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Staying safe from Covid-19 with Lakeland Ascents

Updated 7th June 2020

At Lakeland Ascents we take your safety and the safety of our instructors seriously. To help reduce the prevalence of Covid-19 in the UK we will adhere strictly to all requirements set out by the Government and the recommendations put in place by our professional bodies the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI), the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), Sport England and our insurers.

Lakeland Ascents will base its decision making on the following principals:

  • Safety: activity and course provision will be informed and guided by a public health assessment of risk.
  • Lawfulness: we will adhere to government guidance and legal restrictions.
  • Evidence-based: we will use the best available activity-specific evidence and analysis to guide our decision making.
  • Socially responsible: we recognise that there must be a balance between economic growth and the welfare of local communities, society and the environment. We are all accountable for fulfilling our civic duty and the actions of an individual must benefit the whole of society.
  • Clarity: we will provide clear guidance to our instructors and to our clients to help mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

Covid-19 is a threat to us all, no matter where we go or what we do; Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) evidence suggests that outdoor activities may present a lower risk of virus transmission, but the virus can still be transmitted by touching infected shared surfaces or by inhaling water droplets expelled by an infected person. The procedures on this page will help to minimise the risk of transmission but they cannot completely negate them.

Health

You should not participate in any activity or course if you

  • are experiencing any coronavirus symptoms,
  • are self-isolating as a result of coronavirus symptoms or as a result of being in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, or
  • if you have been asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you are a contact of a known COVID-19 case,
  • are sharing a household with somebody with symptoms, or
  • are clinically extremely vulnerable.

Travel 

We ask that you follow Government guidelines regarding travel and overnight stays. At the time of writing, this means:

  • you shouldn’t travel with someone from outside your household unless you can practise social distancing. It is not possible to practice effective social distancing in small vehicles, and
  • you do not stay over in the Lake District.

Children

Please remember that if you have children with you, you are responsible for supervising them at all times and in line with social distancing guidelines. Children are not always good at hand hygiene; the virus can be spread by touching contaminated surfaces. Therefore please pay special attention to your children’s hand hygiene.

Groups and social distancing

We can operate legally and safely at a ratio of 1:5. So that’s 5 clients and 1 instructor.

  • Mixed groups must maintain 2m distance between themselves and the instructor at all times.
  • Groups from the same household must maintain 2m distance from the instructor at all times.
  • All clients and instructors must maintain 2m distance from any other groups in the area as well as members of the public at all times.

The only time where we will come within 2m of you is in a medical emergency, or if we feel it is justified to ensure your safety. Where appropriate we will use masks and gloves when coming within 2m of clients. In a medical emergency, the client and any helpers will also wear masks. These will be provided by Lakeland Ascents.

Hygiene

  • All our kit will be either have been quarantined for 72 hours prior to you being issued with it, or it will have been disinfected after its last use with Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA).
  • Kit will be issued to you by instructors wearing clean nitrile gloves or personal gloves that have been disinfected with IPA.
  • You are asked to bring their own hand sanitiser and to clean hands thoroughly after the session.
  • You are advised to avoid touching their face at all times.
  • Occasionally it will be necessary for you to touch a surface that somebody else has touched and Covid-19 can be transmitted this manner. You are advised to wash your hands as soon as possible after touching a shared surface.

Masks and gloves

  • Masks will not be used unless we need to come within 2m of you for a medical emergency or if we feel it is justified to ensure your safety.
  • Gloves will be worn by instructors when handing out kit and receiving it back. They will also be worn in a medical emergency.
  • Clients may wear gloves if they choose to, but vinyl ‘medical’ gloves will get shredded by rock quickly so are not recommended. If you choose to wear gloves, bring ‘normal’ outdoor gloves and avoid touching your face. You can disinfect these after the session using Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA) which your instructor will have with them.
  • Gloves are essential for abseiling and rock climbing as you will be touching shared surfaces. These should be provided by you.

Changing facilities and toilets

Currently all changing facilities and toilets are closed in the Lake District. Changing will need to happen in cars or out in the open as we cannot use changing tents due to the high risk of transmission, due to them being used many times over a short time frame.

Accessing venues

Lakeland Ascents will do everything that is reasonably practical to minimise the risk or transmission to local communities and hamlets by using access routes that do not go through farms or unnecessary gates.

Gorge scrambling (ghyll scrambling)