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You are to develop and discuss what requirements are needed to carry out effective, enjoyable and safe climbing/ walking for groups (beginners and intermediates).

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Introduction

You are to develop and discuss what requirements are needed to carry out effective, enjoyable and safe climbing/ walking for groups (beginners and intermediates). Ensure that full consideration is given to the legal requirements that may be required, and what guidelines the National Governing Bodies provide. Ensure that a consideration of risk assessment is included. The scope of this assignment title is broad. In order to narrow the area somewhat, this essay will focus mostly on the traditional activity of mountain walking in the British Isles, during summer conditions. However, most, if not all of the safety aspects discussed in this essay underpin the safety aspects of almost all activities undertaken in mountainous areas. Reference will be made throughout therefore, to other aspects of mountaineering activities, such as climbing and scrambling, in both summer and winter conditions, in the UK and abroad. As a leader taking a group walking in the hills one has the responsibility to ensure safe, enjoyable and effective walking for that group. In order to achieve this one must fulfil all necessary legal requirements, one should follow the guidelines laid down by the National Governing Bodies, (for example The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and the Mountain Leader Training Boards (MLTB),) and should also conduct a risk assessment, as well as ensuring emergency procedures are set in place. The legal requirements for leading groups walking in the hills is that one should hold the necessary up-to-date nationally recognised qualifications and also hold appropriate insurance cover. ...read more.

Middle

(The British Mountaineering Council, 2003a.) All guidelines and requirements already set in place have been done so in order to lessen the risk to individuals of serious injury or even death. The paradox is that people climb and participate in mountaineering activities often because of the danger factor involved. (Cronin, 1991.) To eliminate all risk would go against the underlying reason why people want to participate. The responsibility of the leader therefore is to ensure that members of a group experience the thrill of this adventure sport, that they are challenged, motivated and most of all that they enjoy it, but that they do so as safely as is reasonably possible, without taking any unnecessary risks. (Langmuir, 2003.) Working with novice or intermediate groups often means working with young people, whether as a professional or as a volunteer. It is important in such a situation to promote a safe and comfortable environment. (The British Mountaineering Council, 2003e.) The BMC provides comprehensive guides to assist one in these matters, such as 'Promoting Good Practice for Coaching Climbing' and a detailed 'Child Protection Policy'. Other informative sources include the Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) who can provide advice for professionals, and Sports Coach UK who provide 'The Coaches Charter'. All these organisations emphasise a few core principles when working with children and young people to safeguard their welfare. ...read more.

Conclusion

(The British Mountaineering Council, 2003c.) Everyone has a preferred style of leadership somewhere along a continuum running from Authoritarian at one end to Democratic at the other. (Martens, 2004.) As a leader, it is vital to remain flexible. It is important to be able to vary one's style of leadership, not only to suite the situation, but also to suit the needs of individuals. People need to be treated and communicated with as individuals as well as members of a group. Martens, 2004.) Being a good leader encourages effective, enjoyable and safe climbing for groups. A responsible leader takes into consideration the age and ability of the group and adapts their leadership style to fit the requirements of the individuals in that group. Full consideration of the necessary legal requirements is taken into account and one shows a duty of care to all those participating in mountaineering activities with and around them. Special consideration is taken when working with young people to ensure a comfortable and safe environment, and one would hole the necessary qualification required. In any situation an ongoing risk assessment is performed in order to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring. Mountaineering activities are inherent high-risk activities and it is the role of the person leading the group to minimise this risk as much as is reasonably possible, in order to ensure the participants experience the thrill of the activity. ...read more.

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