Please read this page. It outlines the responsibilities of both leaders and walkers. While the principles apply to all walks, some are especially important to hill and mountain walks.
Responsiblity of Walkers - Before the Walk     
  • If in doubt about personal fitness or technical ability, check with the leader as to the suitability of the walk. There is a wide scope, especially in the Higher Grade, and whereas some walks are within the capabilities of many individuals, the harder mountain walks may not be.
  • It is an absolute requirement of members intending to go on a higher grade walk that they contact the leader no later than 1900 hours on the evening before the walk to book on the walk.
  • For all grades of walk, walkers should inform the leader if they are going direct to the start of the walk, so the leader knows who to expect and who to contact if the walk is cancelled.
  • In the event of bad weather or other factors that may determine the viability of a walk, the walker should contact the leader to get up to date information.
  • To endeavour to minimise the number of cars travelling by offering lifts or 'car pooling'.
  • To equip oneself suitably for a walk, noting that mountain weather, even in summer can be extreme.
  • Always carry a first aid kit, whistle, torch and ICE card.
 
Responsiblity of Walkers - During the Walk   
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  • To follow all instructions given by the leader.
  • To endeavour to keep pace with the leader and to stop for main breaks only where designated by the leader. If you need to stop or leave the group e.g. for a comfort break, to let the leader or another group member know.
  • Never to get in front of the leader, unless the leader has given permission to do so.
  • To be aware of other group members and in particular; immediately inform the leader in the event of a significant gap opening   up in the party, an injury or medical problem to any member of the party. Attract the leaders attention if they are not in sight.
  • It is important to be aware of other walkers in the group and to advise any walkers behind you about any change of direction i.e. when there is a choice of paths.
  • Those who bring dogs, must keep them on a lead at all times when near livestock, wildlife and roads or at the request of the walk leader or club official.  Also dog owners should clear up after their dogs
Responsibilities of Leaders - Before the Walk
  • To research and reconnoitre the walk, preferably with at least one other person who is expected to be on the walk and who can perform the duties of a back-marker if required. Reccies should be done close to the walk date, as footpaths and terrain could have changed.  When it is not feasible to reccie walks, e.g. weekends/weeks away, the leader should be confident of leading a group safely.
  • To send the walk details by email to the secretary one week before the date of the walk. The secretary can then circulate these details in a timely manner to all club members. The walk details outlined in the email should include as a minimum:
    • the total distance to be covered
    • the amount of total ascent and details of the nature of the route, eg scrambling, difficult terrain. 
    • the meeting place ie walk start point and start time
    • directions to the walk start point 
    • the leaders mobile telephone number.
  • If consulted by someone who is not used to walking, or is unsure about their ability/fitness level, to give honest advice as to whether he/she would be physically capable of doing the walk.  This should take into account not just the wishes of the individual but also the needs of the party as a whole to do the walk, safely and at a reasonable pace
  • To consult the weather forecast on the eve of the walk. In extreme cases, to cancel and to communicate this decision to members who have booked on the walk. 
  • Where requested, to advise people booking on the walk who else is travelling so that transport can be shared.
 
Responsibilities of Leaders - Day of the Walk
  • Make every effort to ensure the safety of the party
  • Be prepared to cancel the walk should the weather conditions prove dangerous on arrival at the starting point.  If a less demanding alternative is available this could be used, but if not then the walk should be abandoned.
  • To endeavour to appoint a 'back-marker'; preferably someone who has some knowledge of the chosen route.
  • Have the right to refuse anyone as a member of their party who, in their opinion, may be at risk for reasons of inadequate clothing, lack of physical fitness etc. The leader has to take into account the needs of the party as a whole to do the walk safely and at a reasonable pace. This occurrence should be extremely rare on all grades of walks, as the leader should have been consulted by any new walkers beforehand.
  • Apart from evening walks, leaders should take along an OS map and compass and know how to use them. They may also wish to use GPS or other mapping devices, but these cannot be solely relied on in case of signal or power problems.
  • Set the frequency, location and duration of breaks to suit the demands of the walk and conditions of the day.  In adverse weather conditions it may be desirable to shorten breaks.
  • Address the party prior to setting off and outline the overall plan of the walk including the proposed breaks.  This will enable members to decide whether to take in sustenance before the walk begins.
  • Follow the planned route setting a pace that is appropriate to the party, terrain and weather. Where necessary and possible, the leader may vary the route to take into account unforeseen circumstances.
  • Ensure that contact is maintained through the group from leader to back-marker.  It is important that if you make a change of direction, everyone behind you is aware of it, this may mean asking someone to wait until they are sure all the party is through.