Walking Etiquette



It appears that this weekends walk up Scafell Pike has again highlighted issues that we have tried to address in the past. I would think it is no secret by now but the issue in question is walks becoming fragmented and the group being split by strong walkers and those who take a bit more time. Consequently causing problems for the walk leader and apparently on this occasion strong views on either side being aired. The Committee feels that it is time to try and restore some harmony about this issue and get us back to a situation of mutual respect between all levels of walkers and give some guidance as to what is expected. We are a club, the clue is in the name.  If anyone disagrees with the Committees short term decision they are free and most welcome to give thier views at the next AGM where things can be debated and permanent decisions put in place through the Membership.
Prior to Covid there were almost always two car walks every Sunday. These would cater to just about everyones needs and levels of fitness. Since getting back from the epidemic the dynamics of the Club have changed a great deal. Coach walks have had to be cut and Car Walks are now nearly always served with just the one walk. This does cause some issues for walk leaders. It is very difficult to put on one walk which gives everyone a fare crack of the whip. Combined with lack of leaders this puts added pressure on leaders to provide walks to please All. We tried to address the situation by stopping grading walks as A and B on the website (did you notice this?). There are just now Walks, with a good walk description so you are aware of the type of walk and what it entails.
This Sundays walk up Scafell Pike was always going to be a tough walk. The walk leader highlighted this but wanted to encourage those who had not done it before to give it a go. It was described as a walk that would be done at a slow pace to accommodate the slower walker so they could have the sense of achievement at doing Englands highest fell. If you were a stronger fitter walker there is no excuse for not understanding this and acting accordingly. If you go full steam ahead and end up having to wait on numerous occasions for the rest of the group to catch up maybe you should be looking at your own behaviour. There is an unwritten rule that is probably held in all walking groups, The walk is done at the slowest persons pace. This does not mean you have to walk side by side holding thier hand, it means have some respect for others needs and ability . If you then go on the walk and make the decision to add on extra fells no one can stop you. But, this again fragments the group and makes the walk leaders job more difficult, in particular with large groups. If you are not happy with what the walk leader has put on, often involving a lot of work why not put on the walk yourself and include the hills you want to do. You can even say that it will be done at a fast pace, it would be your walk. But in future the Committee would ask that until the next AGM you respect the walk as described and stay with the group. If you are not happy or prepared to do this dont go on the walk. The walk leader will decide any changes that need to be made as circumstances dictate.
I hope the position of the Committee has been made clear. You can respond to this if you have any thoughts via e mail to the Club Chairman. ramblingclubjohn@aol.com  , Again your views will be welcome at the AGM which is not to far away
Pete Rutland
Safety Oficer

Carlisle & District Rambling & Fellwalking Club

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