Frequently Asked Questions

Joining Ibex

Come to a club night for a chat and to meet current members. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00pm at the Kings Head, 13 Westmoreland St, London, W1G 8PJ.

Alternatively come along to a day walk that we organise in the South East area. You don't need to book or sign-up for day walks - just turn up for the train or meet us at the starting point (usually a railway station).
Start by registering your details online. Then pay the £15 membership fee using PayPal, cheque or standing order.
You'll need a pair of strong, waterproof boots with good ankle support. Ideally you'll have walked them in and they'll be comfortable. Also essential are waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers. Bring a rucksack to carry spare warm layers, food and water.

For weekends, you'll additionally need a sleeping bag, wash kit and food for lunch. A full list of recommended kit is included in the joining instructions sent out by the weekend organiser about a week before the event.

Weekends/Weeks Away

We reserve around 10% of all spaces for "first timers". These spaces are ring-fenced up to four weeks in advance of the weekend - afterwards they're released to all.
Ibex weekends are organised by members who volunteer to arrange the bookings, food, accommodation details and assist with transport. Contact the organiser directly using the message box on this website - allow at least two working days for a reply, as the organiser might have a lot of applications to sort out.

Subject to spaces remaining, they'll send you a form to return, and you'll need to make a deposit payment by cheque or online via PayPal to secure your space.
Weekend events prove popular and are first come, first served! Each weekend 'opens' for booking two complete months in advance. For the best chance to get a space, contact the weekend organiser early.
The weekend organiser will always operate a reserve list and spaces do become available. Subject to demand the organiser may be able to suggest overflow accommodation/nearby alternatives.
Each weekend and the intended activities varies depending on the organiser, locations and anticipated weather. Weekends almost always include hill walking, and sometimes scrambling and climbing.
Everyone travels on Friday, sharing cars or arranging a pick up at a station for those on the train. Arrival times vary between those who can take a day/half day off and those who leave after work usually everyone says hello at breakfast on Saturday.

Accommodation is inexpensive and is usually bunkhouses, mountaineering huts, hostels, camping barns and camp sites.

Members volunteer to organise routes on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's routes will involve a full day's hill walking in the area, taking advantage of the location with a shorter walk on Sunday before people travel home.

We generally cook and eat as a group with everyone helping with the meal preparation. If there are no catering facilities then we eat at a local pub.
The cost of accommodation is usually around £15-20 per person per night and food is around £5-£10 per person per night. Bring your own alcohol. You'll also need to factor in travel costs either sharing a lift, share of a hire car or by train. The club suggests a contribution of 0.25/mile shared between all the occupants of the car - towards fuel and wear/tear.
I do have a car - Car drivers are especially valued on club weekends. If you can drive, and you can take passengers, please inform the weekend organiser when getting in touch.

There are various costs involved in taking your car on Ibex weekends - fuel, wear and tear, depreciation, extra insurance premiums to cover co-drivers etc. As a general rule, Ibex recommends something around 25p per mile, divided between the people in the car, as being a reasonable and straightforward method of dividing up the costs.

I don't have a car - Not having a car usually isn't a problem. Some car drivers may be able to take passengers (subject to a mutually agreed meeting time/place). Alternatively people hire cars for the weekend, or meet up to go by train to somewhere nearby and then share a taxi for the final leg.

When you apply, the organiser may be able to assist with transport information, and coordinate the non-drivers/non-car owners with the people who are driving up.

Fitness

That depends on the area and terrain. For club day walks, which take place near London, expect typical routes to be around 20 km in flat terrain. In areas like The Lake District/North Wales/Scotland the steepness and ascent over the route will be significantly higher, which may reduce the distance covered but will require higher overall fitness. We'll generally be out for a full eight hour day, depending on time of year and daylight.
Ibex always welcomes new members. The best approach is to gradually build fitness. Don't make a big weekend your first with the club! Club members are usually also leisure cyclists/indoor climbers/swimmers/gym goers who are active during the week. As a guide to fitness, you just need to be doing some activity beyond your desk job!

Build your hill fitness by doing day walks in the London area. Then go on some less mountainous weekends and only then think about booking on an event in areas like The Lake District/North Wales/Scotland.

These areas will require good fitness - consider whether the following statement applies to you:
"I have good aerobic fitness and leg strength. I can trek up steep, rocky paths and ascend at least 750m in a day. I enjoy being on the hill for 8 hours a day."

The weekend organiser will be able advise the anticipated activities, routes and likely terrain on their weekend.

Member Discounts

Ibex is affiliated to the British Mountaineering Council. Tick the option for "BMC Membership Card & Summit Magazine" when you join to gain access to the full BMC discount schemes and discounts in shops.