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Leading Restricted Trips

Restricted trips are official PCS trips that require the use of technical mountaineering equipment, such as rope, ice axe, or crampons. Because of insurance considerations, the process for gaining approval to lead a restricted trip is different than for other official PCS trips. Please also note that restricted trips need both a leader and a co-leader, unlike unrestricted trips where both are encouraged, but not required. The co-leader need not be a fully qualified leader, however, but may instead be working toward becoming qualified.

Additional requirements for leading a restricted PCS Trip

The additional leader requirements for leading a restricted PCS Trip are:

  1. Currency* in a Wilderness First Aid class,
  2. Must have a climbing resume on file with the MOC, which has been updated within the last two years (can be submitted along with the restricted trip application). The resume should include:
    1. Contact information (address, phone number, email)
    2. Date of resume
    3. Sierra Club member number and expiration date
    4. First aid training and currency (type of class, such as a wilderness first aid, and when taken)
    5. Recent training, if any, with some detail about the training, sponsor, and date
    6. Recent relevant climbs- where and when, type of climb, (rock, snow), level of difficulty, nature of participation (lead climber, follower, top-roped)
  3. Should have read the MOC’s Safety Management protocol (on the Sierra Club Mountaineering website (Clubhouse)) within the last two years.
*Currency is defined as having met the requirement within the last four years.

Other considerations associated with restricted PCS Trips

Trip applications for restricted trips should be submitted to the Vice Chair/Scheduler as would a normal trip application. Once the applicant has been advised that the trip is approved at the local (PCS) level, the applicant needs to fill out a restricted trip application (either Training or Non-Training, depending on the circumstance) and submit that to the Vice Chair. The Vice Chair will then ensure that the application gets forwarded on to the Mountaineering Oversight Committee (for the national organization) for final approval. Once the trip is approved, it may be announced and advertised.

Non-training trips application form
Training trips application form

Once the trip has been approved, and before the outing, the leader must:

  1. Ensure that all outings participants are Sierra Club members,
  2. Have all participants sign the Sign-In Sheet and Liability Waiver. (Note: the leader should alert all participants in advance of the outing that they will be required to sign a waiver, and that they need to bring their Sierra Club member numbers to the trailhead.)
  3. Have all participants fill out the Medical Screening Form. Leaders should have two copies for each member of the outing; one to stay at home in a file and one to go on the outing in case of emergency.

After the trip is over, the leader is required to submit the following to the PCS Vice Chair within 30 days:

  1. Mountaineering Sign-In Sheet and Liability Waiver, including membership numbers, signed by each participant.
  2. Medical Screening Form from each member.
  3. An Incident Report Form if an accident or incident occurred on the outing. Use this form to advise of any details of any accidents or illnesses .

For information about applying for a restricted trip, contact:

Mountaineering Chair:

Arun Mahajan,, 650-823-9058

Mountaineering Chair:

Terry Cline,, 650-424-9015