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DURC safety guidelines (1998)
DURC - Operating guidelines and safety policy (1998)
3. Meeting Procedure
Club members have a personal responsibility to ensure that they are appropriately prepared and competent to participate in club activities, both in terms of their equipment provision, their ability to use this equipment, and their general health and fitness. The British Mountaineering Council offers the following advice:
"That participants in climbing and mountaineering are aware, or reminded, that these are activities with a danger of personal injury or death and that individuals should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement."
2.1 Before participating in a club meet, members are advised to have the following equipment as a minimum:
Walking boots with ankle support and a suitable sole with adequate traction. DM's etc. are not acceptable.
Windproof and waterproof over garments
Map and compass
Torch (preferably a head torch)
Hat and gloves
Spare warm clothing
Food, including emergency rations
Adequate fluid - preferably in a refillable container
First aid kit
In view of the much more demanding conditions met in winter (snow & ice conditions), the following items are regarded as essential:
In summer it is advisable to carry a sunhat, sunscreen, and sunglasses (which are also useful in winter when the light can be particularly bright). Additional fluid should also be carried.
2.2 All members are strongly advised to be proficient in the use of a map and compass. Guidance and advice from club officials and more experienced members should be heeded.
3. Meeting Procedure
3.1 Every meet will be supervised by a meet organiser who shall be the Meets Secretary, committee member, or their designated appointee. The meet organiser will be available to advise on safety for the meet.
3.2 A meet is any activity organised by the club or consented to by any two committee members and using support of any kind from the sports union. The decision of whether a meet goes ahead lies with the Club President, after consultation with the Meets secretary. If a meet is cancelled for any reason, any member who chooses to make their own way to the hills does so without the authority and support of the Rucksack Club.
3.3 No person will be eligible to attend a DURC meet without:
Having paid the club membership fee (set annually by the committee)
Having read and understood the safety guidelines and signed the acknowledgement form to indicate this.
(unless having a personal invitation from the president)
3.4 Members must complete the meet list (in the meets book), giving a contact name and telephone number and details of clothing and equipment before leaving the transport on a day meet or before leaving the accommodation on longer meets. Details of route out and back (and if possible, alternative routes) should be given, together with an estimated time of arrival.
3.5 If, in the opinion of the meet organiser a member does not have the necessary competence, fitness or confidence then that member may be asked to select a more suitable route plan.
3.6 Prior to departing on a walk/climb the meet organiser will check that the equipment outlined in 2.1 above is being carried. If, in the opinion of the meet organiser, a member does not have a safe level of equipment, that member may be prevented from participating in the meet.
3.7 When travelling to and from meets, the driver is in charge and his/her decisions are final and must be adhered to.
3.8 When travelling to and from meets, heavy and sharp objects (e.g. ice axes) must always be stored under the seats in the minibus, never left loose or tied to rucksacks.
3.9 All decisions on meets will be made by the designated meet organiser (with the exception of 3.7). In the case of a dispute, a majority vote of the committee members present will be called. This decision is final and contravention of this decision is deemed to be against the interests of the club (ref. constitution)
3.10 The pace of any walk/climb should be reasonable for the slowest member of the party. No one should become detached from the group and everyone should be aware of the procedures to be followed in the case of an accident.
3.11 At present the University court does not permit members of DURC to go solo walking/climbing on official club trips. Contravention of this dictum may incur disciplinary action from the Sports Union. DURC acknowledges this restriction but considers this an infringement of the ethos of Scottish mountaineering.
3.12 Suitable first aid provision must be available for every club trip. Members are advised to carry their own first aid kits tailored to their knowledge of first aid and the possible situations encountered. This should be checked to ensure it is complete BEFORE the meet. Items requiring replaced/renewed may be claimed back from the gear secretary.
Be prepared; always check weather forecasts and in winter also check the snow conditions and the avalanche forecast. Note that mountain weatherline numbers are on the membership card and avalanche information is available on e-mail. Always let fellow group members know your experience, fitness levels, and any illness or disability (treated in strictest confidence), as this aids good route planning. Don't just tag along - get involved with navigation and route decisions as that is the way to get experience, and experience is the key to safe and enjoyable mountaineering. If ever in any doubt about any aspect of safety, ask a committee member.
