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)
BOARD MEETING FORMAT
- Only one person per directorship will report unless there is a clear splitting of report between the co-directors. (6/92)
- Chair will allot "x" number of minutes per presentation.
- Presentation format of short issue:
- State what is proposed.
- State what action is requested.
- Presentation format of longer/complex issue:
- Send written proposal in advance, i.e. in time to be sent out with minutes or bring written proposal ahead of time and Board will act upon it at following meeting.
- A Board member may appoint a proxy to vote at a Board meeting; it is recommended that a committee member be appointed if possible. (3/84)
- All unopened mail addressed to a Club member will be opened before the end of the Board meeting whether the Board member is there or not. Any unidentified mail will be opened and designated to the appropriate director. (3/91)
- Board members will provide their own refreshments at Board meetings.
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:
- Responsibility for respective areas;
- Forming committees;
- Giving feedback to membership through the Rambler; and
- Being responsible for Club property and keeping inventories current.
PRESIDENT & VICE-PRESIDENT
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:
- Any donated funds and their designated purpose need to be detailed.
- The lodge director needs to distinguish income from lodge use resulting from member use or outside use.
- 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.
- 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.
- Receipts for all expenses are required.
- 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
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)
APPLICANT AGREEMENT, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RISK, AND RELEASE FROM LIABILITY FORM
The following form is used for Club activities and on new member and renewal forms (updated 10/08):
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.
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.
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.
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)
GUIDELINES FOR HANDLING DEPOSITS FOR CLUB TRIPS
- Full deposit will be refunded for any person on a waiting list not participating because the trip is full.
- A person with a confirmed reservation for a trip, who later cancels, may be required to forfeit a portion or the full amount of any deposits or advanced fees paid if the cancellation has a financial impact on other trip participants.
- Non-Club members who participate in Club trips must pay the estimated trip cost in advance of the trip departure date. The difference between actual and estimated costs will be addressed after trip completion.
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
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:
|ACTIVITY ||BOARD SPONSOR |
|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
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)
s 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.
REQUIREMENTS FOR LIFE MEMBERSHIP: (4/16)
- The Life Member candidate shall submit an application in writing to the Governing Board documenting fulfillment of the following requirements:
- Membership for a total of twenty-five (25) years;
- A significant level of interest in Club affairs;
- Service to the Club equivalent to at least two (2) years of service on the Governing Board, as outlined in the WMC Polices.
- Life Membership is an individual recognition. In the case of partner membership, each must satisfy the requirements individually.
- After approval of the application by the Governing Board, it must be approved by a vote of the General Membership.
- Life members may receive the RAMBLER free of charge upon request.
- 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.
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.
MOUNTAINEERING AND CLIMBING
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)
GENERAL POLICY (11/16)
- Activities that require technical gear and / or protection shall be considered mountaineering activities rather than hiking or winter sports and shall be approved by a mountaineering director.
- Rock climbing, mountaineering and canyoneering are inherently dangerous activities. The policies listed below are not all inclusive and do not replace common sense.
- It is always at the discretion of the Mountaineering Director to require organizers to change or cancel activities as required to maintain safety.
ROCK CLIMBING POLICY (11/16)
- Many rock climbing activities, usually including regularly scheduled evening climbs, are suitable for a wide range of skill and experience level as long as the participants have the minimum required safety gear and skill level listed below. These types of climbs are usually single pitch sport climbs and may be listed as "just show up" rather than "by registration". Organizers for these types of climbs have no obligation to screen participants. They are generally just organizing the destination, time, etc.
- Anyone participating in the above type of rock climbing activities should have (as a minimum): Top rope belay experience, appropriate harness, belay device with locking carabiner, and helmet.
- Rock climbing activities that require a higher skill level, such as multi-pitch, should be listed as "by registration" to allow the organizer to screen the skill and experience level of participants, and organizers are expected to do so.
- Participants that are doing things that are more technical, such as lead climbing or cleaning a top rope anchor, are expected to have the proper gear and training.
- The universal belay standard (as defined by the American Alpine Club) shall be used.
- Anchors should be built per accepted standards. (SERENE = Solid, Equalized, Redundant, Efficient, No Extension)
- Helmets are required for anyone participating in a club climbing activity (climbing or belaying).
- All class 5 climbing should be protected including accessing exposed anchors for top roping.
