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WMC Policies

WMC Policies







All documents created by the Governing Board, Coordinators, Trip Organizers, and others performing Club business, should be considered historically important. Therefore, all such documents should be dated, including month, day and year. Use standard letter-sized paper whenever possible. Since many documents will be bound in some manner, leave a binding margin of one-half to one inch on the left margin. For two-sided printing, the binding margin will alternate between left and right margins. (1/93)

The Club will use recycled products whenever practical and Club members are urged to recycle. (6/91)

Board meetings will be held monthly, on the first Wednesday of the month unless needed more frequently or otherwise scheduled. (3/86)


In general, the Club does not reimburse board members for mileage incurred in connection with Club business. However, rare exceptions may be made for unusual circumstances. The request for an exception must be made in advance, and the board will vote on these requests on a case-by-case basis as they arise. (12/14)

The president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary shall be the signors on the checking account. (3/89)

The vice-president is elected by the Board from the Board to act as president when the president is not available. (3/89)

Incoming directors should get keys, notebooks, etc., from outgoing directors. (3/89) Outgoing directors will spend a minimum of two hours with incoming directors. (3/94)

The treasurer and two trustees can authorize a transfer from the investment account to the checking account. (3/89)

No one can speak for the Club in public unless he or she is authorized by the Board. Directors may speak to questions about their particular domain. If an individual is not a director or otherwise authorized by the Board, he or she is to make the press and the public aware that he or she is speaking as an individual, not on behalf of the WMC and to refer the press and public to the appropriate Board members.

The president, secretary, treasurer, and information director are responsible for planning and implementing an Organizer's Party in the fall. Each director submits to the officers a list of organizers they would like honored. (4/89)(6/90) Guests are invited by written invitation. Also, a notice is placed in the Rambler in case there are any members who felt they qualified but had been overlooked in the invitations.

Each director will submit a detailed budget by the April Board meeting for Board approval and will subsequently adhere to that budget for the period March 1 to February 28. (4/97) Those expenses that are General Fund expenses will be further identified as hiking, membership, administration, etc. Office expenses include phone, rent, utilities, and related expenses. The treasurer will develop codes that identify each area of the general fund. (6/94) The administrative assistant position was discontinued.


The Governing Board consists of a set of directors and four trustees. The directors' responsibilities include:
  1. Responsibility for respective areas;
  2. Forming committees;
  3. Giving feedback to membership through the Rambler; and
  4. Being responsible for Club property and keeping inventories current.


The president is the main contact for outside organizations and individuals who interact in one fashion or another with the Club. These include Federal agencies (in particular the US Forest Service) as well as state and local agencies that are involved with outdoor matters such as recreation, environmental concerns, and trail access. Since the Club, along with most of its members, is located in the Wasatch Front, the Club has its most frequent contact with agencies responsible for this area. The Club also interacts with sister organizations such as the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society, and Splore.

The president presides over the monthly Governing Board meeting. The vice-president presides if the president is unable to be at the meeting.


The Club's fiscal year runs from March 1 to the last day of February. (12/96) The tax year is from January 1 to December 31.

Donations to the Club are not tax deductible.

A $200 petty cash fund for the membership director is approved if required. (8/93) A $200 petty cash fund for the lodge director was also approved if required. (7/93) The Board also approved petty cash funds available for the entertainment ($300) and winter sports directors. (9/99)

The treasurer has authority to pay the following bills between Board meetings: rent, electric and phone, postage and printing costs associated with the Rambler, Kinko's and Office Max. (5/95)(12/96)

The treasurer is approved to write checks for pre-approved lodge budget items between Board meetings. Receipts continue to be required to receive reimbursement. (7/94)

Requests for reimbursement should be accompanied by an explanation (note) on how the money was used along with all relevant receipts. All expenses must be submitted to the treasurer, even if there are offsetting incomes that compensate for them.

If the Club sells major assets, a statement is required by the IRS, which includes the original cost of the item, when it was bought and sold, and to whom it was sold.

For the purpose of fulfilling tax requirements, the following procedures should be followed:
  1. Any donated funds and their designated purpose need to be detailed.
  2. The lodge director needs to distinguish income from lodge use resulting from member use or outside use.
  3. If admission fees for Club functions at the lodge include a lodge fee, the entertainment director needs to account for this separately, by noting the lodge fee times the number of people present.
  4. Services provided by the Club such as instructional courses are related to our tax-exempt status; therefore, careful accounting procedures should be followed. Directors should note income from fees, and the cost for running the program.
  5. Receipts for all expenses are required.
  6. Taxes should be prepared by a professional tax preparer at the Club's expense with the assistance of the treasurer.

Monthly and year-end financial statements are circulated to Board members including trustees.

Memorial Funds have been accounted for under "Mountaineering" funds. Where the Club is the collection agency for these funds, a trustee will follow the fund. In the future, memorial funds will be accounted for separately under "Donation Funds." (3/81)

The accumulated interest for the year shall be allocated to the individual Club funds by the outgoing treasurer in an equitable fashion subject to approval by the Board. (1/90)

Past Boards have allocated 15% of all dues collected to the lodge, 10% to conservation, and 4% to the lodge capital improvement fund. (Reaffirmed 11/00) Allocation can be changed by the Board at its own discretion. (4/87)(3/89)(Reaffirmed 1/97)

Investments are limited to treasury notes, treasury bills, money market funds (US securities only) or certificates of deposit. The treasurer is responsible and authorized to make investments within the above parameters. (11/88)(3/89)

All statements for expenses, before being paid, will be submitted to the appropriate director for approval and coordination. (1/89)

$5000 to $15,000 of Club funds will be left in the checking account based on projected expenditures with the rest being transferred to the investment account. (10/90)(Modified 9/00) It is recommended that the treasurer keep no more in money market fund than will be needed before long-term accounts mature. (9/91)

The treasurer is authorized to meet periodically with a CPA for Club business at the Club's expense, with the approval of the president. (9/00)

One million dollar liability insurance policies are maintained on the lodge and the office per lease requirements of the Forest Service. Property insurance is maintained on the office contents (valued at $20,000) and the boating "shed" (valued at $20,000). A fire insurance policy was also purchased to protect the Club against damage to the lodge. (7/00)

Funds from publications. Because Wasatch Publishers has sold the rights to Hiking the Wasatch, the previous allocation of funds is no longer valid. Proceeds from one-time publications transactions shall be allocated equally between conservation and lodge capital funds or directed by a vote of the Board. (12/00)


Minutes should be taken at each Board meeting, then typed, duplicated and mailed to each Board member, trustee, and coordinator 10 days prior to the next meeting. Notification of the next Board meeting should be included. (12/96)

The financial statement from the treasurer should be mailed to trustees not attending the Board meeting where the reports were given out.

The secretary maintains and updates the current Club policies. After every Board meeting, any policy modifications or new or deleted policies should be updated on the master document and printed out at least semi-annually for Board members. (1/01)

The Secretary will note Club Policy changes approved during BOD meetings and submit them to the IT Director (cc: WMC Directors) to change the online document prior to the next meeting. Secretary and IT Director will document these responsibilities. (4/16)

Permanent records, minutes, letters, etc., should be collected and kept in a single place, with the current secretary. (2/92)

Any Bylaw changes should be recorded word for word, as opposed to a general summary. The same applies to any other Board action which might require an explicit record.

The secretary handles thank you notes as applicable, also correspondence for the president and directors as required. Copies are kept for the file.

