What is a meet?
Meets are what the club is all about; the club gets us to a location, you are then free to quench your outdoor thirst (be that walking, climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, bikeing, going to the pub, whatever).
Meets take place most weekends during term time (in the holidays; you’re in charge – get onto our Facebook page to arrange getting out and about!)
Getting to/returning from the hill
Day meets can be held on Saturday or Sunday leaving around 6am to 7am and returning, approximately, at 9pm.
For weekend meets we leave on Friday afternoon and return on Sunday, very approximately, at 9pm. Return timings are so rough they are pretty much useless; don’t plan anything vital for the evening of return.
The club cannot run without drivers; in turn they receive discounts/free trips. If you would like to drive, speak to our transport sec for more info.
All our meet leave from our gear store, which is located behind the Institute of Sport and Exercise (ISE) at the back of a grey prefabricated building as seen on the map below.
As we keep going on about – on a trip you are responsible for yourself. Here are a few things to have a think about regarding on-meet-activities.
- You can do any activity you like on a trip as long as you are not alone. Things that have been done in the past include walking, climbing, running, skiing, ski-mountaineering, snowboarding, biking, surfing, windsurfing, paragliding, slacklining, shopping, sight-seeing, coffee drinking etc.
- If you are alone, you just need to find at least one other person who wishes to do the same activity as you.
- Members with more experience will be happy to share their knowledge if you are unsure e.g. about route choice.
- When choosing your activities make sure you are:
- not interfering with someone’s plans (climbing is considerably slower with 3 as opposed to 2 for example)
- physically capable of doing what is planned and have sufficient experience
- properly equipped to do the activity (e.g. if you have forgotten your helmet maybe you should leave the climbing for another day. If it’s winter and you don’t have an ice axe and crampons with you, staying lower down below the snowline is probably a good idea)
- DURC is one of the best places around to get into new activities however advancing in mountaineering is progressive; if you wish to winter climb, for example, it would be a good idea to be familiar with climbing and with winter walking before diving straight in.
We stay in mountain huts for our full-weekend meets; these are generally fairly basic but more luxurious than camping, especially in cold, wet or windy weather!
Hut facilities vary but are typically:
- Alpine bunks – (raised flat area with or without mattresses) – sleeping bags always needed, camping mats sometimes needed
- Reasonably well-stocked kitchen – cooking facilities vary: minimum is a gas cooker, sometimes also a microwave, toaster and fridge
- Toilet – usually a normal flushing toilet (sometimes more rustic!)
- Running water – there’s always a kitchen sink, often the water should be boiled for drinking. Occasionally water has to be carried from a nearby stream.
- Fire – typically open fire / coal fire / woodburning stove. Some huts also have gas / electric heaters.
What to pack
For weekend meets; you will need plenty of evening clothing as the huts are not hotels (assume everything you wear during the day might get soaking wet and that the hut will be cold and bring enough spare clothes!).
For day meets; you will require lunch and maybe something for the evening. Weekend meets; you’ll need two breakfasts, two lunches and maybe one dinner. We normally have communal meals on the Saturday evening. We will typically stop at a chip shop for food somewhere on the way on the Friday evening. Get all your food in Dundee, people can get a bit annoyed when you say you need food at midnight in the middle of nowhere.
What you can hire
If you bring the boots, we can give you most of the rest. Equipment hire is subject to a £20 deposit. The gear store will usually be open at 6.30 on Thursdays and our friendly Gear Secretary will look after all your equipment. You are expected to return the gear the next time the gear store opens. If you can’t make it, please let our Gear Sec know!
This is a guide to the gear you need to bring with you on meets for your own safety and comfort. Some items are only needed on winter meets or on multi-day meets and these are indicated below. The list also indicates which items are available from the club’s gear store. Please note that there is a limited supply of equipment in the gear store hence a first come first served rule applies.
If you have any questions about any of this gear, ask a member of the committee or other experienced club members for their opinion.
“Winter” gear is generally required whenever winter conditions (snow / ice) prevail on the hills. Obviously the timing of this varies from year to year but typically winter conditions will be upon us by around December or January and continue through to March or April. In some years the season starts earlier or ends later. Mountain weather forecasts from MWIS and snow reports can be useful in identifying the current conditions. Additionally an announcement will be made once the winter season is felt to be upon us, after which the carrying of winter gear is considered essential until the season is over.
Everyone going on a club meet must individually bring the following items:
- Walking Boots (Gear Store, limited sizes)
- Waterproof Trousers (Gear Store)
- Waterproof Jacket (Gear Store)
- Wooly Hat
- Fleece / Warm Layer
- Walking Trousers (comfortable, leightweight)
- Rucksack (Gear Store)
- Head Torch (Gear Store)
- Survival Bag (Gear Store)
Essential in Winter
- Ice Axe (Gear Store)
- Crampons (Gear Store)
Essential for Multi-day Trips
- Sleeping Bag (Gear Store)
- sleeping Mat (Gear Store)
- Spare Warm Clothes
- More Food – e.g. 2x Breakfast, 2x Lunch, 1x Dinner
Essential for Groups
In addition the following items must be carried by at least one person in each walking group, and should be carried by as many people as possible. If this is your first hike with the club, don’t worry about these items, we’ll sort that for you.
- Map (Gear Store)
- Compass (Gear Store)
- First Aid Kit (Gear Store)
- Spare Batteries and Bulb for Head Torch
- Gaiters (Gear Store)
- Base Layer
- Spare Gloves
- Thermos Flask (of hot drink / soup)
- Neck Gaiter / Balaclava / Buff
- Ski Goggles
- GPS configured for British National Grid coordinates
- Walking Poles
- Avalanche Probe
- Snow Shovel
- Snow shoes
- boots – Proper hill-walking boots are strongly advised. They should be sturdy, provide good ankle support, be waterproof.. and of course be comfortable
- food and water – Take enough to last you the for the day / weekend.
- clothing – Warm! Remember warm hat and gloves and an extra fleece/jumper. Trousers should be lightweight and comfortable. DON’T WEAR JEANS! (Jeans tend to chafe and are even worse when wet – and if they do get wet they’ll stay wet all day!)
- waterproofs – Both jacket and overtrousers.
- maps – Some maps are available at the gear store. Maps are also available from any good outdoor shop and you can use the service of digimaps for free! Just use your Dundee Uni account to log in.
- ice axe and crampons (winter only) – In winter you must bring these. It’s important to make sure your crampons are properly adjusted to fit your boots beforehand. Do this in the gear store or before you leave home – don’t wait until your halfway up a mountain!
- The club also has a selection of maps which can be borrowed.
- http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/ – plan trips
- digimap.edina.ac.uk – high-quality Ordnance Survey maps that you can print off and put in a resealable plastic bag
- www.mwis.org.uk/ – Mountain Weather Information Service
- www.metoffice.gov.uk/ – metoffice Weather forecast
- www.sais.gov.uk/ – Scottish Avalanche Information Service
- winterhighland.info – List of ski lifts in Scotland + live Webcams and Snow information
- ancrum.com – Ancrum Outdoor centre – cheap gear hire in Dundee for Hiking, Ski and Snowboard
Set up your mobile phone to be able to contact the Emergency Services via SMS (for when signal is weak or if you are unable to speak). To register for this send the word ‘register’ in a text message to 999. You’ll get a message back which you must then reply to with ‘yes’. Do this right now, before you ever need it!Alastair Humphreys: Microadventures