Edition 5.0 (April 2016)
These guidelines and rules have been designed for you, a member or soon to be member of TWMC. We hope these guidelines and information will help you get started and hope to answer a few of the questions you may have about TWMC and what TWMC has to offer you.
TWMC is a club that is evolving and will continue to evolve. We hope to use the experience of all our members to help provide a great atmosphere for all abilities to enjoy the stunning scenery and walking in Japan. However, our philosophies and purposes will never change.
Purposes of TWMC
We would like you to become aware of the safety issues while walking / mountaineering with TWMC, as all outdoor activities have some element of risk.
Following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011, we became more aware of the danger of earthquakes and landslides and it is not possible to eliminate all risk. For this reason, we are requiring anyone joining our mountain walks to take out personal insurance inclusive of helicopter rescue - we can suggest insurance schemes that we know about, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you are suitably covered.
Due to problems with legal requirements and responsibilities, it is essential that you agree that ALL RISKS ARE TAKEN BY THE INDIVIDUAL, NOT THE CLUB. We are always very happy to assist you in preparing for the risks involved during walking. In all cases, TWMC is here to attempt to help you have a great time in the outdoors, but we cannot be responsible for your safety - this responsibility can only be yours and yours alone. Please be sensible and use your common sense to maximize your safety during any trip.
Similarly, all equipment either owned by TWMC or other persons must be used at the individual person's own risk on club and/or private walks. Any equipment damaged or lost must be replaced in full or paid for in full to the owner(s).
TWMC is a non-profit organisation and is run by a group (the committee) of volunteers whom are elected (see section 6) every year. The committee consists of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and any amount of Walks Organisers, who are responsible for the smooth running of the club, determining policy, controlling all expenditures, making rules, and serving in the best interests of the entire club. There are no casting votes within the committee, and any decisions taken must be from a majority of committee members (abstentions are valid).
Roles of committee members
TWMC was initially started in May 1998 by Kouichi Iwasaki, John Payne, and Paul Reay, to form the first committee serving as Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
There is no yearly subscription or membership fee. Participants for each walk will be asked to pay 300 yen for a one-day walk and 500 yen for a multi-day walk. The walk fee will be collected by the Treasurer or the Treasurer's representative (usually the walks organiser). These fees pay for club equipment needed for walking in Japan, organizational costs (such as telephone charges), the TWMC end-of-year and summer barbecue parties and any other items to support the generally agreed upon goals of the committee.
The following persons are exempt from the paying club fee for a specific walk:
Elections will only take place for contested positions (i.e. if more than one person applies) of President, Secretary and/or Treasurer.
Eligibility. Anyone who has taken part on one or more walk within the club is eligible to vote.
Each committee person must be elected for a fixed period of one year. Re-election of each individual can continue indefinitely. Elections must be held every year during the committee meeting to discuss the Autumn and Winter walks' schedule. At this time, the change in committee would take place at that meeting. Candidates must put themselves forward to the committee and have the approval to stand from the majority of the committee. The majority decision will be used for election results.
If a committee member leaves Japan or resigns the position on the TWMC committee, then an election will be held as soon as possible to replace that person on the committee.
Any committee member leaving TWMC must relinquish all information and equipment belonging to TWMC to his/her successor or a suitable person within the committee.
TWMC Walks Organisers are non-elected positions. All Walks Organisers will automatically be committee members, and TWMC members are encouraged to volunteer as Walks Organisers. To be selected, volunteers must have the approval of the majority of the committee. The selection process will be based on the volunteer's suitability and the number of Walks Organisers currently active.
Group sizes should be dependent on conditions and on the walk organisers and leaders. For group walking, PLEASE stick together, where we realize this is dependent on conditions - but generally people should be in either visible, hearing, or timing distances and to be in constant communication with each other. While walking, you are responsible for your own safety. However, if you feel sick or cannot continue walking, please do not hesitate to ask for other people’s help, especially the leader of the group.
We will also rate the difficulty of each walk on a 5-star scale as follows:
* = easy walk suitable for all age groups and no special foot wear.
** = medium walk suitable for all age groups, boots recommended.
*** = medium walk, some strenuous activity, good boots required.
**** = difficult walk, strenuous activity, possibly some scrambling, good boots required.
***** = very difficult walk, strenuous activity, possibly some scrambling/snow walking, good boots required and possibly crampons/boot spikes
New walkers. If you are an inexperienced walker, we suggest you to try the easy walks initially, and then try more difficult walks later when you have gained some experience.
Skill levels in a group. If people joining a walk have different skill / fitness levels, then the group leader will suggest that the group be divided into smaller groups (minimum of 3 people) with similar skill / fitness levels.
Please make sure that any comments about TWMC should be e-mailed / posted to all committee members.
TWMC is not responsible for any costs incurred during transport. When cars are used on a walk, the total cost for all cars are to be equally distributed between all participants (drivers are exempted). Car owners are responsible for calculating the cost for their car and will inform the walk organiser, who will collect an appropriate amount of money and distribute it to the car owners.
If a rental car is used, the driver shares in the rental costs, but is exempted from gasoline and highway costs.
If any accidents occur while travelling, then please be collaborative and attempt to help the driver with the situation. However, the driver is responsible for any accidents using private or rental cars. Individual people should have their own form of insurance or be covered by the vehicle insurance. TWMC is not responsible for any vehicle or person, and can provide no assistance for such costs.
Smoking is not permitted in any form of transport used by TWMC unless everyone present agrees.
In order to promote the respect and safety of all members when walking, the committee reserves the power to take the necessary action (suspension or expulsion from TWMC) against any member who does any act while walking with TWMC which is obnoxious/repugnant or endangers or is likely to endanger the safety of him/her, or any other TWMC member, or any other person, or any other animal. Any member accused of performing any such act will have the following rights: to have the full details of the specific act alleged; and to have reasonable opportunity to put his/her case orally to the committee at a meeting in private if he/she so wishes. Following the meeting, the committee will decide on the action to take and will notify all members of the TWMC within one week of the meeting.
(You may think that some/all of the above items are not necessary for each walk. However, this list has been put together by experienced walkers who have recommended these items from their walking observations and practical skills. We would like you to be aware that it is better to be over prepared than under prepared in any emergency).
Leader of hike to carry: first aid kit, topographic map (preferably a 1:25,000 size map, and not bigger than 1:50,000 resolution) of the local area, compass.
Copies of maps should be distributed by the walks organiser or the co-organiser
2 - 3 weeks before the hike: Send the first announcement via the TWMC mailing list including details about
1 - 2 weeks before the hike:
1 week before the hike: Send the second announcement via the mailing list (optional)
1 - 5 days before the hike: Send the final announcement via the mailing list
On the day of the hike :
After the hike: