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Trip Participation



Trip Rules - General

Trip Rules - Rock Climbs

Trip Types & Classification



Pre-trip Preparation: Sign up for trips that are well within your abilities. Don't sign up for an intermediate ski tour if you're really a beginner. For the safety and enjoyment of the rest of the group, it's better to underestimate rather than overestimate your abilities.

Carpooling: Carpooling is recommended. Drivers customarily charge each passenger up to ten cents per mile to defray expenses. The actual rate may differ slightly. Please remember that for official purposes, CMC trips begin and end at the trailhead. Carpooling is a voluntary service offered by and accepted by trip participants as private individuals.

Carry the Ten Essentials: This includes map & compass for navigation, sun protection, extra clothing, illumination, first-aid supplies, fire starter, repair kit & tools, food, water and an emergency shelter. For more info, see the printed Activity Schedule.

Let the Leader Lead: The leader or co-leader is always the first one in the party, unless he or she has specifically stated otherwise. The rear leader should be the last. Ask permission or notify the leader if you need to take a break for any reason.

Speak Up: If you're feeling ill or if the trip pace is too fast, tell the leader so that they can adjust the trip as soon as possible.

Evacuation: If you are injured or incapacitated on a trip, the leader may determine that you require evacuation and will arrange for the appropriate assistance. The CMC will not be liable for any associated costs.

Give Feedback: The Safety Committee, the Outings Committee, the Mountaineering School, and the Boulder Group Council welcome hearing from you about your trip experience.

Leaving the Group: It is not advisable to leave the group once the trip has begun. If you insist on leaving the group against the leader's advice, you may be asked to sign the roster, indicating your understanding that you are no longer part of the CMC trip and assume the risk for leaving the group.


Trip Rules - General

Rules and Regulations: CMC trips must follow all applicable regulations enacted by governmental agencies or private land owners. Trip leaders should contact the Outings Chair at to obtain permits required for locations such as the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area.

Guests: All guests must sign the CMC Waiver of Liability form.

Size: The group must be no fewer than 4 and no more than 10 persons.

Leader: Every trip must have a leader who is at least 18 years old, a CMC member, and formally approved by the Boulder Group.

Co-leader: Every trip must have one or more co-leader(s) who is at least 18 years old and a CMC member. The function of the co-leader is to share responsibility with the leader. The co-leader must be capable of taking charge in case the leader becomes unable to continue.

Minors: No person under 14 is allowed on a trip unless accompanied by a parent. No person between ages 14 and 18 is allowed on a trip unless accompanied by a parent, or with written parental consent. Leaders may decide whether to allow any person under age of 18 on a trip.

Participant List: The trip leader must maintain a written list of participants.

Trip Changes: If the original destination of a trip is found to be impractical immediately before the trip, the leader may select a new destination and route. The new trip plan must be similar in type and difficulty to the original plan and the leader must leave a message on the CMC Boulder Clubroom telephone (303 554-7688) indicating the new destination and route.

Accident Reports: The leader must report accidents to the Boulder Group Chair, Vice-Chair, or Safety-Committee Chair within 24 hours, and provide a written report of the accident to the Safety committee within 10 days. Print out the Accident Form at, which is available here

Leave at Home: The following items are prohibited on CMC trips:

  • Firearms of any type
  • Portable entertainment devices, such as games, radios, music and video players, etc
  • Pets, with the following exception: Dogs may be allowed at discretion of trip leader so long as land use regulations are met and the trip description clearly states that the trip is a dog trip.


Trip Rules - Rock Climbs

Boulder Group rock climbing trips have these additional rules:

Helmets: The trip leader, co-leader(s) and participants are all required to wear CE / UIAA certified climbing helmets.

Set-up and Take-down of Anchors: Only the trip leader and trip co-leader(s) may set up and take down anchors used during climbs. This applies to all levels of rock climbing trips.

Only Trip Leaders and Co-leaders on the Sharp End: Only the trip leader and trip co-leader(s) may be on the sharp end of the rope or, in other words, may lead-climb during the trip. The participants of the trip must always be top-belayed.

Checking Out Equipment from the Clubroom: Climbing equipment that belongs to the Boulder Group -- helmets, ropes and gear -- may be used for Boulder Group trips. Go to the clubroom during clubroom hours to pick up and return the equipment. There are "Check Out" and "Check In" forms that must be filled out. If you have any questions about the equipment in the clubroom, contact the BMS Equipment Manager at Once the equipment has been used for the trip, it must be returned to the clubroom promptly and in the same condition as when it was checked out.


Trip Types

The following are the trip types most commonly used by the Boulder Group. This page also describes the requirements for being approved as a trip leader for the different trip types.

