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Chris H


Posts: 1561
Joined: Dec 2003
Last Visited: 10:01
24th Mar 2014
One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 20.31hrs on Mon 25 Nov 13
Something to mark in your diaries, should be a good watch, if a little sobering. There is a good preview clip available on the link below.

[www.bbc.co.uk]

The winter of 2012 was one of the coldest, longest and busiest on record in the Scottish mountains. It was also one of the deadliest. Fourteen lives were lost as extreme weather and a series of lethal avalanches hit the Highlands.

Blending dramatic archive material and footage recorded by people who live, work and play in this environment, this film will reveal what really happened on the mountains and find out how a major meteorological phenomenon helped shape what was truly a unique winter.

Wednesday, 11 Dec 2013 - 21:00, BBC 1
firefly


Posts: 1586
Joined: May 2006
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 08.44hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
I enjoyed some of the photographs and interviews with the Mountain Rescue lads, but the commentary was completely over the top in terms of the severity of the winter. They made out like it was terrible, with unprecedented snow-fall and cover. The reality was that two awful avalanches (one in the Cairngorms and one in Glen Coe) claimed the lives of seven people, and the snow cover was no more than normal.

I scratched my head whilst watching it, and thought maybe I'd got it all wrong. I checked back through my notes and found it was them, not me, who'd got it wrong.

Winter temperatures (i.e. normal):
 


Winter precipitation (i.e. below normal):
 
.

I suppose, where the media are concerned, it's 'never let the facts get in the way of a good story'.
edog2009


Posts: 118
Joined: May 2009
Last Visited: 10:11
17th Apr 2014
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 11.34hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
I thought the programme was good but very melodramatic and yes, they definitely put drama before meteorological accuracy - but that is the way with a lot of TV programmes now unfortunately.

One thing that surprised me was that there was no mention of the Chalamain Gap incident - does anyone know what the reason for this was?
alan


Posts: 9341
Joined: Nov 1994
Last Visited: 14:35
17th Apr 2014
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 12.00hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
Quote:
I scratched my head whilst watching it, and thought maybe I'd got it all wrong. I checked back through my notes and found it was them, not me, who'd got it wrong.

Winter temperatures (i.e. normal):


A single mean temperature for the full winter doesn't tell the whole story or even close to it though. What was unusual for 2013 and pointed out by the SAIS guys was the persistence of the cold in the mountains for large chunks of the winter.

Not that it was markedly colder than normal, or that the absolute low temperatures were particularly noteworthy, just that temperature was not as volatile as normal and that meant significant differences in how the snow pack behaved. With sometimes deep seated weak layers buried under harder layers or at very significant depth persisting for a unusually long time due to lack of dramatic freeze thawing.
firefly


Posts: 1586
Joined: May 2006
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 12.12hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
alan Wrote:
A single mean temperature for the full winter doesn't tell the whole story or even close to it though. What was unusual for 2013 and pointed out by the SAIS guys was the persistence of the cold in the mountains for large chunks of the winter.

Not that it was markedly colder than normal, or that the absolute low temperatures were particularly noteworthy, just that temperature was not as volatile as normal and that meant significant differences in how the snow pack behaved. With sometimes deep seated weak layers buried under harder layers or at very significant depth persisting for a unusually long time due to lack of dramatic freeze thawing.


My point is that they over-egged the pudding considerably, stating that it was one of the 'longest, coldest and snowiest winters in many years'. It wasn't even close to being the coldest, or snowiest.
firefly


Posts: 1586
Joined: May 2006
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 12.16hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
edog2009 Wrote:
I thought the programme was good but very melodramatic and yes, they definitely put drama before meteorological accuracy - but that is the way with a lot of TV programmes now unfortunately.

It frustrates me. These film makers just spout out what they want the public to hear, with scant regard for the facts. I suppose the tag-line of 'It was one of the most normal, settled winters for many a year' doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Also, the most interesting feature of the entire winter (the big storm of 22-24 March) didn't even get a mention.

The film-makers should have consulted the Winterhighlanders for their information!
flugeryl


Posts: 2106
Joined: Oct 2004
Last Visited: 13:01
17th Apr 2014
What's this?What's this?What's this?
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 12.21hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
the type of reality that sells tvprograms is the type only for the brain dead....reality is boring

a program dedicated to the mountain rescue services as a focus would have been much more interesting

Be nice to skiers...they have enough problems already
HighRustler


Posts: 259
Joined: Apr 2007
Last Visited: 22:59
16th Apr 2014
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 13.05hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
firefly wrote:

It frustrates me. These film makers just spout out what they want the public to hear, with scant regard for the facts. I suppose the tag-line of 'It was one of the most normal, settled winters for many a year' doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

Also, the most interesting feature of the entire winter (the big storm of 22-24 March) didn't even get a mention.

The film-makers should have consulted the Winterhighlanders for their information!


Totally agree Firefly. The documentary set out to make last January as some sort of Snowmaggedon as it suited their purposes for building up to the tragic events in Glencoe that featured heavily. I thought they stretched the boundaries of artistic licence. Also they freely used images and footage from 2010 (nice work Jamie, Hugo and freeskiing!) without explaining that they were doing so, giving the casual observer the impression that everything was shot last winter.

