Frequently asked questions
Here are a list of questions clients frequently ask about courses and related matters. We hope you'll find the info you need but, if there's something you want to know that we haven’t covered, please call or email us and we'll be more than happy to help. Infact, if you've thought of it then the chances are other people have too - so we'll add it to the list!
What equipment is provided and do I have to pay to use it?
We supply all the technical equipment you'll need for your course completely free of charge (some providers charge for equipment use but we have never, and will never, add hidden costs onto the price of your course). For climbing courses this includes helmets, harnesses, climbing hardware and ropes. We also have a limited range of climbing shoes that are you are welcome to use if we have your size (although for introductory climbing courses training shoes work fine). For navigation courses we can supply maps and compasses and for winter courses we again provide all the technical equipment including ice axes and crampons (the only extra cost in winter is if you choose to hire boots as this service is priovided externally). Details on all these different items are available on the relevant kit list for your course (kitlists are here).
Do I need insurance?
We have professional indemnity insurance and for all UK courses we are all lucky enough to have free access to mountain rescue services and healthcare (although you may still consider it worthwhile purchasing your own personal accident and cancellation insurance). For all overseas courses, you must purchase specialist rescue, medical and repatriation insurance and details of your insurance policy must be sent to us by the final payment date. The following companies provide appropriate mountaineering insurance:
- British Mountaineering Council www.thebmc.co.uk 0870 010 4878
- Snowcard Insurance Services www.snowcard.co.uk 01327 262 805
What if I have a specific objective or want to learn things not offered on one of your courses?
That’s what we specialise in! Just get in touch and we will happily tailor an itinerary to suit your requirements.
What about under 18s?
Under 18s are welcome as long as they are accompanied for the duration of the course by a parent or guardian. We can also easily arrange family days with children as young as six.
Will you give my details to other people?
All information supplied to us remains completely confidential and we will never pass it on to third parties.
Why is the instructor to client ratio so important?
You will get more out of your time with us if you work in a group where the numbers suit the activity. We favour small instructor to client ratios so that you benefit from quality time and instruction, where you have time to ask all the questions you want, the routes chosen can be tailored to suit you, and we can take plenty of time to show you specific techniques and skills.
Why don't you provide accommodation for all your courses?
We organise both residential and non-residential courses. If we think the course will benefit from us all staying somewhere together we'll make it a residential course. For others we ask you to arrange your own accommodation since some people will want to stay in luxury accommodation, others will opt for a B&B and others will be happy to camp. If you need help with accommodation on our non-residential courses please get in touch and we’ll try to help out or try the recommendations on our accommodation pages here.
What if I need to cancel a course booking?
If you cancel over 26 weeks in advance of a course start date we refund all the money you have paid us so far. If you cancel within 26 weeks of a course start date, you forfeit the deposit, but we refund any other money you may have paid. If you cancel within 8 weeks of the course start date you forfeit the full amount unless we are able to resell your place. See the Terms and Conditions page for more detailed information. To cover this eventuality we recommend you take out an insurance policy that includes cancellation of your trip or holiday.
How do I book?
We don't offer online booking because we don't think it benefits you (our philosophy on that is explained here). However, we do, of course want to make the booking process as simple as possible for you. Everything is explained on our booking page here.
Can you guarantee good conditions?
Unfortunately,we can’t control the weather but we do always try to plan areas and routes that should be appropriate and in good condition. One of the advantages of being in small groups with flexible itineraries is that we can make the best of the conditions on the day. This does mean that we reserve the right to change the itinerary for safety reasons if required. Please follow the kit lists and be prepared for all the ‘interesting’ weather the U.K. and overseas has to offer. If you are in any doubt about what to bring please get in touch to discuss it before the start of the course.
What is the timetable for courses?
For residential courses accommodation will be provided for the night before the course starts. Then we will meet after breakfast the following morning at 9.00am and be finished at 4:30 pm on the last day. For non-residential courses we will meet somewhere convenient on the first morning of the course and a typical day lasts from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Full joining instructions will be provided with your booking confirmation.
What about transport arrangements?
We ask you to provide your own transport to and from venues although we can quite often organise car sharing to minimise environmental impact and reduce fuel costs. Once we are there we will try to use car sharing to get us around during the course. We can also easily collect you from a local station if you are travelling to your course via public transport.
What about food arrangements?
On our residential coursesbreakfast and lunch is provided. After a day on the hill we usually go out together for evening meals but that's not included in the price. On non-residential courses please make your own arrangements for food.
How do you try to reduce your environmental impact?
We are passionate about protecting the natural environment. Please take the time to read our Environment Page here.
How fit do I need to be?
It goes without saying that arriving fit and well is important if you want to get the most out of your course and is essential for succeeding on many of our objectives. Because of our personal approach we are able to discuss your experience and fitness levels with you. From this we will be able to advise you on suitable objectives – or a fitness regime!
Do you need to know about medical conditions?
It is essential that you let us know about any medical condition or injury when booking and that you also let your instructor know on the starting day of your course.This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to tailor our activities to suit you and to ensure the safety of other group members.