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Trip Leader Liability Insurance

PCS trip leaders are covered by Sierra Club liability insurance when on official PCS trips. The nature of the insurance coverage has certain limitations. For detailed information on the Sierra Club insurance policy, send an email to with the single line message:


Alternatively contact the:

Mountaineering Chair:

Arun Mahajan,, 650-823-9058

Mountaineering Chair:

Terry Cline,, 650-424-9015

Liability Waiver and Sign-in Sheet

All participants in official PCS trips must sign a liability waiver. This is true for unrestricted trips as well as restricted trips. The PDF version of the waiver is available on line for viewing and printing. There is also a Sierra Club Waiver FAQ.

Following a trip, the trip leader must submit the waiver with sign-in sheet to the:


One of the insurance limitations is car-pooling: the Sierra Club does not have insurance that covers driving to the trailhead for a trip. Leaders are encouraged to avoid directly arranging carpools for participants in order to limit potential liability. It is acceptable to provide information about who can drive from where and when, but leaders should not assign drivers or passengers; the participants must work this out on their own.

Carrying Technical Equipment

The Sierra Club defines technical mountaineering equipment as ropes, runners, ice axe, and crampons. A trip where use any of these items is expected to be necessary must be applied for and led as a restricted trip in order to be covered by Sierra Club insurance.

On an unrestricted trip, participants may carry these items for safety in the event they are needed in order to deal with an unanticipated hazard. The key word here is unanticipated; if it is known in advance that the use of such equipment will likely be required, then the trip must be applied for as restricted.

Private Trips

Because so many outings are unofficial, the PCS publishes private trip announcements in the Scree and on this website as a service to its members. Private trips are not sponsored or administered by the PCS or the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club has no information about the planning of these activities and makes no representations or warranties about the quality, safety, supervision or management of such activities. Even when led by an approved PCS leader, the Sierra Club assumes no liability for the leaders of private trips.