Each newly elected SPS Chairperson shall ensure that every member of the SPS Management Committee reviews these Policies and Procedures annually. The SPS Secretary shall maintain a listing of the policies of the SPS Management Committee. The purpose of this outline is to provide continuity between successive management committees. Within the constraints of the Chapter policies and the Sierra Peaks Section (SPS) Bylaws, each management committee may set its own policies and procedures.
1.1 The Section shall maintain and publish a Peaks List which lists the Section qualifying peaks and which designates the emblem peaks and mountaineers peaks, as well as the geographical areas in which they are located.
2.1 Peak Addition Criteria - peaks considered for addition to the list will be evaluated with respect to elevation, dominance of an area, view, climbing interest, proximity to other listed peaks, potential for accidents, and other factors as deemed appropriate.
The Section Secretary shall maintain records for the following member accomplishments and shall also maintain records of accomplishments beyond List Completion, such as List Completion plus Emblem, multiple List Completion, etc.
The Management Committee shall appoint standing and special committees for such objectives as it may designate consistent with the purposes of the Club, Chapter and Section. Members of a committee shall be appointed by the Section Chair from among the active members of the Section and approved by the Management Committee, and shall serve until discharged. Committee Chairs shall be designated by the Section Chair at the time the committee is appointed. The Chair of the Section or another member of the Management Committee shall be an ex-officio member of each Committee (except the Nominating and Elections Committees) with the right to vote.
4.1 Conservation Committee. The Conservation Committee of the Section shall further the conservation objectives of the Club, Chapter and Section, and assist national, regional and Chapter Club actions, and supervise specific conservation action programs as authorized by the Management Committee.
5.1 *All SPS trips will be conducted pursuant to the Angeles Chapter Outings Impact Rules, Angeles Chapter Safety Policy and the SPS Safety Regulations in Sections One through Four below.
i) will be scheduled to peaks of the SPS list and to other peaks of interest within and outside the Sierra Nevada.
6.1 Prior to the trip the leader is responsible for preparing write-ups of the proposed trip for the schedule, Echo or website and for potential trip participants. The latter should describe the trip, equipment needs, requests for participant information (e.g. experience resumes, Sierra Club membership certification, etc.), and other information the leader feels is needed for trip-screening purposes. Obtain parental medical releases for any minor unaccompanied by an adult. Carefully study the participant’s medical disclosure forms to judge whether the participant is qualified for the trip. If the leader is uncertain he should consult the National Sierra Club’s Medical Advisory Board or the participant’s personal doctor. If participants with medical conditions or physical impairments are accepted on a trip, the leader must have developed a plan to allow safe travel and climbing for all participants. A leader prerogative is to screen potential participants before acceptance. This is a requirement for Restricted Trips and is encouraged for all SPS trips.
6.2 At the road head, at the beginning of the trip, the leader will brief all participants on plans for the outing. Inform every one of his/her responsibilities. Ensure that names, addresses and phone numbers of all participants are entered on the sign-in sheet and that the entries are legible, and that participants understand the meaning of the waiver. Anyone unwilling to sign the waiver CANNOT join the trip. Ensure that all participants are aware of the technical requirements of the trip and have the equipment necessary for the trip. It is the leader's prerogative to refuse anyone who, in the opinion of the leader, does not meet the qualifications of the outing (even though the participant is on the Mountaineer's List).
6.3 Liability waivers are required to be signed by all participants and leaders and to be returned to the leader when signing in at the trailhead. The leader should bring along spare copies. The leader must safe-guard the collected waivers (preferably left in the car) and should not dispose of them until, at least 12-months after the trip. In the event of an incident, the waivers should be turned over to the SPS Safety Chair.
6.4 Leaders are encouraged to carry a first aid kit suitable for handling situations likely to be encountered on the trip.
6.5 Discipline - maintain effective control over the group during the trip. Make decisions based on the welfare of the group and enforce them. Report incidents and refusals to cooperate with the Leader to the Management Committee when returning the sign-in sheets.