A brief report of the General Membership meetings should be submitted to the Rambler. (11/91)

The secretary shall provide ballots for Governing Board elections at the General Membership Meeting. (2/90)


All trustees need to be consulted concerning approval of major expenditures. Even after a majority has agreed on a position, the rest still need to be contacted. (4/81)


At least four days each year will be set aside so that only Club service activities are scheduled. All in-town activities on these days must have a service task as their primary component; the activity may have a recreational component, but it must be subsidiary to the service component. (7/91)(9/94)(11/02)(8/03)

Two of the four service days shall be scheduled for the weekends following the July 4th and Labor Day holidays. (7/00)(11/02)(8/03) The remaining two service days shall be scheduled by the governing board. (11/02)(8/03)


The following form is used for Club activities and on new member and renewal forms (updated 10/08):

VOLUNTARY PARTICIPATION: I acknowledge that my participation in all WMC activities is voluntary. No one is forcing me to participate. I agree to abide by the rules of the WMC.

ASSUMPTION OF RISK: I am aware that WMC activities involve risks, and may result in injury, illness, death, and damage to or loss of property. These dangers include but are not limited to: the hazards of traveling in remote areas without medical services or care, the forces of nature, the inherent dangers involved in participation in sports, wilderness travel, and social activities, and the negligent actions of other persons or agencies. I understand that all activities should be considered exploratory, with the possibility of unexpected conditions and route variations. The WMC is not, nor does it provide, a professional guide service. In order to partake in the enjoyment and excitement of WMC activities, I am willing to accept the risk and uncertainty involved as being an integral part of the activity. I acknowledge this risk, and assume full responsibility for any and all risks of injury, illness, death, or damage to or loss of my property.

PREPARATION: I understand that it is my responsibility to evaluate the difficulties of any WMC activity I participate in, and decide whether I am prepared by having the experience, skill, knowledge, equipment, and the physical and emotional stamina to participate safely.

RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND PROMISE NOT TO SUE: I agree that I, my heirs, personal or legal representatives hereby do release and hold harmless from all liability, and promise not to bring any suit or claim against the WMC, its activity organizers, directors, agents or representatives for any injury, illness, death or damage and loss of property resulting from my participation in any WMC activity even if they negligently caused the injury or damage.

LEGAL FEES: Should it become necessary for the WMC, or someone on their behalf, to incur attorney fees and costs to enforce this agreement, I agree to pay the WMC reasonable costs and fees thereby expended, or for which liability is incurred.

INSURANCE: I understand that the WMC strongly recommends that I maintain insurance sufficient to cover any injury, illness or property damage that I may incur while participating in WMC activities. In the event of injury, illness or death related to any WMC activity, I recognize that I, or my estate, will bear the full cost of my evacuation or recovery, and any related medical care that I may need. I acknowledge that the WMC carries no insurance whatsoever for any participants in WMC activities.

My signature below indicates I have read this entire document, understand it completely, understand it affects my legal rights, and agree to be bound by its terms. I certify I am at least 18 years old.


All activity participants will sign an Applicant Agreement, Acknowledgement of Risk, and Release from Liability Form prior to participating in any/every Club-sponsored activity. (4/81) Also, each WMC member will sign a generic Acknowledgement of Risk and Release from Liability form when joining the Club and yearly thereafter; the WMC attorney will review all Release forms, and all Release forms will be collected at the office, filed by activity and held in storage for seven years. (10/94)

Activity directors continue to have the final word about activity organizers. (10/94)

No alcoholic beverages will be provided by the Club at any Club function. (8/86)

In case of a vehicular accident, the driver will absorb reimbursement of the deductible on insurance. Trip organizers need to advise car owners to be adequately insured as the carpooling contributions (see Carpooling Guidelines)) is intended to cover all operating costs including the cost of insurance. (4/16)

Board policy does not allow for payment for helicopter rescue necessary on Club trips. (7/85)

All lists of scheduled events submitted to the Rambler should come from the appropriate director. (5/81)

If a change in organizers is needed for a particular trip, the director for the activity should be consulted. (5/80)

Refer to the Carpooling Guidelines) to determine the amount to reimburse drivers for transportation costs. (4/16)

Millcreek Canyon fee affects Club activities; passengers pay fee, while driver goes for free. (3/91)

Parking for Wasatch Front activities will occur in Park 'n Ride lots or lots where the Club has received written permission. Permission is to be reconfirmed on a yearly basis. (2/94)


Individual directors and coordinators are to plan and arrange their own parties, but the entertainment director needs to be informed of any planned parties to avoid scheduling conflicts. The entertainment director may veto conflicting parties. (10/89)

Trip organizers are required to submit a written report about any injury or accident/incident that occurs on any Club function at the first Board meeting after the injury or accident. The organizer will include comments written by the injured party and written by any witnesses to the accident/incident. (8/89)

A trip organizer has the right to refuse participation to anyone if that person is unprepared or unqualified. (5/90)(7/00)

The Club does not allow promotion of commercial (for profit) trips with Club activities. (10/86) Trips not sponsored by the Club shall not be written up in the Rambler. (9/92)

The participants of the trip shall absorb all expenses of a trip. (2/85) Damage or loss of Club gear will be equally divided among the group participants up to a limit of $15.00/person, the rest to be absorbed by the Club. (6/88)


Coordinators volunteer and are selected by the directors to assist with a particular activity. This selection is ratified by a vote of the Board. The coordinators report to the Board through a sponsoring Board member as follows:
Canoeing Boating
Rafting Boating
Kayaking Boating
Boat Equipment Boating
Sailing Boating
Boating Instruction Boating
Mountain Biking Biking (4/94)
Evening Hike Coordinator Hiking (4/16)
Trail Maintenance Coordinator Hiking (4/16)
Trails Issues Conservation (1/92)
Adopt-a-Highway Information (92)
Commercial Ads Publications (6/92)
Rambler Mailings Publications (6/92)
Skiing Winter Sports
Snowshoeing Winter Sports (6/92)
Lodge Use Rep Lodge


The membership year is for a 12-month period, renewable in the month of the member's acceptance into the Club. Membership not renewed within 30 days of the renewal date will be removed from the membership files. If dues are not paid within the 30-day period, a reinstatement fee of $5.00 will be assessed. (2/94)

Dues shall be $35 for a single and $50 for a couple (or partner). (2/94)(10/01) Full-time students, under 30 years of age, are eligible for a $20 per year membership dues. All new or reinstating members pay a $5 application fee.

Membership dues may be paid by check or credit card (via the WMC website). Dues may not be paid via cash. (4/16) The membership director will return all cash to sender, and request checks or credit card payment. (3/80)(4/16) Payment must accompany new membership, reinstatement and membership renewal forms. (11/80)(4/16)

Renewal forms and the membership application form shall include current applicant agreement, acknowledgement of risk, and release from liability statements that are initialed and signed by the member. (1/93)

A statement is included on the application form indicating that the Club's mailing list is made available to Board-approved organizations. If a member does not want his/her name made available, he/she can indicate so on the renewal or application form. (6/94)

Service activities should be stressed as alternatives to outings as a method of satisfying membership application requirements.

The membership director updates and publishes the membership manual as necessary to reflect current Club policies. The membership manual is sent out to every new member. (1/01)

Any amendments or changes to the Constitution and Bylaws or updates/revisions to the Membership Manual will be published in the February Rambler. (1/93)(1/01)

Information on interests of new members shall be given to Board members when the applications are approved. Printouts of this information are available to each director.

