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CALGARY WEEKEND HIKERS CLUB AS A HIKE CO-ORDINATOR PLEASE READ AND BE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 1. GENERAL As the Hike Co-ordinator, you will need to take into consideration a range of capabilities and objectives of the different hikers in your group. If you are a strong, fast hiker, don’t overlook others who prefer to go more slowly – and vice versa – within reason for the rated level of difficulty. What attracts many hikers to this club is that we usually take time to enjoy our hikes rather than rushing to our destination. Allow time to stop and look at the flowers, take photos, have snacks and bathroom breaks, etc. From time-to-time, have rest stops and make sure nobody is left behind because they’re having trouble keeping up the pace. If your group is large (16 or more), you may want to split into two or more sub-groups, letting the faster hikers go ahead and the more relaxed hikers to follow behind. In such cases, you will need to appoint a lead hiker and a tail ender for each sub-group. PRE-TRIP PLANNING • Some advance planning will be necessary and will help you answer questions that hikers may have, such as: “Can I meet you at the trailhead? If so, at what time?” “When are we likely to be back in Calgary?” “What is the trail like?” (E.g., steep, scree, stream crossings, bushwhacking) • If you’ve never hiked the trail before or if it’s been a long time since you last did it, round up a few friends and do a reconnaissance hike a week or two prior to the scheduled date of your hike. Also, be sure to refer to the appropriate guidebook and, if you can, obtain a topographical map from one of Calgary’s many outdoor equipment stores, bookstores, or Map Town. Some of the guidebooks provide time estimates for the various hikes. • You might want to compare these estimates to the following rules-of-thumb for the average hiker (including allowances for rest stops, lunch, viewing, etc.): 3 to 3.5 km/hr on most inbound uphill routes 4.5 to 5 km/hr on the downward return trip Adjust for vertical climbs at 300 metres per hr. • Consider options which some hikers might want to suggest, such as: “Where would be a good spot for lunch for anyone not wanting to go the full distance?” “Are more challenging extensions available for hikers who want to go beyond the established destination?” 2. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 THE PRE-HIKE WEEK • Unless you have specifically requested No Phone Calls, you should attempt to be home around the supper hour during the two days prior to the hike to answer phone calls from interested hikers. This is your opportunity to screen hikers and determine their ability to meet the demands of the hike, often by questioning them as to what similar hikes they have done. If you cannot be home, but have an answering machine, leave a message to request that callers leave their name and phone number and a brief message. The Hike Planning Coordinator will be the usual contact person providing the Thursday night update of the Hike Phone Line. Before phoning to provide any updates as to change in destination or meeting place, please listen to the Sunday night update to determine who will be providing the Thursday update that week. Announce any changes to your scheduled hike (change in Co-ordinator, cancellation, etc) on your home phone answering machine. Check the trail conditions in advance with respect to high water levels for stream crossings, bear sightings, etc. See the attached list of Useful Phone Numbers on the last page of these guidelines. • If you are unable to lead the hike due to unforeseen circumstances, it is your responsibility to find a substitute Co-ordinator. Please contact the Hike Planning Coordinator (or alternative for that week) to advise of the change in the hike or Hike Co-ordinator before 6:00 PM on Thursday evening. • You have the option of changing the hike destination based on trail conditions and trail closures but please do not change the meeting place or starting time. If anyone has indicated that they will meet you at the trailhead, you must advise them of any change in plans. Also you will need to request that they advise you if they should decide at the last minute not to hike so that the group isn’t delayed in starting the hike. AT THE MEETING PLACE • Remember that you need at least 4 hikers (three of whom must be club members) in order for the hike to qualify as a club-sanctioned trip. • Hike Co-ordinators are asked to please have all the hikers on your trip introduce themselves at the parking lot or at the trailhead. As well, we ask that you make a special effort to identify the new club members on your hike and make them feel especially welcome. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 3. • Check the recent weather forecast by calling Environment Canada at 299-7878. • Plan on arriving at the meeting place at least 15 minutes before the designated departure time. Make sure that you have a clipboard, a trip report form, pen and/or pencil, notepaper, seismic tape, guidebook(s), and topographical maps, if possible. • If you decide to cancel the hike due to inclement weather or for other necessary reasons, call all hikers who have registered for your hike and make an announcement on your home phone answering machine. If you cannot reach all hikers who have registered, you will need to go to the meeting place at the specified time the morning of the hike to meet any registered hikers you weren’t able to contact. • If you have requested NO PHONE CALLS on the Hike Schedule and you cancel the trip, you MUST go to the meeting place at the designated time in case any hikers show up. • Have everyone print (legibly) and sign his or her name on the waiver/registration form. Guests sign immediately below the waiver, and it is especially important to ensure that they have read and understand it. Guests must indicate the name of their sponsoring