- Rappelling after cleaning a route (rather than lowering) is the preferred method and the climber cleaning the route should communicate their intent in advance. The belayer should always offer a fireman's belay for the rappel.
MOUNTAINEERING POLICY (11/16)
- Mountaineering activities should always be "by registration" to allow the organizer to screen the skill and experience level of participants, and organizers are expected to do so.
- Weather, snow and avalanche conditions, etc. are highly variable and are to be taken into account by the organizer. Organizers are expected to follow safe practices by changing a destination, cancelling an activity, etc. as required by changing conditions.
- In deciding the appropriate equipment for a route the organizer and participants should consider the level of exposure (risk of a fall causing serious injury), and the technical skill required to complete the crux sections, versus the ability and experience of participants and the desire to travel light and fast.
- Due to the nature of mountaineering activities, participants are to stay together or in groups. Individuals (even if slow) are not to left on their own.
- Organizers are expected to determine if any class 5 terrain exists on the intended route from existing resources such as Mountain Project.
- All participants in mountaineering activities involving class 5 terrain should bring (as a minimum) the following safety equipment: Suitable harness (rock climbing or mountaineering), belay / rappel device, locking carabiner and helmet. The group shall have adequate rope and other gear as required to protect the technical areas.
- Travel through exposed class 5 sections should always be protected and class 4 sections should be protected when dangerous conditions exist.
- It is generally expected that helmets be worn wherever rock fall is possible, in all fourth and fifth class terrain, while glissading, when carrying an ice axe or ice tools and in areas where a slip would likely result in a long fall.
CANYONEERING POLICY (4/07)
Duties of Trip Organizers:
- Understand that they should feel like they are overseeing the safety and wellbeing of the club group, which would mean that they had reviewed the qualifications of those who sign up for the trip, and are satisfied that each individual is aware of what is required for this trip, and that they have assured the organizer that they have the skills and ability to be able to handle the trip successfully. The decision of whether an individual is sufficiently capable and prepared is admittedly a judgment call, but it is the trip organizers call.
- Have either done the trip before himself, or have the appropriate beta and be familiar enough with it to be comfortable that the canyon you are going to do is within his ability to lead it, and the group's ability to negotiate it. This would include having checked the forecast to make sure that the weather is not going to be an issue in the canyon, and having left a clear itinerary and instructions with a third party who can call for help if the return call hour or date has not been met.
- Figure out what is needed for group gear (rope, throw-bags, webbing, hookers, etc) and either bring it or assign someone to bring it. Organizers should hand around group gear for the young, strong ones to carry.
- Know how to get to and into your canyon. Figure out how to get a permit on a timely basis, and have a backup plan in case you cannot get the desired permit.
- Know who is in your group, and rally them to get off at a reasonable hour.
- Make sure everyone has a helmet, and other needed equipment.
- You are not guiding, just providing leadership- manage the group in the canyon. Remind people to eat and drink when they should, and as appropriate, spread the work of rope work and problem solving throughout the group as learning opportunities.
Duties of Trip Participants (if you are a participant, ie, not the Organizer, you should expect the following):
- You are responsible for your own safety and comfort. No one can assure your safety other than you.
- You are experienced and comfortable rappelling; on single and double ropes of varying lengths and thicknesses, and are able to adjust the friction levels to compensate as needed, including for a single skinny 8-millimeter rope. If you are not sure you are qualified you need to take either an ACA canyoneering course, or at the least, one of the clubs rappelling classes.
- The trips are not guided, they are lead. You are expected to do your part. If you are struggling or need help, or have questions about what is going on, you MUST communicate this to the group organizer and other participants right away.
- This is just a bunch of club members going canyoneering. While the organizer will attempt to 'lead' the trip and try to make sure everyone is taken care of, safe, and having fun, ULTIMATELY EACH PERSON MUST BE PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THEMSELVES.
- If this is NOT what you are up for, then don't sign up for a club canyoneering trip.
- You are expected to provide your own personal gear- including a harness, descending device, locking carabineers and a helmet. If you do NOT have all of the gear that is on the list, let the organizer know in advance, so people with extra gear can bring it for you to use. You must make specific arrangements for that PRIOR to the trip.
- No one will be allowed to participate on club canyoneering trips without a helmet.
