As the new academic year begins, university climbing clubs across the country are recruiting new members and guiding them through their first steps onto real rock through freshers meets. This can mean a short period of busier crags, and many uni clubs in the past have posted treads with details of their meets on UKC so climbers know which crags are likely to be busy and when, but with multiple threads it can be hard to keep track of all the information.
For the last two years I've started a thread for uni clubs to post up details of any freshers meets they're planning so all information is available on one thread and easier to find. It seemed to go down well with most people so I'm doing it again this year. There's no obligation to post up obviously, but if you want to, basic info along the lines of where, when and how many people is all that’s needed.
For any committee members who want ideas on managing groups at the crag, the BMC produces a free to download ‘Green Guide to the Uplands’ which gives advice on group use at crags in sections 11, 12 and 13 (pages 20-24): http://www.thebmc.co.uk/greenguides
It’s also worth encouraging individual climbers to be patient with uni groups – we were all beginners once and for many of these keen students this is the first step towards the lifetime of adventure and fun that we all value so much.
As an aside, we're also aiming to start work on new guidance for groups covering all aspects of climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering, with information that is as relevant as possible to all different group types. In order to do this, a working group containing representatives from a number of different types of group has been setup and is meeting for the first time at 1200 on 18/09/12 in the BMC's Manchester office. Currently we haven't been able to find a student club rep to sit on this group. If anyone currently organising trips for a student club is interested in coming along to share their experiences and give an insight into what information would be useful to have in the guidance, drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with brief details of your club involvement.
Cheers, Rob Dyer BMC Access & Conservation Officer