I think an opportunity to showcase Scottish winter sports was missed here. It was a very downbeat look at winter when a more balanced view could have highlighted the positive aspects more while still reporting on the tragic events that took place.

Overall I was left disappointed with the documentary.
Scomuir


Posts: 276
Joined: Sep 2004
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 13.47hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
I'm glad it was not just me that thought they missed a trick.

Along with many others, I was contacted to supply skiing footage for the programme back in the spring. My understanding of what they were trying to do was to create something really good and positive about the Scottish mountains, in a way to counteract a lot of the negative press at the time. Despite really positive email exchanges with the producer, my natural inbuilt cynicism resulted in me wishing them well, but declining to supply footage, or join Blair for the gully skiing filming day.

Whereas there was an argument to help shape the project, there was no way of influencing how anyone taking part would be portrayed. Having seen the programme now, I think some of my concerns were unfounded in that respect, but the programme took on a different slant to the one that I believed they were going to make.

I think the discussion regarding avalanches was informative, and the mountain rescue footage showed what a superb job they do, although I am certain some of that footage was featured in another programme recently. The relatives of the bereaved were very dignified and I applaud them for their understanding of what must be an absolutely devastating situation for them.

Going down the route they did, it seems odd that the Chalamain Gap incident didn't feature at all, but that could have been down to people declining to take part, or a whole heap of other reasons.

There seemed to be a negative element to most of the situations that involved featuring someone in the programme, although there were exceptions (e.g. Blair, John Lyall), rather than generally celebrating what folk do.


That said, there was a cracking aerial shot of Morrisons Gully on Sail Mhor, with Liathach in the background at the start which I really liked smiling smiley


Doug_Bryce


Posts: 1188
Joined: Jan 2003
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 13.55hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
^ Yip : despite what the producer tried to claim in his emails <etc> it seemed clear to me that it was always going to be a documentary focusing on avalanches, rather than an upbeat promo for Scottish winter sports. Given the tragic events of last winter it was never going to be easy or comfortable viewing. Watching the parents of the victims from the Bidean avalanche certainly pulled the heart strings.

I know that Mark Diggins of the SAIS worked hard with the BBC over summer to try and steer the documentary in roughly the right direction (i.e away from sensitive topics or predictable mainstream media sensationalism). I think he, and also Blair Aitken, came across well and managed to present the important message that not all winter hill goers are reckless thrill seekers. Quite rightly the SAIS considered it a good opportunity to get their message out to a wider audience on prime time TV - and to this end it was probably a success ?

Firefly is correct that last winter wasn't exceptionally cold or snowy (unlike 2010 for example). However there were very persistent weak layers buried deep in the snowpack for 2 months... which is obviously somewhat unusual for Scotland where we tend to have a very maritime snow pack with distinct freeze thaw cycles which quickly consolidate the snowpack between snowfalls.



Edited 3 times. Last edit at 14.08hrs Thu 12 Dec 13 by Doug_Bryce.
freeskiing


Posts: 303
Joined: Dec 2003
Last Visited: 16:42
16th Apr 2014
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 15.49hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
As Doug mentioned, with the events of last winter, framing the programme in a negative light was inevitable, though hopefully I'm not the only person that was strung along by the fairly upbeat trailers.

I think that all those interviewed came across well and their views were cared for sensitively, especially given the subject matter. I felt, as a man who occasionally finds himself in the mountains that I could wholeheartedly relate to and agree with Mark Diggins, Blair and John Lyall, who I think championed a great balance of safe access and fun in the mountains.

I was left disappointed with the fact that I was expecting something a little more upbeat given the trailers and depressed because of the subject matter.

I think that the best that can come of this documentary is that people will have a respect for the mountains but ultimately it did come across as a piece of public service broadcasting to highlight the dangers of accessing the mountains as the new season kicks off.

What programme makers need to realise though is that the stories of climate change and the demise of Scottish skiing and of danger and death in the Scottish mountains are old hat. It would be more current and socially aware if there was a focus on the resurgence of winter sports and the explosion of back and sidecountry skiing, linked to strong winters.

Chances of that being seen as a strong story are slim though and it's left to the activists like Jamie and Blair to keep producing outstanding films for the mountain film festival circuit.
DrHosking


Posts: 401
Joined: Jul 2004
Last Visited: 16:09
13th Apr 2014
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 15.55hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
as someone who lives south of the border and dont have the Scottish version of BBC, does anyone know if this programme is on the iplayer? Would certainly like to see it.
Scomuir


Posts: 276
Joined: Sep 2004
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 16.17hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
It's on iplayer - just search for it.
Donald_C


Posts: 26
Joined: Feb 2010
Last Visited: 16:43
12th Dec 2013
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 16.19hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
oldagedpredator


Posts: 589
Joined: Mar 2006
Last Visited: 19:22
16th Apr 2014
Re: One Wild Winter in the Scottish Mountains
Date Posted: 16.29hrs on Thu 12 Dec 13
Unfortunately I missed this, TV sulking. Allowing for the vagaries of current trends in presentation Scotland, in general does seem to have better outdoor and countryside programmes. Landward vs Countryfile etc. For those down south BBC Scotland is further up the freeview / sat menu than the 'normal' regional BBC 1 channel - around 900 and something (for next time).



Edited 1 times. Last edit at 16.35hrs Thu 12 Dec 13 by oldagedpredator.
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