Walk Guidelines

The 'Leaders Guidelines' has been updated as a broader document outlining not only the roles of Leaders, but also the roles of All members of the walking parties.


Members Guidelines on Walks

Contents –

Part 1 – Leaders Roles

Part 2 – Members Roles

For Emergency situations: Ring 112 or 999

Part 1 - Leader’s Roles

· To ensure the safety of all members of the party;

· To ensure maximum enjoyment from the days walk for all members of their party;

· To navigate the planned walk as far as practical, giving consideration to the above.

The leaders should observe the following practical points:-

Prior to Departure:

(a) Leaders should familiarise themselves with their route, and verify that any potentially dangerous sections are safe in the prevailing weather conditions.

Escape routes should be planned where possible.

(b) The “A” Party Leader should obtain the local area weather forecast, including the forecast for fell conditions, and communicate this to the other Leaders

(c) Leaders should consult with each other regarding their routes and timings, in particular if the route, weather, or size of party could be expected to cause difficulty, when the advice from experienced members should also be taken into account.

On The Coach:

(a) Liaise with the driver over possible comfort stops, the drop-off points for the walking parties, and the coach parking place on completion of the walk.

(b) Leaders are to identify themselves, and announce details of their walk (distance, total ascent, terrain and any scrambling or special difficulties) and estimated time so members may choose which walk they prefer.

(c) On leaving the bus, Leaders should count the numbers in their Party. If there are any members who do not normally walk with their party, the Leaders should discuss with them their ability to undertake the walk, and ensure that they are properly equipped. If they are not satisfied, the Leader may refuse to accept them on the walk.

On the Walk:

(a) Leaders should make the day’s walk as interesting as possible whilst adhering to the framework of the route set out in the programme. This is subject to such variation as is required for safety reasons, by prevailing weather conditions & ability of the party.

(b) Leaders must ensure all members of their party are fully aware of any variations decided upon. If such variations involve any additional ascent or increased distance to the walk, unless it is for safety reasons, all members of the group should agree to the variation.

(c) Leaders are responsible for navigating the route & should be adequately equipped. If using a GPS they should also have a map & compass & be competent in their use, also an appropriate area guide if available. Leaders shall lead the party from the front or be in the leading group, and shall appoint a "back-marker" to ensure that no person is left behind.

(d) Leaders shall set a pace which all members of the Party can maintain comfortably to ensure that the Party does not become too spread out. Ideally they should be able to see the back-marker at all times. Where the terrain makes this difficult, the Leader should reduce the pace to keep the party closer together and maintain contact with the back marker. Regular stops should be made to allow members of the party to regroup & allow adequate respite for all members of the party. Leaders should not re-start the walk until ALL members are ready to move on.

(e) In the event of an emergency leaders should take full advantage of the experience within the party. Leaders should carry the necessary emergency equipment, eg, whistle, torch, survival bag, basic first aid kit, spare food, etc. If leaders do not have a mobile phone, they should identify a party member who does have one. In addition telephone numbers of Club officials should be obtained prior to commencing the walk to allow contact in the event of accidents or unforeseen delays.

(f) The risks of mountain walking should not be underestimated. Leaders should be aware that rain, cold and buffeting by strong winds can cause fatigue and hypothermia. Even mild hypothermia can cause confusion, poor judgement and reasoning e.g. Clothes being unzipped, despite the body being very cold. This would rapidly lead to a more severe stage of hypothermia, which could significantly increase the risk of bad decision making and accidents.

(g) Leaders should aim to return their party to the coach at the time agreed. In bad weather they should be aware of the potential discomfort of others having to wait for an unreasonable time on the coach. Where possible, leaders should shorten the route to achieve the agreed time.

(h) Leaders should liaise on their return to the coach and check that all members are accounted for before departure. In the event of any problems over the use of the coach, leaders should refer to the Transport Secretary or a Committee member.

(i) There is a requirement for a leader nominated from one of the parties to fill in the Log Book as a record for future generations. This should be a description of the day from their own perspective, including any incidents, serious or amusing, anecdotes, weather conditions,sightings of interesting flora and fauna, what went wrong or even what went right!

Part 2 - Member’s Roles:

(a) Individual members are responsible for their own safety and well being. Members should appreciate not only the leader’s responsibilities but their own responsibility to the Leaders in enabling them to set the standards by which the objective of a safe & enjoyable day can be achieved for everyone.

(b) Walking at any time of year requires adequate protective clothing for the likely weather conditions - head & hand protection is particularly important.

In winter conditions secure headgear (balaclavas or hats secured under the chin) are required to avoid loss in strong winds. Strong waterproof jacket and trousers with sufficient under-layers, with zips fully closed and press studs on flaps fastened. Rucksack hip belts and breast straps should be firmly adjusted to provide added security to the zips. Waterproof boots & gloves should be worn (gaiters are useful in deep snow). Extra gloves should be carried.

In extreme winter conditions, members should have, in addition to the above, as appropriate for the level of walk, suitable snow / ice spikes, crampons and an ice axe.

In summer conditions Sun hats & protective cream and extra drinks are required.

Sufficient food & drink is required for the conditions and nature of the walk with some reserve.

(c) Leaders are responsible for setting a pace which keeps the party together, and should be in the leading group. Members are to be aware of this, and are not to compromise the leader by walking ahead of his (or her) group

(d) If any members should wish to leave the party the leader should be informed and give agreement only if they are satisfied that the members are competent to complete their proposed route in the prevailing conditions and in the remaining time, and are not required to assist others in the group.

(e) All members are encouraged to carry their own first-aid kits. Suggested contents include:

Torch, Bivvy or Survival Bag,

Unmedicated dressings of various sizes,

Triangular bandages & safety pins, Support bandage

Strips of “Elastoplast” of various widths,

Individually wrapped antiseptic moist cleaning wipes,

Small scissors & disposable gloves in case of open wounds

(f) Members are reminded that it is not good practice for walkers to go on the fells on their own particularly in unfavourable conditions.Those members choosing to use the Club coach to do their own walk are required to enter their planned route in the ‘Unofficial walks log book’ held by the Transport Secretary prior to leaving the coach, and must return before the time agreed for the official Club walks

All members should be familiar with,

and adhere to, these Guidelines

& the club rules.

These Guidelines are issued by the General Committee

September 2018