member, who MUST accompany them on the hike, and who will initial in the box indicated on the Guest Registration form. For both members and guests, the emergency phone number provided should be someone who can be reached that day. • At the time of registration, make every effort to determine the general level of capability of each hiker. This is especially important for new hikers, guests, or hikers unfamiliar with this particular trail. All hikers should have appropriate footwear. If someone insists on hiking a difficult trail in sneakers, caution them against it and, if they insist, make a note on the report form and have it signed by the hiker and witnessed. • Hike coordinators can refuse the participation of anyone who is inadequately equipped or whom the coordinator feels would be a detriment to the safety or enjoyment of the other hikers. • Arrange the carpooling. Try to ensure that passengers have the same return plans as their drivers (e.g., alternate hike destinations, returning early, stopping for supper, etc.) and, if possible, that they hike at a similar pace (i.e., it is preferable that fast and slow hikers do not ride in the same vehicle). • Ensure that guests are aware of our policy for sharing the cost of transportation and they should ride in the same vehicle as their sponsoring member. • Make sure all drivers know the location of the trailhead and are aware of any intermediate stops (e.g., Visitor Information Centre). • Depart no later than 5 minutes after the designated departure time. It is unfair to delay a group of punctual hikers for tardy ones. This rule also applies to any hikers meeting you at the trailhead. 4. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 • Count heads and cars before you leave and check the head count against your registration list. Since you may be the last one to leave the parking lot, make it clear to the others that they should wait at the trailhead, or at a pre-arranged intermediate stop until you have arrived. • Note the mileage on your odometer as you leave the parking lot. AT THE TRAILHEAD • Again, note the mileage on your odometer. Subtract your starting mileage and multiply by 2 to determine the total travel distance, multiple by 5 cents/kilometre and advise all drivers and hikers in the group of the total amount to be paid to the driver by all passengers regardless of the number of passengers in the vehicle, plus equal sharing with the driver of any Park entrance fees. Note that 5 cents/kilometre is recommended as long as the price of regular unleaded gasoline is below 95 cents/litre. The contribution then changes to 6cents/km, and to 7cents/km if the price of gas rises to $1.10/litre • Count cars and heads and check against the count at the original meeting place. If anyone is missing, ask the group whether anyone has seen them. You can allow the first group of hikers to proceed, provided there is a minimum of 4 hikers with a competent designated lead hiker and a tail ender. You should wait a reasonable length of time for the missing hikers to arrive. • If the group is quite large (16 or more), you should consider splitting into two or more sub- groups and assign a competent lead hiker and a tail ender to each sub-group. • The tail ender should carry a whistle in order to alert the group ahead if a problem should arise. • Alternatively, you might want to let the group start off together and wait until the first rest stop (~20 minutes) before making a split. This is usually a good time for clothing adjustments and the faster and slower hikers will have begun to separate naturally, particularly if the trail starts off on an uphill. • If you know that the trail has some tricky spots, especially at junctions, ask the first group to mark these with seismic tape. The general rule for a change in trail direction is 2 tapes, one above the other. If you will be returning by a different route (i.e., a loop), ask the tail ender of the last group to remove the tapes and collect them for you. • Before you leave the trailhead, discuss a location and expected hike time for the lunch break. You may also want to discuss possible changes in the planned destination due to impending bad weather. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 5. ON THE HIKE • If you are faced with a very large group, you are encouraged to split into two or more groups as necessary with staggered start times, the faster group going ahead. Assign a competent lead hiker and tail ender for each sub-group. • Be sure that there are at least 4 hikers in each sub-group so that they can deal adequately with any emergencies (e.g., one person stays with the injured hiker while the other two go for help). NEVER LEAVE ANYONE ALONE! • Encourage periodic breaks (every 20-30 minutes). This allows hikers to regroup, catch their breath, take a drink and/or have a snack, have a bathroom break, take photos, etc. It is advisable to drink lots of water regardless of the temperature! • As Hike Co-ordinator, you should be keeping an eye out for hikers who might be in trouble (e.g., tiring, feeling ill, blisters, etc.). Don’t ignore anyone in the group! • Ask the lead hiker of each group to stop at every trail junction to ensure that every hiker in their group makes the proper turn – and, if necessary, to flag the turn for the other groups. • At the lunch stop, count heads again. Some hikers who eat according to the clock (“I always have lunch at noon!”) may already have eaten along the trail. Remind hikers that the return trip downhill can often be as strenuous as the uphill climb (more so for some), and that they should allow for a reserve of energy. This is a good time to check for blisters, tighten bootlaces, put on knee tensors, etc. • RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT! The rule is that hikers pack out all garbage and do not leave behind any banana peels, apple cores, chewing gum, orange peels, or any other items. Of interest, orange peels take 2 years to