Travel to the Scottish Highlands is now possible from other parts of the UK and we are taking bookings and back guiding in the mountains. We still need to remain cautious and advise those not familiar with the rules in Scotland to visit the Scottish Government website.
Coronavirus is still a threat to us all, no matter where we go or what we do. However, SAGE evidence suggests that outdoor activities may present a lower risk of virus transmission. West Coast Mountain Guides Ltd. will base its activities on the following principles:
Safe-Course provision will be informed and guided by a public health assessment of risk. (Government advice through PHE, HPS etc.)
Lawful-We will adhere to government guidance and legal restrictions.
Evidence-based -We will use the best available activity-specific evidence and analysis to guide our decision-making.
Socially responsible -We recognise that there must be a balance between economic growth and the welfare of local communities, society, and the environment. Candidates, providers, and their staff are accountable for fulfilling their civic duty; the actions of an individual must benefit the whole of society.
Clear -We will provide clarity to our candidates, our scheme providers, and their staff to enable compliance, engagement, and accountability.
Realistic -We will consider the viability and effectiveness of course delivery options through discussions with our scheme providers.
We will ensure we meet the requirements of our Insurers and follow advice from our professional association: The Association of Mountaineering Instructors.
Activities will require a pragmatic and mutually agreed approach between clients and instructors. Some objectives may not be feasible. The dynamic nature of being in the mountains means that there may be occasions when ideal COVID Secure practice (in, for example, social distancing) cannot be maintained e.g. to deal with an immediate safety concern that takes priority.
What we are doing to help manage the risk of COVID – 19
- Guides/Instructors will meet clients and give a briefing in an outside area with social distancing.
- Guides and Instructors will either meet clients at an agreed location or use separate vehicles to travel to a destination where it is possible. If this is not possible and you must share transport then we ask that you and your guide/instructor wear a face covering.
- All kit that is used will be either washed or quarantined for 72 hours as per guidelines before their next use.
- We will be limiting numbers on certain courses/bookings.
- We will be reminding you to sanitize hands on a regular basis, to maintain social distancing where possible and to wear face coverings where this isn’t possible.
- We will be selecting routes that best allow us to maintain as much social distancing as possible. This may have an effect on your desired route.
What we are asking you to do to help
- Please bring your own face coverings and hand sanitizer.
- Please bring as much of your own kit as possible, this includes midge nets.
- Please remember to sanitize your hands on a regular basis, avoid touching your face and mouth and please don’t place any kit in your mouth.
- It is your choice if you choose to use gloves whilst on activities. We have decided that regular and repeated hand cleaning and sanitizing is a better option for the work we do but you can make your own choice.
- Please be considerate of other people’s space and choices with regards to social distancing.
- Please be considerate to the local population if travelling into an area.
Please read the information below and ask any questions you may have:
- Please follow relevant home nation Government guidance on Coronavirus, specifically that you will not travel to nor attend guiding/instruction with West Coast Mountain Guides Ltd. if you should be self-isolating according to national guidelines. Guidance on the specific symptoms and self-isolation measures are clearly available on the NHS.
- Website. The main symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms. so:
- Before attending a course have you or any of your household have been symptomatic in the last 14 days? If so, you should self-isolate and arrange to be tested in line with Government guidance. Unless you have had results showing you to be clear of the virus and have not have been exposed to another symptomatic person please do not attend a course booked with West Coast Mountain Guides Ltd.
- Do not attend a course booked with West Coast Mountain Guides Ltd. If you have any of the main symptoms of the virus yourself up to the start of the course.
- If you develop symptoms during the course, please let me know.
- If you develop symptoms within 14 days of finishing the course, please let me know.
- Bookings will ONLY BE CONFIRMED on receipt of a 50% non-returnable deposit of the course fee.
- Payments should be made to West Coast Mountain Guides Ltd.
- Please use your invoice number as the payment reference.
- Telephone bookings should be followed a.s.a.p. by a deposit.
- The balance for bookings is due 6 weeks before the course.
- It is your responsibility to cover any payment fees incurred.
- To reduce your fees for international payments, we recommend using a service such as TransferWise.
- Cancellation and personal accident insurance, specific to mountaineering, for all courses is strongly recommended (essential for overseas courses). Many insurance policies will now provide cover should the need to self-isolate prevent you from attending.
- If booking a B&B or hotel, please check breakfast times/availability before booking. For winter days, you should aim to be ready by 0730-0800 and for summer days 0800-0830. The specific timings will be confirmed by your guide. Some places will lay on an early continental style breakfast.
- We will be in touch when your balance is due (if a booking is made more than 6 weeks prior to the start date).
- Please ensure you have appropriate clothing and equipment for your activity. Kit lists can be found here.
- Please ensure that you have accommodation arranged if required. Some recommendations can be found here. Please double-check breakfast arrangements, as some places won’t serve breakfast until 0800, which is too late. Some places will leave out a continental style breakfast for you.
- Your guide/instructor will be in touch with you a few days prior to the start date to discuss plans and meeting arrangements (expect to meet at 0730/0800 each day and to be back by 1700, if you need to be down earlier, that’s no problem, but please let us know in advance). Please note these plans and timings will be weather and conditions dependent. Weather forecasts are only really accurate for the following three to four days, avalanche forecasts are only accurate for the following day.
- Please note that we cannot guarantee transport on the day(s) of your course, so if you are planning on arriving by public transport, please let us know at the time of booking.