Archive:Exec report - Quartermaste

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Quartermasters: Piotr Forysinski, Andrew Silversides

As the number of active beginners in the VOC increases, so does the usage of the gearroom. A pretty simple equation, and yet it can wreak havoc pretty efficiently. It's been a very busy year in the gear room, with really extensive usage of basically all of our gear. That's definitely a great thing, as it means an increasing number of people have been finding their way into the great outdoors and having fun out there. However, it has also made it rather hard to keep everything organised. Numerous skis and snowshoes have died in action, and the 'old VOC skis' expression may become a remnant of the past in another season or so. New plastic boots just eat old aluminum bindings, full stop. We did acquire a number of new ski/skin/binding sets, and a number of snowshoes got sent for repairs (and repaired) at the beginning of the year. We hope to buy a significant amount of gear at the spring MEC gearswap, which will take place on May 4th, following our 'Gear Plan'. The four new ropes we purchased at the beginning of the year before Longhike as part of the plan have been in frequent use, and have allowed us to discontinue the use of horrible old ropes. We also plan to buy rope tarps for these ropes, because they have been getting really dirty in the 'sunny and dry' conditions we've had recently. With the skiing season almost over (at least in the common usage of the term; I plan to ski well into July...), it is now time to carefully assess numerous broken things, swap bindings around, buy new stuff at the gearswap and prepare for next winter. In the meantime, rock climbing and mountaineering gear is being rented out, but luckily is significantly less problematic than skiing gear.

As for a quick description of what a quartermaster's duties have been, here goes a list:

1. post gear hours, and hold gear hours. With gear demand like this year, a whole hour every weekday around lunchtime seemed to work. Some were quieter than others, but at least once or twice a week a gear hour would stretch to a gear-hour-and-a-half with utter chaos in the clubroom throughout the time period. Some people who don't work on campus will keep asking for evening hours; for those we usually made individual appointments. Attending slideshows/pre-trip meetings and the like usually ends up in dealing with gear too. Between 2 quartermasters, having 3 gear hours each seems to work - including one partially overlapping 'mega-hour-and-a-half when you get to talk to your fellow quartermaster, if for some reason you don't see him/her anyway outside of gear hours...

2. keep track of gear, bug people who don't return stuff on time.

3. try to fix things and sort things on-the-fly, organise bigger fixing sessions (such as ski tune-up)

4. deal with memberships/book loans/belay tests/general enquiries in the clubroom

5. keep the clubroom in a liveable, non-stinky state, as you are the person who spends the most time there. We perhaps failed on that front, but I will try to tidy things up a bit over the summer.