Leaders Guidance Notes

Notes for Walk Leaders issued by the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers

1. Information about our walks

Existing Walks with Leaders

We hold a Walks database listing details of all existing walks. The information consists of a unique identifying number for each walk and key data such as leaders name, walk name, meeting point description and walk statistics (distance, ascent, time taken and grade) which are used to create our walking programmes and to send information to the press about our walks. Walkers are asked to assess their ability to do the walks based on information in the programme such as the walk grade. Detailed information about Walk Grades – which specify walk distance, ascent and estimated walking time for each of our grades are held on the CBMW Website. Leaders are responsible for the accuracy of the information for walks which they lead which are held in this database. Any corrections should be sent (preferably by email) to Ralph and Katy Phipps (walks@cbmwalkers.org)

Existing Walks without Leaders

We also developing a Database of walks which have written route descriptions but no current leader and are therefore available for a leader to take over.

New Walks

Leaders can also develop or otherwise create a walk suitable for the group for inclusion in the programme. Detailed information (as outlined in the existing walks section above) about the walk should be sent to the Programme Secretaries so that the walk can be added to the walks database. Many leaders nowadays have access to a GPS for accurate data on route statistics but if you are not one of these, the following notes may help you with the walk statistics.

Distance – Best measured by walking the route with a GPS device. Desk studies involve measurement from large scale maps with a measuring instrument or a length of cotton. Note that the squares on the 1:50,000 map are 1km apart. The zigzags of the mozarabic/mule tracks can double or treble the measured distance from a map. The odometer in your car can measure distances if you can drive parts of the route or else, if all else fails, multiply the time it took you to walk the route, minus any stops by 3 or 4 (this therefore assumes that when walking, you go at a speed of about 3 or 4km per hour)

Time – Walk the route to gauge the time, but remember that a party will be slower than an individual or small group. Allow longer for water stops in hot weather, half an hour for lunch and 15-30 minutes for contingencies.

Ascent – Means the total accumulated ascent for the route. This must be at least the altitude difference between the highest and lowest point of the route plus an allowance for additional climbs as the route switchbacks. Most GPS will log this information or use an altimeter. From a large scale map you can count contour lines which are every 20 metres on the 1:50,000 maps (CNIG). 1:25000 maps are also available.

Pace – It is the leader’s responsibility to adjust his or her pace to avoid the party getting unduly strung out. This in turn leads to those at the front having to wait around for long periods whilst those at the back get little or no breaks. The route can take longer to complete as a result.

Grade – Grade is determined by a combination of distance and height gain. The criteria can be found in the Info section of the website. Other relevant comments about the walk, e.g. “Rough ground”, “Few paths” and so on which may influence a walkers’ ability to complete the route should be added into the description.

2. Walk Descriptions on Walks In Spain website

It is the intention of the group to produce and make freely available written detailed walk descriptions of all of our walks, together with maps and gps tracks whenever possible to ensure the continued existence of these routes and to make it easy for walk leaders to hand on their walks to others when they no longer wish to lead. These walk descriptions are to be found on www.walksinspain.org either directly or via the CBMW website. Leaders are asked to help with this by either writing up their walks themselves using the standard format available on the walksinspain website or by asking somebody else to do this for them and – where possible – to provide a gpx track. See www.walksinspain.org for more details.

3. Submitting walks for a Walking Programme

Walking programmes are produced twice a year – for the Autumn season (October to January) and Spring (February to May). Leaders are asked to submit walks for these by 31st May (for the Autumn Programme) and 30th November (for the Spring Programme). More detailed information about how the programme is produced and leaders’ responsibilities within this process can be found on the CBMW website. If, for any reason, a leader is unable to lead a walk after it has been published in a Walking Programme then it is the responsibility of that leader to find a deputy or if this is not possible to cancel the walk. Notification of change of leader or cancellation of a walk or any other change should be made by submitting a Stop Press Notice to the webmaster as soon as possible The leader should also post a notice on the CBMW Facebook page if possible.

4. Leading a Walk

Please see Leaders Responsibilities within the CBMW Conventions for detailed guidelines on leading a walk and Individual Responsibilities to find out what is expected of walkers who join our walks. Although individuals should carry their own First Aid kit, not all walkers do, so so it is strongly recommended that leaders have one as well as a charged mobile phone.