A letter of welcome and information is to be sent out to new members. (4/81)

Free Ramblers are not mailed to prospective members unless specifically requested by Board members. Prospective members may request two copies of the Rambler to be mailed to them at a cost of $5.00. (2/95)

There is no exception to payment of membership dues. (9/94) Life members (who are not required to pay dues) may receive the RAMBLER free of charge upon request. (4/16)

Policies shall be sent to new members only upon specific request. (3/85)

The membership director is responsible for maintaining the membership database and for facilitating printing of the membership list in the Rambler 1-2 times/year. (1/97) Current membership lists should be sent to any retail store (such as Kirkham's) which gives WMC members a discount on purchases.


  1. The Life Member candidate shall submit an application in writing to the Governing Board documenting fulfillment of the following requirements:
    1. Membership for a total of twenty-five (25) years;
    2. A significant level of interest in Club affairs;
    3. Service to the Club equivalent to at least two (2) years of service on the Governing Board, as outlined in the WMC Polices.
  2. Life Membership is an individual recognition. In the case of partner membership, each must satisfy the requirements individually.
  3. After approval of the application by the Governing Board, it must be approved by a vote of the General Membership.
  4. Life members may receive the RAMBLER free of charge upon request.
  5. Life membership continues without any requirement for periodic renewal or payment of any fee, and terminates only upon death or at the written request of the life member.


Access to the Club office shall be limited to members of the Governing Board.

Access to all website hosting server, ie HTTPS, SSH, email, ..., shall be over secure communications (SSL/TLS).

The Club will not collect nor store any credit card information.

The Club will not use any card processing devices.

The website will not process credit cards and instead will use a 3rd party website to do it. If this changes our PCI compliance must be updated.

If any system is breached the IT Director (or backup) will immediately disable the transferring of members to the 3rd party that processes our credit cards.



Organizers are volunteers, not professional guides. Making the activity safe, successful, and satisfying depends on all participants becoming informed of the plans, assisting the organizer as needed, and sharing any concerns.

Participants are responsible for inquiring about the planned activity and deciding if their physical condition, experience, and personal equipment are appropriate.

The volunteer organizer has the right to limit or restrict who can participate or to alter or cancel the scheduled trip if the organizer decides this is appropriate for any reason.

Activities announced only by email and not on the WMC online calendar are considered private activities by the participants and not WMC activities.

All participants are expected to follow safe practices. Anyone exhibiting dangerous behavior may be banned from participation in club activities.

All participants are required to sign the release form provided by the activity organizer.

Participants shall report any injuries to the activity organizer and submit a WMC Accident / Injury report if applicable.

Participants should not use alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs that affect alertness, when engaging in inherently risky activities including driving.

The Wasatch Mountain Club and its activity organizers do not organize carpools. All carpooling is by private arrangement.




When members of the Conservation Committee attend public meetings but do not express Club opinions for one reason or another Club can still be listed as having attended and expressed interest in the issues discussed.

Individuals who want to get involved in issues in the name of the Club should get approval beforehand from the Conservation Director.

Ten percent of membership dues presently go towards a conservation fund. Allocation of Club monies to this fund is determined by the current Board for its tenure. Organizations that the Club has supported include Utah Chapter Sierra Club, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, Trust for Public Land, and Save Our Canyons.

The Conservation Director is authorized by the Board to speak at public hearings and to submit written comments on behalf of the Club subject to general conservation policy guidelines. Board approval is needed before signing onto any environmental lawsuits or other legal actions. This does not apply to participation in administrative hearings or appeals.

Support for candidates for public office, either financial or endorsement must be approved by the Board.


The John Gottman Memorial Fund was established in March, 1980. For tax purposes, memorial funds will be accounted for separately from the rest of the Club's monies. The Board approved application of the Gottman Fund toward development of a Mount Olympus trailhead. (4/80) An alternate plan for using the Gottman Fund money would be to set up a library for the lodge containing mountaineering magazines, etc. (9/80)

The Robert Frohboese Memorial Fund was established in March, 1981. The Frohboese Memorial Funds have been withdrawn from the general funds and are in a separate account. This is a perpetual fund and the interest that is accrued will be used to establish a source of public education for avalanche survival. The Club has an avalanche course offered every January using this fund. (3/84)








Duties and qualifications of Canyoneering Organizers:


A list of local hikes, their ratings, and an explanation of the rating systems is published in the Rambler every April. (4/97)

The hiking director and committee schedule local hikes, outings, and out of town car camping and backpacking trips.

For day hikes into wilderness areas, group size limits should be based on the area where the hike is located. In the Wasatch, this limit is typically 10, but greater or lower limits may apply. If the meeting point group is larger than the limit, the scheduled organizer should recruit a second organizer so that the group can be split. The splitting of the group and second organizer's name should be noted on the release form. To ensure that the groups will travel separately, the participants should be asked to assign themselves to either a "fast group" or the "slow-paced group" and the fast group should start up the trail first, preferably 15 minutes ahead of the second group. (6/92)(4/16)

For backpacks or other pre-registration trips, the scheduled organizer should keep a waiting list once the initial trip is filled. As people call in and are added to the waiting list, the organizer should inquire if the individual is capable of leading an overflow trip to a similar destination, typically another drainage in the same general area. Once a second trip organizer volunteers, that individual becomes responsible for contacting the people on the waiting list and making necessary arrangements. (6/92)

Rules for hike organizers should be sent to each organizer along with a release form to be signed by each hiker. (8/84) It is suggested that new hikes not be scheduled close to the beginning of the month because there is no guarantee that the Rambler will be out in time to announce the hike. (4/89) Alternatively, the hiking director can announce hikes into the month following the current published Rambler.

Minor children are only allowed on trips designated as family trips and advertised as such in the Rambler. (4/99)


These suggestions should be sent to all volunteers prior to their hike. This is a supplement to the official hiking regulations, which should also be included. Useful Phone Numbers and Addresses:


Awareness of Risk and Taking Responsibility - WMC hikes are a group of friends going on the route together. The organizer is not a guide who can guarantee you a successful experience. Everyone needs to look out for themselves and the others on the trip.
  1. Don't go on a hike unless you understand the risks and are prepared. If you want to go on a WMC hike, you must read the release form and sign it prior to participating. By signing the form, you are acknowledging to the WMC, and to the organizer, that you understand the risks involved with the hike. If you have any questions about the risks, ask the organizer before you sign. Don't sign and don't go on the hike if you have doubts about the risks. Trip descriptions in the Rambler are meant to help you make decisions about risks before you consider a hike. Become familiar with the WMC hike rating tables, especially regarding length, elevation gain and duration of the hike you're attempting. Make sure you understand the implications of 'scrambling,' 'exposure,' 'exploratory' or 'cross-country.' Check weather reports for potential rain, wind or extreme temperatures. Check guidebooks such as Hiking the Wasatch for more information about conditions on the hike. Take responsibility for your own safety.
  2. If a hike becomes riskier than what you are prepared for, stop. If for any reason you can't complete the hike, talk to the organizer and explain the problem. You may then sign off from the release form and leave the hike. Don't leave alone; return to the trailhead with a buddy, and be sure that the organizer understands your route. Fatigue, blisters, bad weather and unexpected terrain are some of the many appropriate reasons for stopping. Don't let anyone pressure you into taking risks for which you aren't prepared.
  3. Always make use of common sense, experience and good judgment. If you find yourself in an awkward situation on a hike, ask the organizer for help and advice. If by circumstance you become separated from the group, make yourself easy to find and don't take any unnecessary risks. Your good judgment is your best defense against accidents. You can help by memorizing landmarks along the trail, carrying a compass and knowing how to use it, and taking advantage of the experience of the organizer and other hikers.
  4. Be prepared for a hike with proper equipment and physical fitness. It is your responsibility to prepare for a hike so that you won't endanger yourself or others. If you don't have the appropriate equipment or fitness, or if you don't have sufficient experience with the technical requirements, the organizer can bar you from the hike. If the Rambler description or the organizer asks you to bring materials and equipment such as high-top hiking boots, extra water, long pants, crampons, rope or wading shoes, and you forget to do so, you won't be allowed to go on the hike. Check the hike rating and the trip description to make sure that you are fit enough to handle a hike of the given steepness or length. If you aren't sure, contact the organizer for information in advance.
  5. Stay together on the trail and watch out for others. Stay within view or earshot of other hikers in the group. If you get ahead of the group, or if the organizer asks, you must wait to collect the rest of the group before continuing. If the organizer appoints another experienced hiker to lead a secondary group and assigns you to that group, you must respect the decisions of the deputy organizer and stay with your secondary group. If you notice other hikers in difficulty, report the problem to the organizer and try to help the organizer deal with it. There is safety in numbers, but it is also hard to manage large groups, especially in terrain that limits views such as forests or rough slick rock country. If the group spreads out, it can be difficult for the organizer to provide proper advice or directions, especially if the organizer must stay toward the rear with slower hikers. You can help the organizer by making your location obvious; for example, if you leave the trail temporarily for a break, drop your pack by the trail to show where you are taking your break. If the organizer asks the group to meet at a landmark on the trail, wait there and check on others. If needed, and you have experience with organizing this particular hike, you can volunteer to help the organizer by heading a secondary group.
  6. Talk to the organizer to report problems and seek guidance. The organizer is your resource for help with the hike. If you are unsure of the risk in a situation, or if you need directions, you must ask the organizer for help. Your trip organizer should know the hazards and risks of the route, have directions for driving to and from the trailhead, know possible escape routes in the event of bad weather or other unexpected conditions, know meeting places to regroup on the trail, have maps for exploratory hike routes, and have suggestions about the right equipment for the conditions.
  7. Walk softly in the wilderness and keep it clean and safe. While on a WMC activity, you should preserve wilderness values. Don't cut switchbacks or encourage trail erosion. Pack all your trash out. That includes "bio-degradable" litter, as much as a candy wrapper or soda bottle. Apple cores, orange peels (the worst), even watermelon rinds in the bushes or over a cliff are just as unsightly to see as any other trash on the trail. Plus, where we live, due to the dryness, it takes a long time for these "bio-degradable" items to go back to the soil. Don't needlessly injure plants or animals; do preserve their habitat. Don't hunt while on WMC hikes. The WMC Constitution "encourage[s] preservation of our natural areas, including plant, animal and bird life."
  8. Obey established rules for recreation on the trail. Certain wilderness areas have established rules on group size; WMC groups will limit themselves to no more than the maximum permitted size, or split into secondary groups. You must respect private property and take care not to damage it or infringe on the owners' rights. WMC hikers must always obey all applicable laws and cooperate with police officers, Forest Service and BLM rangers, and other authorities. You are responsible for parking legally at trailheads, refraining from fishing in restricted streams, following rules about backcountry camping, and fulfilling the other duties of a responsible citizen.
  9. You may be ejected for not following rules. Any organizer may exclude you if, in the organizer's own best judgment, you lack the experience, equipment, physical fitness or good judgment to complete the hike without becoming a danger to yourself or others. If you are already on the trail and you are ejected, you should return to the trailhead with the organizer or another experienced hiker appointed by the organizer, or wait at an appointed spot for the organizer to return. You are responsible for understanding WMC rules, and any violation of the rules may be grounds for exclusion. You must sign off from the release form before you leave, and be accounted for upon return like any other hiker. By signing the release form before the hike, you recognize that your trip organizer may act on behalf of the WMC to uphold its rules and policies. If you observe problems with leadership you should report them to the Hiking Director, but on any given trip, you must cooperate with the organizer.
  10. You must respect the organizer's decisions on the trail. Even if you disagree with the wisdom or usefulness of the organizer's directions, you must comply with them or leave the hike. The organizer has no obligation to accommodate you if you can't accept the conditions on the hike. The organizer has some discretion to maintain order on the hike. If you decide to leave a hike, you should follow the above rules about leaving hikes. Take care to NOT follow the organizer into a situation you aren't prepared for. It is possible that the organizer's choices aren't suitable for you; don't be afraid to leave the hike if that's the case.
Responsibilities of Organizers to Participants
The organizer will plan the hike and explain the risks to you. The organizer can always explain to you the chosen route to the destination of the hike and describe the hazards along the way. The organizer should emphasize the safety and wellbeing of the group. You should not sign the release until you are satisfied that you have understood what kind of hike is being planned. Don't be afraid to ask. The organizer may change plans as a consequence of changes in the weather, trail conditions, time constraints or other problems, but the organizer should always explain the change in plans and the reasons for the change.

The organizer will sign you in and account for you throughout, and at the end of, the hike. The organizer will ensure that you read and understand the release before signing it, and that you sign it before hiking. The organizer will account for you at the end of the hike, even if you didn't finish all of the hike. In turn, you must make sure that the organizer knows you have returned from the hike. In the event of an accident or rescue, the expenses incurred are your responsibility. If you don't notify the organizer of your whereabouts, you will be held responsible for the expenses even if you didn't need rescue. If you return before the organizer, you must leave a written message, wait for the organizer, or make sure that someone else on the hike will inform the organizer that you returned safely.


The following policies define the activities and responsibilities within the winter sports program of the Wasatch Mountain Club. The program may include snowshoe tours, backcountry tours, cross-country skiing, alpine skiing, snowboarding, clinics, and out-of-town trips (e.g., yurt and winter camping trips).

The Winter Sports Director is responsible for the overall management of the winter sports program. A skiing and a snowshoeing coordinator may be appointed to assist the director and activity organizers by approving trips and promoting volunteers to organize a winter sport activity. The winter sports program will also promote conservation of our winter wilderness.

Activities that require technical gear and/or protection shall be considered mountaineering activities rather than hiking or winter sports activities; thus, shall be approved by the mountaineering director. Ice axe, alpine axe and crampons are considered technical gear.

Activities that travel through Class V (five) terrain (or Class IV (four in winter conditions) are also considered mountaineering activities and shall be approved by the mountaineering director.


The winter sports program adopts the guidelines for hiking organizers, published elsewhere in these policies. (Review hiking policy)

Special consideration is necessary for winter activities. Planning your destination and route is the key to a successful trip. You should always try to carpool or utilize UTA transit options for use of Wasatch Canyons. Organizers are suggested to write activity descriptions with clear expectations including: 1. Yes or no if avalanche gear is needed (if organizer says "yes" it is needed then ALL members who participate must wear a beacon and proper avalanche equipment including probe and shovel and know how to use it; if it says "no" it is assumed the trip is in non-avalanche safe terrain); 2. Route description including possible miles and elevation gain and level of terrain difficulty. Participants are expected to understand the terminology to then determine if they are suited for this trip. The organizer may use their discretion and turn away perspective participants related to the equipment, clothing and skills necessary for a safe and successful outing for all participants. As such, organizers are encouraged to screen members via the phone, email, texting and on the day of the trip including fitness level and prior experience. A release form acknowledging risks involved must be signed.

An organizer has the right to turn the group back from the outing/trip in the event of inclement weather or safety is at risk. Participants disagreeing with the organizer can choose to withdraw from an outing/trip after clearly notifying the organizer. A witness to this interaction is recommended. The organizer and the participant need to verbally acknowledge that the participant is no longer a participant of the organized activity. Winter sports participants should return to the trailhead with a buddy and be sure the organizer understands your route.

