XC Skiing Guidelines

General guidelines relevant to all activities including trip introduction

PURPOSE:
· To give trip leaders of LUMC skiing trips a framework for conducting trips.
· To provide guidelines for anyone present on an official LUMC skiing trip.

DEFINITIONS:
- X-C skiing trip: Event organised and undertaken by members of the LUMC where the predominant activity is X-C Skiing, these trips may also include snowshoeing/snowboarding.
- -Day trip: of single day duration.
- Overnight ski tour: Ski trip involving at least one night camping.
- Trip Leader: A designated person, usually although not necessarily the person organising the trip and is responsible for decisions or for the prompting of discussion about decisions related to the walk.
- Trip Organiser: Person responsible for the advertising of a trip. They are also responsible for transport arrangements such as cars/buses/boats/planes etc. are made.
- This guideline is primarily aimed at X-C ski touring, the most common snow related activity undertaken by LUMC. However this plan could also be applied to other forms of skiing such as resort telemarking, snowshoeing and other snow touring sports.

TRIP PREPARATION/REQUIREMENTS
Consider communication requirements
Difficulty tours: Some discussion is needed on the difficulty of ski tours to explain the context of other parts of this document.

Beginner trips: These trips are suitable for any able bodied person of any age with little or no skiing experience required. The physical demands are not great in that the tour contains any combination of short skiing distance, relatively flat terrain, well-marked tracks etc. These trips are generally located in areas commonly patrolled by members of Ski Patrol Associations (whether professional or volunteer). Leader decisions (see below) will take into account the limited experience of the group. Where possible, another group member should have a fair degree of outdoors experience.

Intermediate trips: These tours are suitable for persons with at least some experience of skiing and a decent understanding of the requirements of skiing. The physical demands are often more than that of a beginner trip. At the trip leader’s discretion, it is quite possible for beginners to attend provided there are enough experienced group members as well. A general requirement for these trips would be able to comfortably snowplough down a XC blue run without a pack.

Advanced trips: These tours are suitable only for persons experienced at skiing. A couple of trips at least would be required before a beginner should come on advanced trips. Advanced trips are often physically demanding either due to terrain, weather conditions or duration and a reasonable level of fitness is often required.

Notes: Given the above, there are always exceptions to the rule. For example, very fit persons with limited skiing experience may fare as well, if not better, than experienced skiers, provided they have suitable equipment. It is again, up to the discretion of trip leaders to ascertain the suitability of a particular person for a particular trip. A leader reserves the right to refuse/restrict the participation of an individual if he/she deems necessary.

General:
The amount of preparation required for a trip depends on the duration, and degree of difficulty of the tour. As a minimum, all members of a trip should be made aware of the following details by the trip leader/organiser:
· Trip proposed destination, date, transport arrangements, number of participants.
· Approximate distance
· Skiing difficulty
· Possible weather conditions.
In addition, any other information that may be relevant such as treatment of water in certain areas or additional equipment requirements should be provided.
Anticipated additional costs such as camping fees, resort entry fees, trail fees etc. should be provided.

Medical:
It is the responsibility of the individual on any Skiing activity to inform the trip leader prior to departure of any medical condition that may affect them and therefore the group. E.g. Diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, sleep-walking, haemophilia etc. If appropriate, instructions regarding emergency care should be provided. It is the responsibility of individuals to provide their own medication.

LEADER RESPONSIBILITIES
- To ensure everyone is made aware of the trip details to a satisfactory level.
- To have knowledge of the planned walk either by previous experience or through track notes and maps.
- To decide on an appropriate itinerary/walking pace given the abilities and fitness of members of the group to walk.
- To ensure equipment needs of the group are met
- Ensure the group has a suitable first aid kit.
- All visitors to Victorian Alpine regions during winter (by law) must carry and fit snow chains to vehicles where requested. Trip leaders should ensure drivers are aware of this requirement
- To make reasoned decisions in cases where they are required. E.g. In a situation where map and compass navigation is required; in a situation where injury has occurred; in situations where weather has turned bad. Etc.
- To ensure instructions and/or warnings from ski patrollers, resort staff, Parks Vic staff etc. should be adhered to.

Note: In some cases, such as trips with many experienced walkers, decisions are often made as a group and leader responsibilities are taken on by several members of the group.

INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITIES
It is always up to the individual to conduct themselves in a safe, co-operative and courteous manner on trips. Individuals who fail to do so are rarely invited or welcomed on other trips and this should be kept in mind. To put oneself at risk also puts the group at risk if a hasty rescue is required. To be courteous to fellow skiers external to the club should also be a priority for trip members.
An individual must respect decisions concerning the group made by the trip leader, as well as instructions from resort staff and ski patrollers.

EQUIPMENT
The equipment requirements of a trip depend on its geographic location, possible weather conditions, trip duration and group size.
Trip leaders should also carry necessary maps of the area, a compass and whistle. They should also be familiar with this equipment.
Ultimately it is an individual’s responsibility to ensure they have suitable equipment and clothing. Individuals must be prepared to hire additional equipment (at additional cost) at request from trip leader. Trip leaders reserve the right to disallow attendance if a person arrives at meeting point with inappropriate equipment

Day Trips - Upon day trips, individuals require food and water suitable for the length of the trip along with appropriate clothing for the temperature and weather. For ski trips, warm clothes, beanie, gloves and rain jacket would be considered essential. The Club has a gear list for ski trips to use as a guide.

Overnight and Extended Trips: Overnight skiing trips involve camping in tents and therefore a suitable tent, sleeping bag and ground mat are required in addition to the items needed for day trips. Appropriate tents and sleeping bags must be carried for the particular conditions of the particular trip, a 4 season rated tent and sleeping bag is likely to be required. However, these ratings depend very much on the individual and anticipated weather conditions and so shouldn't be relied upon but used rather as a guide.

CONSIDERATIONS
- Accessibility to medical assistance should be considered and appropriate first aid kit and members trained in Level 2 first aid should be included in the party where medical assistance isn't immediately accessible (but may not be a requirement for a day walk around alleys of Melbourne CBD).
- Communications
- Leaders should also have knowledge of weather conditions and insure appropriate precautions are taken for inclement weather.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES
The course of action taken in emergency cases depends on the nature of the emergency. Where injuries are concerned common sense should prevail. If the injury is small and/or easily treatable the club first aid kits will provide all necessary items. If the injury is more substantial so as to slow the movement of the group or cause the person pain then more care is required. This could involve changing trip plans so as to shorten the distance walked or lightening the injured persons pack etc. If the injury is serious such as a snake bite, broken bone, or something that stops that person from walking, the group should stop. The injured person needs to be made comfortable, as help may be some time away. Ideally, at least one person should stay with the injured person whilst at least two other people go for help. It is recommended that extended trips have a minimum of four people in attendance.

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