History of Mountaineering
Philippine Mountains
Environmental Awareness
Climb Ethics
Climb Organization
Climb Preparation
 § Physical and Mental Preparation
 § Gears and Equipment
 § Meal Planning
 § Backpack Loading
Climb Proper
 § Trail Movement
 § Camp Management
Other Mountaineering Knowledge and Skills
 § Land Navigation
 § Ropemanship
 § Rock Climbing
 § High Altitude Climbing
Prevention, First Aid and Emergency Care
 § Sequence of actions for adult Basic Life Support
Group Scribe's Report Form
Gear and Equipment Checklist
Physical Fitness Assessment Form
Sample BMC Final Exam
Sample First Aid Final Exam

AMCI Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) 2002

Climb Organization

A climb expedition is a journey or trip to a mountain by a group of individuals for some definite purpose. It is convenient and necessary for people venturing into the outdoors to organize themselves in a manner that takes full advantage of the skills and talents that can be drawn from each other.

An AMCI climb expedition follows an organizational hierarchy which pulls out the latent abilities of the participants. The roles are well-defined and establishes group interdependence.

Team Leader (TL)

The TL is overall in-charge of the expedition. The TL shall have management responsibility, direction and control over all the activities of the climb.

The TL shall preside at the pre- and post-climb meetings as well as meetings with the climb staff while in the mountain.

The TL shall submit to the Climb Coordinator a report summary on or before the second training session after the post-climb meeting. The report summary shall include the Scribeís Report of all groups.

Assistant Team Leader (ATL)

The ATL shall support the TL in carrying out its duties and responsibilities to the expedition. During the TLís absence or incapacity, the ATL shall assume the leadership role. Likewise, the ATL shall perform such other duties assigned by the TL.

Trail Master (TM)

The TM is the most knowledgeable and experienced on the route to be taken by the expedition.

The TM shall provide the TL with information regarding trail conditions, hazards, alternative campsites, water sources as well as special procedures that may be required on a given situation.

Oftentimes, the TM is taking the lead along with other AMCI members collectively referred to as the lead pack. The TM shall oversee the placement of ropes and additional safety devices over difficult sections of the trail.

There are instances wherein the TM role is also assumed by the TL or ATL.

Group Leader (GL)

The GL shall be directly in-charge of a group of Trainees or Inductees. The GL shall preside at the meetings of the group.

Assistant Group Leader (AGL)

The AGL shall assist the GL in managing the Trainees or Inductees of the group. Along with other AMCI members who are also part of the group, the AGL shall provide additional leadership, talent, skills, and experience so that the GL can effectively carry out its duties and responsibilities to the group.

During the GLís incapacity or absence, the AGL shall assume the leadership role. Likewise, the AGL shall perform such other duties assigned by the GL.

Team Scribe (TSC) and Group Scribe (GSC)

Both the TSC and GSCs shall ensure the accuracy and completeness of the deliberations during the pre- and post-climb meetings as well as meetings during the climb.

They shall prepare a written account of the events and activities that will transpire during the climb.

The GSCs shall focus on their respective group in contrast to the TSC who covers the broad sweep of events before, during and after the climb.

The TSC shall coordinate with the various GSCs in preparing the report summary as well as collect the Scribeís Report prepared by them.

Team Medic (TME) and Group Medic (GME)

The TMEs shall provide medical assistance to the expedition complementing the GMEs. Both TMEs and GMEs shall bring with them a first aid kit. Before the expedition leaves for a climb, they shall check their respective first aid kit.

AMCI members shall be designated as TMEs while AMCI members and Inductees shall initially assume the role of GMEs. Trainees shall be assigned as GMEs after they have completed the Basic First Aid & Life Support course of the Philippine National Red Cross.

Camp Keeper (CK)

The CK shall assist the GL at the campsite; directs as well as participate in the cooking activity, makes certain that the menu will be followed; ensures the cleanliness of their groupís camping area; conducts an inventory of the equipment and provisions; as well as perform other duties assigned by the GL.

Team Sweeper (TSW) and Group Sweeper (GSW)

Two members of a group shall be assigned as GSW. They will be positioned at the tail end of the group. The GSW will make certain that nobody from their group is left behind. At the campsite, the GSW shall check their camping area and bring with them any equipment or garbage that are left behind.

The TSW is a group of AMCI members positioned at the tail end of the expedition. They shall ensure that nobody is left behind; and provide necessary assistance to participants. At the campsite, the TSW shall conduct a final check of the campsite and bring with them any equipment or garbage that were missed by the GSWs.