An organizer also has the responsibility to cancel or change route if conditions are deemed potentially dangerous.


All trip participants are responsible for their own equipment and preparedness. Be self-sufficient at all times and be prepared to assist others when necessary. Carry necessary supplies for changes in conditions.

Organizers and participants should be aware of changing weather patterns in the mountains for safe travel in the backcountry and for driving purposes. As such, participants that volunteer to drive should have proper car equipment for the groups' safety.

Beacon, shovel and probe and highly recommended by each participant when traveling across, below or down possible avalanche terrain. Organizers are encouraged to look for opportunities to conduct beacon drills while in the winter wilderness.

Helmets are encouraged when skiing downhill and/or in the trees.


  1. Parties should give appropriate space to other groups and be respectful of other groups.
  2. Break trails that will be useful for others to follow.
  3. Pay attention to inter-party safety considerations (e.g., do not tour above others).
  4. Share observations about potentially dangerous snow and avalanche conditions to others.
  5. If possible do not snowshoe on a ski/snowboard path.


Winter sports participants are greatly encouraged to participate in clinics, workshops and lectures related to winter and avalanche safety. These may be offered by the Wasatch Mountain Club or Utah Avalanche Center. Organizers and participants are expected to view and be familiar with the recent and daily avalanche forecast.

www.utahavalanchecenter.org Check advisories in your area or call (888)999-4019


A liability release form is to be signed when traveling to an out of town Club sponsored event. (6/94)


It is up to the individual directors and coordinators to plan and arrange their own parties, but the entertainment director needs to be informed of any planned parties to avoid scheduling conflicts. (10/89)

If there are no sponsors for a party, then the party will not be held. (8/89)

Activity organizers' party was revised to one party per year in the fall. (6/90)

Name tags should be used at all socials. (11/88)

Live bands for parties should not cost over $600. (8/88)(7/94)

Socials are for members and guests only. (8/88)

All parties should be self-sustaining, with participants paying the costs of food and beverages. (10/85)

A balance should be maintained from year to year in the entertainment fund to cover inadvertent losses. (10/90)


The duties and purposes of the information director shall be:


The WMC website is a vital component of the club. As such, its maintenance and development is the responsibility of all of the officers of the club. It is the Webmaster's responsibility to manage and coordinate the website maintenance and development. To this end, the Webmaster may choose to implement changes by soliciting paid contractors, volunteers or do the work by him or herself, based on the scope and size of the change.

Website maintenance includes:
Website development, that is, substantive changes to the website, or requiring financial support, must be pre-approved by the board or a board approved committee. Substantive changes include the addition of new functions or changes to the overall look and feel of the website.


It is possible to email all members of the WMC who have provided their email addresses, even if they are not enrolled in a specific email list. This ability to email "all" is reserved solely for the president, who can funnel information from other board members. Appropriate topics include club service changes/information, club membership information, announcements of general membership meetings, Awards Dinner invitations, club-wide survey's.


Emails written by WMC members and distributed via the WMC-activity email lists should be focused on the type activity the list targets, or at least be relevant to the list recipients. Activities advertised via the email lists, but not submitted to the calendar or Rambler, which require director approval, are considered NON-WMC events. Sales of items, gear or personal services are not encouraged. Offensive language is inappropriate. Abuse of this system may result in a member's removal from the list.


Photos submitted to the Rambler or the WMC Website are expected to contain pictures of WMC activities or events, WMC members or relevant wilderness. Photos of an inappropriate or offensive behavior or scene may be removed and discarded at any time. All photos submitted to the website may also be co-opted for publication in the Rambler and visa versa.


Articles/photographs may be submitted in any of the following ways:
If on diskette, please use 3.5" diskettes, MS/DOS format, and in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format. Use Arial font, 10 point for all submissions. Label the diskette with your name and identify what file(s) are submissions. Enclose a hard copy in case your diskette cannot be read. The deadline is 6 pm on the 10th of the month. (Changed from 15th 11/00.)

Photos, B&W and color prints, will be accepted. Make sure that each photo is labeled with the photographer, date, and names of people. Unless a stamped, self-addressed envelope is provided, returned submissions will be available in the red bucket outside the WMC office.


Ramblers remaining after the membership mailing are available to the public and are located outside the office and at REI.

Placement of ads in the Rambler is at the editor's discretion. (10/91) Any commercial entity advertising in the Rambler is automatically given a complimentary copy without Board approval. (4/95)

Ads that are not consistent with the philosophy and history of the Club and the sensitivities of the Board and members will not be accepted for publication. Examples of ads inconsistent with Club purpose and conservation philosophy include ads for helicopter skiing or off road vehicles. Ads for partisan political races should not be accepted. The Board shall fully support the interpretation of this policy by the Publications director and staff. (05/04)

The Rambler is to be printed on recycled paper. (11/91)

Local outdoor recreation shops will receive complimentary copies of the Rambler by direct mailing.

Each member must be given the choice of whether or not to receive the Rambler.

Scheduled events should be submitted 6 to 8 weeks in advance of the time they are to occur in order to allow time for printing and mailing of the Rambler.

Only events or trips approved by the appropriate director will be published in the Rambler and all events and trips should be sent to the director for their submission to the Rambler.

Commercial advertising rates are set by the publications director.

Only volunteer-led, director-approved trips will be listed in the Club Activities section of the Rambler. Commercial trips will be noted in a separate section.

Out of area trips, which are organized by individuals and are not a WMC-sponsored activity and are sponsored for a profit, must be listed and paid for as a Classified Ad. (3/94)

Club members may use the Rambler to advertise for sale personal items, which correspond to Club activities without charge.

Private parties serving alcohol will not be listed in the activities section of the Rambler. (12/89)

Names of people who contributed to the Conservation Fund will be published in the Rambler. (4/88)

The Rambler editor is authorized to reject advertisements in the Rambler that are inconsistent with the purpose of the Club or that otherwise are likely to offend the sensitivities of Club members. (8/87)

Political ads may be accepted for the Rambler if they address environmental or recreational issues. (10/86)

Reimbursement of mileage at $.35/mile up to 100 miles/month is allowed for the person soliciting ads for the Rambler. (2/90)(Increased 5/00)

Only the days of a trip should be listed in the Rambler, not the departure day (if the departure is in the evening) to avoid confusion about days needed to take off work. (6/90)

Both the publication director and president have to approve any special mailings before they are sent out. (5/00)


The following policies define the activities and responsibilities of the boating director, as well as the rafting, kayaking, canoeing, boating instruction, and equipment coordinators.

The boating program of the Wasatch Mountain Club in no way expresses or intends to provide a service to the general public. Club members, and prospective members, voluntarily participate as an amateur group in these activities for recreational purposes. All trip-related costs are equally divided among all trip participants. Prior to acceptance on a trip, participants must fairly represent their abilities and experience, and sign a release form acknowledging that they understand the risks and hazards of water sport activities.

The Club provides numerous water sport activities for its members throughout the year. These activities revolve around rafting, kayaking, and canoeing rivers, classes for beginners, and other informative sessions. These classes are sometimes made available to the public, and any fee collected is the same for all participants. The Club offers these activities to help members gain experience and knowledge so they can participate in more advanced and difficult river trips. The Club owns several rafts and accompanying equipment needed for daily or overnight trips. The Club collects rental fees from its members and the public to replace or repair this equipment. The Club owns a limited number of lifejackets for rental; however, participants are urged to purchase their own lifejackets. Members may, at times, be required to provide their own equipment as equipment is limited.


