Welcome, About Us and Benefits

MEET NEW FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES

Website last updated 4th July 2020

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
UPDATE
THE SILENT KILLER, IS STILL LURKING OUT THERE 
PLEASE DON'T LET IT CATCH YOU OUT!

REMEMBER TO SOCIAL DISTANCE (2 METRES APART),
IF NOT, WEAR A FACE COVERING

The new laws and guidelines are now getting quite complicated and there are many differences between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Understandably, if anybody crosses any borders the information for that country applies! The situation is further confused by statements being made on laws and guidelines that come into force at a future date - Many folk take them as gospel and assume they take effect immediately! Also to create even more complications in the future, there will be localised lock-downs, laws and guidelines in certain areas, as we are seeing in Leicester and Galloway & Dumfries on the borders at the moment.

Basically, within the guidelines, we all have to make our own judgments and assess any risk - Just because we can doesn't mean to say we should. Remember, every action has a consequence!

There is much information on the internet, some of it being false, but the link below is worth looking at:
  • Guidance on the pandemic from The British Government’s Medical Advisors can be found HERE.
Regarding Hill Walking and Climbing, things appear to be getting back to some kind of normality, but they are not! In the next few weeks it's predicted that the number of hill-goers will rise significantly, putting a major strain on Mountain Rescue Teams. Mountain Rescue for England and Wales reported, that after the lock-down was eased in May, there was a 300% increase in calls to mountain rescue teams over the same period as last year. Be prepared, have the correct kit with you and know how to use it, plus keep well within your limits and experience. Nobody can predict an accident or medical emergency on the hill, so if you can self rescue do so, but don't be afraid to call for help by dialing 999. However, you will have to wait longer than normal to be rescued and it may necessitate a night in the open - The team may be on another call out! Also it is worth carrying a face covering and a pair of latex gloves, just in case you come across an incident whilst you are out. You just don't know who is carrying the virus?

Below is an excerpt from an article which appeared recently on the 'Grough' website, which is well worth a read and thinking about before stepping out onto the hills:

Rescuers explained why their volunteers’ response may not be as swift or as comprehensive as normal.
  • A number of the teams are reduced in operational size, as many of our volunteers are employed as key workers and must be very careful about taking additional risks
  • This results in fewer people to carry the equipment needed for a callout. For example, for a lower leg injury incident on the hills, the team will need first response sacks, shelters, casualty bags, medics’ bag, oxygen and Entonox gases, a stretcher, ropes plus much more
  • One of our big changes is the increased need for additional PPE that will have to be worn by members. This includes wearing full waterproofs, regardless of the heat, face masks, surgical gloves and eye protection. This not the usual kit for striding up the hills with an additional rescue load and will also have an impact on our operational effectiveness due to the risk of overheating and fatigue
  • We have to maintain social distancing as best as possible. This means fewer members to load up team vehicles; more members using private vehicles to go directly to a rendezvous point. This has an impact on parking and congestion issues. These concerns continue onto the hill. We will be trying to keep the hill teams together, but 2m apart. This is almost impossible in some places and not feasible when we are assembling and rigging the rescue equipment on site and carrying the stretcher from the hills
  • We have a revised administration process of our first aid and casualty care systems, as we have to be very careful we don’t do any medical interventions on a casualty which could increase the potential spread of Covid-19
  • On a regular basis, we work with different helicopter services. These are also the under the strain of adapting to new processes, therefore their service may be reduced too
  • Our post-callout procedures have also dramatically increased in time and effort. A full decontamination of team members’ personal kit at home; the full decontamination of the rescue team kit, vehicles and bases must be done after every callout. We don’t want to spread this disease. This is time consuming and is an additional cost to the charities
  • We have had to create an administration process to keep in touch with the casualty and their party for three days, plus also all team members involved with the incident to check for any symptoms of Covid-19
  • And if one of the above becomes positive, it means isolation of all the others for 14 days.
In no way can any of us ignore the effects of this pandemic, either at the personal level or the wider global one and the intention of this update is to advise all members of the situation regarding our meets for 2020. It is an ever changing situation, which is being monitored regularly; club meet organiser's will be guided by national advice. As a responsible club we have a duty of care to all our members and the general public. According to the government’s medical advisor's, this current pandemic is estimated to last for several months. Unfortunately some meets will be either cancelled or postponed to a later date. NO new meets will be scheduled into the programme until the pandemic is over.

