Great! We're always welcoming new people to the club and hopefully here you'll be able to find answers to your general questions.
How do I find out more about the club?
We hope you find a lot of the information you need on the website about the type of club we are, the activities we do and the sort of trips we run. If you look under the 'About Us' menu, you'll find a lot of information here. If you do have other questions, the best thing to do is come along to one of our socials and meet some of the members who be'll more than happy to talk about the club. We normally have a few new people to the club on our socials so you won't be alone! If you can't make an appearance, then contact us by email.
How do I sign up to a trip?
If you're a member of the club, then an email will be sent by the trip organiser a couple of weeks before the trip giving the details - you can then select the relevant trip on the website and complete the simple booking form. If you're not a member, then you need to come to one of our social evenings and meet us, to answer any questions that you may have, and make sure that you are aware of what the trip will be like. It's best to do this two or more weeks before the trip. Non members are allowed to come on one trip after which you would need to join the club to attend further trips.
What experience do I need?
Members must take full responsibility for their own safety. The club does not provide training or guiding services nor does it take any responsibility for members or their activities when on club trips. Participation in club activities is entirely at the members’ risk.
For climbers experience can be gained at the various climbing walls around London. All offer beginners training to help you climb and belay safely at a climbing wall, and also “indoor to outdoor” training to help make the transition to outdoor climbing. We can help you gain experience at these activities, but would expect you to have acquired the basic knowledge through formal training, which we are neither qualified nor insured to provide.
For walkers we would expect you to have undertaken some country walking activities. If completely inexperienced we would recommend that you have a few days out with Metropolitan Walkers (http://www.metropolitan-walkers.org.uk/) or the Saturday Walkers’ Club (http://www.walkingclub.org.uk/) first, preferably undertaking some of their longer and more strenuous (i.e. hillier) walks.
Where do you stay for trips?
Generally, during the winter months (November to April) we stay in hostels or huts (something like this). Outside of these times, we stay at camp sites which almost all the time have hot showers and toilets, so it's not too wild! The sites are strategically chosen to be close to a pub so we can dive in there to get some food in the evening and dry off! You can bring your own food of course and if it's nice in the evenings, we might just chill at the camp site and enjoy the good weather.
Once upon a time the club would travel to the mountains on a coach departing from the back of Waterloo station on a Friday night. This meant everyone could sing songs together, and everything was bliss.
Today we operate by arranging lift shares between drivers and passengers. Once the trip is fully booked, the trip organiser allocates places in the available cars in the order that bookings were made, and the driver simply shares the lift details with their passengers.
Sometimes there are not enough cars available, in which cases those members without lifts will be asked to make arrangements between themselves regarding hire cars. We understand that a hire car may be more costly than the usual lift share, particularly including taking out the independent excess waiver insurance, which we would advise. If you do not wish to pay the extra there is a tick box on the trip sign up page to indicate that you would rather not attend the trip in those circumstances. Please note making this selection does not increase your chance of a place in a lift share, which is strictly made by order of booking.
On many trips it is possible to travel by public transport and this is something that we encourage.
What equipment/gear do I need? What other stuff do I need to bring along?
We will often be visiting mountain areas so you will need to be equipped to survive a full day out, in weather which may include driving wind and rain (or snow in winter). On these trips your gear may need to be higher specification than that used for lowland walking. Please refer to our equipment guides for more details.
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Walking boots
- Rucksack, ideally with a rain cover
- Warm clothing
- Head torch
- Tent and sleeping mat (if not in a hut)
- Sleeping bag
- Warm dry clothing
- Either camping or staying in a hut, you'll definitely need breakfast and a packed lunch for Saturday and Sunday.
- For dinner, we normally congregate in a pub in the evening where you can get dinner, but you can bring your own food. Most of the huts have cooking facilities of some form, but don't rely on that without checking first!
- On the Friday drive up, drivers will generally stop at a service station to get some food, or again you can take your own.
- And bring a water bottle!
- You climbers should know what gear you need but please refer to our equipment guides for more details.
- Cash! Unlike London, you can't pay by card for everything, and ATMs are hard to come by!