The Club is trialling a new approach to some of our alpine trips this year. We want to avoid the work that goes into organising an alpine trip that is cancelled due to weather, and to give enthusiastic participants their best chance at getting some time on the snow. Alongside our normal fixed schedule (which already has some great alpine trips locked in!), we will be running a “Flexible Alpine Schedule”.
The Flexible Alpine Schedule is based on using a Wednesday weather forecast to pinpoint where the best weather conditions are for that weekend, and then plan an alpine trip in that area. These “short notice” trips are to enable more alpine trips to go ahead and more club members to get out and practise their skills. These trips aren’t ideally suited to someone hoping to bag a particular peak (who knows where conditions might be best, after all).
The Flexible Alpine Schedule is an Excel spreadsheet that will be available to view on the WTMC website under the tab “Alpine Trips”. Alpine Trip Leaders and Facilitators (only) can edit the spreadsheet anytime during the season. For our Leaders and Facilitators – it works in a similar way to our normal trip sign-up sheet: you pick a weekend you are available, state the type of trip you want to lead, indicative locations, costs or other trip requirements (those last three are optional!), and add an email address you are happy to be contacted on. The top row of the spreadsheet has an example in red displaying the format.
For our eager participants: firstly, you must have done a snowcraft course or have equivalent experience to come on a trip with us. To register your interest for a trip, please email the address in column I by 12pm the Wednesday before the trip. You will need to include in that email:
- Any relevant medical conditions
- Any relevant dietary requirements
- If you have a cooker/gas you are willing to bring
- If you have a car you are willing to bring (including how many people you can take and whether it is a 4WD/AWD or you have chains)
- If you have a tent for alpine camping and how many it can sleep
- Confirmation you can meet the trip leader’s requirements (see column H)
- If you do not know the leader, a short description of your alpine experience (including other WTMC alpine trips you have been on and leaders’ names)
- An emergency contact person and phone number
- A cell phone number if the leader needs to get hold of you urgently
The Trip Leader or Facilitator will email you by 6pm Wednesday evening to let you know if you are on the trip and need to pick up any club gear. They will also email you as soon as they are able to let you know:
- The trip plan (or that the trip is cancelled due to weather)
- Gear and food requirements/allocations
- Any costs you are required to pay before the trip departs
It is up to you to be watching your emails and be responsive to Trip Leader or Facilitator directions and deadlines from the Wednesday onwards. The Trip Leader or Facilitator will not chase you if they do not hear from you. Remember they are doing a good thing by organising an exciting trip for you – so please make their job as easy as possible.
The normal WTMC policies apply to these trips.
As the name suggests, the trip is meant to be as flexible as possible. Maybe the conditions are good enough for your desired trip and off you go! Or maybe they are pretty rubbish at your desired location, but a good trip could be had elsewhere? If the conditions look terrible everywhere, you can email everyone and say the trip consists of staying home with a cup of tea and a good book.
The Chief Guide and his enthusiastic helpers will be keeping an eye on the spreadsheet: firstly to see if it is being used, secondly to make sure leaders are leading appropriately-graded trips, and finally to monitor and resolve any technical issues. We welcome any feedback on how the schedule is working.
We look forward to seeing you out on the snow more often!