- 1 How do I come on a trip?
- 2 Weekend Trips
- 3 Day Trips
- 4 How much does a trip cost?
- 5 Walking on Club Trips
Trips are the way we get out into the hills to go walking up mountains. We run two types of trip:
- Day trips: we leave Edinburgh early in the morning, go for a walk, then return the same evening
- Weekend trips: we leave Edinburgh on a Friday afternoon, stay in a hostel for the weekend with day walks each day, staying in the same hostel each night, and return to Edinburgh on Sunday evening. A few trips are ‘long weekends’ of three days, in which we return on Monday evening.
All club trips are organised by the committee. Upcoming trips are listed on our website and are advertised about a week before to the club mailing list, Facebook group and Twitter. The email will contain details of the destination, cost and sign-up arrangements.
See our Trip Information document for details on trip cancellation, refunds, drivers on trips and more.
How do I come on a trip?
To come on a hillwalking trip you must do the following, in this order:
1. Buy membership for the Hillwalking Club and University Sports Union. You MUST make an account before you can sign up online, otherwise the website will not allow you to buy a ‘ticket’ for the trip. You will have to pay £6.75 to join the Sports Union. (Please Note; for University of Edinburgh Students, your username is your university email address i.e s(matriculation number)@sms.ed.ac.uk). You also must buy membership with the club in order to buy a ticket for the trip.
2. Sign up for a trip (buy a ticket for the trip). You must sign up online here and fill in all the required information (emergency contacts, dietary requirements and experience level, etc).
Once you have signed up for a trip, you will receive further emails throughout the week with arrangements for the trip. It is your responsibility to read these emails and act on them. It is also essential that you bring the required equipment on the trip. We will refuse to take people on a walk if they do not have the required equipment, as it endangers the safety of the group. If you have any questions about equipment, don’t hesitate to ask the pub on the Tuesday.
A certain number of ‘pre-signs’ are given to people who are required for the success running of a trip. This includes the two (sometimes three) Meet Organisers. They are members of the committee who are organising the trip. A limited number of pre-signs can also be requested by members, by email before the sign-up night, for the following reasons:
- Drivers. We require two or three drivers per mini-bus. We also ask for volunteers to drive their own cars to increase the amount of transport spaces we can offer.
- Walk Organisers. When there is likely to be a shortage of people who have the necessary experience to organise a walk, we will give pre-signs to a minimal number of walk organisers. This is particularly true for the Freshers’ day trips and weekend trips at the start of the year.
- Committee. All committee members can pre-sign for any trip in recognition of the work they put into the club. They will be expected to help organise some aspects of the trip and often lead walks.
If you come to sign-up for a trip, but miss out you can be put on a reserve list. If we have any last minute cancellations you may be able to come on the trip.
If you have already paid for a trip but want to cancel, please tell us as soon as possible. We will only be able to refund your trip fee if we can find a replacement from the reserve list. If you do not show up on the day of the trip we cannot refund your trip fee. No refunds are available on membership money. See our Trip Information document for more details.
Weekend trips are the best way to get out into the hills and get to know people in the club. We stay in youth hostels, bunkhouses and occasionally club huts. The accommodation in Hostels is of a high standard: there are hot showers, a drying room, a well-equipped kitchen and usually a lounge. The social aspects range from a group meal on the Saturday, a trip to the local pub and drinking games such as Table Mountaineering!
Anatomy of a Weekend Trip
Weekend trips usually leave from the CSE car park on Pleasance at 5:00pm on a Friday. Though especially long drives or weather concerns could make this earlier, see your email from the meet organisers. You need to arrive promptly, and let us know as soon as possible if you are running late or can no longer make it by calling the club mobile phone. We use a combination of University mini-buses and volunteers with cars to transport everyone to the hostel. On the way up, we will stop at a take-away and a supermarket for an evening meal.
When we arrive at the hostel, you’ll find a bed and settle in. We then meet in the common room and decide on our walking plans for the following day. The more experienced members of the club will plan a variety of walks, with a broad range of difficulties. You will then be able to choose which walk you want to do the following day.
During the day on Saturday, you go a walk up a mountain or three! Once everyone is back from their walks, we provide an evening meal for the entire group. It is expected that as a club, we all help out with cooking and cleaning, and that everyone does their part! Our walk organisers then decide on another range of walks. You then decided which walk you want to do on the following day.
Sunday morning everyone helps to clean the hostel and leave it in the condition we got it in. During the day on Sunday, you go walking again… After the walk, each group heads straight back to Edinburgh, usually arriving sometime in the evening. This gives some flexibility for arrival times back in Edinburgh. You may have the option of doing a shorter walk on Sunday and getting back to Edinburgh earlier.
What do I need to bring?
