Hiking Program, Rating System & Leader Training
Hike Coordinator’s Message
The hiking program continues to grow with many hike leaders becoming certified. We will continue identifying these hike leaders with a maple leaf beside their names.
Next Hike Leader Training - 2014
Become a Certified Hike Leader
- Date: Saturday, March 1, 2014
- Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
- Location: Webco Sports, 240 Duke Street, West, Kitchener [Victoria Street and Duke Street West] (Google Maps | Google Street View)
- Topics: Hike Leader Responsibilities, Risk Management, Creating the Ideal Hike, and Group Management.
- Fee: $25
- Pre-Registration Required: For a registration form contact Cathy, Hike Coordinator >
Working Toward Hike Leader Certification – A GVTA Board of Directors Goal
The GVTA supports the concept of setting standards of hike leading. In addition, liability issues have led insurance companies to recommend that hiking associations across Ontario provide certification for hike leaders. During 2004 and 2005 notices about "Working Toward Hike Leader Certification" appeared in Trail Markings (newsletter). The GVTA has taken the initiative, as have a growing number of hiking groups, by offering hike leader training and first-aid/CPR courses. In addition to Hike Leader Training offered by the GVTA. - see above. Hike Ontario has a Hike Leader Certification Program.
New hike leaders and present leaders who wish to become certified are encouraged to do so by signing up for courses to be offered. The Board of Directors would like to thank and welcome all volunteer hike leaders for their energetic approach to planning and leading hikes. Guided hiking and other outdoor activities are published quarterly in the GVTA newsletter and some of them are published in this website.
GVTA Hike Leader Certification Requirements
The following is required of all GVTA Certified Hike Leaders:
- Be a member in good standing with the Grand Valley Trail Association.
- Attend a training workshop by the GVTA to learn the standards of hike leadership.
- Apprentice on 3 already scheduled hikes by a certified hike leader.
- Be certified in Basic First Aid and CPR by either the Red Cross or St. John’s Ambulance.
- To complete the Hike Leadership Certification; you must plan, publish and lead a hike for the GVTA with a certified hike leader as end person/sweep.
- To remain Certified you must lead 3 hikes per year for the GVTA and maintain your certification for Basic First Aid and CPR.
- Active Hike Leaders are expected to practice the “Trail Users’ Code”
- Have all participants sign the “Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk”
- In the event of an accident or injury to a participant(s), an “Incident Report” must be filled out and the Hike Coordinator must be contacted within 24 hours.
Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk/Sign-in Sheet
These sign-in sheets will be:
- Mailed to the Hike Coordinator after your hike.
- For those of you who lead several hikes throughout the seasons, they can be mailed quarterly, coinciding with the deadline for the newsletters.
- If your hike or event is a joint venture with another hiking club, a clear and legible photocopy must be mailed in.
- All injuries must be reported to the Hike Coordinator within 24 hrs
- An Incident Report must be filled out and sent to the Hike Coordinator (all details of the event are important)
The GVTA and Hike Ontario’s Rating System
To help hikers decide what hike is suitable for them to participate in, the GVTA hike leaders will use the hike rating system when planning their hikes. For example, an advertised hike might be described as a Level 2, Moderate, 18 km. Details appear below.
The Level of Difficulty or Terrain
- Level 1: Well-defined trails, gentle inclines. Hiking boots not required, but trails may be wet. Is suitable for beginners. This level is recommended for newcomers to club activities.
- Level 2: Generally on trail. May be hilly, light bushwhacking, some rough spots or obstacles. Boots are recommended.
- Level 3: Rough terrain with one or more of the following: extensive bushwhacking, steep sections, long climbs and descents, beaver dams, rock scrambling or other obstacles. Boots, Level 2 experience, and a high level of fitness essential. Long pants and sleeves recommended.
- Leisurely > less than 2 km/h
- Slow > 2-3 km/h
- Moderate > 3-4 km/h
- Fast > 5 km/h or greater
For Skiing and Snowshoeing
- Level 0 > Flat terrain, variable length
- Level 1 > Gentle hills, may be long distance (e.g. 15 km)
- Level 2 > Variable terrain, some steep hills. Level 1 experience needed.
- Level 3 > Long, varied terrain may be off trails. Level 2 experience is essential.
In adopting these requirements for Family Hikes reference was made to information in the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website and more specifically to Choosing the Right Car Seat for Your Child. Members are advised to be aware of these safety issues.
- Level 1
- Leisurely pace
- Loop hikes with no car shuffle or car-pooling
- Should be between ½ hour to 2 hours in length, depending n the age of the children
- Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who supervise the children at all times
- Require that each child’s name be written separately on the Waiver of Liability and Assumption of Risk/Sign-In Sheet. Emergency contact name and phone number must be included
- Indicate in the hike description whether the trail is stroller friendly or not.
>>> This information was approved by the GVTA Board of Directors on December 5, 2006.
Updated 2013 MARCH 05 TUESDAY | TODAY IS