6.6 Pace - set a reasonable pace geared to the abilities of the group.
6.7 Rear leader will remain with the slow members of the group. The rear leader's responsibility for the slow participants takes precedence over making the peak. However, it is the prerogative of any leader to turn back participants who might not reach the trip's destination without seriously hampering the rest of the party. Communication with hand-held radios for reasons of safety is permitted.
6.8 Leaving the group - ensure that those who wish to leave the main group are qualified for what they plan to do. Such a group, if it does not have two qualified and certified leaders, will no longer be considered part of the official party and its members must check off their names on the sign-in sheet.
6.9 Base camp - never abandon participants under any circumstances on a trip. Do not leave base camp until all participants have returned from the mountain. Do not leave the road head until all participants have returned. Make sure that all cars start.
6.10 Conservation - ensure that good conservation practices are followed. Stress that litter must be carried out of the wilderness. Enforce Chapter policy with regard to campfires and use of stoves. In every way, set an example of which the SPS can be proud.
6.11 Publicity -- after the trip the leader is strongly encouraged to write a trip report with pictures for the website and Echo. The purpose is to describe the route and to advertise our activities to interested newcomers and readers.
6.12 Additional responsibilities:
1) Contact the Sheriff in the county where the accident has occurred or the Park Ranger if in a National Park or Monument. For this purpose you are encouraged to bring a cell phone with suitable service, but be aware that it may not work in many backcountry locations. Otherwise, send two people for help with COMPLETE, WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS, use EMERGENCY REPORT form (send one copy, keep one copy).
d) if a participant has a physical impairment (deafness, limited vision etc.) that the leader believes can be accommodated without compromising the safety of the individual and the group, the leader should have specific plans about how to travel and climb safely with that individual. Signals for rope work, rock fall or other hazards; positioning of this participant in the group while climbing (away from others to avoid rock fall, for instance); and teaming that person with a buddy are some possible considerations.
(These considerations must be written up in the Restricted Trip Application form and included as part of the leader’s packet for each trip along with sign-in sheets and other materials. The outings chair shall include a reminder of this policy in the request for trip submissions.)
7.1 Under the overall supervision of the SPS Management Committee, the SPS Safety Chair, an "E" rated leader appointed by the SPS Management Committee, establishes and enforces safety standards for the climbing activities of the Section and formulates training and testing procedures to implement them.
7.2 The qualified safety instructors list is established by the SPS Management Committee upon recommendation of the SPS Safety Chair. It is reviewed periodically by the SPS Safety Chair.
7.3 The SPS co-sponsors rock and ice axe practice seminars and Mountaineer's List certification sessions, which are limited to Sierra Club Members only. These activities are conducted mainly in conjunction with the Leadership Training Committee.
7.4 Training equipment (ropes, etc.) belong to the Section is in the custody of the SPS Safety Chair.
8.1 Restricted Trips are those requiring the use of ropes and/or ice axes and crampons for safety. Participants on these trips must be qualified technically and must be members of the Sierra Club. Potential participants can formally satisfy the technical requirement by:
8.2 The potential participant may also be accepted for the trip if, in the opinion of the leader, the participant's experience and skill level is adequate to meet the requirements of the trip.
8.3 A Mountaineer's List Application Form is available for downloading from the SPS website. In addition to obtaining "sign off" in the three skills and endurance areas, the Mountaineer candidate must pass the subjective evaluation of both the SPS Safety Chair and the SPS Management Committee as to judgment, maturity, and overall mountaineering capability.
8.4 Testing of applicants for Mountaineer's List status may be performed on a scheduled Section trip by any “M” or “E” rated leader or assistant leader. Applicants must be active members of the SPS.
9.1 The SPS Mountain Records Chair maintains:
9.2 The SPS Mountain Records Chair maintains and preserves, as required, registers and register containers on summits of qualifying peaks. He should provide new register books and cylinders to climbers to replace old and missing ones on SPS peaks and other qualifying peaks.
