Leader Responsibilities and Rights

Mountain Club hike leaders are volunteers and are not required to have any training or certification in any activity or in first aid. Most leaders have hiked with the club or similar organizations before volunteering to lead a hike and should be familiar with club policies regarding hikes. The following list  of leader responsibilities encapsulates policies as they apply to hikes. Knowing them will help you as a leader or participant work together as a team and contribute to the success of the hike. 

  1. Leaders are not required to take anyone not properly prepared, equipped, or experienced. Leaders have final authority to limit participation on their hikes.
  2. Leaders should provide complete and, to the extent possible, accurate information in their hike write-ups.  If there are a lot of unknowns about the destination and/or route, this should be emphasized.  It is better to overestimate distance, elevation, and difficulty of a hike than underestimate it. 
  3. Arrive at the meeting place early.
  4. Assure that all participants have signed the Release of Liability form. All participants must sign the form.  A member cannot sign for another member (e.g., a person cannot sign for themselves and their spouse). The text of the release should be visible to all people signing it. Releases should be returned to the Outings Chair.
  5. Before leaving the meeting place, tell participants where you are going and provide more detail about the information that was in the hike write-up, eg. difficulty, hazards, stream crossings, etc.  Show a map of the planned hike. 
  6. Because other groups may meet at the same place at the same time, be sure that all your participants are there for your hike. 
  7. Organize car pools and be sure drivers know the route to the trailhead and plans for intervening stops.
  8. At the trailhead, do not start off before everyone is ready to go.  
  9. Keep the group together.  Designate a sweep, someone to hike at the end of the group to let you know if the group is getting too spread out or people are having difficulty keeping up.
  10. Do the hike as described; do not knowingly deviate and add elevation or distance, go to a different place, etc. 
  11. Plan for rest, lunch, and potty breaks.
  12. At the end of the hike, make sure all vehicles can start before allowing any to leave. 
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