Meet Guidelines

This paper should be read by all AC members intending to attend or coordinate a

club meet. It contains useful guidance on general safety, insurance and liability,

guests, incidents and competence. There is a FAQ section at the end.

 

1. General

1.1 Many people attending a climbing meet arrive with a climbing partner. If you are

attending a meet on your own it is usually possible to join in with others. Please be

realistic about your experience and the standard at which you climb!! Failure to do this

may endanger yourself and those you are climbing with.

1.2 Experienced members may offer advice or suggestions but NO formal instruction or

guiding is offered on meets, other than on specific skills transfer meets. The BMC states

‘ ... climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal

injury or death...’ All participants must be aware of this and are responsible for their

own safety.

 

2. UK based Climbing meets

2.1 Members Based in the UK

2.1.1 All UK based members have 3rd party civil liability insurance through the Club’s

Combined Liability Insurance. This is obtained when the Club affiliates the Club’s UKbased

members to the BMC.

2.2 UK-Based Guests

2.2.1 Any participating guest of an Alpine Club member attending a UK-based meet must

be a member of either a BMC, Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland

affiliated club, or an individual member of the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland or

Mountaineering Ireland. For non-participating guests see section 7.

2.2.3 It is the responsibility of the member taking their participating guest to confirm to

the Meet co-ordinator that their participating guest is affiliated to the BMC,

Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland either via a Club or as an individual

member. Where possible they should state the guest’s BMC, Mountaineering Scotland

or Mountaineering Ireland membership number and the Club that they are affiliated to.

2.3 Members Based Overseas

2.3.1 The Club has a number of members who are based overseas, defined as outside

Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Isle of Man, Channel Isles, and Republic of Ireland,

who are not covered by the Club’s Combined Liability insurance. This is because, under

the terms and requirements of BMC Affiliation, the Club is unable to affiliate members

based overseas.

2.3.2 It is likely that these Alpine Club members based overseas will be members of some

other alpine club. Through this membership they are likely to have insurance for

mountaineering and climbing. Analogous to UK members having to arrange their own

search, rescue and third-party insurance for trips to the Alps, members based overseas

must arrange for equivalent insurance for climbing and mountaineering in the UK.

2.3.3 It is the responsibility of the member who is based overseas to provide details to

the Meet co-ordinator of their insurance provider, policy number and insurance contact

details.

N.B. Affiliation to the BMC is determined by the member’s address recorded in

the members’ database. Those members based overseas, or temporarily living

overseas, can check with the Office Manager or the Membership Secretary

whether or not they are affiliated to the BMC during the year in question.

2.4 Guests Based Overseas

2.4.1 It is likely that participating guests who are based overseas will be members of some

other alpine club. Through this membership they are likely to have insurance for

mountaineering and climbing. Analogous to UK members having to arrange their own

search, rescue and third-party insurance for trips to the Alps, participating guests based

overseas must arrange for equivalent insurance for climbing and mountaineering in the

UK.

2.4.2 It is the responsibility of the member taking a participating overseas guest to

provide details to the Meet co-ordinator of their guest’s insurance provider, policy

number and insurance contact details.

2.5 Joint Meets in UK with overseas mountaineering organisations or clubs

2.5.1 From time to time the Alpine Club hosts meets in the UK with an overseas

mountaineering organisation or club.

2.5.2 Analogous to UK members having to arrange their own search, rescue and thirdparty

insurance for trips to the Alps, those from overseas attending these joint meets

must arrange equivalent insurance for climbing and mountaineering in the UK.

2.5.3 It is the responsibility of the Meet co-ordinator to gather the details of those

attending from overseas of their insurance provider, policy number and insurance

contact details.

2.5.4 Some UK Meets may require those attending to show that they have particular

competence. As the Meet co-ordinator you should work with the overseas

mountaineering organisation or club to ensure the attendees meet any competency

requirements.

 

3. Joint Meets

3.1 From time to time the Alpine Club hosts meets with other UK clubs, either in the UK

or overseas. Attendees should communicate to the Meet co-ordinator, when they

register for the meet, under which club they are attending. Their attendance at the meet,

and that of any participating or non-participating guest, is then subject to the Meet

Guidelines of that Club.