More information can be found on the individual meets on the club website (Forthcoming Meets and Events). Further cancellations and postponements are inevitable and will be posted on the website, but in the first instance members will be notified directly.

The organiser of a specific meet will try and get a full refund of the deposit and / or balance, but they are generally dealing with small businesses who will struggle financially the longer the pandemic continues. In some instances, we may get a credit note, so we can hold the meet at a future date. Any meet organiser who is 'out of pocket' will be refunded from club funds.

Unfortunately, we will loose a few meets and some members may loose a small amount of money from cancelled / postponed meets. Personal travel insurance may cover you for some of the losses. This is nothing compared to the bigger global picture!

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times and stay safe.
4th July 2020

In the wise words of Vera Lynn - "We'll meet again, Don't know where, Don't know when, But I know we'll meet again some sunny day!

Welcome to Hill and Mountain Walking Club website, formerly The Over The Hill Club, which is based in the UK. For more details about the club and how to join, please use the page links in the navigation panel on the right-hand side.

These pages are regularly updated, so drop in any time and thank you for taking the time to view the website. It's your website; your news and views are always very welcome, so if you'd like to contribute, please do not hesitate to contact us at the E-mail address below:

In November 1989 The Over the Hill Club was formed through the coming together of a group of friends with 'Challengers', those participants of the Ultimate Challenge, now The Great Outdoors Challenge, coast to coast back-packing event across Scotland. The club was set up to keep like minded people together, to spend more time in each others company, enjoying the hills, mountains, friendships and the occasional drink, which had initially brought them together. The club has since grown and is affiliated to the British Mountaineering Council.

The aims of the Club are to provide the kindredship of the hills and to promote the awareness of and conservation of wilderness areas. Members must be proficient hill people, over 18 years old, interested (some fanatical) in taking to the hills and mountains in all kinds of weather where we enjoy the beauty of the landscape and endeavor to protect it. Members live in all parts of the UK, so we are a national club or should that be an international club, as in recent years we have welcomed new members from abroad.

The club has a varied programme of about six weekend meets throughout the year in all parts of Britain and typically between 15 and 45 people attend. We tend not to organise walks, apart from at the AGM, but split into smaller informal groups. Some meander, whilst others attempt longer and more serious routes. Accommodation is normally in bunkhouses, hostels or camping, with an emphasis on low cost, so nobody is turned away on price.

We also hold international meets all over the world in places such as Morocco, Poland, The Dolomites, Corsica, Slovenia, Nepal, the Austrian, French, Italian and Swiss Alps and even Holland. In 2001 a small party reached the summit of Mont Blanc, which was no mean achievement considering the weather and avalanche risk.

Today the club has in the region of 100 members, with about half the membership having over 20 years with the club, which is a great testament to the success of the club. The members come from all 'walks of life', with quite diverse backgrounds and varying views on life. As one member puts it, the "Hill and Mountain Walking Club is a club for un-clubable people, who enjoy the hills." Within the club there is a wealth of knowledge and experience of the hills, which is all past on freely to younger, newer or less experienced members. Some members hold many formal outdoor qualifications, such as Summer / Winter Mountain Leader Awards, compleatists of all the Munros and / or the Corbetts, ex Mountain Rescue Team Members, walked and climbed in all parts of the world, including The Alps and Himalayas. The club membership, as a whole, have well over 600 coast to coast 'Challenge' crossings of Scotland.

The patron of the club is Hamish Brown, the well known mountaineer, writer and photographer and to him we owe a great deal; without him dreaming up the Ultimate Challenge, we would not have the 'Hill and Mountain Walking Club' today.
Benefits:

BMC third party insurance, whenever you are out on the UK hills.
Join like minded people and share The Great Outdoors.
A wealth of knowledge, which is freely available.
* Members can join any Club meet, if not full.
Receive regular Club newsletters and information.
Discounts at many retailers, due to BMC affiliation.
* The Club  is affiliated to the BMC,  therefore members are entitled
    to utilise other affiliated club’s huts and huts owned directly by the
    BMC or  MCoS ( 'Click'  HERE  for a list of all these huts ) for group
    bookings and in some  cases by individual members or small group
    bookings.  If  anyone should be interested  in visiting  any of  these
    locations  they  should,  firstly  contact  John  Donohoe  to  express
    their interest.

Click the underlined link above to see the many discounts