Safety is a key priority of the club but responsibility lies with the individual. All new members are asked to familiarize themselves with the safety advice below and in particular the UIAA Participation Statement.
(1) Activities within the club are undertaken at the individuals own risk, and he/she should inform him/herself at the outset of what such activities might involve
Climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks, and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.
(2) The activities that the members of the Lairig club participate in are dangerous, to varying degrees. The environment in which we play is inherently dangerous and it is important to have some idea of the risks involved. The possible hazards in mountaineering are far too many to list here, however in Scotland the two most common causes of injury are slips and exposure, either due to the weather or because poor navigation has led to benightment. In winter the hills become very icy and the ability to use ice axe and crampons is essential. The weather is very unpredictable and anyone who is inadequately clothed will suffer exposure or hypothermia. This is something you can protect yourself against. Only go to the hills if you are properly equipped. Good navigation - the ability to read a map and compass - will not only get you home faster, it will also get you home on one piece! The vast majority of mountaineering accidents are avoidable if you are well prepared and trained. Death and serious injury are a real possibility, particularly in winter. However if you are mindful of safety issues, and use the proper equipment, your days with the Lairig will be the most memorable days you have at Aberdeen University
(3) Each official meet of the Club must be attended by no less than two club committee members or experienced senior members (the club committee will decide who these members are for each forthcoming year). Such members will undertake the following duties:
Any trip using support of any kind from the Sports Council shall be considered an official meet.
(4) All members MUST sign the route book before leaving the transport on day meets or before leaving the hut, bothy or tent on all meets. Details of route out and back must be given together with an estimated time of arrival, and any anticipated alternatives in the case of bad weather, etc.
(5) A club committee member or one of the more experienced senior members of the club may strongly advise against any members proposed activity on the grounds of insufficient experience, poor equipment, bad conditions or over-ambitious plans. Any advice given should be adhered to.
(6) ALL MEMBERS MUST HAVE THE RELEVANT MAP AND COMPASS AND BE FAMILIAR WITH THEIR USE. An appreciation of the time factor involved in any proposed route and the way this may be changed by weather conditions is very important. Advice given by senior club members on this must be heeded.
(7) Members must be suitably equipped in the light of weather conditions on the hill. This always includes a water and wind-proof layer. If you are unsure ask a senior member.
(8) Members should always carry at least one item of spare warm clothing, a 'survival' poly-bag or similar, a torch, a personal first-aid kit (which minimally could comprise of a bandage/wound dressing and a few plasters) and a whistle.
(9) In view of the much more demanding conditions often encountered on the hill in winter it is essential that every member going onto the hill in winter conditions must have an ice-axe and crampons and should be proficient in the basic skills of step-cutting, cramponing and self-arrest (ice-axes and crampons can be borrowed from the club).
Ask committee members for details of winter skills courses.
(10) Read the list on page two of this handout and if you are in any doubt please come and speak to a member of the committee. Two excellent and highly recommended instructional texts are 'Mountain craft and Leadership' by Eric Langmuir and for more the more technical aspects of mountaineering 'The Handbook Of Climbing' by Allen Fyffe and Iain Peter.
(11) The Lairig Club has gear available for members use. Every effort is made by the gear officer to ensure that the gear is in safe working order, however members using this equipment should be aware that they use it at their own risk.
(12) There are experienced rock and winter climbers in the club more than willing to take keen beginners out. Every effort should be made to develop (and improve) ropework and belaying technique.
(13) Helmets are always strongly recommended when on steep ground.
The above guidelines are at best a very brief indication of the more important aspects of mountain safety. The Lairig Club seeks to provide its members with the opportunity to enjoy the Scottish hills in a variety of ways and weathers. Ultimately, a sound mountaineering sense and judgement is gained only by the steady accumulation of knowledge, understanding and experience.