 

4. Overseas based Climbing meets

4.1 When an Alpine Club member is attending a Club overseas meet, even if they are not

climbing, mountaineering or hillwalking, they must obtain suitable insurance for the

meet. They should arrange their own search, rescue and third-party liability insurance as

well as insurance that covers any potential medical expenses and hospitalisation.

4.2 It should be noted that some insurance gives far more limited cover especially for

medical expenses, and we strongly recommend you check the level of cover provided and

ensure that you are happy with the cover you arrange.

4.3 Depending upon where the meet is, you may require a visa. These will need to be

arranged ahead of departure. The meet / expedition co-ordinator will draw any local

issues to your attention in the communication about the meet.

4.4 As many mountain ranges straddle borders we recommend you carry your passport

with you at all times during the meet / expedition.

 

5. Competence

5.1 Members should always ensure that they, and their guest, are competent in the

mountaineering and climbing skills necessary for attending the meet.

5.2 Some meets may require those wishing to attend to show that they have particular

competence in other climbing and mountaineering skills in addition to their technical lead

climbing skills before they are admitted on to the meet. Such competencies may include

the need to be an experienced and competent winter climber with sound winter

navigation skills and the ability to judge and cope with avalanche terrain. Likewise, an

ability to illustrate rope work in winter (including arranging good anchors and protection

in a variety of iced up rock and snow / ice conditions), navigation and route finding.

5.3 Some meets may make use of skis to travel in the mountains. These meets will

normally draw attention to this fact in the material about the meet. Members wishing to

join such meets should have the ski mountaineering skills necessary.

5.4 Aspirants are encouraged to attend all meets that they believe their experience

makes them safe to do so. It may be that on some meets Aspirants may only attend with

a partner who must be competent. Where the meet material draws attention to

minimum requirements for attendance, the Aspirant’s partner must fulfil these

requirements.

5.5 The selection of applicants on the meet rests solely with the meet/expedition coordinator.

To assist in this selection exercise, details of the prospective attendee’s recent

climbing and mountaineering experience may be requested.

 

6. Children and Vulnerable adults

6.1 From time to time during the year the Club operates meets and events where

children (under 18s) and vulnerable adults may attend. These meets will make specific

mention of this fact in the meet material. When children (under 18s) or vulnerable

adults attend a meet, the Club’s Child Protection Guidance should be complied with.

 

7. Non-participating guests attending Climbing meets

7.1 Any guest of an AC member who is not participating in the main activities of the meet,

i.e. climbing, mountaineering or hillwalking, must make it clear to the Meet co-ordinator

that they are attending as non-participants.

7.2 Whether for UK-based meets or overseas meets, non-participant guests do not need

to be members of the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland, or clubs

affiliated to them.

7.3 When the meet is overseas, or if the meet is in the UK and the non-participating guest

is from overseas, it is recommended that the non-participating guest arranges suitable

insurance cover for third party liability, medical and stays in hospital. The Club

recommends that they should also consider search and rescue insurance if they plan to

go walking as many rescues make use of helicopters to locate and evacuate injured

and/or lost persons in upland environments – with the potential for a large rescue fee for

the non-participating guest.

7.4 The selection of applicants on the meet, whether participating or non-participating,

rests solely with the meet/expedition co-ordinator.

 

8. GDPR

8.1 Meet Co-ordinators should consider GDPR in their communications with those that

have noted an interest in the meet, especially during any initial contact when potential

attendees have been identified. Any initial emails should consider using BCC

communications to all those who have shown an interest in attending. Closer to the time

it will be advantageous to have open CC communications so people can get in touch with

each other about climbing arrangements and shared travel possibilities. In the meantime,

anyone who wishes to not have their email address shared with the rest of the meet can

contact the Meet co-ordinator to arrange for this to be the case.

8.2 Likewise, any personal contact details, next of kin or declared health issues will be

treated with GDPR in mind. Contact details of all participants will be stored during the

meet in a sealed envelope, accessible in case of emergency.

8.3 Meet reports with photographs will be posted on the club’s website, which is publicly

accessible. Participants who do not want their photographs and/or names to appear in

the meet report should inform the meet coordinator.