Permits are required for leading trips in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area. Only one trip per day per zone is allowed. After submitting a trip for this area, the Outings Committee will contact the US Forest Service to secure a permit (usually this is not an issue) as part of the trip approval process. The permit will be mailed out to the trip leader to attach to their backpack in a visible manner. For future reference, the phone contact for permits is 303-541-2500. The written address for the US Forest Service is 2140 Yarmouth Ave., Boulder, 80301.

Rock climb trip leaders are approved in the following categories: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing and Top Roping.


Within each of the letter classifications, hikes are also described subjectively as Easy, Moderate and Difficult in comparison to other trips in the same classification. If you also see the letter E after the classification (such as C-E or D-E), the trip involves exposure (i.e., risk of falling) and may require advanced climbing skills. For the Boulder Group, trip leaders are approved to lead A/B hikes or C/D hikes or both. Approval as a trip leader for any trip type automatically includes approval to lead A/B hikes. (Note: for Boulder Group trip leader approval purposes, these classifications also apply to snowshoe and backpacking trips.)

  • Class A: Up to 8 miles round trip and 1,200 foot elevation gain. (Prior hiking experience is usually not necessary. For Boulder Group trip leader approval purposes, includes snowshoe trips.)
  • Class B: Up to 12 miles round trip and 2,500 ft elevation gain. (Moderate to strenuous physical activity. Prior training and experience is beneficial. For Boulder Group trip leader approval purposes, includes snowshoe trips.)
  • Class C: Up to 15 miles round trip and 3,500 ft elevation gain. (Strenuous to very strenuous physical activity. Prior training and experience is beneficial. Snow climbing skills and protection techniques, including the proper use of an ice axe, may be required. Most snow climbs will include the letter E descriptor.)
  • Class D: Over 15 miles round trip or 3,500 ft elevation gain. (Very strenuous physical activity often including exposure or requiring use of technical skills, including snow climbing skills and protection techniques. Knowledge based on prior experience and training is highly beneficial.)

Rock Climbing:

  • Traditional (Trad) Climbing: Climbs where the leader sets protection (cams, nuts, hexs, etc.) that is removed by a following climber. On multi-pitch routes, the leader may have to build an anchor or use fixed anchors. A mixed route is a route that includes fixed bolts and requires placing traditional gear. The Boulder Group treats mixed routes as traditional climbs.
  • Sport Climbing: Climbing where all the protection consists of fixed bolts or steel hardware that's drilled into the rock. The leader uses quickdraws to connect the rope to the bolts. Sport climbs are usually done as single pitch routes where the leader leaves a top rope anchor at the top, and rappels or is lowered back to the ground. If it does involve a multi-pitch route, the leader belays from the top just as in a multi-pitch trad route.
  • Top Rope Climbing: Top rope climbs involve setting up a single rope that loops from the ground, through an anchor at the top of the route and back to the ground. This type of climb does not require someone to be on the sharp end of the rope, where a lead climber ascends the rock while placing protection. Instead, the top rope anchor is accessed by hiking around to the top of the climb. The top rope anchor can consist of secure and equalized points of natural protection, such as trees and boulders, or fixed bolts.

Trad leaders are trained to place protection, use fixed bolts when available, and build anchors. Trad leaders will qualify to be Sport and Top Rope Leaders, without needing to re-certify in these categories, if their climbing resume shows experience in leading these types of climbs.

Sport leaders are trained to build anchors with fixed bolts. Sport leaders will qualify to be Top Rope Leaders, without needing to re-certify in this category, if their climbing resume shows experience in top rope climbing.

Top rope leaders are only qualified to lead top roping trips. They are not qualified to lead trad or sport trips.

Ski Touring:

Ski tours are classified according to the required skills and stamina. Boulder Group trip leaders are approved to lead the general trip type of Ski Touring.

  • Easy: Up to 8 miles and elevation gain up to 800 feet. Easy Ski Tours are further divided into levels I, II and III.
  • Moderate: Up to 10 miles and elevation gain up to 1,800 feet and may include fairly difficult terrain. Moderate Ski Tours are further divided into levels I, II and III.
  • Advanced: Over 10 miles and more than 1,800 feet elevation gain, which can involve very difficult terrain and overnight camping. Difficult Ski Tours are further divided into levels I and II.

Ice Climbing:

For the Boulder Group, trip leaders are approved to lead the general trip type of Ice Climbing. The specific level of difficulty is at the leader's discretion.

Ski Mountaineering:

For the Boulder Group, trip leaders are approved to lead the general trip type of Ski Mountaineering. The specific level of difficulty is at the leader's discretion. This trip type requires considerable experience in route-finding, trail-breaking and winter camping.