Frequently Asked Questions

We hope you can find most of the info you need on the website. If you have other questions, please either get in touch via our Contact page and let us know how we can help, or come along to one of our socials and meet some of the members who be 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!

 

How do I sign up to a meet?

If you're a member of the club, an email will be sent by the meet organiser a couple of weeks before the meet giving the details of the meet and how to sign up - in most cases, you can just book directly via the website once you're logged in. If you're not a member, then you should come to one of our social evenings to ask any questions that you may have, and make sure that you are aware of what the meet will be like. It's best to do this two or more weeks before the meet. Non-members are allowed to come on one meet as a guest, after which you will need to join the club to attend further meets. To request a guest booking, contact our Membership rep via the Contact page.

 

What experience do I need?

Members must take full responsibility for their own safety. The club does not provide training or guiding services for new members nor does it take any responsibility for members or their activities when on club meets. 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. Members frequently climb at walls in London - join our Facebook group to find out who's going when, or contact the Climber's Rep. We also run a Novice Meet once a year where you can come and try climbing on real rock.

For walkers, we expect you to have undertaken some country walking activities. If you're completely inexperienced we recommend that you have a few days out with Metropolitan Walkers or the Saturday Walkers’ Club first, preferably undertaking some of their longer and more strenuous (i.e. hillier) walks.

We are affiliated with the British Mountaineering Council and agree with its participation statement: "The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement."

 

Where do you stay on meets?

Generally, during the winter months (November to April) we stay in hostels or huts (something like this or this). Outside of these times, we stay at campsites which almost all the time have hot showers and toilets, so it's not too wild! The sites are (usually) strategically chosen to be close to a pub so we can dive in there to get some food in the evening and dry off (though you can bring your own food, of course).

How do people get to and from meets?

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 (ahem). Today we operate by arranging lift shares between drivers and passengers. Depending on the meet setup, you can either request or offer lifts when you book onto the meet, or the meet organiser will allocate places in available cars and the driver arranges the lift details with their passengers. Passengers are expected to pay their share of fuel costs (and drivers usually appreciate being bought a drink on Saturday night).

Sometimes there aren't enough cars available; in these cases, 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 you can indicate in the comments box on the booking form that you would rather not attend the meet if it involves travelling in a hire car. Please note that this does not increase your chance of a place in a lift share, which is strictly made by order of booking.

On many meets 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 meets your gear may need to be higher specification than that used for lowland walking. Please refer to our Hill-walking and Climbing pages for more details. You'll also need to bring stuff for sleeping:

  • Tent and sleeping mat (if not in a hut)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Towel and toiletries

And eating: whether 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 sort, but don't rely on that without checking first! In summer, if it's nice in the evenings we might just chill at the camp site and enjoy the good weather, perhaps with a communal barbecue. On the Friday drive up, drivers will generally stop at a service station to get some food, or again you can take your own.

Also bring a water bottle - and cash! Unlike London, you can't pay by card for everything, and ATMs are hard to come by. And your driver might want petrol money in cash.