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Advice on hill-walking, mountaineering, skiing and climbing

Following instruction from both the UK and Scottish Governments on the evening of 23.3.2020 there are substantial restrictions on movement.

From now there are only four reasons you may leave your home:

  • To shop for basic necessities and that should be limited to once a day
  • To take daily exercise - but alone or with your own household, not in groups
  • For medical reasons or to care for a vulnerable person
  • To travel to essential work if that cannot be done at home. Further guidance to employers is pending.

For the present this ends travel and recreational mountain activities, with the emphasis being on our social responsibilities to ourselves, friends, families and those rural communities who are rightly concerned about the impact of visitors to their areas.

We know this will be a challenging time for everyone and the team at Mountaineering Scotland are reorganising the way we work to ensure we continue to deliver the services and activities our members expect from us as best we can. We are taking some tough decisions to cancel our events, and courses over the next 12 weeks following Government advice but are looking at new ways we can still engage with the Mountaineering Scotland community using online platforms.


Mountaineering Scotland:

Facebook - @MountaineeringScotland

Twitter - @Mountain_Scot

Instagram - @mountaineeringscotland

ClimbScotland:

Facebook - @ClimbScotland

Twitter - @Climb_Scotland

Instagram - @climbscotland


Infographic courtesy of the BBC

Club meets and regular activities

Under the latest government measures to reduce contact with other people and slow the spread of the virus, all club meets and activities should be suspended until the restrictions are lifted. We have been pleased to see clubs taking a proactive approach to cancelling activities over the last weeks as the situation has developed.
 
We recognise that it is important to stay active during this time, and to find ways to do so that are in accordance with the current measures of social distancing and avoidance of non-essential travel.

Maintaining contact with club members
At this time, maintaining contact with club members at a distance is vital to keep up relationships and support positive mental health. Regular communication with club members via email or social media is important for maintaining a sense of community.
 
Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, House Pary and Facebook groups are just a few ways you can keep in contact and may provide an opportunity for some of your members to learn to use some of these digital tools. It’s also a good opportunity to ask your members to contribute to the conversation with photos, videos and stories of their adventures, and to share fun and happy memories as well as plans and ideas for future meets.
 
Governance
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have an impact on a number of events over the coming months, including your club’s AGM.
 
To comply with the current social distancing requirements, holding a face to face meeting is not an option at this time, therefore Mountaineering Scotland is fully supportive of the need for exceptional measures and accept that clubs may need to postpone their AGM or use digital solutions to hold a ‘virtual’ AGM, even if this contravenes their constitution. In either case, it is important that clubs communicate plans with members at the earliest opportunity and ensure that if a digital solution is used, it is freely available to all members who wish to participate.
 
We encourage clubs to continue regular committee meetings using electronic communications or phone conference only until restrictions on movement are lifted.
 
Club huts
Again, in accordance with Government measures all club huts should now be closed. The likely duration of closures is unknown, but is likely to last months rather than weeks, so will likely impact on the finances of the hut and clubs operating huts. The property insurance cover provided via Howden does not provide compensation for the closure of huts under these circumstances.
 
The UK and Scottish Government package of support for small businesses which may be relevant to some club huts:

Please refer to the joint Mountaineering Scotland and BMC guidance for hut operators issued on 18/03/2020 for more information about financial planning and resilience (please note this was issued prior to the Government directive to stay at home and avoid travel).
 
Public liability and club insurance
We have had a few enquiries from clubs and members re insurance, and have received this advice from Howden:
"At the present time we at Howden can only advise you and your clubs to follow the Government advice. Within any insurance policy there is a reasonable precautions condition and if the club or members are deliberately ignoring advice or acting recklessly this may impact on the liability indemnity being available. All clubs and members should record their decisions and reasons to proceed or not with their activities, and ensure that risk assessment and risk management is considered through their process. The health and wellbeing of everyone being of primary importance as per the Government's guidance."

 Other sources of information

All Mountaineering Scotland and ClimbScotland events have been cancelled up until the end of June.

We are currently dealing with the administration for this and hope anyone who has booked onto one of these will bear with us as we go through the process of arranging refunds or rebookings.


The International Federation of Sport Climbing has released an updated statement on 13.3.2020 giving details of championship cancellations and postponements. This updates and replaces previous statements.

Read here for the full 13.2.2020 statement.

Page last updated 6.4.2020