Where Do You Meet?
The club meets weekly every Thursday from about 9PM at the Stirling Rugby Football Club (Multimap). 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.
What's The Best Way To Get Involved?
Come along one Thursday evening to the Stirling Rugby Football Club and join us for a beer! There are places on club meets for prospective club members and you'll also be able to find out what club members are doing anything on non-meet weekends that you can join in with. Don't be afraid to ask! Members may also post their weekend plans here so be sure to check. Non members can reply to forum messages - just don't forget to enter the anti-spam code before submitting your message.
What do I Need For a Day In The Hills?
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.
What do I Need For Weekend Meets?
For weekend meets, info about the accomodation will be provided. Depending on the arrangements, you may need to bring a sleeping bag, and in some cases, also a sleeping mat. As a rule, the accomodation is self catering, but being the OMC, there will generally be a pub nearby! Some people will choose to cook their own food while others will head to the pub. Cooking utensils are provided in the huts. Where the club hut is being used, you will need a sleeping bag. We generally use huts/bunkhouses that we know to be of decent quality, be in a decent location (near the pub!), and be a decent price.
Can I Join In The Climbing?
The more the merrier, and you dont have to have climbed before in order to join in. In the summer, we climb outdoors at the likes of Auchinstarry, Limekilns, Aberdour, Dunkeld and Cambusbarron. In the winter, we climb at various climbing walls: Dunfirmline, Ratho and Ibrox (Glasgow).
You will need to buy yourself some equipment. To join us on the indoor climbing wall, you will need:
- Rock Shoes
- Chalk Bag (optional)
- Belay Device
(It is possible to hire this at the wall if you wish to find out whether climbing is for you without the initial expense!)
To join us outdoors you will, in addition need:
- Nut Key (optional, but handy!)
It is recommended that you use a real shop rather than an online retailer for the Harness, Helmet and Rock Shoes. Basically, these need to fit properly, and getting a decent fit will involve trying out several differerent harnesses/rock shoes etc. In stirling, your best bet is to head to Tiso's (Summits in Stirling does not carry much climbing gear). Get advice from the staff in the shop (thats what they are there for!). Feel free to ask club members for advice as well. The indoor climbing kit will likely cost you about £100 adding the stuff for outdoor climbing cost you an additional £50. A good time to buy this is at one of the Tiso club nights when you will get a discount!
Why Is The Club Called The 'Ochils Mountaineering Club'?
Stirling is situated right next to the [[Ochil Hills]], so it made sense to name the club after the nearest local hill range. The Ochils provide an easy escape to the hills being only a short drive/cycle from Stirling. They are also ideally placed for spur-of-the-moment excursions into the hills, especially during periods of inclement weather!! Back when the club was founded in 1950 it was likely an expensive trip to head further afield so I suspect the Ochils were used for club activities more so back then than they are today.
I Want To Develop My Skills - How Can The Club Help?
If you want to learn more about skills such as mountain navigation, rope work in climbing, or use of crampons and axes, experienced members will usually be willing to pass on their knowledge to you informally in the course of a day's walking or climbing- remember to point out your shortcomings in these areas before you set out!
The OMC training committee organise more structured courses, responding to requests from members. In recent years, 'In-house' courses provided by appropriately qualified club members have included such areas as night navigation, selecting and constructing belays and anchors, abseiling, winter skills and an introduction to winter climbing.
The OMC also subsidises members who attend courses provided by professional providers outwith the club. If these courses are related to personal safety, such as winter skills or First Aid, the club may subsidise participants to up to 50% of the course fees.
If the course is one which leads to an award which can be used professionally (ML, SPA etc) the situation is more complicated. The club may award a subsidy for training courses, but the level of subsidy is dependent on the length of time the applicant has been a member of the OMC, the potential benefits to the club from the member holding the award etc. The Club does not usually subsidise assessments for such professional awards.
Members wishing to attend courses subsidised by the club must always apply before attending. Formal applications should be made through the Club Secretary, but informal contact with the members of the Training Committee is also recommended. All subsidies are, of course, dependent on the money available from the OMC training budget.
Ok, So What Can I Do For The Club?
- You can volunteer to be the organiser for a meet. The Meet Convenor will have done most of the hard work for you. There is a guidance document here It’s easy and fun.
- You can participate in work weekends at the Club Cottage- labourers and tradesmen are both in demand. The Hut Convenor will publicise these meets well in advance.
- You can pass on any mountain skills which you possess to less experienced members. Whether or not you possess a recognised qualification, you can assist the Training Committee in their programme.
- You can volunteer to join one of the Club’s committees. See “Contact Us” on the main page of this website.
- You can stand for membership of the Club Management Committee. Many of the Club’s officers have been forced to remain in post longer than they would have wished to. Without members willing to take on these roles, the Club cannot continue to offer the fantastic benefits to members that it has done over the years.
Whatever your level of experience, or whatever you think your talents are, volunteer, Get Involved! and give something back to the Club.