The Ochils Mountaineering Club (OMC) is a Stirling-based club catering for Hill Walkers and Climbers in Stirling and Central Scotland. We run meets all over Scotland. The club was founded in 1950 and now has around 120 members. The club is affiliated to the MCofS (Mountaineering Council Of Scotland).
What We Do
The club organises monthly meets to various parts of Scotland as well as further afield. The meets are in locations that offer a good variety of hillwalking, climbing, and mountaineering possibilities; together with decent, inexpensive accommodation; and usually a pub nearby! For some info on upcoming meets, check our calendar.
The club meets weekly every Thursday from about 9PM at the Stirling Rugby Football Club (Google Maps | Google Street View - go through the tunnel!). If you can't work out which group we are, ask at the bar! On the first Thursday of the month, the club uses the Thursday evening session to host a talk/quiz/competition etc (these usually start at 8PM). Details of these can again be found in the calendar.
In addition to the above, we organise midweek climbing sessions at local-ish crags such as Limekilns, Aberdour, Auchinstarry, Cambusbarron and Dunkeld. We also visit climbing walls in the winter evenings. You don't need to be a 'Rock Jock' to join in the midweek climbing, although you will require rock shoes, and may also need a harness,helmet etc.
Membership of the OMC provides far more than just the monthly meet and weekly chat. It offers the chance to meet enthusiastic, like-minded people. Club members often use the Thursday meets and the website forum to organise their mountaineering activities, whether it be a midweek climb, a weekend backpacking trip or an expedition to the Alps There is a wealth of experience in the OMC gained from being out-and -about in the hills;and while your personal safety is your own responsibility, you are likely have safer, more enjoyable trips with the club as opposed to heading out alone. Perhaps you will learn something new, or indeed teach us something new to boot!
If you come along on a Thursday, don't be afraid to join in other peoples conversations, or find out what they are doing at the weekend, and if you wish, join them. Club members are out on the hills or crags every weekend. Members may post their weekend plans on the forum - you can check it here.
They say that a picture is worth 1000 words, so feel free to browse our photo gallery.
What You'll Need For The Meets
This obviously varies depending on the time of year, location and your intended activities. This being Scotland, it's best to come prepared for all weathers too!
For summer meets, you'll need the usual waterproofs (including waterproof trousers), hiking boots, extra clothing, gloves, hat, food/drink for the lunchtime break, map, compass and a rucksack to put it all in. Its also a good idea to carry items such as a first aid kit, head torch, and survival bag in your rucksack.
For winter meets, when there is snow/ice about, you'll need to add winter boots, crampons (that have been tested for fit with the boots), and a walking ice-axe. Things like extra clothing, head torch etc are essential for winter.
Club members will always be glad to share their experiences of different kit, and offer advice when it comes to buying your own.
Since there may well be 20-30 members on club meets, we don't tend to hit the same hill together. Rather, people have their own ideas of what they want to get out of the weekend: hills they have not walked, climbs they have not done etc. More often than not, there are others present whose itineraries are similar, so they will join forces. It's not unusual for that group of 20-30 people to split many ways. If you don't have your own itinerary, then just join someone else whose plans appeal to you - i.e don't be afraid to barge in and ask. A Friday/Saturday evening in the pub is usually where plans for the following day come together.
Benefits Of OMC Membership
Aside from the fact that we are a decent bunch of people, there are several other reasons for joining the OMC
- Free use of the Club Cottage just outside Crianlarich
- Unrestricted first-come, first-served places on club meets
- You will receive the MCofS (Mountaineering Council Of Scotland) magazine every quarter (usually £3.50 per issue) (Other MCofS Benefits)
- Right to attend club training sessions such as Winter Skills, Bouldering, Night Navigation, abseiling etc
- Access to the members' section of the website and the ability to post messages on the forum
- 3rd party insurance via MCofS
Membership costs £30 annually (reviewed at AGM)
Joining the OMC
Because we want to ensure that members can be safe on the hill, we require new members to have completed two walks or climbs with existing members who can then sponsor them as new members. The best route to entry is to come along on a Thursday evening, introduce yourself, and arrange to do something at the weekend with club members (including on club meets which have places available for prospective members).
This might seem a little erm 'stuck up' to some, but as you'll see if you come along, we are far from stuck up! As a club, it ensures that we get good, genuine members, and that you get a good club. If you have any questions, or want to talk to someone before turning up contact Andy by clicking here.
You can download a membership form for the OMC: OMC Membership Form