The boating director is responsible for the overall management of the boating program. He/she appoints coordinators who in turn assist trip organizers. The boating director sits on the Governing Board of Directors and represents the boating contingent in respect to policies and matters brought before the Board. The boating director is also responsible for the following:
Any member who displays disregard for the safety of himself or others, or abuses Club equipment may, at the discretion of the boating director, be placed on probation. The boating director shall notify the person affected by this policy in writing and notify all coordinators and organizers accordingly. Additional incidents may result in restricted participation in Club activities and prohibited raft rentals. Any member who feels they have been unfairly placed on probation may appeal to the Governing Board.


The equipment coordinator is responsible for the following:  


The rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and instructional coordinators' primary responsibilities are assisting trip organizers in setting up and/or running their trips, and holding instructional classes in each of their areas of expertise. Coordinators discuss with the trip organizer the itinerary, participants' experience levels, Club policies, equipment, and whatever other information is needed by the trip organizer. Each coordinator should be actively involved in Club activities and be familiar with other members. Other responsibilities include:  


Trip organizers volunteer to schedule trips and plan Club boating events. Their efforts are greatly appreciated and make the Club a functioning active group. Trip organizers should be capable, but are not always experienced. Communication with coordinators can help the trip organizers with answers and suggestions. The trip organizers' responsibilities for arranging and coordinating trips include, but are not limited to:
Trip organizers may delegate any or all of the items listed above, but he/she is ultimately responsible for all these items. The organizer may appoint a river guide, who takes control of the group once on the river.

Trip organizers are required to submit to the next Board meeting, a completed accident/incident report on any injury or accident on any Club function. The organizer will include comments written by the injured party and any witness to the accident.


A Club boating trip must be announced on the Activity Calendar. Members may sign-up by contacting the trip organizer and submitting a non-refundable deposit if applicable. The trip organizer is responsible for managing their trip participants' rosters, and may put interested members on wait lists if trip has reached capacity. The trip organizer, and or supporting coordinator, can deny any member from participating due to space or crew requirements. (1/01) The trip organizer shall refund the full deposit for any such person denied. Full refunds will also be made for those paddlers on the waiting list without a captain, or those on the waiting list because the trip is full. A signed-up person that later cancels may be required to forfeit his/her deposit, especially if cancellation has a financial impact on other trip participants.

A non-Club member wishing to go on a boating trip must become a member prior to the trip, or pay a non-refundable $25 participation fee.


Compensation for private gear used on a Club trip is at 50% of the Club rate if the gear (i.e., raft) benefits the entire group. (4/97) Compensation for transportation via private vehicles is at the current Club rate. Members are urged to consolidate into the minimum vehicles required to conserve fuel, reduce parking requirements, and to simplify shuttle.


Participants also have responsibilities and are not just going along for a ride. All work is to be equally divided among participants and those not willing to volunteer will be assigned tasks (such as the PTJ). All participants are required to:
Any member who fails to comply with the above items, or who displays disregard for the safety of himself or others, or abuses Club equipment may, at the discretion of the boating director, be placed on probation. The boating director shall notify the person affected by this policy in writing and notify all coordinators and organizers accordingly. Additional incidents may result in restricted participation in Club activities and prohibited raft rentals. Any member who feels they have been unfairly placed on probation may appeal to the Board of Directors.

Non-Club members will be allowed on Club river trips by joining the Club prior to leaving (application and money submitted at work party), (5/88) or by paying a $25, non-refundable participation fee.

Damage or loss of Club gear shall be repaired, reimbursed, or replaced by the responsible group. The cost of reimbursement will be the replacement cost prorated over the lost/damaged item's remaining lifetime. Costs to the group are to be equally divided among the trip participants up to a limit of $60 per person. The boating program, if any, will absorb the remainder. (6/88)(4/97)(10/16)


The current boating director and equipment coordinator set boating fees, with approval by the Board. The fees are set according to replacement costs divided by the estimated lifetime and the estimated usage. (4/97) The budget should be assessed each year to reflect the Club's changing needs and the rising cost of inflation. The budget also includes rental for the storage shed, which must come out of boating fees. Each trip is responsible for repair, replacement, or reimbursement of damaged or lost Club gear.


The Club allows Club members to rent rafts for private trips provided the rental does not conflict with a Club trip. Members are encouraged to organize Club trips rather than lead private trips, and the rental rate is slightly higher than Club rates to reflect this. Renters are responsible for repair, replacement, or reimbursement of damaged or lost Club gear. The rental rates include ropes, paddles, pumps, repair kits, first aid kits - everything needed to launch. (7/89)


Emergencies on the river can be life threatening to not only the victim, but also the rescuers. To encourage boaters to learn how to deal with water emergencies appropriately, a member left funds to assist in the payment of swiftwater rescue course fees. This reimbursement program is at the discretion of the boating director. Reimbursement will be based on available boating funds and may not occur every year. The requirements for reimbursement are:
  1. Reimbursement will be for half of the cost of the course.
    1. The boater is responsible for the initial payment of full course costs.
  2. Reimbursement will be for courses specified by the boating co-directors.
    1. In 2016, these were the two taught by the University of Utah's Remote Rescue Training Program
      1. Swiftwater Rescue Fundamentals
      2. Swiftwater Rescue Techniques
    2. If you are interested in a different course, prior approval by the boating directors needs to be obtained.
  3. Reimbursement will be for only one course (i.e. you will not get reimbursed for both the swiftwater rescue fundamentals and the swiftwater rescue techniques course).
  4. A boater can only receive one reimbursement once every 2 years (i.e. if you qualify and receive reimbursement in 2016, you are not eligible again until 2018).
  5. In order to receive reimbursement:
    1. The boater needs to organize at least two trips for boating.
      1. These trips need to be organized in the same year that the rescue course is taken.
      2. For one of the trips, you need to be the primary organizer. For the other one, you can be a secondary co-organizer.
      3. Day trips do count. You can organize two one-day trips, one one-day and one multi-day trip, or two multi-day trips.
    2. After organizing the two trips, the boater must submit the receipt for the course to the boating directors by October 31 of the same year.


The current bicycling policy was approved by the Board 12/2013.

Bicycling is an officially recognized activity of the Wasatch Mountain Club. It includes both mountain biking and road biking, and is organized under the direction of the bicycling director who is a voting member of the Wasatch Mountain Club Board of Directors.

Bicycling activities scheduled prior to the RAMBLER deadline are to be included in the RAMBLER schedule and in the online calendar. Activities scheduled after the RAMBLER deadline are to be included in the online calendar.

Mountain bike and road bike coordinators may be appointed as required to assist the biking director in planning and managing the biking schedule.

The WMC advocates safe and responsible bicycling activities as explained in the Mountain Biking and Road Biking sections below.


To help promote safe and responsible mountain biking, the WMC adheres to the rules and philosophies set forth by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA). IMBA's mission statement and rules of the trail are stated as follows:

Mission Statement
The mission of IMBA is to promote mountain bicycling opportunities that are environmentally and socially responsible.

"Opportunities" means trails, which are fun, safe and legal to ride; "Environmental responsibility" means we stay on existing trails and roads. We do not ride cross-country off of trails. We also do not ride trails when they are wet, or closed to protect wildlife. We never spook animals; "Social responsibility" means we control our speed, and yield the trail to hikers and equestrians.