biodegrade, which equals the lifespan of a rabbit. Don’t feed any wildlife including the ground squirrels, chipmunks and whiskey jacks. The Provincial Parks Act and General Regulations state that it is unlawful to pick, deface, injure or remove any object in a Provincial Park or Provincial Recreation Area. Similar laws exist for the National Parks. This law is in place to keep humans from removing food that will be used by other animals, birds, insects and bacteria inside a land designation that aims to protect our natural heritage. As an example, a Conservation Officer observing a hiking group picking wild strawberries would be entitled to issue a ticket The Calgary Weekend Hikers will adopt this policy on all of our hikes. As Hike Coordinator, you are asked to remind hikers of this rule but are not expected to enforce it. Members who disregard the policy shall be reported to the Executive committee for disciplinary action. 6. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 • If a group of hikers wants to go beyond the scheduled destination to a higher vista, or a lake, or return by a different route, this is fine provided there are at least 4 hikers in the group. Make it clear that they are fully responsible for themselves and that you will not wait for them at the parking lot. Any necessary carpooling adjustments should be arranged before they set off. • If there are less than 4 hikers who insist that they want to go beyond the destination or turn back early then they must accept full responsibility for themselves and will NOT be considered as part of the group. Their names will subsequently be removed from the hike registration list. • If you will be returning by the same route as you followed going in, ask the tail ender to remove and collect any and all seismic tape. Park officials do not like this tape left around – not only does it detract from the natural beauty, but it may mislead other hikers. • If a sub-group wishes to head back on their own in order to return to Calgary earlier, ask them to leave a note on the Hike Co-ordinator’s vehicle to confirm their safe arrival. A good suggestion is to leave a piece of paper and pencil tucked under your windshield wiper blade for note writing. You can also make sure that you know which car they are travelling in so you can confirm that it is no longer in the parking lot. INCIDENT MANAGEMENT REPORT All Hike Co-ordinators will be supplied with Incident Management Guidelines and two copies of the Trail Incident Report that can be used for all hikes. Please carry the reports and guidelines in a waterproof bag in your backpack. Hike co-ordinators are asked to complete two copies of the Trail Incident Report if an accident takes place on the trail. One copy is taken out and given to the rescue team (if required) and the other copy is sent to the Club Executive. The Trail Incident Report will be used by the CWHC Executive to complete the Incident Report for Club & Insurance Record Purposes (a separate form not included in this package). BACK AT THE TRAILHEAD • Count heads again. Don’t forget any early departures as well as any hikers who have gone farther. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 7. • Do not leave the parking lot until all hikers (except those who have assumed the responsibility, on their own, of choosing to go farther) have safely returned or until the proper authorities have been notified that hikers are missing and a search is required. If you need to get back to Calgary for another commitment, assign someone else to wait for the stragglers. • Complete your hike report while the details are fresh in your mind and don’t forget to mail it to the club statistician as soon as you return home. These statistics are important to the club as they may determine whether or not a member has met his or her quota of at least 4 hikes! • In reporting additional comments, if you mention humorous incidents feel free to use “poetic license” but please avoid any comments that might reflect poorly on the character of any member on the hike or cause that person embarrassment. USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS Environment Canada (24-hr recorded weather information) 299-7878 Alberta Motor Association Road Report 246-5853 *Alberta Provincial Parks Kananaskis Country Head Office, Canmore (403) 678-5508 Information, Calgary (403) 297-3362 Bow Valley Provincial Park (403) 673-3663 Barrier Lake Visitor Centre (403) 673-3985 Peter Lougheed Visitor Centre (403) 591-6322 Elbow District Visitor Centre (403) 949-4261 Highwood Visitor Centre (403) 558-2151 *For long distance calls, first call the Rite Line 310-0000 Travel Alberta (Campground Reservations) 1-800-222-6501 (Information on other Parks) 1-800-661-8888 Parks Canada Trip Counselling & Information (403) 292-4401 Current Backcountry Conditions (403) 292-5478 Banff National Park Banff Visitor Centre (403) 762-1550 (including hut reservations) Administration Office (24-hr Emergency) (403) 762-4506 Warden Service (Non-emergency) (403) 762-1470 8. Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 Lake Louise Visitor Centre (403) 522-3833 Administration Office (Lake Louise) (403) 522-3763 Weather (Environment Canada) (403) 762-2088 Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre (Radium) (250) 347-9505 Warden Services (250) 347-9361 Yoho National Park Visitor Centre (Field) (250) 343-6783 Administration Office (250) 343-6324 Lake O’Hara Bus & Campground Reservations (250) 343-6433 Cancellation Line (3 days in advance) (250) 343-6344 (by Wed evening) Waterton Lakes National Park Visitor Centre/Administration (403) 859-5133 (Summer); (403) 859-2224 (Winter) USEFUL WEBSITES Banff National Park www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/banff/index_e.asp Kananaskis Country www.cd.gov.ab.ca/enjoying_alberta/parks/featured/kananaskis/welcome.asp Hike Co-ordinators’ Guidelines March, 2007 9.
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