Frequently Asked Questions

What's happening in 2020?

Please see here. Please join our Facebook page to receive latest updates on our activities during Michaelmas 2020!

Are there any hills in Cambridge? What's the point of a hillwalking club?

Well, if you have very accurate surveying equipment, you might be able to tell that Market Hill is slightly higher than its surroundings!

Seriously, the nearest hillwalking areas are several hours' drive away, which is why we have a club - it's much more convenient and cost-effective (and fun!) to travel as a group.

I want to join the club - how do I go about it?

Have a look at the new members' page and follow the instructions!

How much does it cost?

For current membership prices, see the membership page. For the typical cost of different types of trip, see the trip information page.

I'm not a Cambridge University student; am I allowed to join?

The majority of members are students at Cambridge University or ARU, but all are welcome. We have plenty of graduate students and teaching staff, and even some people with Proper Jobs! We're a friendly bunch, and everyone who has a love of the hills is made welcome.

If you really dislike student clubs, you may find that the Cambridge Caving Club may suit you better - see other clubs in Cambridge.

Where do we go? What sort of accommodation do we use?

We go anywhere there are hills that members want to walk on. The most popular destinations are Snowdonia and the Lake District; we also go less frequently to the Yorkshire Dales, North Pennines, North York Moors, Peak District, mid-Wales, Brecon Beacons, Exmoor, Dartmoor, the Cheviots and the Welsh borders. The Scottish Highlands are popular in the summer vacation, though a bit too distant for weekend trips.

We usually stay in bunkhouse accommodation; this means that mattresses are provided, and members must bring sleeping bags. Cooking equipment is generally provided.

Occasionally, we use Youth Hostels (more expensive, but no sleeping bag required) or camping barns (cheaper, but they do not provide cooking facilities).

What happens on a trip?

It depends a bit on the type of trip - see the trip information page for details. A lot of fun!

How do I know what events are happening? How do I get on trips?

There is a mailing list for club announcements, generally 1-2 messages per week in term-time. If you want to be added, please email the list managers. Details normally also appear in the calendar on the website.

The sign-up procedure for the various types of trips is detailed on the trip information page.

For other events, join us at CUHWC Chat on Facebook!

Can I add the CUHWC Calendar to Google Calendar?

Yes, meaning there's no reason forget a club trip or social! However, the Google Calendar can take a few days to update, so we recommend that you check the club website and your emails regularly to keep up with the latest events.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Visit our online calendar
  2. Right click the red calendar icon in the top right of the screen (shown below) and select "Copy link address"
  3. Add calendar by URL in Google Calendar. Details of how to do this can be found here.

Do I need to buy lots of expensive stuff?

Our Kit Lists and Mountain Guidelines include recommendations as to what you should have with you on walks and trips in general. We occasionally run camping trips where tents and camping stoves are needed, but if you don't have these, you will usually be able to share with someone.

If you need to buy kit, Cambridge has a good supply of outdoors shops, including Open Air (an independent shop on Green St.), Cotswold Outdoor (a big chain with a large range on Bridge St.), Mountain Warehouse (good discount kit, under Cotswold), Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports and The North Face (both in Lion Yard). The Club has a 15% discount at Cotswold, and the BMC membership has various associated discounts. Most experienced club members will be glad to help if you'd like advice.

Does the club have any equipment I can borrow?

Yes, if you're a member - see the club kit page for a list. The Safety Officer is the first point of contact for questions and requests.

Note that we don't have boots for loan - you do need your own pair.

Do I need to buy a Club T-shirt?

Buying a CUHWC T-shirt is your patriotic duty as a Club member. Get one now!

Okay, it's optional, but they are really good...

Does the club offer any kind of formal training?

CUHWC is not a training organisation, but we often run training courses for our members. Previous courses have included wilderness first aid, navigation, and scrambling courses. If you are interested in a particular course, and there is enough interest, we may run courses as our members suggest — please get in touch. In addition, we actively encourage members to attend externally-organized courses.

The club administers the Andy Gibson Training Fund, which provides financial assistance to club members undertaking relevant training.

I'm bored and lonely; how can I get more email?

If life is leaving you unfulfilled, and you want to arrange random socials or trips with other members, or simply exchange idle chit-chat, you probably need to sign up to the CUHWC discuss list. Be warned, though, that it can be quite busy at times - not always compatible with diligent study! You can subscribe and unsubscribe yourself at any time via the above link.

You can find us more active on Facebook, in the CUHWC Chat group - join us!

I'm leaving Cambridge and I want to stay in touch with Club people. What should I do?

Firstly, we recommend that you get a email forwarding address. This is not essential, but makes life easier, as you don't have to keep telling everyone new email addresses as you move around.

Our alumni, known as the "Old Duffers", are very active and sometimes appear on club trips as well as organising their own. They have a mailing list that is used for ex-members to stay in touch and arrange walking trips, house parties, and other events. If you want to be on this mailing list, contact the Old Duffers' list manager stating which years you were a member. Recent graduates are very welcome, as are those who have been out of touch for years!

I'm not leaving Cambridge - in fact, I'll be around even out of term. Is there anything going on while most of the undergrads are away?

There's usually at least one club trip in each of the three vacations (see trip information). Quite often, members may invite others on informal weekends in the hills, and we tend to use the discuss list to arrange social and hillwalking activity out of term.

Although lunches normally stop at the end of term, pub meets normally continue throughout the year; sometimes extra pub meets or variations are organized through the discuss list (see socials).

Toby Speight