[Hiking] A few slight changes and some news...

Chris Laidler chrislaidler at hotmail.co.uk
Mon Aug 21 10:29:04 BST 2006

Dear Hikers,

I hope you’re all having a great summer; anyway here is an important email 
regarding some changes to rules and one or two bits of news. Sorry its so 
long but please read it as it contains some important information.

Firstly our mailing list has become a bit of a mess. I personally know of at 
least 3 people who were in the club 2 years ago but not last year who are 
still receiving emails. Therefore it is likely that at the start of the new 
term we will clear all emails from the mailing list, if you rejoin the club 
this year your email will be added once again. If you are not intending to 
rejoin the club for one reason or another (for example you’ve graduated) 
them please reply to this email and I will add your address along with all 
the new members. At some point in the future an Alumni list may be created. 
If (and when) one is created all non-members on the mailing list will be 
added to the alumni list.

You may have noticed that the new walks program is up on the website, this 
is a provisional timetable. The Autumn term program isn’t likely to change 
much, however for the spring and summer term we have plans to maybe meet up 
with Bristol explorers for one walk, we are also considering running a 
summer trip abroad but the committee will meet in September to discuss this 
possibility and possible destinations.
Also a few of you may have noticed a slight change to the grading system. 
Under the old system an A-walk was a 6-8 mile walk with little climbing, a B 
walk 8 – 12 miles with moderate climbing and a C-walk 12+ miles with a lot 
of climbing. The problem with this system is how do you classify a walk such 
as Snowdon which has a lot of climbing but is barely 6 miles long? The 
solution we have come to is simply to have a letter (A,B,C) denoting length 
and a number (1,2,3) denoting approximate height gain. The new grades are as 

A grade walk. 6 – 8 miles
B grade walk. 8 – 12 miles
C grade walk. 12+ miles

1 grade walk. Less than 200m (approx 600 ft) height gain
2 grade walk. 200m – 500m (approx 600 – 1500 ft) height gain
3 grade walk. More than 500m (approx 1500 ft ) height gain

So, for example, Snowdon weekend now has the grade A,1

We considered just having the grade easy, medium and hard. The problem with 
this was where to draw the boundaries between each level. For example a walk 
that is hard for someone who has spent all summer eating cake might be quite 
easy for someone who has run 10 miles a day.
The committee is going to start bringing walk maps to signup so hikers can 
see the route before signing up to it, one or two members requested this 
last year and we thought it a good idea.

Over the summer the committee took a look at the rules. These haven’t been 
changed for 6 years and were in need of a little updating. Copies of the new 
rules are attached but as I write this the version on the website has not 
yet been changed, this will happen in the next week or so. Most of the 
changes are simply re-wording of old rules. Some rules have been relaxed, 
and some made stricter. Notably the rules on equipment; for instance the old 
rules stated that sturdy three season boots must be worn for all walks. We 
have relaxed this, rules now state that sturdy three season boots are only 
necessary for long walks or walks in winter. In summer or for shorter walks 
lighter hiking footwear may be worn. Similar changes have been made for 
other equipment items.
The new rules also put responsibility for bringing correct personal 
equipment solely on individual members, given that everyone is aged 18+ I 
sure you can all take responsibility for remembering your own waterproof :p 
Responsibility for club equipment obviously still lies with the committee. 
The committee will still turn people away who arrive inappropriately dressed 
for a walk; this is for the safety of the rest of the group.

A few slight changes will also take place with the collection of money for 
walks. A number of times when people have been asked for walk money in the 
pub at the end of the walk, the treasurer (Tigger), was told they had 
already paid. Most likely they had and it was us not ticking them off the 
list, however it seems more sensible to collect money before we leave uni. 
>From now on money will be collected while we are sat outside Fulton House 
waiting for everyone to sign the coach form. (Quite handily there are cash 
machines inside Fulton house! ). It would also be preferable if people could 
pay at a signup, it just means we don’t have to lug large amounts of money 
up mountains. Also please make sure that when you pay, the person collecting 
the money ticks off your name.
For weekends a deposit will be asked for when you signup.

Unfortunately there is more bad news regarding money; the Athletic Union 
have decided to significantly raise MPFs - the amount each person is charged 
for a walk. As granddad points out in his message board post they are 
currently suggesting we charge £8.50 for a Gower walk…. ouch! They also 
refused to accept any responsibility for our Lake district bus being locked 
in at Days rental or the fact that we had to collect it ourselves. This led 
to a significant loss.
I am currently negotiating with the AU about walk prices for next year and 
hopefully will get back to you shortly before the start of term regarding 
the new prices. Once I’ve informed you what the final prices are to be I 
suggest, if you think they’re too high, that you send a complaint to the AU.
The good news is we now have sponsorship, Shopzilla (AKA bizrate) are paying 
us a significant amount to place three text links on our website. Two of 
them are on the homepage marked “Compare prices” and “Backpacks” Hopefully 
this money will be used to subsidize some of the walks.

Anyway.... I think that’s it for now, if you’ve any questions regarding the 
rule changes or anything else in this email feel free to contact me.

Sorry this email is so boring!
Enjoy the rest of your summer

Chris Laidler

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