The hostel will provide bedding and clean sheets for you. Cooking facilities, cutlery, crockery and utensils are all provided by the hostel although sometimes bottle openers are missing! You will need:
- Hillwalking equipment
- Casual clothes. As well as your walking clothes you should bring clothes to wear in the hostel.
- Breakfast for Saturday and Sunday. We provide tea, coffee and milk.
- Food and high-energy snacks for the hill for two days.
- We provide an evening meal on the Saturday, and will be travelling to and from Edinburgh on the Friday and Sunday evenings so we will stop at a take-away and supermarket along the way. You are welcome to cook for yourself, but are encourage to join in with the group meal! Bear in mind that some hostels have very small kitchens, so you may find yourself having to wait.
- Entertainment. Socialising is a big part of our weekend trips so you shouldn’t need to bring anything. However, sometimes walks finish early so consider packing a book or a pack of cards. Music can make the mini-bus journey a lot less tedious (especially for the driver).
- Alcohol. If, like most of the committee, you enjoy the occasional tipple then you may want to bring along some alcohol. We are usually a long way from the nearest pub or supermarket so if you want a drink please do bring some along. Drink responsibly, for your own sake – walking up a mountain is a great hangover cure but not a comfortable one.
Day trips usually leave from the CSE car park at 7am. You will need to bring all the required equipment for a day’s walking, including food and water. A comfortable pair of shoes to change into after the walk is also recommended.
Our experienced members will have already planned a selection of walks for the day, which may be revised given the morning’s weather forecast. Everyone will choose which walk they want to do at the CSE car park before leaving Edinburgh.
The drive is usually 2 hours each way. Due to the travel time involved you will need to arrive at the CSE promptly and be ready to walk as soon as we arrive at the start of the walk. Wasted time may mean that some walks become infeasible or end in the dark – especially in winter!
How much does a trip cost?
Please see our membership prices and trip prices for details.
Walking on Club Trips
The club takes a fairly structured approach to organising walks on a club trip. More experienced members of the club assume the role of ‘Walk Organiser’. This involves planning a route, advertising it to everyone on a trip, and doing most of the route selection and navigation on the walk. This approach ensures that each group has at least someone with experience of walking in the Scottish hills, which is vital to the safety of the group. It also allows beginners the chance to go out and enjoy the hills, whilst informally learning skills from the Walk Organiser.
How much responsibility does the Walk Organiser have?
On the hill, the Walk Organiser does most of the route selection and navigation, but all of the members of the group should be involved in this as far as their knowledge and skills allow.
Walk Organisers are responsible for the safety of the group but not for each of its members. It is each person’s individual responsibility to ensure they get enough food, drink and rest. It is also each person’s responsibility to alert the Walk Organiser to any developments that may affect the safety of the group and its members. Do not remain silent if something is wrong!
If, while on the hill, it becomes apparent that a member of the group is struggling, the Walk Organiser should decide the safest course of action. This may mean splitting the group or altering the route to end the walk early. The Walk Organiser is not personally obliged to accompany anyone off the hill, but if the group is split both groups must be left with someone competent to complete the new objectives and finish the walk safely.
In the event of injury or any other emergency situation (for example unexpected nightfall) the Walk Organiser adopts the role of leader and can instruct the whole group as required to minimise further injury.
What am I responsible for?
All members of a walk, including the Walk Organiser, are responsible for their own safety on the hill. This means you must select a walk that is appropriate to your experience, skills and fitness. You must be honest about your skills and fitness when discussing the walk with the Walk Organiser to ensure that they know your limits. You are responsible for having all the essential equipment and for meeting the Walk Organiser at the right time to start the walk in the morning.
On the hill, you are responsible for your own safety and comfort, and you are mutually responsible for that of all the other members of the group including the Walk Organiser. This means if you are hungry, get a bite to eat; if you are thirsty, get a drink; if you’re too hot, take a layer off; if it rains, put your waterproofs on; if you fall and cut yourself, ask for a plaster; if you need a break, let the group know and stop. If you can read a map, help with the route choice and navigation. If not, use common sense, pay attention to the landscape, chat, and most of all, enjoy it!
What if I want to do my own thing?
If you have a particular walk you want to do you are welcome to organise it as a club walk and advertise it at sign-up, but please note that this cannot include other sports activities (a Sports Union policy), such as climbing or kayaking.
We generally do not allow people to go alone into the hills, as this adds an extra element of danger. If you are desperate to do solo walks, then members of the club will be happy to offer advise, but these will be strongly discourage on club trips.
If you want to plan your own trip with other club members, you can arrange that though our vacation mailing list, in the pub, or on our Facebook group. But please remember that if it is not arranged by the committee, it is not an EUHWC walk or trip and this should be clear to all participants and the public.