DURC Summer and Winter Climbing Guidelines.
Climbing is an extremely hazardous sport. Some modes of climbing are more dangerous than others but there is an inherent risk involved in all forms of climbing - that's part of the challenge and enjoyment!
There is no clear boundary between scrambling and climbing but where the possibility of a fall is not negligible and the consequences would involve injury or death it is recommended that standard safety procedures (e.g. belaying) should be followed.
The dangers of climbing can be reduced but never completely eliminated by the use of protective equipment (ropes, harness, helmet, belays etc.). This equipment is only effective if used properly. Remember that your life and the lives of the people you climb with depend on you knowing how to use this equipment.
DURC recommends that anyone planning to start rock or ice climbing should go on a professional course to learn the basic use of ropes and other climbing equipment, techniques and terminology.
In any one climbing team at least one person should have previous similar experience of the type of climbing planned and at a similar level within one or two standard British climbing grades. If you go climbing with someone make sure your partner knows what he/she's doing - your lives will depend on this.
Your life depends on your climbing equipment. Make sure that you know the history of all equipment being used, particularly ropes. Buying second hand protective gear is not an effective strategy for staying alive.
Make sure that the equipment is properly maintained - cleaned, lubricated, kept in the dark, free from contamination. All climbing kit comes with manufacturers instructions on maintenance and life span.
DURC recommends the use of a helmet conforming to UIAA standards when climbing.
Completely destroy ALL equipment which is no longer safe.
Don't wait until it is too late before you use the equipment you are carrying, for example:
You may not have started climbing but a rock kicked from above can still kill - put on your helmet as soon as you reach the crag.
When winter climbing, put on the harness and crampons before you need them. It is very difficult to put either on when standing on a steep slippery slope.
When selecting a route you should consider:
Your (and your partners) climbing abilities and experiences. Work your way up the grades steadily until you find your limit
Time available for the climb.
For ice; as for winter walking but remember there may be no quick route off. You must also consider the snow/ice conditions and the avalanche hazard.
Make sure that you have the necessary equipment for the route you are planning. The protection you require will vary depending on the route. Too much equipment will add extra weight, too little may leave you unprotected.
Before going climbing you should be familiar with basic climbing techniques such as belaying (there are several methods available),and abseiling (you may need to abseil off a climb and must know how to do this safely, this includes safety measures such as a prussic/shunt backup, ground brakeman, and belaying). You must be familiar with the climbing terminology, particularly the "climbing calls". The committee recommends "The handbook of climbing" by Alan Fyffe and Iain Peter (BMC) as an excellent reference text. Remember, climbing is not an activity you can learn from a book. Climbing proficiently requires experience which can only be gained by going out and practising. For further information ask a committee member or a senior club member.
The Committee would like to thank Peter Clinch, Mike Baslington, Pete Williams and Paul McPate for their help in formulating these guidelines.
DURC January 1998.
Procedure in the event of a serious accident or fatality
If a serious or fatal accident occurs, the meet organiser must first inform the appropriate emergency service (if not already done so) and ensure that the casualty is accompanied to hospital (either by him/herself or by a similar responsible person) whilst ensuring that the safety of the remaining group members is not compromised. The rest of the group should return to Dundee as soon as is reasonably practicable.
The meet organiser must inform the Sports Union President as soon as possible, either at the Sports Union office (Tel: 01382 201029) or directly at home. The President will then inform the Director of Physical Education who, in conjunction with the University Secretary will, if it is deemed appropriate, prepare an official statement after consultation with the meet organiser. No statement whatsoever relating to the circumstances of the accident should be made to any other person or the press.
In the event of an accident, on return to the university, an accident report form, obtainable from the SU office or Sports Centre reception must be completed and handed into the Physical Education Department office.
A comprehensive report on the circumstances surrounding the accident should be sent to the Sports Union President. It should contain the following information; names, ages and addresses of those involved, site and time of the incident, weather conditions, equipment in use, clothing worn, physical condition of those involved, nature of injuries, action taken, suspected cause of the accident, eventual outcome (if known).
The above safety policy and guidelines of practice were approved by the current DURC committee and Sports Union President Iain Miller before being formally passed by the membership of Dundee University Rucksack Club at the 1998 Annual General Meeting.