As a trip leader you are entitled to set the conditions for your trip. The following suggestions may be helpful:

Choose trips that are within your personal limitations/comfort zone. Leading a trip that you have already done is recommended for new leaders.

Learn all you can about the area, routes (including avalanche conditions) and weather. In addition to online resources, maps, books and Bushwhacker articles, contact experienced mountaineers, wardens or guides to obtain information on the physical and technical demands of the trips. Be aware of the conditions, especially avalanche hazards, at the time of the trip, check online avi bulletins and weather forecasts..

Describe the proposed trip as accurately as possible to prospective participants. There is the option of designating the trip for experienced mountaineers or skiers only, or requiring some minimum level of qualification (e.g., ice axe workshop).

Take the time to inquire thoroughly as to the experience, training, fitness and personal equipment of prospective participants who are unfamiliar to you in order to ensure their suitability for the proposed. For example, you could ask, “What have you climbed/skied?” Do not accept participants whose lack of experience, equipment, or fitness might endanger themselves or others. If someone asks to bring a friend/partner etc. whom you do not know, ask that this person phone you so you can assess the situation.

Set group-size limits for reasons of safety, environmental impact, logistics, and your own comfort level. It is a goal of the club to encourage participation by those who are newcomers to mountaineering and climbing. Therefore some club outings will be larger groups with varied levels of experience. In such mixed groups you will be a leader, and you must actively give direction to the group’s actions. Novices depend on your mountaineering and climbing judgement. However, in general this only applies to the easier trips. If you are more comfortable leading a smaller, more difficult trips of experienced people, that is fine, since there is room for many styles of trips.

If more novices than you are comfortable leading express interest in your trip, you could start a waiting list until experienced members phone, or you might ask someone to assist you. Then you can team up the less experienced with the more experienced participants.

If you have a pre-arranged assistant, communicate all relevant information to the assistant before the trip begins.

You could alternatively choose to be the contact person for the trip and have someone else in charge of the mountaineering side, or vice versa.

Ensure that a responsible person in town knows exactly where the group is going and when you expect to be back.

Optional but highly recommended take at least one form of communication device – take a cell phone, a VHF radio, a SPOT device (or PLB) or a satellite phone, or ask one of the participants to bring one.

Ensure that all participants are members of the Vancouver Island Section of the Alpine Club of Canada, guests are welcome on one or two trips to get a feel for the club but members should have priority.

Make sure the participants understand what is their responsibility and what you will be arranging. Arrangements for transportation, tenting, ropes and other technical equipment (hut space and keys, overnight registration, etc., where relevant) will need to be made. Personal gear (e.g., rental of club equipment) is the responsibility of the participant.

Unless it is explicitly stated in the trip description, dogs are not welcome on club trips (with the exception of guide dogs).

If you have questions, you can contact the leadership committee at