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London based mountaineering and hill-walking club

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Home arrow Safety

Safety requirements of the club

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Written by Administrator   

It is important that all prospective members recognise the need to maintain adequate standards of safety when in the hills and mountains. These notes draw attention to a few of the basics.

Who is Responsible?
All mountain-related activities are potentially dangerous if adequate safety precautions are not observed. In considering the activities of a club such as STMC, the basic point is that each member is equally responsible for his/her own safety. It also means that each member is equally responsible for the safety of all other members of the hillwalking/climbing party. Although the meet secretaries and any committee members present will always do whatever they reasonably can, it must be accepted that this does not take away from the individual member the responsibility for his/her own safety. The meet secretaries and committee members should not be thought of as leaders or guides, and they do not provide a substitute for a professional guide.

Route Planning 
It is good practice to leave a note of any intended route together with information on who is in the party, mobile telephone numbers and an estimated return time.  Often a meet will split into two groups taking different routes so both having knowledge of each other has obvious safety benefits.  In the event that a group fails to return on time, particularly in winter or in bad weather, others on the meet may need to call in the mountain rescue, etc. In these circumstances, precise information on the location of the missing group could be vital to organising an effective search and rescue.

Members need to ensure that they are properly equipped for their chosen activity on the meets. The Club maintains a basic kit list for hillwalking, see the Equipment page on this website. Two items of equipment that are a basic necessity are a map and compass. If you have no map, and for some reason become separated from the rest of your party, particularly in bad weather, the consequences of not having a map could be serious, so please try to bring appropriate maps whenever you attend a meet.

Further Information
There are a number of publications that provide good guidance on mountain safety procedures. The best starting point is probably the BMC's booklet "Safety on Mountains", which can be obtained from the BMC (0161 445 4747); or ask to see the Club's copy of this booklet. More detailed/advanced information is found in various books ("Mountaincraft and Leadership" by Eric Langmuir is frequently recommended), and courses are available for specific activities such as winter hillwalking and mountaineering. If you want to be taught by the experts try a course at Plas-y-Brenin or Glenmore Lodge .

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