Mountaineering carries innate risk and it’s important everyone is aware of the dangers that exist in the mountains. Full competence as a mountaineer can only be gained through experience and even the most accomplished make mistakes. But everyone, regardless of ability, can greatly reduce the risk to themselves and others with some self-awareness, dependable friends and the right equipment.
Whether you join us as an experienced hill walker or professional netflixer, you will at some point find yourself in an unfamiliar situation with Ben Lairig. The club’s purpose is to develop it’s members and it’s impossible to progress if you don’t push yourself. But the dangers of mountaineering can change by the hour and even the most moderate plan can become a demanding day out. So every time you venture onto the hills remember you are ultimately responsible for your own safety; decisions are made as a team and it’s right to respect experienced members’ opinions, but never be afraid to say ‘stop’ if you don’t feel right.
Ben Lairig recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death, members must be aware of and accept these risks and are responsible for their own actions, for which the club cannot be held liable.
That being said, teamwork is the keystone of any day on a mountain because a group relies on each other completely. Look out for your friends by helping them get ready and check through the day for anyone who might be struggling; let no one fall behind and always put the safety needs of others before your own mountaineering ambitions. When using ropes make sure you are comfortable with each other’s ability and are ready to accept the consequences of a genuine mistake.
This might sound pretty serious, but the key is in prevention and injuries are extremely rare, so most importantly have fun! Being engaged makes learning easy and mountaineering will give you adventures of a lifetime.
- Make sure everyone else on the trip is aware of your plans by leaving a physical note of your route and on the group chat, including your expected return time and a later emergency cut-off.
- Have two able navigators in your group
- Have the essential equipment as listed on the kit list
- Tell your friends where your medication is if you have any, like an epipen if you are anaphylactic. Be clear who can legally administer them.
- Attend the Winter Skills course before joining winter trips.