As a trip leader you set the conditions for your trip. Specifically:
- Design trips according to your experience and abilities. For new leaders, it is advised to lead trips in familiar terrain.
- Determine the level of experience you want in the trip participants. You may choose to lead easier trips for a more diverse group or to lead more challenging trips for more experienced members (or both).
- Limit group size based on safety, environmental impact, and logistical considerations, including your own comfort level. Do not be pressured into accepting more than the optimum number, but start a wait list.
- Learn all you can about the area, routes and access from online resources, maps, books and Bushwhacker articles. Contact experienced mountaineers, wardens, or guides to obtain information on the physical and technical demands of the trip. Be aware of changing weather and road conditions, especially avalanche hazards. Check weather forecasts and avalanche bulletins immediately before a trip.
- Ensure that the participants understand their responsibilities. This includes technical skills, use of necessary equipment, expectations for carrying shared gear etc. Arrangement to rent club equipment is the responsibility of the participant. see https://accvi.ca/trips/gear-rentals/
- Ensure all participants understand and adhere to leave-no-trace principles and backcountry ethics guidelines. Please stress proper toileting and no fires in the alpine.
- Ensure participants are vaccinated against coronavirus as required by provincial health authorities for your type of trip (as of May 2022 at the discretion of the trip leader). If it is absolutely necessary to collect proof of vaccination in advance of a trip, you must keep any copies or images (of vaccine passports, for example) secure and delete them as soon as possible and no later than after 30 days to respect privacy regulations.
- Unless it is explicitly stated in the trip description, dogs are not allowed on club trips (with the exception of guide dogs if they are permitted on the selected route).
- If your trip is for one of our specific groups see https://accvi.ca/programs/groups/. it is advisable to specify on the posting whether other members can be admitted on the trip, and if conditions apply.
You may find the following checklist useful:
Before a trip
Use this trip planning template to gather information.
- Email and include, at a minimum, the following information:
- Date(s), start time, meeting location, route, and objective
- Trip rating (A1-D6)
- Experience level and technical skill and gear requirements (e.g. AST1 or 2, ice axe)
- Is the trip weather-dependent or “rain or shine”?
- Trip leader(s) email and/or phone
- Covid vaccine requirement – yes or no
- Ask each participant to provide their ACC membership number. Guests are welcome to participate on up to two day trips. Members, however, have priority. Use this template spreadsheet to help keep track of your participants.
- Consider asking about the following information when screening participants:
- their recent trips (and names of trip leaders if ACC-VI trips)
- past experience with similar trips, and when
- ability to cover the terrain at the intended pace
- medical conditions that might be of concern
- other beneficial skills such as first aid or medical background
- Confirm that participants are willing to share contact information to facilitate carpooling and in case of delays.
- Facilitate gear and food sharing and management for multi-day trips.
- Leave your Trip Plan and emergency contact info with a responsible person not on the trip.
- Consider sending a reminder 1-3 days before the trip.
- Direct participants to the waiver on our website https://accvi.ca/wp-content/uploads/ACC-Waiver-2020.pdf and ask them to read it.
Consider adding your event on our Facebook page. Many eager hikers/climbers use Facebook to connect with communities like ours.
Experienced trip leaders may be granted permission to post their own trips. Instructions for posting (PDF, 530KB).
During the Trip
- The trip leader has the right to refuse participation of anyone if the person has not been confirmed for the trip beforehand or does not appear to be properly equipped.
- Be familiar with ACC Code of Conduct.
- Confirm that everyone has read, understood, and signed the waiver with signatures witnessed. The waiver has to be signed on the day of the trip. The leader can be the witness and must also sign their own waiver.
- Do a headcount and ensure everyone knows the number of people on the trip.
- Test everyone’s transceivers at the beginning of each ski day.
- Outline the plan for the day. Give reasons for decisions and be open to input from the group. Establish a turnaround time (if applicable).
- Communicate your expectations about group management and the importance of staying together.
- Stay in touch with the safety needs of the group and be sensitive to the comfort level of inexperienced participants, including when a rope may be required.
- Encourage participants to wear helmets as appropriate.
- In the event that a participant becomes ill or injured, or in case of unsafe conditions, it is often better to change plans and forego the original objective.
After the Trip
- Scan and send all waivers to . Include the name(s) of leader(s), the date(s) and route.
- Keep all signed waivers for seven years.
- File incident reports as appropriate.
- Ask a participant to prepare a trip report with photos and post on our discussion forum. Also prepare an article for the Island Bushwhacker Annual.