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
SUGGESTIONS FOR ORGANIZING HIKING ACTIVITIES: (08/14)
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:
- Remind participants that WMC hikes are a group of friends going on the route together. The organizer is not a guide who can guarantee a successful experience. Everyone needs to look out for themselves and the others on the trip.
- If for some reason, you can't lead the hike that you volunteered for, you should try to find a suitable replacement organizer and notify the hiking director.
- Planning is the key to a successful trip. Know your destination and route. According to regulations, the organizer is responsible for explaining the hike to the people who want to go on it. Unless the hike was described as exploratory in the Rambler, you should have personal experience with the route. If you haven't already hiked the route with the Club, you should hike it yourself first. It helps to start with a guidebook such as Hiking the Wasatch. If the hike is exploratory, you should rely on your general experience with the area, topographic maps (available from the USGS), guidebooks and contacts with forest or BLM rangers. According to current Club policy on exploratory hikes, an exploratory hike must be described as exploratory in the Rambler, and the organizer can require participants to preregister so that the organizer can evaluate their experience and preparedness in advance. You should make sure that participants understand what is involved in an exploratory hike. For any hike that you organize, you should be able to describe the risks: the length and difficulty of the hike, whether there is exposed terrain, and whether the hike involves rock scrambling, wading, route finding, snow crossings, extreme temperatures or other difficulties. You should know approximately how much time the trip will take. You should be aware of seasonal road closures and road conditions. You must get permission to cross posted private property if no easement or right-of-way exists. The more information you provide to participants, the better able they are to make good decisions for themselves.
- Get everyone to the trailhead. You should always try to carpool. This saves gas, puts less stress on limited parking spaces, gives you fewer vehicles to keep track of, and makes it more likely that someone in any given car will know where you're going. You should count heads and cars before carpooling. Be sure that all the cars are appropriate for road conditions. If some of the drivers are not absolutely certain of the driving route, try to show them the route on a road map before leaving and arrange to pause at obvious points to collect vehicles. It's very important to make sure that drivers know what the lead car looks like. You should be sure that you can park where you need to at the trailhead; never park illegally. Once you reach the trailhead, don't start hiking until everyone arrives (count heads again). A special exception: a group with a designated deputy leader should leave earlier (see below for a description of subdivided hikes). Consult current club policy on sharing transportation costs. Riders split user fees (for example, at the tollbooth in Millcreek Canyon).
- Evaluate capabilities of hikers. The best practice is to assess the situation for problems before they can affect you on the trail. The Club regulations say that hikers must evaluate their own capabilities; let people read the regulations before they sign the Club release form. Your job is to help people understand what the hike involves so that they can make an informed decision about whether they should be on the hike. Make sure that everyone understands the risks and that it's their responsibility to be prepared. To help with this, you can check their clothing and gear by eye, and ask questions about people's experience and fitness. If you notice that someone doesn't have the necessary boots, socks, warm clothing, water, food, or first aid, you should bring it to their attention. You should be especially attentive to deficiencies with gear, fitness or experience on exploratory hikes and more difficult hikes. It is Club policy that regular day hikes are not open to children under 18 unless otherwise stated in the activity description. The Club sponsors family hikes which are open to children, although unsupervised children under 18 are never permitted on any WMC hike. Minor children are only allowed on trips designated as family trips and advertised as such in the Rambler.
- Turn away people who aren't ready for the hike. If, in your best judgment, someone isn't sufficiently prepared for the hike in spite of their own evaluations, you should turn them away. The Club hiking regulations give organizers discretion to exclude people who aren't prepared or who don't follow the regulations. If no one is ready for the (possibly poor) conditions, you should cancel the hike. You should always explain fully and carefully why you are excluding a person: especially if the Rambler description was inaccurate or oversimplified, you should explain, or if the conditions have changed due to rain or snow on the trail, or anything else, you should explain. Don't let people sway you from your best judgment, and don't let people tag along if you refused to let them participate. It's useful to bring a copy of the current Rambler so that people can find out about easier hikes.
- Organize the operation. Everyone must sign the release form. If you don't sign, you don't hike; this is a Club regulation. You should make sure that everyone understands what they're signing, and answer all questions as best you can. The release provides protection to participants, the organizer, and the Club. The release makes a participant think about the risks of the hike, and tells you and the Club that the participant knows what they're doing. The release is not a magic bullet; you must still act responsibly in your capacity as an organizer.
