When you turn up to one of our events for the first time it can be a bit daunting. Not only are you faced with a group of strangers, you also probably don’t know the ropes – no pun intended! For each of the different kinds of event we run, we give a few hints below about what you can expect. Of course, we can’t cover everything here, so if you’ve got questions just contact us and we’ll do our best to answer and also to provide you with someone to look after you for your first few times with us.
We aim to keep our members safe, so all our events are subject to the Club’s COVID-19 policy and guidance for members. We also encourage car sharing, both to save money and to reduce environmental impact.
A warm friendly welcome will most certainly be the case with numerous climbers with decades of experience on hand to help if necessary
The logistics of the meet will have been taken care of, ensuring all are aware of the venue, how to get there, and any local or safety issues.
Experienced climbers joining us will know the score but could well learn a few things about climbing in South Wales and beyond if new to the area.
The Club has spare equipment to use and many members have surplus they can lend.
Walkers also get a warm welcome, and similarly there will be plenty of experience on hand to help with kit choice and skills.
Our walks usually take place in all weathers and we grade our walks so that people know what to expect.
Group sizes can be anything from 2-15 walkers, although about 6-10 is more usual.
There’s always a pre-arranged meeting point. People begin arriving there about 20 minutes before the advertised start time.
A nominated walk leader outlines the plan for the day and keeps tabs on the group during the walk.
Typically, a walk takes 6-8 hours with several stops for snacks, lunch, drink, etc. during the walk.
Pace varies but the leader ensures the group stays together. The leader will be aware of options for shortening a walk in case of difficulties or worsening weather.
Might be in a tent, a mountain hut, a hostel, or a even in a rented house – luxury! – and are usually three or two nights away. You don’t have to come for three nights if work commitments only allow you two.
Weekends are arranged with care, ensuring that accommodation, places are allocated fairly, sleeping plans are made, and meals arranged. Sometimes it’s individual catering, sometimes group catering.
Participants need to book their place in advance, paying the small cost involved – typically, about £10 to £20 per night including evening food.
And they need to bring their own personal walking and/or climbing kit, suitable for the event.
The only hiccup can be the weather!
The event organiser is always on hand before and after the event to answer any questions and manage the practicalities.
Car sharing is coordinated.
Longer and overseas trips away
The preparations for longer and overseas trips away are more involved. Generally, there might be weeks away to Scotland, an overseas ice-climbing trip in the winter and/or some kind of alpine trip in the summer. Occasionally, we have been known to go further afield, and certainly individual and small groups of members often go abroad on a more ad-hoc basis. Of course, COVID-19 meant we we didn’t do so much in 2020 and 2021 but things are getting back to more like normal now.
We’re always open to new ideas for trips for all members. In 2023 there will be ice-climbing in Norway and high-level mountain walking and scrambling in the Pyrenees.
“Gwent MC have always had a good reputation for being a friendly and active club in the area. I was looking for other people to climb with, so they were the obvious choice. Regular weekend and midweek meets. A good social scene, significantly reinvigorated my participation in the sport over the past year or so since joining.”
Reply from a recent new member, asked
in June 2022 why they joined GMC