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HIKE LEADER GUIDELINES  Hotline

Updated 10/26/14

The following guidelines are meant to be helpful to Hike Leaders when planning for a hike. Guidelines are not rules; they are suggestions that have proven to be useful in the past. Comments, edits and changes are always welcome. Contact the chairman.

  1. Select a hike. The East Bay Hikes web site www.bahiker.com/eastbay.html has 48 hikes with descriptions, maps, directions and an assessment of difficulty. It is a good source for candidate hikes. Other good sources are EveryTrail – Hiking in the Bay Area, California at http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-bay-area-california; and http://www.ebparks.org/parks/trails/. If you need help contact the Hikers Chairman, Assistant Chairman, or your hike coordinator.
  1. Each month we have two categories of hikes.       EASY and HARD. EASY hikes fall into the “Easy” and “Moderate” level of difficulty guidelines below. HARD hikes fall into the “Moderate-Strenuous” or “Very Strenuous” level of difficulty guidelines below. EASY hikes are scheduled the 2nd Tuesday of each month. HARD hikes are planned the last Tuesday of each month. Here are some guidelines for estimating the level of difficulty:

Easy:  Typically short (at the lower end of the 3-5 mile target distance) and level with less than 500 feet of Accumulated Elevation Gain (AEG) (e.g., if there are 3 hills and each has a base elevation of 100 ft and a top elevation of 300 ft, the AEG is 600 ft one way).

Moderate:  Hike on good trail with roughly 500-1,000 ft of AEG at the upper end of the 3-5 mile target distance), and may have a few very short, steep sections. Good for any hiker who is reasonably fit.

Moderate-Strenuous:  Longer hike (over 5 miles) with approximately 1,000 to 2,000 ft AEG on a trail that may be rough and has many short steep sections or fewer, but longer steep sections. Requires excellent fitness.

Very Strenuous:  A hike with roughly 2,000-3,000 ft AEG and over 8 miles long with many steep sections.  Trail may be rough. Requires exceptional fitness.

Add-ons: Consider notching up the level of difficulty when temperatures are high and/or when there is little shade.

  1. Do a Pre-Hike so you will know the trails, terrain and hike time. Have someone (a good selection would be the hike coordinator) go with you on the Pre-Hike.

Create a brief write-up (if possible, use Arial 9 point type) description of the planned hike, including:

Site location, hike distance and an estimate of AEG (this is not simply the difference between the low point and high point – it is the sum of all the up-hill climbs).

    • Estimated level of difficulty. If there are particularly steep up-hill or down-hill sections, that should be noted with an estimate of the length of the particularly steep part. Make a note of the obstacles on the trail – e.g., lots of roots or rocks. You may include a comment on the use of trekking poles as being helpful.
    • Make a note of the amount of shade on the trail in hot weather and whether poison oak can be an issue.
    • Hike map (when available).
    • Please follow the format of prior hikes (they are all on the SIR Hikers web page) for your write-up.
    • If you copy from a website, convert the text to Arial 9 point type in your WORD document.
    • Please write your paragraphs in “word wrap” mode. This is when the computer determines
    • Where a sentence splits between two lines. Do NOT put a return (Enter) at the end of each line. This makes it impossible to fit the paragraph into the Hotline’s 3 ½” column width.

Send your hike selection write-up to the designated hike coordinator by the 12th of the month prior to the hike. The deadline for Hot Line inclusion is the 19th of the month, so that gives enough time for the coordinator to write up a summary description for the SIR Hotline and give any editing or assistance. A .doc or .docx WORD format attached to an email is the preferred method. If you cannot do that, talk to your coordinator.

If trail head parking is a problem, or there is a parking fee, or if the distances are far, please consider car-pooling and the use of an alternate meeting site. The Walnut Creek theater parking or Park & Ride lots are good candidates. Please set the carpool meet-up time allowing for travel time to the trail head. Provide your cell and home phone contacts so that hikers can advise you if they plan to drive directly to the trail head.

Have hikers sign in at the trail head and give the sign-in sheet to your coordinator for posting in the SIR Hikers records. Maintain a headcount during the hike to be sure that everyone is accounted for.