During the pre-climb meeting,

  1. Establish rapport among the group members. Introduce yourself to the group and ask them to do the same. Relax and keep a smile on your face.
  2. Recite the mountaineerís creed, i.e., Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time. Instill in their minds that we are merely visitors to the mountains that we climb, and that we should treat it with respect and care. Refer to AMCIís Climb Ethics.
  3. Remind them of AMCIís commitment to safety, environment and camaraderie. Put an emphasis on teamwork.
  4. Identify the Scribe, Medic, Camp Keeper and Sweeper. Start by discussing the duties and responsibilities of each. Ask for volunteers, but if there arenít any, simply appoint someone. Request the Scribe to assist you in documenting the important details of the pre-climb meeting.
  5. Ask the group members to discuss their expectations and concerns regarding the climb.
  6. Make a skills inventory of the group members. Based on this assessment, you could designate who will take on various roles at the start of the climb before it becomes an issue.
  7. Discuss the itinerary. Be sure that everyone has all the necessary information regarding plans for the day, difficult terrain, safety concerns, and special procedures before it becomes critical.
  8. Plan the group equipment. Inquire who among the group members has a tent, stove, and cooking set. The number of tents to bring will depend upon the size of the group and the capacity of each tent available for use. Get at least two stove and two cooking set for ease in preparing meals. Determine the amount of fuel for the stoves based on the number of meals to be prepared.
  9. Plan the food to bring. Get all the group members to participate in planning the menu for the climb. Take into consideration the spoilage rate of food, the availability of water and preferences. Find out if there are vegetarians among the group members, or if some group members canít eat certain food due to their religious affiliation.
  10. Discuss the distribution of the group equipment and provisions. The group must discuss load distribution candidly and decide on it. Take into consideration sex and physical strength in determining the distribution solution. Fair distribution is not necessarily equal distribution.
  11. Advise them to prepare a checklist of the equipment and provisions theyíll bring to the climb.
  12. Conduct additional meetings outside the official pre-climb meeting and do the following: a) practice setting up the tents to be used as well as operating the stoves; all group members should be able to pitch the tents and operate the stoves; b) review the group equipment and provisions; c) watch a movie and have fun together.

On the trail,

  1. Check on their trail movement skills. For instance, point out a trail sign to a group member and ask what it means.
  2. When stopping to talk with each person is difficult or inconvenient, use a shorthand means of communication. An example is called the "thumb test." To get a quick visual gauge of how people are holding up, ask them to respond with either a thumbs up ("Iím fine and happy to continue"), a thumbs down ("Iím having more difficulty than I feel comfortable with and need to stop"), or a thumb to the side ("Iím fine for now, but may need to stop soon"). This allows members of your group to register their needs subtly and from a distance, if necessary.
  3. Everyone should be encouraged to voice their reservations, needs, and preferences as soon as they arise. If this hasnít been made sufficiently clear, you may see the early warning signs of frustration; people tend to withdraw from a group or become curt before an emotional dam breaks. Always be prepared to talk your way through stressful situations. Meals and rest breaks offer excellent opportunities for members to share their thoughts.
  4. Remind group members to be polite and courteous to people they meet on the trail.
  5. Manage rest breaks properly.

At the campsite,

  1. When planning for next dayís trek, instruct the Camp Keeper to do an inventory and reallocation of the group equipment and provisions. This is to maintain fair load distribution.
  2. Review the itinerary for the following day putting emphasis on rendezvous areas, water sources, etc.
  3. Assess the overall performance of the group; inform the TL of any injuries among group members.
  4. Relay instructions and other information given by the TL. These may be adjustments to the itinerary due to delays, or a special procedure intended for a situation at hand.
  5. Encourage group members to interact with other participants of the climb.
  6. Get everyone to participate in preparing the meals. Guide them in setting up the cooking area, operating the stoves, fetching water, etc.

During the post-climb meeting,

Towards the end of the climb or even during the pre-climb meeting, set a date for the groupís post-climb meeting. Ideally, it should be at least two days before the scheduled post-climb meeting of the team. This is to give the Scribe more time to prepare the Scribeís Report.

  1. Explain to the group members the purpose of the post-climb meeting: a) to give a fair and accurate assessment of the groupís performance as well as that of the group leader; b) to commend group members and other participants for a job well-done; and c) to offer recommendations on how to better handle certain situations.
  2. Encourage the group members to be honest and candid of their insights regarding the climb. Remind everyone to take everything constructively.



The team leader must accomplish a climb form and submit this to the Secretariat of the club. This is to be able to monitor climbs involving AMCI members. In case the climbing group encounters problems, the club will be able to extend help accordingly (e.g. search and rescue).


PRE-CLIMB MEETING. Attendance to a pre-climb meeting is a must. Here, the participants are briefed on th emanner and type of preparation required in a climb.

POST-CLIMB MEETING. This is required in order to get the groupís overall assessment of the climb which shall be useful for future climb activities

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