The following are some of the questions we’ve had from people checking out the Club. Feel free to email any new ones to the address below.
Really though, the only way to find out if the Gentian Club is the one for you is to take a deep breath, sign up and book onto a meet (maybe with a friend?). There’s a review from a new member below.
We’re a very friendly and welcoming club but if you decide we’re not what you’re looking for we’ll refund your membership fee in full. We want you to be happy!
What is a ‘meet’ and what happens on one?
‘Meet’ is just another name for a ‘trip’. Most meets are for a weekend although we run week long meets as well. A couple of weeks before a meet members will receive details of how to get to it, what to bring etc. There will also be a list of who else is going so that car share can be arranged.
A typical weekend then starts with everyone arriving on Friday evening. Members who arrive early often get together to cook a meal or eat in a pub. Unlike many clubs we cater together and eat as a group. This is not only more sociable but saves queues for the cookers and gets us on the hill quicker. On Saturday morning we all have breakfast together and members who have offered to coordinate a route describe their plans. Members sign up for the walks, which sometimes may involve a scramble, as they wish.
After a day on the hill we have a meal together, prepared by volunteers. There is a vegetarian and non-veg option as well as starter and dessert. There’s wine and beer as well. Saturday evening is a great opportunity for a chat about the day’s walks or to catch up on other news. Sunday proceeds in the same way and we generally leave late afternoon.
Where do you stay?
Meets are held in mountainous and upland areas throughout the UK: Dartmoor, Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, the Lake District, Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, Scotland.
We book a very wide range of accommodation. At one end, we use other clubs’ huts with basic facilities (but always with flush toilets and showers) and where sleeping may be on alpine style sleeping platforms. The up side is that club huts are usually in excellent locations for getting on to the hill. At the other end of the spectrum we visit luxury lodges with twin rooms, wifi and ensuites. Most meets are somewhere in the middle.
In all cases the type of accommodation will be clearly detailed and the cost shown on the Club website before booking.
I don’t know anyone in the Club. Would I fit in?
We pride ourselves on being a friendly and welcoming club. You can come along on your own without worrying about it. We have couples, many single members and some members whose partners are not interested in hills and mountains. You can come to every meet or just one. Every-time you will be welcomed by like-minded people.
How fast do you walk?
There is usually a choice of groups to go with and before setting off the volunteer coordinators will explain what is involved in terms of distance and height gain. Whatever the route, the aim is to have a sociable day on the hills and no-one gets left behind!
What equipment do I need?
If you’re already out walking you will have most of what you need. The BMC (British Mountaineering Council) have produced a useful free booklet which can be downloaded here:
Does the Club provide training?
Experienced Club members are always willing to share their knowledge and the Club underwrites training events such as ‘Winter Skills’ and ‘Discover Scrambling’ put on by outside providers. In addition, members of the Club are automatically members of the BMC (British Mountaineering Council) and are eligible to attend BMC training events.
How can I find out more?
To find out more, e-mail the Membership Secretary at: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and a contact number.
If you decide to join, the subscription for new members is £15 for the first year which runs from January 1st to December 31st. In the unlikely event you do not enjoy being a member, you may leave within 3 months and your subscription will be refunded in full.
ADDED VALUE!! Members of the Club are entitled to a substantial discount at Cotswold Outdoor shops
A review of the club from a new member
What an absolutely awesome week in the Vanoise Alps region with the Gentian Club…
The accommodation had superb mountain views and was quite luxurious and it was quite unexpected and a very nice surprise.
As a new member I was a bit apprehensive to spend an entire week with strangers, but upon arrival l was well received, and immediately felt a part of the club. The whole week was exceptionally well planned in all respects.
All the walking routes were also well planned and gave great consideration for all levels of walkers.
I was very happy to be able to get to 3000 mtrs on my final walk. That is the highest I have ever been and was a great experience.
I would not hesitate to go again on another weeks adventure with the Gentian Club.
So for any potential new prospective members, then what are you waiting for? Get your boots on and give them a try like I did. Remember nothing happens until you do something!
CA, joined 2019