- Don't lose your hikers. Once on the trail, you should set a pace appropriate to your group. Pay special attention to inexperienced hikers. You should take care to keep the group together and count heads when the opportunity arises. If someone is missing, wait for them, and try to adjust the pace of the group if necessary. Sometimes it is advisable to lead from the rear; in that case, you should put someone at the front who knows the trail. Organizers may choose to regroup as desired, for a lunch break or at the trail's destination.
- Large groups should be subdivided. Large groups can damage the wilderness and devalue the wilderness experience, and they can be difficult to manage and account for. Groups of 10 or fewer are recommended; hike organizers should research and follow the wilderness limits for the area in which the hike is being held. In the Wasatch, this limit is typically 10 participants, including the organizer. If you have a big group, you should look for experienced Club members to volunteer to lead a smaller group. You can then divide the big group according to the speed of the hikers, or to ability and interest, or other parameters. You can select alternate routes or destinations for the smaller groups to reduce the overall impact on one trail. You should make sure that the organizers of the smaller groups can account for all the members of their group and that they understand that they have the same responsibilities as other activity organizers. You should take care to account for all members of all the groups at the end of the hike(s).
- Know when to turn back. Sometimes you just can't make it safely to the destination you chose. You might run out of time to return before dark, or the weather might turn ominous, or some of your hikers may be running low on water or have other problems. If you can't make it on this trip, turn around and try again another time.
- Get appropriate help when needed. You should always use your best judgment and act responsibly when there's a problem. If you lose someone, check the obvious places, but don't take unnecessary risks in self-rescue. If you can't account for all the hikers at the end of the trip, try calling their home to see if they left without checking out. If you believe that a hiker may be lost or injured, don't wait until it's too late. Call emergency services or search and rescue and let professionals handle the problem. You should carry a cell phone and have a list of emergency phone numbers. Club regulations say that the person being rescued is responsible for any costs charged for the rescue, even if the rescue turns out to be unnecessary.
- Offer useful advice. If there are less experienced people on the hike, you may be able to increase their safety and enjoyment by passing on some of your own experience. Share your knowledge and answer all questions about the trip as best you can.
- Have fun. Almost every hike comes off without a hitch. On the average hike, the most important part is to have fun. Enjoy the fresh air and the scenery, make friends and learn new things. Set a pace and choose a route to maximize the fun for everyone.
- Close out the hike. Every person must be accounted for at the end of a hike. Use the check-off boxes on the release form to check off hikers who have returned safely. Hikers may return early, but Club regulations ask that people who return in advance of the group travel with a buddy. Choose an experienced person to be a buddy when possible, or you can collect all the hikers and return together. If some hikers need to return early and can't wait for the rest of the group, you should ask them to leave you a note on your car or in some other designated spot telling you that they arrived safely. The organizer can also leave the sign-out sheet on the vehicle, or request an alternate means of communication such as a text message. If a group has divided, the organizers of the smaller groups should help you account for all the hikers at the end.
- If someone does leave the hike, do your best to make sure they return safely. Club regulations permit people to notify the organizer and leave the hike early. However, sometimes people just leave on their own; if someone won't cooperate, note the problem on the release form. Please notify the hiking director about hikers who won't obey rules.
- You may have to dismiss a participant while on the trail. If a participant endangers others, undermines your authority, or acts contrary to the Club's regulations and policies, the person can be dismissed. If someone looks like they're in trouble, or they're causing trouble, you should use your best judgment about when to send them back, or even cancel the hike. Be sure that people understand why they are dismissed, but don't be argumentative; act maturely. Above all, don't let problems progress to the point where you can't handle them safely. You should be sure to follow the rules and policies for returning early. As above, please note the problem on the release form and notify the hiking director.
- Inform the hiking director of accidents and incidents. Using the accident/incident report form, report any accidents, injuries, or unusual circumstances to the hiking director or another officer of the Club as soon as reasonably possible. Any accidents or injuries must be reported in writing to the WMC Board within 30 days. You should cooperate with those investigating the situation. The Club may ask you and other members who may have witnessed an incident to write a description for circulation to the Club's board.
- Emergency: 911
- Utah Highway Patrol, road conditions: 964-6000
- WMC Hiking Director
- WMC President
- Avalanche Forecast Center: 364-1581
- Forest Service, Salt Lake ranger district: 524-5042
- Forest Service map office, 125 S State: 524-5030
- Bureau of Land Management, 324 S State: 539-4001
- Utah Geological Survey (maps), 2363 S. Foothill: 467-0401
HIKING REGULATIONS FOR PARTICIPANTS (08/14)
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.
