Sun City Hikers Policies

 

The purpose of the Sun City Hikers (SCH) is to provide its members with opportunities to hike and to promote the preservation and protection of the environment.  Please read and become familiar with the items in this document.

 

General Information

  1. Hike Bulletin:  The bulletin is available online at suncityhikers.org. It is published two times a year and outlines the date, time and assembly point for each hike along with hike description, driving instructions, and distance to trailhead. 
  2. Dues: The dues are $8/year/person and are due by November 30.  The hiking season is generally October 1 through April 30.
  3. SCH Name Badge:  The SCH name badge is to be worn on all hikes.
  4. Liability:  Members and guests are required to sign a waiver of liability at the beginning of each hike in order to participate.  Members and guests must recognize that there are risks and responsibilities involved and that SCH shall be held harmless of any injury or incident.
  5. New Members: To become a member, an individual must complete an Introduction Hike. After completion of the Introduction Hike, the new member may hike either “C” or “B” hikes. Completion of a “B” hike is required before hiking an “A” hike.
  6. Guests:  On a space available basis, guests aged 18 and older are welcome with the prior consent of the leaders and must bring a signed waiver of liability (see website Membership Renewal Form – Pg. 2). Members have priority for Signup Genius hike slots. Members may not sign in guests until the day prior to a hike.

    A guest may attend one hike before being required to join the club. Members are responsible for their guests and must hike with them. Members must know the hiking level/capability of their guest. For example, if you are an “A” hiker bringing a guest on an “A” hike, you must have knowledge that they are able to hike at the “A” level. If a guest must leave the hike for any reason, the member must hike out with the guest.

  7. Hike Leaders:  Two leaders and one sweep with a whistle are assigned to each hike.  The leaders guide hikers safely on the hike, monitor the pace of the hike, and get hikers back to their vehicles at the end of the hike.   At least one leader must be the last person to leave the parking area.
  8. Group Size:  When a large number of people arrive for a hike or when trail use rules limit group size, the leaders may split the group into two or more smaller groups.  Small groups will depart the trailhead at appropriate intervals as determined by the leaders based on the relative hiking abilities of the groups, trail conditions and configuration, and safety considerations. 
  9. Hike Cancellation:  No matter how threatening the weather, hike leaders will be at the assembly place at the scheduled time and will decide whether to cancel or proceed.
  10. Leave Time:  Hikes leave at the scheduled time.  Hikers should plan to arrive at the assembly location at least 15 minutes ahead of departure time to sign in and receive trail and driving information. Hikers may meet the group at the trailhead, if this is prearranged with the leader at least one day in advance.
  11. Transportation:  Hikes begin at the trailhead.  Ride sharing shall be arranged by the participants and is not the responsibility of SCH. The guideline for those choosing to carpool is to pay the driver 10 cents per mile plus a proportionate share of any park entry fee, rounded up to the next whole dollar. When a park pass is used, each rider should pay the owner a proportionate share of the daily fee charged by the park. Completion of Hike:  You must complete the hike with the group.   A hiker with a time conflict should not start with the intention of leaving early. 
  12. Prohibited:  Pets, smoking and alcoholic beverages are prohibited on hikes. 
  13. Cell Phones:  Except for emergencies, cell phone use is discouraged.  Be considerate of your fellow hikers and turn off your cell phone or put it on vibrate. 

 

Hiking Safety

  1. SAFE – See below*.
  2. You, the hiker, are responsible for yourself.
  3. Safety is of our prime concern.  Each hiker is responsible for following all directions given by the hike leader(s).
  4. We hike as a group.  Hikers normally remain behind their group leader and in front of their group sweep but with permission of the leader or sweep, a small number of hikers may at times be allowed ahead of the leader or behind the sweep. 
  5. A group will always stop and wait for all of their group to arrive before proceeding at trail intersections and at places where route finding is difficult.
  6. Know the meaning of the whistle blast as follows:  one blast to stop, two blasts to resume, and three blasts for emergencies.
  7. If you are not using your poles, carry them with the ends pointing forward.
  8. Always make sure you can see the hiker behind you.  If you do not see the hiker behind you, stop and notify the leader.
  9. It is the responsibility of all hikers to ensure that they are physically fit for the field conditions that exist and any unexpected conditions that may occur and be able to keep up with the group.  Prior to the hike, carefully read the hike description as detailed in the Bulletin to assure that you are capable of completing the hike.  If you have questions, call the hike leader.
  10. Hikers should carry ID, pertinent medical information, plus emergency contact information (e.g. Vial of Life) on all hikes.  It is suggested you have two copies, one in your backpack and the other in your pocket.  Members/guests are responsible for their own medical requirements, to include first aid and medications. If you have a special medical need/requirement that others should be aware of, it is your responsibility to share that information with the leader before the hike. Hike leaders are not responsible for a participant’s medical needs.  

 

Sharing the Trail

  1. Move to the right side of the trail and let oncoming or overtaking hikers pass on the left, just like the rules of the road.  However, in some circumstances, the leader or sweep will instruct hikers to move to the uphill side of the trail for safety purposes. 
  2. Uphill hikers have the right of way.
  3. Always yield to equestrians.  While technically bicyclists yield to hikers, for safety reasons our hiking groups will yield to bicyclists.   
  4. Travel in single file so as not to block the trail.

 

Recommended Clothing, Equipment, and Hydration 

  1. Wear durable hiking boots or shoes with deeply cleated soles designed for rocky desert terrain.
  2. Dress appropriately for the predicted weather and temperatures, but always be prepared for an unexpected change in weather conditions (hotter, colder, rain, wind).  Wide-brimmed hats are strongly recommended for shading your head and face.
  3. Carry enough water (2 quarts recommended) to maintain your personal hydration for the length of the hike and the ride home.
  4. Bring adequate food and snacks to nourish your body.  There will be a lunch break on every hike unless otherwise stated in the hike description.
  5. Hiking poles are highly recommended for stability, especially on rocky and slippery terrain or water crossings.

 

Environmental Stewardship and Impact

  1. Respect the environment.  When following designated trails, avoid wet or muddy trails and do not cut switchbacks, or create new trails.
  2. Leave no trace.  Carry out all litter, including orange peels, banana skins, apple cores, etc.
  3. Leave all natural things and features as you found them for others to experience.  Respect and enjoy, but never disturb archaeological or historic sites.
  4. Do not contaminate any stream or water with trash or human waste.  Relieve yourself at least 200’ from a water source.

 

Privacy Policy

The information collected and retained by SCH about individual members, and/or guests, is limited to name, address, phone number(s), and email address. This information is used to notify members of schedules, events, and other information relevant to SCH activities, and is not published or released to any individuals or organizations other than SCH members.

 

From time to time photos may be taken by members while participating in activities and events.  These photos remain the property of the person taking the photo.  SCH assumes no responsibility or liability for the use and/or distribution of these photos.          

 

*SAFE - We use the acronym SAFE to emphasize the following:

S = Safety is our priority.

A = To be safe, you need to hike according to your ability.

F = To be safe, you need to stay focused.  Watch your footing.

E = If you are hiking safely, according to your ability and staying focused while you are hiking, then every hike will be enjoyable.

 

These policies shall be reviewed annually in the spring by a review committee chaired by the Vice President of SCH.

 

April 2020

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