Welcome to the Central Valley Hiking Meetup Group. We have over 2,700 members and over 30 organizers and we will continue to grow. We don’t have membership fees and we never will—voluntary donations from group members provide the funds necessary to keep us going.
Our Governing Committee members and Organizers are not paid or compensated in any way for the time they put in to make possible all the hikes and other events that our group members are able to enjoy. We are not paid guides or experts—we are simply a group of like-minded people who enjoy hiking and getting together. At a minimum, we ask the following from you:
1)Obey all applicable laws and regulations. You are responsible for knowing these—don’t count on the group leader to tell you. What you do affects not only you and the other people on the hike; it also reflects on the hiking group as a whole.
2)Follow the instructions of the Organizer. Leading a hike is a difficult enough proposition when everyone is on the same page. Make life easier by following directions and communicating concerns and intentions ahead of time.
3)Be respectful toward the group Organizers and your fellow hikers. Examples of disrespectful behavior include but are not limited to: harassing or stalking fellow hikers (any kind of unwanted attention), angry outbursts, and spreading salacious gossip or unfounded rumors harmful to the group. If you have a legitimate concern, take it up with any of the following: the CVHG President/Chief Organizer (currently Karol Seabolt), or one or more of the Governing Committee members (currently Jerry Kuchinski, Lee Jensen, Carlos Lorenzo, Lewis Martinez, John P., and John “your hiking buddy” Withrow).
4)Read the hike description before RSVPing for a hike. Only RSVP for a hike if you truly intend to go and you are ready and able to do so. Show up on time, with proper equipment, prepared to drive and to offer others a ride. (Carpooling is encouraged). If unforeseen circumstances prevent you from going on a hike, change your RSVP as soon as humanly possible to give those still on the wait list a chance to go. DO NOT NO SHOW. (Members with a history of 3 no shows may be removed from the club.)
An RSVP DOES NOT mean that you might want to go and you want to reserve a spot to keep someone else from taking it. That is inconsiderate of the hikers who truly want to go and would be able to go if there were an opening for them. Also, please do not schedule anything the day of the hike; or if you do, please make sure you take your own vehicle. If you take carpoolers, before leaving the parking lot, make them aware you will be leaving immediately after the hike. Do not expect or ask anyone to leave early for you if they are driving. Hikes often go later than expected. Hikers will often stop for a leisurely dinner afterwards. Having something in the evening you have to rush back to makes the day less enjoyable both for you and for the others in your carpool.
5)Be physically and mentally ready to do the hike for which you have signed up, and be properly equipped for it. Being able to walk (or even run) ten miles on the flat does not mean you are ready to take a ten-mile hike. Going up a trail with serious elevation gain will leave your legs and lungs burning. Going down that same trail will test your joints and ligaments in ways you didn’t think possible. Stream crossings will test your balance, obstacles on the trail will make leg muscles sore that you didn’t know you had, and foot slip on sandy or gravelly ground can aggravate preexisting injuries. Warm temperatures can dehydrate you and drain your body of electrolytes; cold temperatures or wet conditions can lead to hypothermia; and high altitude can cloud your judgment, sap your energy, and even make you very sick. Faint trails and unsigned or poorly signed trail intersections can lead to getting lost.
At a minimum, before you go on a hike, you should be aware of, and prepared for, the following: 1) total distance; 2) total elevation gain (some hikes are rolling, meaning the total gain is more than the starting and ending elevations would indicate); 3) highest elevation on the hike; 4) predicted weather for the time and place of the hike; and 5) sunrise and sunset times. As to 4) remember that if your hike is at high altitude, it may be quite a bit cooler than the predicted temperatures. Conversely, a trail that is exposed to direct sunlight will feel quite a bit hotter than the predicted temperatures. As to 5), some of our hikes are long, and may end in the dark. A bright headlamp with spare batteries is lightweight insurance against such an occurrence.
6)Speak up if something does begin to go wrong. Stopping and addressing a problem early (or turning around, if need be), can keep a minor problem from becoming an expensive helicopter ride, or worse.
7)Be responsible for your own safety. Review the ten essentials list—e.g. this one from REI: < ">http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-...; Ask yourself if you can survive an unplanned night outdoors. However even if you are well equipped, recognize that hiking is a risky activity, and that you assume that risk when you RSVP for a hike. Posting a hike or accepting your RSVP does not mean that the hike leader or CVHG in any way guarantees that the posted activity will be safe or that you will be safe on it.
8)Remember, you are signing up for a social outing, not a guided tour. None of the organizers are experts or professional guides, and no hikers can expect to receive a professional level of intervention on our events. You are expected to understand the risks inherent in any outdoor activity in the wilderness and be prepared to mitigate them on your own behalf. This includes, hikes appropriate to your level of fitness and experience. Communicate openly with the group you are with at all times. Your RSVP is your agreement that you are participating at your own risk and hold harmless all members of the group including the organizers.
Approved by the Governing Board on September 11, 2015