Responsibilities of Organizers to Participants
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
WINTER SPORTS PROGRAM (11/17)
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.
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR WINTER SPORTS ORGANIZERS (11/17)
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.
EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES FOR WINTER SPORTS ORGANIZERS AND PARTICIPANTS (11/17)
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.
WINTER TOURING ETIQUETTE (11/17)
- Parties should give appropriate space to other groups and be respectful of other groups.
- Break trails that will be useful for others to follow.
- Pay attention to inter-party safety considerations (e.g., do not tour above others).
- Share observations about potentially dangerous snow and avalanche conditions to others.
- If possible do not snowshoe on a ski/snowboard path.
BASIC AVALANCHE AWARENESS GUIDELINES (11/17)
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)
ENTERTANMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ARRANGEMENS FOR THE FOLLOWING
- General Membership Meeting refreshments
- Awards/Nominations Banquet reservations at the designated restaurant
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:
- To oversee the Club's website and Webmaster. (98)
- To regularly monitor and respond to the Club's general voicemail mailbox. (1/01)
- To distribute copies of the Rambler to key outdoor recreational stores such as REI and Kirkham's and to prepare stacks of Rambler for distribution to local universities (U of U, Weber State, SL Community College). (1/01)
- To update and oversee publication of the WMC brochure and any other printed collateral material as needed. (1/01)
- To act as a clearinghouse to the media for all activities of the Club. Any individual, director, or committee wishing media coverage on any Club activities shall clear them through the information director.
- To provide access and obtain coverage in the news, TV, and radio media for Club activities.
- To contact other groups and organizations about pertinent Club activities.
- To provide environmental education for the general public and to develop programs for this purpose.
- To promote awareness of the WMC purpose as stated in the Constitution.
- To publicize positive aspects of the Club. (1/86)
- To oversee the Adopt-A-Highway Program. (5/92)(5/95)
WMC Website Policy
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:
- The resolution of design and programming errors,
- The periodic back-up of programs and data,
- The periodic rotation of photos,
- Assisting officers and members in their use of the website,
- Purging stale data, for example, old ads from the Gear Swap web page,
- Monitoring website usage and
- Monitoring member posted content to ensure that it conforms to WMC standards.
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.
Email "All" Policy
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.
General Email Policy
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:
- Email submissions to the current WMC email address.
- Mail submissions to the publications editor at the office address.
- Hand deliver them to the WMC office between the hours of 8 am and 5 pm weekdays. (The building is generally closed and locked evenings and weekends.) Leave hand deliveries in the blue box outside the office door.
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.
RAMBLER EDITORIAL POLICY
- It is ok to hold some articles over to a following month, if the Rambler is getting too big.
- Editors shall make changes in grammar, and punctuation, etc. If major changes are needed, the article will be returned to the author for a rewrite.
- If the publishing cost per issue goes over $1,200, the editorial policy may need to be reconsidered.
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)
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
Names of people who contributed to the Conservation Fund will be published in 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:
- Plans the boating calendar. This is usually done at the trip-planning meeting in March. (4/97)
- Ensures trips have an organizer and have adequate experienced participants for the trip to safely take place. (4/97)
- Budget. The boating director deposits fees from trip organizers, spends funds in accordance with approved budgets, and sets the Club boating fees.
- Plans and conducts meetings such as the trip planning and permit party, and coordinators meetings.
- Spring and Fall Boat Shed Work Parties: This involves organizing and coordinating the various activities, with assistance from the equipment coordinator.
- Rambler. Encourages boating members to submit trip reports to the Rambler. Announces meetings, classes, work parties, and publishes information pertinent to boating.
- Coordinates boating safety courses.
- Along with the rafting coordinator, coordinates the Spring Beginner trip, and other beginner type trips throughout the season.
- Coordinates canoeing and white water rafting orientation courses, with the help of the coordinators. These classes provide information for new and beginner boaters. Topics include clothing and equipment, hazards and safety, and other pertinent items.
- Maintains boating files with trip reports, notes, and other factual and historic information.
- Handles problems. He/she shall arbitrate all matters regarding the boating program.
