 3000ft mountain in the Lake District. It's raining. I don't mean it's just a shower, I mean it's torrentially raining. It has been all morning. We're all wearing full waterproofs and we're still soaked. Visibility (since we're in the middle of a cloud) is down to around 20m, maybe less. It's windy, which when combined with the rain could make it a cold day indeed. Without the waterproofs we'd have never even set off from the car.
We were several miles from the start, several miles from anywhere in fact. I was leading at this point and out from the mist ahead a bedraggled woman appeared. She was looking at her feet, her long hair was soaking wet and as she got closer I realised that she was wearing a fleece, a pair of jeans, some not-very-solid shoes and a very miserable expression on her face. She was followed by 3 guys in their late teens who were similarly under-dressed in jeans, sweaters and trainers. One of them was actually carrying a bag but I imagine nothing useful was contained within it (probably some cans of Special Brew).
When they passed us my friends and I stopped and exchanged incredulous glances. The kids we had just seen were a complete bunch of idiots. All it would take was one of them going over an ankle and within a short period of time they'd have hypothermia and then be in real trouble. I can't imagine what possessed them to hike up a mountain in such terrible conditions so ill-prepared. It's not as if it was a nice morning where it looked like it was going to clear up – the day started grim and it was always going to stay grim. Not one of them had a waterproof jacket and it was a fine line they were treading.
Whenever I read about people getting stuck on mountains who had no right being there I feel like their miserable situation served them right (of course plenty of experienced people get caught out but that's a different thing altogether). These idiots then put others at risk who have to go and rescue them. It makes my blood boil.
The kids we saw no doubt got back in one piece but it wouldn't have taken much for them to have been in real trouble and I wouldn't have had the slightest bit of sympathy for them. At least the miserable day they had should have put them off for life and that's a good thing. Mountains should be treated with respect and are not the place for the unprepared.
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing” – John Conners, circa 2001.
Yep, whoever that John Conners is, he’s absolutely right! 🙂
It was probably very sunny when they were on their first can of Special Brew, but as a native of this corner of the country, I can tell you that the weather changes quickly.
…or maybe it was like one of those games that “youngsters” play today where they get a kick out of near-death experiences…although if they had been playing the one that uses scarves, they could have least have used them afterwards to wrap themselves up.
That’s the thing though, it was torrentially raining from the crack of dawn to the setting sun!
maybe there were there since yesterday and their bag was full of empty cans 😛
but that aside you raise a fair point about people not preparing themselves.