MWiS: Mountain Withdrawal Syndrome

Symptoms include (listed from mild to severe):

  • Feeling the need to see land that rises above tree top height
  • Annoyance that the tallest thing around is either trees or buildings
  • Needing to socialise with other sufferers
  • Procrastination from work to think about mountains (ie gear research, buying maps/guidebooks)
  • Ignoring work (and social events) in order to go on a weekend trips to mountains
  • Wearing outdoor gear around town (ie Rab jackets, ice axes)
  • Bizarre desire to go indoor climbing
  • Excessive desire to feel cold, get wet, and be blown about all day, every day
  • Not wearing hillwalking gear around town to simulate weather found on a mountain (ie no waterproofs / fleeces)
  • Agreeing to organise other sufferers relief from symptoms or entire year (ie CUHWC President)
  • Organisation / participation in 'crazy' trips during holidays. 'Crazy' is defined as being well beyond current experience, so for some people, scrambling in Snowdonia counts. For long term sufferers that have continually organised 'crazy' trips and survived, winter climbing and unclimbed 6000m peaks may be more (in)appropriate.

Most symptoms are harmless except the most extreme, people suffering to this degree should be very careful about what they agree to do outside term time.


  • Normally caused by spending too long in a very flat place.
  • Compounded by the knowledge of having to stay in said flat place for most of the next few years.


  • Discussing trips past, present and future with friends (Relief lasts less than 24hrs)
  • Day trip to climbing wall (lasts 3-4 days)
  • Going on weekend trip (lasts 7-10 days)
  • Week long holiday trip (lasts 14-21 days)
  • Entire summer outdoors (lasts 28 days maximum)
  • Permanent relief will only be found by living closer to mountains. Preferable to see them from work and/or bedroom window. Access to them should be available every weekend, with possible evenings access even better. The bigger the mountains the better.