- The boating director will receive the trip report, liability release, and Club fees from the organizer after the trip is completed.
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:
- Maintenance, repair, or replacement of Club boating equipment
- Coordination of equipment between conflicting groups
- Rental coordination and rental fee collection.
- Responsible for keeping boating finances up to date and reported to the Board.
OTHER BOATING COORDINATORS
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:
- Lead or participate in a training trip catered toward novice to intermediate rafters, kayakers, and canoeists. The Coordinator will collect the trip report, liability release, and Club fees from the organizer after the trip, and forward to the Boating Director.
- Coordinators are also encouraged to submit articles discussing information on topics of interest via the Rambler or boating email list.
- Schedule trips, which are not planned at the trip planning meeting, by posting them on the online activity calendar.
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:
- Arranging transportation and shuttle
- Assigning tasks such as meals, drivers, PU, etc.
- Overseeing trip finances
- Protecting ecology (leaving a clean camp)
- Submitting a trip report, liability release, and Club fees to the boating director.
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
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:
- Fairly and honestly communicate their experience to the trip organizer.
- Sign a liability release form recognizing that boating has inherent risks and the Club, trip organizer, and boat captains are not liable.
- Comply with the decisions of the trip organizer. The organizer will listen to participant input, but his/her decision is final.
- Bring adequate clothing, safety equipment, food, and water.
- Comply with the government regulations of the particular river section being traveled. (4/97)
- Follow all other direction from trip organizers and coordinators.
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)
SWIFTWATER RESCUE COURSE REIMBURSEMENT
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:
- Reimbursement will be for half of the cost of the course.
- The boater is responsible for the initial payment of full course costs.
- Reimbursement will be for courses specified by the boating co-directors.
- In 2016, these were the two taught by the University of Utah's Remote Rescue Training Program
- Swiftwater Rescue Fundamentals
- Swiftwater Rescue Techniques
- If you are interested in a different course, prior approval by the boating directors needs to be obtained.
- 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).
- 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).
- In order to receive reimbursement:
- The boater needs to organize at least two trips for boating.
- These trips need to be organized in the same year that the rescue course is taken.
- For one of the trips, you need to be the primary organizer. For the other one, you can be a secondary co-organizer.
- Day trips do count. You can organize two one-day trips, one one-day and one multi-day trip, or two multi-day trips.
- 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:
The mission of IMBA is to promote mountain bicycling opportunities that are environmentally and socially responsible.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Keep your cool. Road rage benefits nobody, and always makes a bad situation worse.
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.
RIDER RULES AND REGULATIONS
The following rules and regulations are intended to help you know what is expected of you when participating in WMC rides:
- Know and follow LAB's Rules of the Road: follow the law, be predictable, be conspicuous, think ahead, ride ready, and keep your cool; For trail riding, know and follow IMBA's Rules of the trail: ride open trails, leave no trace, control your bicycle, yield appropriately, don't scare animals, and plan ahead; Know and follow Utah bicycle laws. See the lists of road and trail rules and the summary of Utah bicycling laws given earlier for details.
- Helmets: they are required on all WMC rides, but do not assume that you are safe just because you are wearing a helmet. Safe riding practices are your best defense against accident and injury.
- Protective eyewear (i.e., sunglasses) is strongly recommended.
- Do not use headphones on WMC rides. You need to be able to hear what is going on around you. When you wear headphones, you endanger not only yourself, but also others who are on the ride.
- Choose appropriate rides. Choose rides according to the ride and terrain description, WMC difficulty ratings (NTD, MOD, MSD, etc.) and pace (slow, moderate, or fast) to ensure that you do a ride that is suited to your ability and conditioning. You will enjoy the rides more that way and will allow the ride organizers to do their jobs effectively. Contact the ride organizer for more information about the ride if you do not understand the description. Know your limits and skill level. Be realistic. Do you like 10-20 mile NTD rides? 40-60 mile MOD rides? 80-100 MSD rides? How about pace? Do you like a slow 10-12 mph pace? A moderate 13-16 mph one? Or do you like fast 18-22 mph or faster rides? How about terrain? Do you prefer flat rides or do you like a lot of climbing? Note that ride organizers are not responsible for you if you show up for a ride you're not suited for, and they can exclude you from the ride.
