Guide to Club Trips
If you have never been away with the club, it can be a daunting experience with lots of ‘first time’ questions that you might be wary of asking. We want everyone to feel included, so the aim here is to cover everything you need to know to get yourself booked onto a club trip and maximise your enjoyment.
MKMC aims to run official Club trips to UK mountain areas each month. These are normally planned in December after our AGM and published on our website.
Official Club Trips
Normally organised by committee members, the ‘trip organiser’, to mountain areas of England, Scotland or Wales each month. During the summer we tend to camp, and, in the winter months stay in mountaineering club huts. These are normally simple shared accommodation that are relatively cheap to use. Open to all members; there is normally a range of activities happening during the weekend.
Ad Hoc Trips
These are informally organised between members and can be for a day, weekend or longer. Normally, they will be to specific area or for a specific activity. Some will be open to all members, others only to those who meet a certain level of skill in an activity.
Role of the Trip Organiser
The primary role of the trip organiser is to identify the campsite or hut the Club will use for a particular trip, make the booking. Produce and distribute the trip flyer to members giving details of the campsite/hut, cost, number of places available and who is attending. Details of activities in the area may also be included.
Closer to the trip the organiser will setup the trip WhatsApp group. This is used to arrange transport, share weather forecasts, discuss participants’ objectives for the weekend and to share photos. During the weekend trip participants can use it to let others know routes for the day and that they are safely off the crags or hills.
Finally, the trip organiser will write a brief trip report for our website and clear out and close the WhatsApp group.
During the winter months MKMC stays in mountaineering club ‘huts’. These are either purpose built, converted cottages or other buildings with simple bunk accommodation. Sometimes MKMC will have sole use, but in larger huts we may be sharing with another club. Sleeping will normally be in mixed dormitory rooms, often with either bunk or ‘alpine’ beds (mattresses on the floor or on a low raised platform). Some huts may have smaller rooms, others a single large one; some may even have separate female and male rooms. Everything is very informal operating on a first come, first served basis – just put your stuff on a bed/area of mattress when you arrive. Bedding is not provided you will need to provide your own sleeping bag and probably pillow too. Other facilities vary for each hut and may be summarised in the trip flyer. Cooking equipment (utensils, cutlery, plates, cups, pans, cookers etc.) will be in situ and shared with the other hut residents.
MKMC tends to organise camping trips in the summer months. Some summer campsites do not like groups, even organised groups like MKMC, so occasionally members may have to book their own campsite place. When camping you will need to bring your own tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, stove, cooking and eating equipment etc. Occasionally a hut trip will be organised during the warmer summer months.
MKMC is not a training organisation and does not employ any qualified instructors. Coaching/mentoring is sometimes provided by more experienced members to assist in the development of novices/less experienced members; being one of the aims of MKMC. Not all experienced members will want to coach/mentor novices all the time; they will often want to do their own activity. There should be no expectation on anyone to coach/mentor unless they specifically want to; or have volunteered to prior to the trip.
Please use the WhatsApp group to let others know what your dreams/ambitions/plans are before the trip. If there are a number of people interested in doing the same thing then a consensus will be gained using the expertise and knowledge in the assembled group.
It is the responsibility of all trip participants to realistically assess if they possess the fitness, ability, experience and equipment necessary to participate in their desired activity. If members of a particular group have concerns about anyone wanting to join their group they need to raise them with the individual. After a discussion if the group members are not satisfied they should tell the individual they cannot join them. The reasons for this decision need to be given.
Please read Safety on MKMC Activities.
Booking a Place on a Trip
The trip organiser has to book huts months, occasionally over a year, in advance. Hut owners require either a deposit or full payment in advance of our trip. Members booking a place on a club trip will be required to pay the full cost of their stay at the time of booking. Places will be allocated to Club members who have paid on a first come first served basis. When paying transfer money into the Club bank account please include your name and the trip name (normally in the form of Nov23) in your bank’s reference field. Then email the trip organiser and the treasurer informing them you have paid.
Due to the administrative burden on the committee (who are all volunteers) giving cash refunds to members by bank transfer is not feasible except in exceptional circumstances. If a member finds themselves in a position where they cannot attend a meet then at the discretion of the Trip Organiser and Treasurer they may be given a credit – if this does not financially disadvantage MKMC. If another member can be found to take their place then a credit will be given or a cash transfer can be arranged privately between the two.
MKMC weekend trips are self catering; you will need to bring your own food and drinks with you. In huts there is always a fridge, or two, for storing cool items. However, please remember that there will be a lots of members who wish to keep items cool. Bring a bag or box to store your food in and a permanent marker to write your name on fridge items.
MKMC has seen most cooking styles in hut kitchens from microwave ‘ping’ meals; cans/packet meals and re-heated home prepared meals; all the way to meals cooked from scratch – even pizzas with ‘hut’ made dough!
Depending on the location of the campsite/hut some members may go to a pub for a meal. Some members bring meals that can be taken home again so they can join in with impromptu pub meals.
Hut etiquette is that you will need to wash up the pots, pans, cutlery and crockery that you use as soon as you have eaten.
The January and December trips have a communal meal on the Saturday evening to celebrate Burns Night and Christmas. These are for a small additional charge, to cover food costs only. Everyone helps with the preparation, cooking, serving, clearing and washing up.
Occasionally, a member may offer to cook a communal meal on another hut trip. This will be arranged in the trip WhatsApp group. The same principles of cost and everyone helping apply; but you can choose to do your own thing.
You will need to bring your own personal climbing/fell running/mountaineering/scrambling/walking equipment for your chosen activity and appropriate for the time of year. As well as casual clothes for the evenings and a wash kit with towel.
Depending on where we are staying these are usually spent in the campsite/hut. After cooking and eating dinner members will talk about the day’s, or past, adventures and make plans for the following day. Some huts have a common or sitting room. Members have occasionally brought along cards or other games, sometimes a Mazzle for everyone to help complete.
Sometimes members will go to a pub for the evening for a meal or a drink. If we are in Snowdonia members have occasionally gone for the Saturday evening lecture at Plas Y Brenin. Our November trip is normally in the Lake District and coincides with the Kendal Mountain Festival; some members make the journey to Kendal to watch festival films.
Transport / Travel
Generally members travel after work on a Friday and return Sunday late afternoon or evening. Some members will extend a trip by taking either the Friday or Monday off. Some trips are arranged over Bank Holiday weekends so members can have three days away.
To support the BMC’s sustainability initiatives MKMC wants to encourage use of public transport, were possible. The Club realises that this may not be practical for travel on all trips. MKMC encourages car sharing, however, the locations people live, their travel times and the size of cars being used all need to be considered
Members are expected to make their own travel arrangements but the trip organiser will try and co-ordinate as much as possible. Car sharing is normally arranged on the trip WhatsApp group; it is a great way to get to know other members and keeps the costs down. Please let the group know if you are happy to give lifts or willing to be a passenger. When car sharing the driver will split the fuel costs and any parking or toll charges equally with each passenger.
During the trip local trains or bus are ideal for transport to the start/end of point to point walks. If cars are used to travel to activities then they should be as full as possible.