Rules of the Trail
  1. Ride Open Trails: Respect trail and road closures — ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that bicycles are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal Wilderness.
  2. Leave No Trace: Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. This also means staying on existing trails and not creating new ones. Don't cut switchbacks. Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in.
  3. Control Your Bicycle: Inattention for even a moment could put yourself and others at risk. Obey all bicycle speed regulations and recommendations, and ride within your limits.
  4. Yield Appropriately: Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you're coming. A friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners. Bicyclists should yield to other non-motorized trail users, unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bicyclists traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill, unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one.
  5. Never Scare Animals: Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement or a loud noise. Give animals enough room and time to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain). Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.
  6. Plan Ahead: Know your equipment, your ability and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear.

Organizers shall encourage appropriate safety, courtesy and environmentally sensitive behavior. This includes using discretion (with respect to group size, day of week, etc.) when planning trips to high use or environmentally sensitive areas.


To help promote safe and responsible road biking, the WMC adheres to the rules and philosophies set forth by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and to the laws of Utah that govern bicycling.

LAB's mission statement and rules of the road are stated as follows:

Mission Statement
To promote bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation and work through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America.

Rules of the Road
The League's six Rules of the Road will prepare you for safe and fun bike riding no matter where you are riding.
  1. Follow the law. Your safety and the image of bicyclists depend on you. You have the same rights and duties as drivers. Obey traffic signals and stop signs. Ride with traffic; use the rightmost lane headed in the direction you are going.
  2. Be predictable. Make your intentions clear to motorists and other road users. Ride in a straight line and don't swerve between parked cars. Signal turns, and check behind you well before turning or changing lanes.
  3. Be conspicuous. Ride where drivers can see you; wear bright clothing. Use a front white light and red rear light and reflectors at night or when visibility is poor. Make eye contact with drivers. Don't ride on sidewalks.
  4. Think ahead. Anticipate what drivers, pedestrians, and other bicyclists will do next. Try to make eye contact with others so you know they've seen you. Watch for turning vehicles and ride outside the door zone of parked cars. Look out for debris, potholes, and utility covers. Cross railroad tracks at right angles.
  5. Ride Ready. Check that your tires have sufficient air, brakes are working, chain runs smoothly, and quick release wheel levers are closed. Carry repair and emergency supplies appropriate for your ride. Wear a helmet.
  6. Keep your cool. Road rage benefits nobody, and always makes a bad situation worse.

Additional Tips. Visit LAB's Ride Better Tips page at http://bikeleague.org/content/ride-better-tips to get specifics on riding to the right, signaling, traffic and much more.

Utah Bicycling Laws
WMC policy requires that you abide by Utah laws governing bicycles. As part of that requirement, you are also expected to know them.

A plain language summary of Utah's bicycling laws can be found on Utah's Road Respect website at http://www.roadrespect.utah.gov/ride_with_respect.php. The document references sections of the Utah Code where the exact wording of the laws can be found (they are in Title 41, Chapter 6a - Traffic Code). You can find these on the Utah State Government website at http://le.utah.gov/UtahCode/section.jsp?code=41-6a. You can also find the relevant sections on the Utah Department of Health website at http://health.utah.gov/vipp/kids/bicycle-safety/.

Very briefly, your bicycle is considered a vehicle, so you have the same rights and must obey the same rules as operators of any other vehicle. The laws cover traffic signals, signs and devices, riding in the same direction as traffic, riding on the right, when you can and can't ride two abreast, signaling for and making right and left turns, when to use bike paths, yielding to and warning pedestrians, bicycle capacity, requirements about using your hands to control your bike, headlight, taillight and reflector requirements, equipment your bike must and must not have, parking regulations and more. Be sure to familiarize yourself with them. Review them each year in case of changes or additions.


The following rules and regulations are intended to help you know what is expected of you when participating in WMC rides:


As a ride organizer, you represent the club. As such, you should be informative and friendly and take special pains to insure new riders know the route and are not left to feel they are not part of the group. Your actions on club rides may be the lasting impression that new riders remember of WMC.