- Show up on time ready to ride. Dress appropriately for the conditions. Wear layers in cool temps and breathable fabrics when warm. Wear high contrast colored clothing on road rides. Make sure your bike is ready. [see also LAB rules 3 & 5]
- Bike maintenance and roadside repair kit. You are responsible for keeping your bike well maintained and prepared for the ride. A bike that's clean, tuned and lubed is a happy bike and will be reliable and easier to ride. You should have a basic roadside repair kit. A spare tube and patch kit, tire levers, and a pump or CO2 inflator are must have items. A small bicycle multi-tool and some tire boot material are also strongly recommended. You are also responsible for knowing how to use these things. If you're unfamiliar, a bike shop or experienced rider will likely be happy to teach you. Practice at home so you're comfortable on the road. On most rides, there will be others there to help with mechanicals or flats, but have your own supplies. It is your responsibility to learn how to change a flat tire and handle minor mechanical problems so the ride organizer or others on the ride don't always have to do it for you. [see also LAB rule 5]
- Signing the release form. If you want to go on a WMC ride, you must read the release form and sign it prior to participating. By signing the form, you are acknowledging to the WMC and the organizer that you understand the risks involved with the ride. Don't sign and don't go on the ride if you have doubts about the risks and difficulty of the ride. Become familiar with the WMC ride ratings and pay particular attention to the mileage and elevation gain of the ride you're attempting. By signing the release form, you recognize that your ride organizer may act on behalf of the WMC to uphold its rules and policies. You are also acknowledging that you know what you are doing and that you have sufficient insurance or wherewithal to cover the cost of any accident or injury you may sustain.
- Check weather reports for potential rain, wind or extreme temperatures.
- Stay on the announced route. If you are ahead of the organizer and group and depart from the planned route either intentionally or accidentally (i.e., you miss a turn), you are on your own. The ride organizer no longer has responsibility for you unless and until you return to the group. If you decide to leave the planned route, let the organizer know.
- Stay together on the road/trail and watch out for others. Stay close to the other riders in the group (within view, as much as reasonably possible). If you get ahead of the group, or if the organizer asks for regrouping, you must wait at the designated spots to collect the rest of the group before continuing. If the group spreads out too much, it can be difficult for the organizer to provide proper advice or directions, especially if the organizer must stay toward the rear with slower riders. You can help the organizer by waiting at strategic locations.
- If you are behind the organizer and group, the organizer or another appointed rider will try to keep track of you, but make sure you are able to handle any likely situation that may arise if you do get lost.
- Reasons you could be dismissed from a ride. You may be dismissed if, in the organizer's best judgment, you do not have a properly maintained bicycle and roadside repair kit; you lack the experience, technical skills and physical fitness or judgment to complete the ride without becoming a liability to yourself or others; or you violate WMC rules and regulations (you are responsible for understanding and abiding by them). If you observe problems with how the organizer is handling the ride, you should report them to the biking director, but on any given ride, you must cooperate with the organizer or leave the ride.
- If a ride becomes more difficult or riskier than what you are prepared for, stop. If for any reason you can't complete the ride, talk to the organizer and explain the problem. You may then leave the ride. If possible, don't leave alone; try to return to the start with another rider and make sure the organizer understands your return route.
- Talk to the organizer to report problems and seek guidance. The organizer is your resource for help on the ride. If you are unsure of the risk in a situation, or if you need directions, ask the organizer for help. Your organizer should know the hazards and risks of the route, know meeting places to regroup on the ride, have maps and cue sheets for exploratory ride routes, and have suggestions about the right clothing and other equipment for the conditions.
- Organizer decisions and your responsibility for your personal safety. While on an approved WMC ride, the organizer's decisions are final and riders must comply with them to the best of their abilities or leave the ride. The organizer has no obligation to accommodate riders who cannot accept the conditions on the ride, and the organizer has reasonable discretion to maintain order on the ride. That said, however, you must be an active participant in decisions involving your personal safety. Be sure you make use of common sense, experience and good judgment. Your good judgment is your best defense against accidents. If you disagree with the organizer's decisions for any reason, you should inform the organizer of your intention to safely leave the ride. Take care NOT to follow the organizer into a situation you aren't prepared for, aren't comfortable with, or think is unsafe. It is possible that the organizer's choices aren't suitable for you; don't be afraid to leave the ride if that's the case. You are the best judge of your own abilities.
RIDE ORGANIZER GUIDELINES
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.