Club Policy for Meets
The IMC welcomes all those with an interest in hill-walking, climbing or mountaineering. The club welcomes newcomers keen to experience these activities for the first time, those with more experience aspiring to succeed at their next challenge, and all those who seek relaxation and enjoyment from being out on the crags and hills in Britain and further afield. We aim to provide a range of activities to cater for the interests of all club members.
The IMC is primarily an adult club, but young people are welcome on most club meets with their parents or guardians. Young people over 16 may participate without their parents or guardians provided parental consent (form here) is given which acknowledges that there will be no other adult supervision. Young People Climbing, Hill Walking, Mountaineering: A Parent’s Guide
The programme of club meets is organised twice a year (summer and winter) at an open meeting which all members are welcome to attend. Members are free, and indeed encouraged, to arrange any meets that suit their own interests.
Mountaineering and rock climbing can be dangerous activities. The British Mountaineering Council publication, Risk, Responsibility, Duty of Care and Liability provides guidelines adopted by the club. Members should view their own actions in the light of these guidelines and the club’s policy that members participate entirely at their own risk, as set out in the club’s constitution.
Most club meets fall into this category. Informal meets may be arranged to venues offering any mountaineering or climbing activities, at any standard, and at any time of year.
The meet organiser will publicise the dates and venue on the club website. Depending on the venue and the nature of the meet, the meet organiser may also:
- Provide information about the activities available at the venue.
- Put prospective climbing or walking partners in touch with each other prior to the meet.
- Co-ordinate accommodation arrangements.
- Co-ordinate car-sharing.
If you attend an informal meet you should expect to:
- Take personal responsibility for yourself on the meet.
- Make your own arrangements with regard to climbing or walking partners and equipment. And, to help accommodate un-partnered club members, you may wish to let the organiser know if you are willing to be flexible as to whom you climb or walk with. But there is no obligation to do so.
- If accommodation is arranged by the organiser, make payments on time and assist in ensuring the accommodation is left clean and tidy.
Advice to new members attending informal meets
Because members attending informal meets often expect to climb or walk with those with whom they have made prior arrangements, it is important to make your own arrangements beforehand to ensure you have climbing or walking partners on the meet. We are aware that this can sometimes be tricky, especially for new members, and you may find the following advice helpful:
- Let the organiser know you are keen to attend but don’t yet have a partner. The organiser may be able to help, although they are not obliged to do so.
- Consider sending an email to the club membership list asking if anyone is interested in joining you, or post a comment against the meet you are interested in on the meets calendar. Include a brief note indicating your experience, roughly what standard you would like to walk or climb, and whether you can offer transport.
- Make yourself known to other club members at one of the climbing wall meets – If you are new to climbing or new to the area this is the best way to meet up with other climbers.
- Take the opportunity to participate in the beginners’ or other formal meets where arrangements ensure that everyone has someone to climb or walk with.
Beginners’s Meets (and other Formal Meets)
The club tries to arrange at least one meet each year to introduce beginners to hill-walking or outdoor climbing. The beginners’ meets provide an opportunity for complete novices, and those relatively new to climbing, to “learn the ropes” from more experienced club members in a friendly and supportive environment.
The club also sometimes arranges meets for beginners or newcomers at local climbing walls.
Other formal meets may be arranged to help those progressing, for example to multi-pitch or sea cliff climbing, or scrambling or winter hill-walking. Formal meets are a good opportunity for new members to make friends and find climbing or walking partners in the club.
For any formal meet, the meet organiser will:
- Publicise the dates, venue and purpose of the meet on the club website.
- Provide information about the range of activities available at the venue.
- Co-ordinate accommodation arrangements.
- Co-ordinate car-sharing.
- Co-ordinate climbing partners or walking groups on each day of the meet.
For a beginners’ meet, the organiser will also:
- Endeavour to find climbing equipment for beginners who do not have their own.
- Ensure, with the support of the club committee, that beginners or less experienced participants are partnered with suitably experienced club members on each day of the meet.
For a formal meet, the organiser will decide who may attend. Places for less experienced members may sometimes need to be restricted to ensure that there are enough experienced members to assist.
Beginners’ meets are planned at venues which provide opportunities to participate at a variety of standards, including the easiest. On other formal meets the organiser will try to ensure that everyone has appropriate experience to participate safely at the standard of climbing or walking available at the venue.
If you wish to attend a formal meet you should please:
- Let the organiser know in good time that you are keen to join the meet.
- If you are new to the club, or not known to the organiser, give the organiser an idea of your level of experience.
- Tell the organiser if you need or are able to offer a lift to the venue
- Let the organiser co-ordinate climbing or walking partnerships on each day of the meet.
- Make any payments for accommodation, transport or equipment on time and assist in ensuring accommodation is left clean and tidy.
A few extra notes for beginners and less experienced members attending formal meets
- At the meet, the organiser will team you up with a leader and possibly an assistant leader. These will be experienced club members recognised by the committee as competent to introduce you to climbing or mountaineering, but they will not normally be qualified instructors. You will be shown how to be safe, but you should expect to take responsibility for yourself throughout once you have “learnt the ropes”.
- For climbing meets, you will need a climbing harness, helmet and, ideally, rock climbing shoes. The organiser may be able to obtain some items to lend to beginners, so please let them know if you need to borrow equipment. You will also normally need camping equipment and suitable outdoor clothing for the weather on the meet. Dry weather cannot be guaranteed!
- Although you can join a beginners’ meet with no climbing experience at all, you will gain much more from the meet if you are able to visit a climbing wall a few times beforehand.
- At the end of the meet you should have a good idea of how far you have progressed and whether you are ready to join other types of club meet. Please ask your leader for advice on this if you are unsure.
A few extra notes for those with more experience attending formal meets.
- If you are competent to climb with beginners, as a leader or assistant leader, please do consider joining at least one beginners’ meet each year. The club cannot introduce newcomers to the sport without your help.
- Other formal meets also rely on the willingness of more experienced members to team up with those with less experience, although everyone attending should have sufficient experience to safely enjoy the climbing or mountaineering on offer at the venue.
- Please do not join a beginners’ or other formal meet unless you are willing to let the organiser co-ordinate the climbing or walking teams so as to give everyone the best possible experience.
- Before a beginners’ meet, do familiarise yourself with the club’s guidance notes on introducing beginners to climbing
A final note for any member attending any meet.
- Whether you are helping beginners or not, you are, as on any club meet, responsible for your own safety.