These guidelines are primarily designed for road biking, but also apply to mountain biking with relevant modifications for trail riding. Use these guidelines along with a healthy dose of common sense for every WMC ride that you organize.
  1. Plan The Route.
    • Decide where you want to ride. For road biking, "Google Maps," "Map My Ride" and "Ride with GPS" are good planning, mapping and cue sheet aids.
    • If you are not already familiar with the roads and trails you plan to use or you haven't ridden them for a long time, you should drive or ride the route before the day of the ride so you will know about such things as road or trail conditions, type of terrain, whether there is significant climbing, and available water and food stops.
    • Exploratory rides also have a place, but if you plan a ride that is all or part exploratory, make sure you specify that in the ride description.
    • Try to avoid using high traffic roads unless they have wide shoulders or bike accommodations. Plan to exercise special care when using trails with high hiker and biker traffic or horses.
    • Contact the biking director about road rides or the mountain biking coordinator about trail rides if you need help selecting and planning a route.
  2. Schedule The Ride.
    • To schedule the ride, you can use the WMC website or you can contact the biking director for road rides or the mountain biking coordinator for trail rides. If you want them to schedule the ride for you, you will need to give them the relevant ride information.
    • To use the WMC website, click on "Volunteer to Organize an Activity" under the "Member Menu" and complete the form. You will need to include a title and description, meeting time and place and your contact information. You should also include the mileage, difficulty rating (NTD, MOD, MSD, etc), and pace (slow, moderate, or fast). Other information you can include if you want is the vertical gain and the type of route (loop, out and back, etc). You also have the option to specify a carpool time and place. If you wish (definitely not required, though) you can provide a link to a web address which could be a map and cue sheet of the ride or anything else you might wish to refer potential participants to.
    • Your ride description should provide accurate information about the ride, including the type of terrain (especially details about significant climbs), intended pace and level of difficulty, any particular risks or hazards, whether the ride is exploratory and any special considerations such as planned stops.
  3. Before The Ride
    • Prepare a map and cue sheet for your own use unless you are already familiar with the route, and one to hand out to riders if you are planning to do that. Maps and cue sheets are desirable for road bike rides. Routes without them are okay when they are simple out-and-back rides, when everyone knows the route, when everyone is going to keep together or when the ride organizer is going to stay with new riders. You should definitely have maps and cue sheets for exploratory rides, however. If you need help developing maps or cue sheets, contact the biking director.
  4. Day Of The Ride
    • Arrive in plenty of time to meet new riders and prepare your bike and yourself for the ride (15 minutes early, if possible).
      • Make sure you arrive. If a conflict arises, use the wmc-bike email list to find a replacement organizer or contact the biking directors.
      • If the weather is questionable, warn riders in advance via email of a potential ride cancellation. Usually, you can cancel via email, but in some cases you may need to go to the start point anyway to meet hard core riders intent on riding rain or shine.
      • Decide if the weather will create an unnecessary hazard to the safety of the riders. If there is thunder and lightning, or if driving rain or snow are imminent, it's better to cancel than take a chance.
    • Introduce yourself to the group as ride organizer. Let riders know you appreciate their participation. Do a general introduction of everyone unless all participants already know each other.
    • Pass around the release form for everyone to sign. Make sure participants understand the form and sign it. No signing, no riding. The release helps protect the participants, the organizer and the club. Let riders know that by signing the form, they are saying that they understand the risks, that they know what they are doing, and that they have sufficient insurance or wherewithal to cover the cost of any accident or injury they may sustain. The release is not a magic bullet, however; you must still act responsibly in your capacity as an organizer.
    • Evaluate the preparation and capabilities of the riders. They must be prepared for the ride. Club regulations say that riders must evaluate their own capabilities. Your job is to help them understand what the ride entails so they can make an informed decision about whether they should participate in it.
    • Turn away riders who are not properly prepared or are excessively late and not ready. Club policies give you this discretion. Try to make sure they understand why they are being dismissed, but don't be argumentative.
    • Cell phone: If you have a cell phone, take it with you and give everyone your number.
    • Announce the route. Hand out maps and cue sheets, if available. Discuss the route. Make sure everyone understands the route and how not to get lost.
    • Discuss any potential hazards on the route.
    • Announce regroup locations. It's a good idea to regroup at least once or twice unless everyone stays together or there is an agreement that there will be no regrouping. If there is to be no regrouping, make sure everyone understands that before the ride begins. You may also indicate additional regrouping stops during the ride if necessary.
    • Emphasize safety and remind riders that they are riding at their own risk on roads shared with motorized traffic, or on trails with hikers, other bikers and perhaps horses.
    • Remind riders to inform the ride organizer or another rider if they leave the route for any reason.
    • Remind riders that bicycles are vehicles; encourage adherence to traffic laws.
    • Unless you have advertised a prompt start time, it is a nice courtesy to allow about 10-15 minutes after the published meeting time before starting the ride, especially for out of town rides. Don't allow more than 10-15 minutes, though, because riders who come on time shouldn't be penalized by having to wait for those who are late.
    • Splitting into subgroups. If you have a very large group or a group with considerably different riding abilities, you may want to split into subgroups. If you do that, choose other experienced riders who are willing to take on organizer responsibilities for the subgroups. Make sure that the organizers and riders in the subgroups understand that they have the same responsibilities and are subject to the same rules as any other organizers and participants. At the end of the ride, you should take care to account for all the members of all the subgroups.
  5. New Riders
    • Ask if there are any first-time participants, unless you recognize everyone.
    • Notify new riders of the distance and average speed of the ride, and any significant climbing. Ask them if they feel they are able to maintain the stated speed for the stated distance. If not, see if the group is willing to split into subgroups that will ride at different paces. Also, you can suggest other WMC rides that might be better suited to their riding abilities.
    • Make sure new riders understand the route and how to read the map and cue sheet if you have given them one.
    • Be cognizant of new riders during the entire ride. If they have overestimated their abilities and are not keeping up, either go back and ride with them or secure a volunteer to do so. Dropping a new rider is very poor cycling etiquette, and it could lead to a dangerous situation if the rider should crash or get lost.
    • Riders are responsible for their own actions and preparation (see the Rider Rules and Regulations), so your responsibilities have limits.
  6. During The Ride
    • Set an example of safe and legal riding practices. It's unreasonable to expect others to ride safely and legally if you aren't doing so yourself.
    • If you observe unsafe actions, tactfully suggest to those committing the acts that they are endangering themselves and the group. If they argue or refuse to comply with your suggestions, you can dismiss them from the ride.
    • Offer useful advice. You may be able to help less experienced riders improve their safety, riding skills and enjoyment by passing on information about proper bike fit, cadence, helmet fit, peddling technique, etc.
    • Keep the ride at the advertised pace unless all riders present agree to a different pace.
    • If stronger riders decide to go faster than the ride organizer and group and they depart from the planned route, either intentionally or accidentally (i.e., they miss a turn), they are on their own. The ride organizer is no longer responsible for them unless and until they return to the group.
    • Don't leave a rider stranded. The ride organizer should carry a basic tool kit, tubes, pump, patch kit, etc., and be prepared to assist riders with mechanical problems if necessary. If you aren't especially adept at mechanical repairs, recruit someone else on the ride to lend assistance. If a rider doesn't have any tools or supplies, suggest that they get them, bring them on future rides, and know how to use them.
    • Have fun! Almost every ride comes off without a hitch. Enjoy the ride, friends, fresh air and scenery and help the other participants enjoy themselves, too.
  7. Safety
    • Suggest that riders do an ABC Quick Check before each ride (A is for air, B for brakes, C for cranks, chain, and cassette. Quick is for quick releases. Check is for check it over. For more details, see the League of American Bicyclist's page at http://www.bikeleague.org/content/basic-bike-check.
    • Don't block the roadway when motor vehicles are present and road conditions permit safe passing. Move completely off the road when stopping for flat repairs or breaks. At red lights, do not stop in a right turn only lane if your group is going straight; allow other vehicles to turn right. Since riders at the front cannot always see the traffic behind the group, ask those at or near the back to call out "car back" when a car approaches. The group should go single-file on two-lane roads when a car is passing. State law requires that riders ride no more than two abreast, and allows that only when it does not impede traffic.
    • Observe traffic control. Stop at all red lights. State law also requires stopping at stop signs. This is especially important when cross street traffic is present; it could also save your life. Stop and yield to cross traffic when it has the right-of-way even though others in your group have already crossed.
    • Don't call out "clear" when crossing intersections. Make sure each rider knows that he/she should look and decide for himself/herself when to cross; avoid the herd mentality to blindly charge forward.
    • Use proper traffic lanes. Never ride left of center. Merge to the appropriate left turn lane before making a left turn. Make sure to check behind you for clearance before merging to the left.
    • Cut the ride short if conditions dictate (changing weather, unsafe construction, etc.).
    • Get appropriate help when needed in the event of a serious crash or other significant problem.
  8. After The Ride
    • Use the check-off boxes on the release form to account for everyone, because someone could have made a wrong turn on the route or run into trouble.
    • Back-check the route if missing riders don't show when you are ready to leave.
    • If you can't find or account for a rider, call him or her later to make sure he/she returned safely. Rider's phone numbers should be on the release form they signed.
    • Send the release forms to the biking director. This is important! Please do it as soon as possible. The biking director can use them to see how many are riding and when, which helps in planning the ride schedule. Using that information helps the director try to schedule the types of rides most riders prefer on the days they are most able to ride. Knowing who is riding and when also helps the director recruit more ride organizers.
    • Accidents, injuries and incidents. If a rider suffers a serious accident or injury, complete an accident/incident report form (which can be downloaded from the WMC website) and inform the biking director. You should also report any unusual incidents or circumstances to the biking director or other club officer as soon as you reasonably can. Accidents and injuries are to be reported to the full governing board within 30 days.
    • Ride write-up and photos: Ask participants to send in photos of the trip to the RAMBLER editor or biking director. See if someone is willing to write up the ride or trip and send it in.
  9. Ride Organizer Discretion
    • Use your good judgment and common sense. The foregoing are guidelines for the most part, not absolute hard and fast rules. Use them as appropriate along with your good judgment and common sense while on your ride.
    • Dismissing riders from the ride. You can dismiss a rider before or during the ride if the rider is unprepared, endangers others, undermines your authority, is unruly or uncooperative, or acts contrary to club policies, rules and regulations, or for other reasons you deem sufficient. If the rider disagrees, he or she can contact the biking director later, but your decisions take precedence during the ride.


Dale Green was elected Club historian. (7/83) Replaced by Mike Treshow.

Wasatch Mountain Club, 1390 South 1100 East Suite 103, Salt Lake City, UT 84105-2462
801-463-9842 — gro.bulCniatnuoMhctasaW@ofnI
Wasatch Mountain Club
1390 South 1100 East Suite 103
Salt Lake City, UT 84105-2462

The Wasatch Mountain Club is an outdoor recreation club for adults dedicated to fostering
awareness of the scenic beauties of the Wasatch and encouraging preservation of our natural areas

1390 South 1100 East, Suite 103, Salt Lake City, Utah 84105         801.463.9842         www.wasatchmountainclub.org