 

9. Accidents

9.1 The Club has a critical incident protocol that will be put into operation should a serious

accident occur

 

10. Reporting an Incident

10.1 The Club’s Combined Liability Insurance protects the Club with a number of

insurance benefits. One of these is in respect of accidental bodily injury to third parties

and /or damage to third party property. If such a potential liability occurs on a UK based

meet it is important that you notify the Club and the BMC of any accidents and incidents

that could give rise to a claim.

10.2 If the incident has involved an injury to someone or damage to their property, you

should also notify insurers. The Honorary Secretary will be able to advise further on this.

 

Frequently asked Question and Answers

 

Question. I am planning to attend a Club overseas meet and wish to bring my partner along as a guest

on the Club meet. They do not intend to participate in the main climbing and mountaineering activities

of the meet but they may do some walking or mountaineering with me during the time that the meet

is taking place. Do I need to register this person with the Meet Co-ordinator as a participating guest

and arrange all the necessary search, rescue, medical and third-party insurance for trips to the Alps?

Answer. They should preferably be registered on to the meet as a participating guest. However, if

they are not going to participate in the main activities of the meet, they could attend as a nonparticipating

guest. The decision is the Meet co-ordinator’s. In assisting in this decision, the Meet coordinator

may request details of the prospective attendee’s recent climbing and mountaineering

experience and the walking and mountaineering that you and your guest are planning. Regarding

search and rescue insurance for this guest, it is recommended that any guest who does not intend to

participate in the main climbing and mountaineering activities of the meet, although they may do

some walking or mountaineering, also has the same type of insurance cover as those participating in

the main activities of the meet.

 

Question. I am the Meet co-ordinator for a joint overseas meet and someone from the club that we

are jointly holding the meet with has asked if they can attend the meet and bring a guest (participating)

who is not a member of their club. What are my responsibilities in respect of this participating guest

of the other club in this joint meet?

Answer. On joint meets, those attending under the other club need to comply with any guidelines

that the other club has. Only the AC members and their guests need to comply with the AC Meet

Guidelines.

You need to clarify who is attending under which club. If the person is a member of both clubs, or

even several of the clubs attending (i.e. this may happen on the AC Main summer Alpine Meet), you

should establish under which of the clubs the person is attending.

Even though the attendee and their guest are attending under another club, as Meet co-ordinator it

is your responsibility to ensure that all those attending under another club, and their guests, provide

you with their insurance provider, policy number and insurance contact details. As the Meet coordinator,

in the event of any incident you are likely to be the first person asked to provide these.

Remember that as the Meet co-ordinator the selection and decision of who attends the meet rests

solely with you, including members from other clubs and their guests. The member attending under

the other club and any of their guests must be competent and where the meet material draws

attention to minimum requirements for attendance, they must fulfil these requirements. In assisting

in this selection exercise, you may request details of the prospective attendee’s recent climbing and

mountaineering experience.

 

Question. I am the Meet co-ordinator for a UK Club meet and a Club member has asked if they can

attend the meet and bring a guest (non-participating) who is not a member of the Club or any other

club and not a member of the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland or Mountaineering Ireland. They do not

intend to participate in the main climbing and mountaineering activities of the meet, including hill

walking. What are my responsibilities in respect of this non-participating guest?

Answer. As the Meet co-ordinator the selection and decision of who attends the meet, including nonparticipating

guests, rests solely with you. If the person is not going to be participating in any of the

activities of the meet, including walking, it may be worth pointing out to them they are not actually

attending the meet. If the meet is based at a hut run by either the BMC, Mountaineering Scotland,

Mountaineering Ireland or a club affiliated to one of these clubs, then it may be a condition of renting

bed nights that all bed nights are for either an individual member of one of these entities or a member

of a club affiliated to them. You should check the hut booking conditions before confirming

attendance or not on the meet for this attendee. Unlike overseas meets, the issue of Combined

Liability Insurance has also to be considered. In your capacity as Meet co-ordinator this Combined

Liability Insurance is there to protect you in respect of any incident on the meet. This will be

invalidated if a person attends the meet and is not an individual member of one of these entities or a

member of a club affiliated to them. It is vital therefore, for both yourself and the Club, that the Club’s

Combined Liability Insurance is not invalidated. Unfortunately, in the context of UK meets, nonparticipating

guests are a bigger issue than on overseas meets due to the Combined Liability Insurance.

If in doubt discuss with the Hon. Secretary.