9.3 From time to time, SPS Mountain Records Chair reminds leaders and/or outings participants to report via the Echo, website or at membership meetings, on the condition of the summit registers.
10.1 The SPS Secretary shall acknowledge new members by letter. The original member application forms and letters will be filed. New members should be welcomed by acknowledgements in the Echo and website.
10.2 New membership applications received after October 1st are credited for Echo subscriptions for the next calendar year. A maximum of two years of renewals will be accepted in any given year.
10.3 The SPS Membership Records keeper gathers all membership information and prepares the Membership Report which is published in the Echo after March 31st of each year.
10.4 Information regarding new members and new emblem holders, name and address changes and reinstated member applications are to be sent to the SPS Secretary. Renewals and Echo-only subscriptions are to be sent to the SPS Treasurer.
10.5 Members who wish to provide additional support to the Section may become Sustaining Members. A Sustaining Membership costs $25.00 per year, receives the benefits of a regular member, and will be specially recognized in the Echo. Sustaining Members will also receive their Echo via first-class mail. A sustaining Member may renew for a maximum of four years in any given year.
A register should not be removed, even if full, when less than 40 years old, unless it is seriously weather damaged and in danger of loss. A register may be removed for preservation if it is 40 years old or older and full. Illegible scraps of paper, business cards, etc. may be removed from a register container if, in the judgment of the leader, they have no particular significance. However, if such notes are records of early Sierra Club climbs or SPS climbs, they should be left. Scraps removed should be returned to the SPS Mountain Records Chair. Notebooks with historical significance shall be preserved by copying with a digital camera in place. Another notebook must be left on the peak when the original is removed. Removal should be coordinated with the SPS Mountain Records Chair. Copies thus made will be retained by the SPS Mountain Records Chair.
A fee of $1.00 per line will be charged for advertisements.
13.1 In accordance with the SPS Bylaws, recognition will be given to members who have achieved geographical emblem status, emblem status, senior emblem status, master emblem status, and list completion status. Such recognition will be published in the Echo and on the SPS website.
13.2 Members who have achieved list completion status will be recognized and at an SPS meeting for achievement of emblem status, senior emblem status, master emblem status, and list completion status after their initial completion of the list.
13.3 ACTIVE LEADER RECOGNITION - Leaders who lead trips in the last two years will be acknowledged as “active” at the highest rated trip they lead. If a leader does not lead for two years he/she will be acknowledged as “emeritus” at his highest rating. The Section tries to recognize our active leadership while recognizing past accomplishments.
The banquet speaker will be paid a minimum honorarium of $250 and be given two banquet tickets.
The SPS Merchandise Chair will be appointed by the SPS Chair and is responsible for fund raising through the sale of items such as T-shirts, pins, hats, books, etc. All proposals must be approved by the SPS Management Committee prior to placing any orders for merchandise. All merchandise is the property of the SPS until sold. No gifts of merchandise may be made without approval of the SPS Management Committee.
From time to time the Management Committee may choose to honor a leader for extraordinary service to the SPS. The award shall be given at the annual banquet with an article in the banquet issue of The Sierra Echo, to honor the leader. The award may be given posthumously. By submitting a letter to the Management Committee indicating why the leader should be so honored, members may nominate possible recipients. Management Committee members may also nominate recipients and should draw up a list of qualifications to be mentioned in an Echo article published each year in a mid-year issue along with a solicitation for nominees. Factors that may contribute to the selection of recipients should include leadership on numerous trips over a period of at least ten years, fostering new members and leaders, achievement of at least an “M” leadership rating, and setting the example of well-planned and safe trips. The Management Committee shall vote whether each nominee is to receive the award. More than one person may receive the award each year, but it need not be given every year.
* Angeles Chapter Requirement
Approved December, 2014:
Alexander Smirnoff, Chair, 2014 Management Committee.
Sierra Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter,