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'''Membership Handbook'''<br>
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'''The handbook is also available in the [http://www.ubc-voc.com/membership-handbook fancy] version'''
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'''Can't find the info you're looking for?  Try the [[Faq|Frequently Asked Questions]] too! '''
  
 
==Welcome to the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC)==
 
==Welcome to the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC)==
  
The Varsity Outdoor Club is open to anyone at UBC - students, faculty and staff. Our club is dedicated to those who want to explore the outdoors here around UBC and anywhere else in the world. Some of the many pursuits our members actively pursue include: hiking, rock-climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, ski touring, ice climbing and "socializing". The club is about meeting people, making friends, learning and teaching. If you have a skill to share, please do so. If you wish to learn, please ask!
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The Varsity Outdoor Club is open to anyone at UBC - students, faculty, staff, spouses and members of the greater community. Our club is dedicated to those who want to explore the outdoors here and anywhere else in the world. Some of the many pursuits our members actively pursue include: hiking, rock-climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, ski touring, ice climbing and "socializing". The club is about meeting people, making friends, learning and teaching. If you have a skill to share, please do so. If you wish to learn, please ask!
  
==Useful VOC Jargon==
 
{{Main|Glossary}}
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|- align="center" style="background-color: #cccccc;"
 
!VOC Jargon
 
!Definition
 
|-
 
|ACC
 
|Alpine Club of Canada
 
|-
 
|BCMC
 
|British Columbia Mountaineering Club
 
|-
 
|FMCBC
 
|Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia
 
|-
 
|Hustlers Handbook
 
|List of Members with Contact Information
 
|-
 
|VOCene
 
|The VOC's weekly e-newsletter (also posted at the clubroom)
 
|-
 
|VOCJ
 
|VOC Journal
 
|-
 
|Sketchy
 
|Sketchy
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
==Emergency Numbers==
 
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|- align="center" style="background-color: #cccccc;"
 
!Organization
 
!Phone Number
 
|-
 
|Wilderness Search and Rescue
 
|1 800 567 5111
 
|-
 
|Canadian Coast Guard
 
|1 800 567 5111
 
|-
 
|Forest Fire Reporting
 
|1 800 663 5555
 
|-
 
|}
 
 
===Other Potentially Useful Numbers===
 
 
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
 
|- align="center" style="background-color: #cccccc;"
 
!Organization
 
!Phone Number
 
|-
 
|Weather/Marine Forecast - 24 hour
 
|604 664 9010
 
|-
 
|Avalanche Bulletin (Canadian Avalanche Centre)
 
|1-800-667-1105
 
|-
 
|Avalanche Bulletin (USA)
 
|206 526 6677
 
|-
 
|Highway Conditions (Talking Yellow Pages)
 
|604 299 9000 x7623
 
|-
 
|Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC
 
|604 878 7007
 
|-
 
|Enquiry BC (Government Services Listing)
 
|604 660 2421
 
|-
 
|Ferry Schedules
 
|1 888 223 3779
 
|-
 
|}
 
Also check out the [[web links]] setion of our webpage
 
 
==A Brief History of the Club==
 
 
{{Main|VOC history}}
 
 
The VOC had its start back in 1917, when the "Mountaineering Club" was formalized at UBC's original location (near present day VGH). In these days, potential club members were required to ascend a peak equal in height to Grouse Mountain to become members. It was rumored that women were often exempt from this qualification, being "weaker vessels"...
 
 
In 1920, the first club [[History_of_VOC_huts#Grouse_Cabins|cabin]] was built on Grouse. In those early days, chaperones were present on mixed trips to "protect the honour of the fair sex". Alcohol was forbidden at all club activities well into the 70's.
 
 
By the 1930's, the club's expeditions had spread farther afield, including such exotic destinations as [[Golden Ears]] and the [[West Lion|Lions]] (the latter accessed by boat). By the 1940's, there was exploration in the [[Garibaldi_Lake_and_Black_Tusk|Garibaldi area]]. A VOC party made the first winter ascent of Mt Garibaldi in 1944.
 
 
The 50's arrived with an explosion of interest in skiing with the construction of a road up Seymour. As the number of capable skiers grew, a new tradition was born to the VOC. After spring exams, an annual pilgrimage would be made to the newly constructed [[Burton Hut|Sphinx Hut]], located on the terminal moraines of the Sphinx Glacier.
 
 
A desire to record the club's activities spawned the [[VOC Journal]]. First published in 1958, it was just in time for the numerous first ascents made by club members during the late 50's and 60's. Several major expeditions were undertaken, including Mt Logan ('59) and the Himalaya ('64).
 
 
In the mid sixties, the VOC constructed a large [[History_of_VOC_huts#Whistler_cabin|cabin]] in Whistler. It was intended to accommodate both downhill and cross country skiers. In time, the cabin grew too expensive to maintain, and the VOC turned over the rights to the cabin to the AMS. The money received (not without a [[Whistler_Cabin_History|fight]]!) from the handover was reinvested into new mountain huts, the [[Brew Hut|first]] of which was [[Construction_of_Brew_Hut_I%2C_II_and_III|constructed]] on Mt Brew across the valley from Whistler in 1982.
 
 
Most recently, the VOC has helped build and maintains a new hut in the mountains surrounding Birkenhead Lake. The [[Brian Waddington Hut|Brian Waddington Memorial Hut]] is located at the headwaters of Phelix Creek and is used mainly in the winter as a ski touring base.
 
 
There are always more projects on the horizon, but these will have to take place before we can include them in the history section.
 
  
 
==So, What Does Your Membership Give You?==
 
==So, What Does Your Membership Give You?==
  
Being a VOC member does not mean that you have to be a skilled outdoors person. The more experienced members offer introductory trips in rock climbing, glacier travel, ski touring, map use and navigation as well as many other topics. It is not even necessary to have all of your own technical equipment - as a member, you may borrow (with cash deposit) any of the gear from the clubs equipment lockers.
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The biggest benefit is networking - you will have access to hundreds of like-minded individuals, keen to get into the outdoors. This happens through access to the [http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum2/? message board], [http://www.ubc-voc.com/member/view.php members list], social events like the weekly [[slide shows]], and of course [[Trip agenda|trips]].
  
Other benefits of membership include: the VOC Journal - an annual publication containing accounts of many epic VOC trips from the past year as well as photos, poems, and the like (available free to all members in March); Access to the well stocked VOC library of guide books and maps; the Hustlers Handbook - a list of addresses and phone numbers for all VOC members.
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Being a VOC member does not mean that you have to be a skilled outdoors person (but we need those too) - in fact it's a great place to learn these skills. More experienced members and the executive offer introductory [[Trip agenda|trips]] to help get you up to speed and take you places you might otherwise think were impossible. It is not even necessary to have all of your own technical equipment - as a member, you may borrow (with cash deposit) any of the gear from the club's [[Gear rental|gear room]].  If you need a guidebook to help you figure out where you want to go, you can borrow it from the [[library]] in the [[clubroom]].
  
Likewise, every week you will receive (via e-mail), the VOCene newsletter, which lets members know what trips are going out, what other members are up to and all sorts of other useful information. New for this year is the VOC website, where most of this information in posted. Check out www.ubc-voc.ca.
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Every week you will receive (via email) the VOCene newsletter, which lets members know what trips are going out, what other members are up to and all sorts of other useful information - it condenses the high amount of traffic on the message board and wiki, so you still know what's going on even if you're not addicted to the webpage yet.
  
The club also gets great group deals on avalanche courses, first-aid courses and season pass lift tickets to our local mountains. Plus, of course, you get to meet all sorts of wild and interesting people.
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The club also has a [[Climbing_wall_available_hours|climbing wall]] which VOC members can use for free.
  
==How to Become a Full-Fledged Member==
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At the end of term you'll receive a free copy of the [[VOC Journal]] - an annual ~300 page book chronicling the adventures of the club throughout the year.  We welcome your contribution, whether an epic first ascent or a poem about learning to ski.
  
In order to become a full-fledged member, you must:
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The club also gets group deals on professionally instructed avalanche courses, first-aid courses, and discounts at certain local businesses.
  
#Fill out an application form
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Again the main thing is all the wild and interesting people you'll meet. '''''We love the outdoors, and we want to share this passion with you'''''.  Come join us - you might just have the time of your life.
#Pay the $35 membership fee
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#Complete a "Work Hike" during the school year
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==What is a Workhike?==
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===Where does my membership fee go?===
  
{{Main|workhikes}}
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The VOC, and all VOC events, are run under a shared-cost principle - no club members make any money off VOC events, which is why things are generally either cheap or free.  Other than joining in the first place.
  
A workhike is where you help keep the club running smoothly by contributing a little of your time and energy. They usually don't involve a lot of time - anywhere from an hour or so to a day, depending on the task you land. At the same time they are a good way to get to know other club members and can even be kind of fun.
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A rough breakdown would be:
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* 1/3rd goes to maintaining and purchasing gear for the gear room (which you borrow at no cost).  This is the biggest expense.
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* 1/4er goes to producing the VOC Journal
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* 1/5th goes to the Federation of Mountain Clubs, to help improve/maintain access to the backcountry and bargain collectively with the government
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* 1/5th goes to [[Hut Maintenance|maintaining our huts and trails]]
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* 1/20th for "social" costs - holding the AGM and banquet, for example
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* 1/20th for maintenance of the VOC climbing wall
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* Other small costs give another 1/10th or so
  
===Some possible work hikes include:===
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This, of course, adds up to ''more'' than 100%.  Other than membership fees we also collect money through donations from Alumni, donations from people staying at our huts, and advertisements published in the VOC Journal.  If you're not a member of the AMS (ie. a regular student at UBC), then the AMS demands that we charge you 50% more.  But the AMS provides us with the clubroom and free insurance, among other things, and they get all their money from the hundreds of dollars worth of student fees that all UBC students pay... so it's not really all that unfair.
  
*'''Lead a trip''' - This is an excellent way to complete your work hike and travel someplace interesting at the same time! Note that you don't have to be an expert paddler/climber/ wilderness guru to lead a trip. All you need are some organizational skills (come on, this is university) and some background research.
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==How to Become a Member==
  
*'''Hut Maintenance/Construction''' - The VOC maintains several backcountry huts for the use of the outdoor community. There are always projects that need to be done, or supplies that need to be carried up.
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If you're already browsing this via the internet checkout the [[membership]] page. If you're not, then go find yourself some internet and find us online at [http://www.ubc-voc.com www.ubc-voc.com]. This particular article is located at [http://www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/VOC_handbook www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/VOC_handbook].
 
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*'''Equipment Maintenance''' - Wax our skiis! Sharpen our crampons!
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*'''Trail Maintenance''' - we are responsible for maintaining the Brew Lake hiking trail, as well as a section of the Howe Sound Crest trail.
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*'''Writing, Typing, Photocopying, etc.''' - Help with the production of the Hustlers Handbook, the VOC Handbook (too late this year) or the VOC Journal.
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*'''Teach at our Schools''' - Sufficiently proficient members are always needed to help instruct at our various schools. If you can climb, ski, sleep in the snow or read a map, let an exec know. Student demand invariably overwhelms teacher supply at these events.
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*'''Clean up after a party''' - We've got lots of gatherings going on throughout the year. We'll even let you attend the party first!  [[Longhike]] and the annual VOC [[Banquet]] are the biggest social events of the year and they don't just happen on their own.
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Don't wait for a work hike opportunity to be posted - talk to an exec member about things that need doing. The sooner you complete your work hike, the sooner you can use club gear.
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==VOC Trips==
 
==VOC Trips==
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{{main|Trip agenda}}
 
{{main|Trip agenda}}
  
The VOC is extremely (watch out for that X-word) active during the school year with one or two trips going out most weekends. These typically cover the whole spectrum, from novice day hikes to month long mountaineering expeditions. Some of these weekends include instructional sessions on mountaineering, rock climbing, ski touring or telemarking. Trips are announced each week in the VOCene and the information is typically posted outside the clubroom, on the [http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum2/list.php?f=1 message board], and/or on the wiki [[trip agenda]].
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The VOC is extremely active during the school year with one or two trips going out most weekends. These typically cover the whole spectrum, from novice day hikes to month long mountaineering expeditions. Some of these weekends include instructional sessions on mountaineering, rock climbing, ski touring or telemarking. Trips are generally announced in the VOCene, on the [http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum2/list.php?f=1 message board], and/or on the wiki [[trip agenda]]. Depending on the level or organization trips will typically be announced between 3 weeks and 3 hours ahead of time.
 
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Although the club is largely a climbing/skiing/mountaineering club, a number of other activities are also pursued, including hiking, cycling, canoeing and kayaking. The club is also active in the summer, when many extended trips take place, as well as weekend hikes and climbs.
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Skiing is the main club activity during the winter, as most areas above 2000 feet are under substantial amounts of snow. Most trips go on skiis, although snowshoe and split board equipped snowboarders are starting to make their presence felt. Both modes of transportation are well suited to the steep terrain of the West Coast, although some of the flatter traverses go slower on snowshoes. The various huts the VOC maintains provide exceptional base camps to crank turns in virgin powder.
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It should be noted that on almost all VOC trips, enthusiasm and determination can make up for lack of technique. Beginners should not be deterred - most members of the club learned their outdoors finesse on real trips, not magically in the city.  New members and beginners are encouraged to coordinate their own novice trips as soon as possible. You will learn a lot from making your own decisions, and you will add to the range of available trips for less confident new members. If you need ideas, there are many guidebooks in the clubroom library, and the executive is always eager to suggest ideas. Talk to the trips coordinator exec.
  
It should be noted that on all VOC trips, enthusiasm and determination will almost always make up for lack of technique. Beginners should not be deterred - most members of the club learned their outdoors finesse on this sort of trip.
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The bread and butter of the club is largely rock climbing, backcountry skiing and mountaineering (or scrambling) - but a number of other activities are also pursued, including hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking and ice climbing. The club is also active in the summer, when many extended trips take place, as well as weekend hikes and climbs.
  
There are usually ski trips to all of the easy objectives in the Squamish/Pemberton valley each year, as well as attempts on more advanced objectives. The Garibaldi Neve traverse, the Spearhead traverse, the Squamish-Cheakamus divide and the Pemberton Icecap feel the wrath of our floundering annually. The VOC huts serve as exceptional bases for tracking out backcountry slopes in some prime ski terrain.
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Skiing is the main club activity during the winter, as basically all mountainous areas are under substantial amounts of snow (although some will insist on rock climbing or hiking in the rain). For the purposes of deciding whether or not you ''need'' skis/snowshoes "winter" runs from roughly mid-November until late May.  "Backcountry skiing" usually doesn't mean skiing off the wrong side of a chairlift - we call that the "slackcountry" - we just enjoy being out in the mountains, and that's the best way to get around.  Most trips go out on skiis, although snowshoe and split board equipped snowboarders are starting to make their presence felt.  Of course, skiing all that untracked powder can be a damn lot of fun too. The various [[huts]] the VOC maintains provide exceptional base camps, and are free for members to use.
  
New members and beginners are encouraged to coordinate their own novice trips as soon as possible. You will learn a lot from making your own decisions, and you will add to the range of available trips for less confident new members. If you need ideas, there are many guidebooks in the clubroom library, and the executive is always eager to suggest ideas.
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In the summer rock climbing and scrambling are the main activities, although some people will continue to ski year 'round (September is the hardest month). With long days and nice weather it's a great time to head over to nearby Squamish, rock climbing capitol of Canada, to climb on the fine granite. There will also be some hiking trips, once the snow leaves the mountains some time in July, and people can climb the remote peaks of the Coast range at whatever level they choose - anything from easy hikes to difficult mountaineering objectives.
  
 
===Traditional Trips===
 
===Traditional Trips===
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{{Main|Annual club events}}
 
{{Main|Annual club events}}
  
There are quite a few traditional trips and schools that have become established over the years. The exact dates are rarely carved in stone - keep and eye on the VOCene or the trips board outside the clubroom.
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There are quite a few traditional trips and schools that have become established over the years. The exact dates are rarely carved in stone - keep an eye on the VOCene, the trips board and the wiki.
  
*'''[[Longhike]]''' (September) - Rock climbing instruction or hiking on Saturday, huge party Saturday night followed by more climbing or hiking on Sunday. This is traditionally a huge event with 100+ participants.
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*'''[[Glacier school|Glacier School]]''' (September) - Learn the basics of glacier travel with our crack team of snow fanatics. A good chance to practice crevasse rescue and snow climbing techniques.
  
*'''[[Glacier school|Glacier School]]''' (September) - Learn the basics of glacier travel with our crack team of snow fanatics. Crevasse rescue and snow climbing techniques are just some of the skills you'll be introduced to.
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*'''Needle Peak Scramble''' (October) - Scrambling Needle Peak on the Coquihalla is a semi-traditional trip.  
  
*'''[[Leavenworth]]''' (Thanksgiving Weekend) - This faux Bavarian town is surrounded by some of the best (and driest) rock climbing in the state of Washington. It's been conclusively proven that a healthy dose of dry rock improves midterm performance!
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*'''Indian Arm Kayaking''' (October) - A two day sea kayaking trip up Indian Arm, starting from Deep Cove and camping at Granite Falls. Most people rent gear and we get a group discount.
  
*'''[[Skaha]]-ha-ha''' (Hallowe'en Weekend) - Visit the sunny (spooky) Okanagan for BC sport climbing at it's best. Costumes are definitely encouraged.
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* '''[[Rock Party]]''' (formerly known as '''Longhike''') (October) - Rock climbing instruction or hiking on Saturday, huge party Saturday night followed by more climbing or hiking on Sunday. This is traditionally a huge event with 100+ participants - a celebration of our new members and that we survived the summer.
  
*'''[[Smith Rock]]''' (Remembrance Day) - Head down to Oregon to climb in the sun. This trip has been going on for ages, and we've yet to get rained on!
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*'''[[Leavenworth]]''' (Fall) - This faux Bavarian town is surrounded by some of the best (and driest) rock climbing in the state of Washington. It's been conclusively proven that a healthy dose of dry rock improves midterm performance!
  
*'''Christmas Trips''' - Lots of extended ski tours happen during the holidays. There's also the funny habit some people have of driving 1400 miles to the desert ([[Red Rocks]], [[Joshua Tree]], [[Zion]]) to find dry rock. Some of us are a little obsessive.
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*'''[[Skaha]]-ha-ha''' (Hallowe'en Weekend) - Visit the sunny (spooky) Okanagan for BC sport climbing at it's best. Costumes are definitely encouraged.  Often it snows, but that won't stop us.
  
*'''[[Tele School]]''' (January) - Learn how to genufluct with the best of them. We also offer refresher courses in snowball fights and snow angels.
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*'''[[Smith Rock]]''' (Remembrance Day) - Head down to Oregon to climb in the sun. This trip has been going on for ages, and we've yet to get rained on!
  
*'''[[Winter Longhike]]''' (February) - Ever wanted to sleep in a snow bank? We'll show you this, and more, all in a healthy, non-judgmental atmosphere.
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*'''Early season Brew debacle''' (November) - Never skiied?  No problem.  Get the ski season off to a flying start by struggling your way up to the Brew Hut.  The days are short, which is good because you just might need the whole 14 hours of darkness to recover for the ski back out.
  
*'''[[Sphinx Camp]]''' (April) - Although attendance has been dropping as of late, we're still keeping the spirit alive. Come April, the snow is still great for skiing up in the mountains. Corn snow is easily as good for final exams as dry rock is for midterms.
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*'''Christmas Trips''' - Lots of extended ski tours happen during the holidays and over New Years. Usually there's a big party up at the [[Brian Waddington Hut]] (bring 'yer skis, and do some naked laps around the hut). There's also the funny habit some people have of driving 1400 miles to the desert ([[Red Rocks]], [[Joshua Tree]], [[Zion]]) to find dry rock.
  
==VOC Trip Guidelines==
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*'''[[Winter Longhike]]''' (January) - This is where you learn to camp in winter with no tent.  Ever wanted to sleep in a snow bank? We'll show you this, and more, all in a healthy, non-judgmental atmosphere.  Also a bit of a party, but not as rowdy or expensive as the fall Longhike.
  
{{Main|Trip guidelines}}
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*'''[[Tele School]]''' (January) - Learn how to genufluct with the best of them. We also offer refresher courses in snowball fights and snow angels.  A good chance to refine the telemark technique you've been trying to figure out since November.
  
===Before leaving on a trip===
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*'''[[Intro to Backcountry Skiing]]''' (February) - Put it all together.  You've probably done lots of hut-based backcountry skiing, and maybe just learned to winter camp at Winter Longhike.  Time to carry a tent into the hills, crank some turns, and get that go-anywhere feeling of independence.
  
Talk to the trip leader about the physical demands of the trip and decide whether or not you are fit enough to go. Don't be afraid to push yourself, but if you suspect the trip will be too long or too hard, go for something easier until you are in better shape (physically, mentally, emotionally).
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*'''Intro to Ski-Mountaineering''' (February) - Similar to intro to Backcountry Skiing, but more complicated.  Add some ropes and ice-axes, to try and climb a more difficult objective.  All those scramble routes from Summer can seem a lot harder in Winter.
  
Always check the trip rating (A1, B3, etc.) and realize that there is a lot of leeway in each category. An easy weekend for some people is cruel and unusual punishment for others...
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*'''[[Son of Rock]]''' (April) - At sea level it's going to start feeling like summer, this is a good chance to get together and practice more advanced rock skills.
  
Pack the essentials. Don't sacrifice safety for a light pack. If you aren't sure what to take, ASK! We are each responsible for ourselves out there.
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*'''Spring Ski Traverses'''(March-June) - Days are long and the snow is hard, it's time to travel long distances in the mountains
  
Tell someone at home of your intended destination and what time you expect to return. Include a bit of leeway into your estimate - see the heading "Broken Board" under VOC awards. Leave the phone numbers of the trip organizers and your driver.
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*'''Summer Traverses''' - The past few years have seen some pretty large VOC parties travel long distances to cross interesting terrain. Hard, but not too hard, and don't require any special skills.
  
Extended medical insurance is reccommended if you are travelling out of the country; try Travel Cuts in the SUB or any other insurance outlet. Consider whether you just want coverage for common accidents (ie for motor vehicle accidents). Covering rock climbing and other "hazardous" activities will increase the cost - if it's allowed at all. Ask, as some policies exclude "mountaineering" in the fine print.
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*'''[[Mountaineering Camp]]''' (Labour Day) - We all get together in the same area, and bag as many peaks as possible as small independent groups.  A great way to enjoy the mountains before classes start again.
  
VOC trips are typically posted on the message board outside of the clubroom as well as being included in the weekly VOCene. Make sure you attend the pre-trip meeting, as important information is distributed here and rides/food groups are often arranged. If you absolutely cannot make the meeting, contact the leader BEFORE the meeting and work something out.
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==VOC Equipment==
  
===Notes for Trip Coordinators===
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{{Main|Gear rental}}
  
West Coast conditions - thick bush, short winter days, poor weather, etc. - when combined with the uncertainty of having persons of unknown capabilities along on a trip, can quickly turn the easiest trip into an epic of unimaginable proportions. The following suggestions are intended to help the prospective trip coordinator avoid embarrassing or even tragic incidents on their trip.
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The selection of equipment available through the club allows all members, novice and experienced alike, to safely try the various gear-intensive sports we do without the financial commitment of purchasing their own technical gear. The equipment is available to members throughout the year on a first come, first served basis (with some priority during large club-run trips). There is no fee for this service - just a refundable cash deposit.  We ask that you give something back by completing a workhike / volunteering before borrowing gear, but there's some leeway when you first join.
  
====Pre-Trip Preparation====
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We have lots of:
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* Ropes
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* Harnesses
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* Helmets
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* Rock Shoes
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* Mountaineering boots
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* Crampons
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* Ice axes
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* Snowshoes
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* Ski poles
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* Telemark boots
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* Telemark skis
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* Climbing skins (they let your skis stick to the snow and go uphill!)
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* Avalanche transceivers
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* Avalanche probes
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* Snow shovels
  
Consult guidebooks, maps, air photos, club members, etc. Obtain as much information on the route as possible. Bruce Fairley's "A Guide to Climbing and Hiking in Southwestern BC" is and excellent reference and includes a comprehensive list of other books and sources of information. For ski trips, John Baldwin's "Exploring the Coast Mountain on Skis" can be consulted.
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We also have a limited supply of random stuff, stop by sometime and see if we've got what you need, or ask the QMs about it.
  
Obtain a map of the area and know how to use it! Topographic maps may be photocopied at the UBC map library and are available for sale at the Geological Survey of Canada (100 W Pender). Check weather forecasts, snow reports, tide tables and/or road conditions, as applicable.
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==What is a Workhike?==
  
Advertise the trip. All the planning in the world won't be worth much if no one comes along! Mention difficulty, length, equipment needed and any limits you intend to impose on group size. Arrange a time for a pre-trip meeting.
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{{Main|workhikes}}
  
After the pre-trip meeting, leave a complete set of trip details (date, names and addresses of participants, proposed route, date and time of return, equipment carried by the group as well as location and license number of vehicles) with a reliable person who is remaining in town. Make sure the to contact this person upon the safe completion of the trip to prevent a rather embarrassing situation.
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A workhike is where you help keep the club running smoothly by contributing a little of your time and energy. They usually don't involve a lot of time, or any hiking - anywhere from an hour or so to multi-day excursions, depending on the task you land. At the same time they are a good way to get to know other club members and can even be kind of fun.  
  
====Pre-Trip Meeting====
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See the [[Tool Inventory]] for a complete set of tools that you can use freely to help with your workhike.
  
Inform people of difficulties, strenuousness and dangers to be expected on the trip. Persons who are probably not up to the rigors of the trip should tactfully be referred to an easier one.
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'''Some possible workhikes include'''
  
Show people the intended route on the map. They may wish to pick up their own copy.
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*'''Lead a trip''' - This is an excellent way to complete your work hike and travel someplace interesting at the same time! Note that you don't have to be an expert paddler/climber/ wilderness guru to lead a trip. All you need are some organizational skills (come on, this is university) and some background research.
  
Ensure that all participants have the necessary personal footwear, clothing and equipment.
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*'''[[Hut Maintenance]]/Construction''' - The VOC maintains several backcountry huts for the use of the outdoor community. There are always projects that need to be done, or supplies that need to be carried up.  Ask the special projects exec about it.
  
Arrange for appropriate amounts of group gear to be brought along (tents, stoves, fuel, ropes, etc).
+
*'''Equipment Maintenance''' - Wax our skiis! Sharpen our crampons!
  
If safety equipment is being brought along, make sure that all participants are sufficiently skilled in its use.
+
*'''Trail Maintenance''' - We have a couple of trails up to our huts, and do workhikes to maintain them.  If you help maintain another local mountaineering club's trails that counts too.
  
Arrange rides. Do this in such a way that people are not left standing around on rainy street corners when someone's vehicle won't start. Have all vehicles meet at the trailhead or, preferably, in Vancouver to drive up to the trail head together.
+
*'''Writing, Typing, Photocopying, etc.''' - Help with the production of the VOC Journal by writing an article, or index an old one. Ask the journal editor or the archivist execs.
  
State the conditions, if any, in the event of trip cancellation.
+
*'''Teach at our Schools''' - Sufficiently proficient members are always needed to help instruct at our various schools. If you can climb, ski, sleep in the snow or read a map, let an exec know. Student demand invariably overwhelms teacher supply at these events.
  
====The Trip====
+
*'''Clean up after a party''' - We've got lots of gatherings going on throughout the year. We'll even let you attend the party first!  [[Longhike]] and the annual VOC [[Banquet]] are the biggest social events of the year and they don't just happen on their own.
  
Each trip should be equipped with all necessary gear including map, compass, first aid kit, flashlights or headlamps, extra clothing and food, repair kit, etc.
+
Don't wait for a work hike opportunity to be posted - talk to an exec member about things that need doing. The sooner you complete your work hike, the sooner you can use club gear.
 
+
Distribute group gear equitably, taking into account a persons size, fitness and experience. Some redistribution of weight from time to time may be a relief for those lagging behind. Be tactful - egos have been bruised in the past.
+
 
+
Keep the group together if practical, but have pre-determined lunch stops and campsites in case of separation. Be sure everyone knows where these stops will be.
+
 
+
Any group or individual splitting off from the main party should be prepared to function as an independent unit for the trips duration; as often as not, plans to meet later go astray.
+
 
+
At the start of the trip you may wish to initiate a "buddy" system of travel, in which each person stays with one other person for the whole day.
+
 
+
Appoint yourself, or some other reliable, experienced person to bring up the rear and watch for stragglers.
+
 
+
Suggest rest stops when someone appears to be getting tired or is lagging behind.
+
 
+
During cold or wet weather, make sure everyone is staying warm - if necessary find some spare clothing for them.
+
 
+
Keep an eye on the time and know when it will be getting dark. Head for home before darkness sets in, even if it means not attaining the original trip objective.
+
 
+
Novices may have no idea prior to the trip what they can or cannot do. Thus, it is not their fault if they are slow, and the pace of the trip should be adjusted to suit their capabilities. '''''NO NOVICE SHOULD EVER BE LEFT BEHIND!'''''
+
 
+
====If Someone Gets Lost====
+
 
+
Determine as best as possible the time and location they were last seen.
+
 
+
If time and conditions permit, search for them; however, do not split up the group and risk having someone else get lost.
+
 
+
Return to base camp or the trailhead by dark.
+
 
+
Notify the RCMP. Have complete details available - person's description, clothing, last location seen, vehicle and license number at the trailhead, etc.
+
 
+
====At the End of the Trip====
+
 
+
See that all persons are back to the vehicles, and that all vehicles start, before anyone drives away.
+
 
+
Let the designated contact person know that you have returned safely.
+
 
+
Contribute to the VOC's knowledge of local areas and conditions by submitting a trip report.
+
 
+
==VOC Equipment==
+
 
+
{{Main|Gear rental}}
+
 
+
The selection of equipment available through the club allows all members, novice and experienced alike, to safely try the sport of mountaineering without the financial commitment of purchasing their own technical gear. The equipment is available to members throughout the year on a first come, first served basis. There is no fee for this service - all we require is a refundable cash deposit. No Exceptions! All equipment is located in the clubroom in the basement of the Student Union Building. In September, the quartermaster posts the times at which equipment may be borrowed and returned. These are typically during lunch hour, although different times can usually be arranged by contacting the QM's.
+
 
+
Although the club has an extensive equipment inventory, there are certain time periods during the year when all requests cannot be fulfilled. In these circumstances it is club policy to give priority to participants in club-organized activities.
+
 
+
Gear borrowing privileges  are conditional on completing a [[workhikes|workhike]] - a volunteer task of some sort to help out the club.  There are many possibilities including hut maintenance, trail maintenance, gear maintenance (ski tuning & waxing for example), instructing, leading a trip or creating new content for the website.
+
 
+
===Some of the equipment available:===
+
 
+
Basic rock climbing, mountaineering and glacier travel: Assortment of ropes, harnesses, rock shoes, ice axes, crampons, climbing helmets, pickets, carabiners and heavy (old) leather boots.
+
 
+
Skiing and winter travel: Avalanche transceivers, telemark skiis and leather boots, probes, snow shovels and snowshoes.
+
 
+
As a policy, the club doesn't provide ropes or rock protection for lead climbing. However, all our gear is readily available for top-roping.
+
 
+
To borrow any of the gear, meet the quartermaster in the clubroom during gear hours. Present your membership card, supply the necessary cash deposit and estimate your time of return. It's that easy. Failure to return the gear on time will result in the forfeit of the deposit, and quartermasters are carefully selected to be heartless and insensitive. You've been warned...
+
  
 
==VOC Huts==
 
==VOC Huts==
Line 300: Line 154:
 
The club currently has in its charge four huts scattered around the local Coast Mountains. These are: The [[Burton Hut|Sphinx (Burton) Hut]], located on the SE end of Garibaldi Lake; The [[Brew Hut]], located near Brew Mountain, across the valley from Whistler; the [[Harrison Hut]], located near Meager Hot Springs, some 50 km NW of Pemberton; and the [[Brian Waddington Hut|Brian Waddington Memorial Hut]], located at the headwaters of Phelix creek, in the mountains surrounding Birkenhead Lake.
 
The club currently has in its charge four huts scattered around the local Coast Mountains. These are: The [[Burton Hut|Sphinx (Burton) Hut]], located on the SE end of Garibaldi Lake; The [[Brew Hut]], located near Brew Mountain, across the valley from Whistler; the [[Harrison Hut]], located near Meager Hot Springs, some 50 km NW of Pemberton; and the [[Brian Waddington Hut|Brian Waddington Memorial Hut]], located at the headwaters of Phelix creek, in the mountains surrounding Birkenhead Lake.
  
All these huts were built and are currently [[VOC hut maintenance|maintained]] by the VOC. All are open to the public free of charge, although we do request donations to the club to aid in the maintenance of the buildings. There are many trips throughout the year to the various huts, both for maintenance and more conventional uses. The relatively young [[Brian Waddington Hut]] is fast becoming the traditional locale of the VOC New Years Party. Information on locating the huts is readily available in the clubroom.
+
All these huts were built and are currently [[VOC hut maintenance|maintained]] by the VOC. All are open to the public free of charge, although we do request donations to the club to aid in the maintenance of the buildings for non-members. There are many trips throughout the year to the various huts, both for maintenance and fun. As a VOC member you're also encouraged to go whenever you like - they're your huts, after all!
  
 
==Social Scene==
 
==Social Scene==
  
Over the years many traditional social events have been started and are still as popular today as when they began. Below is a list of some VOC social events. Many of the annual trips are also largely social events.
+
Over the years many traditional social events have been started and are still as popular today as when they began. Many of the annual trips are also largely social events, especially the Longhikes.
  
*'''Summer Reunion Party''' (September) - Slide show and potluck
+
In addition we've got:
  
*'''Hallowe'en Costume Party''' (October) - Complete with prizes, pumpkins and spooky creatures
+
*'''[[Slide shows|Slide Shows]]''' - most Wednesday evenings in the school year
  
*'''[[Slide shows|Slide Shows]], Movie Nights, Disco Night, Swing Dancing, etc.'''
+
*'''[[Winter Social]]''' (December) - We're about to head off for the holidays, and will miss each other.  A good excuse to get together.
 
+
*'''Intramurals sports teams''' throughout the year, especially our dreaded Storm the Wall team
+
 
+
*'''[[Winter Social|Christmas Party]]''' (December)
+
 
+
*'''Christmas Trips Slide Show/Reunion''' (January)
+
 
+
*'''VOC Climbing Festival''' (February)
+
  
 
*'''[[Banquet|VOC Banquet]]''' (March) - The VOC Banquet is a semi-formal affair to wind up the year. It is usually well attended by both current and old members and is a good opportunity to meet many of the people you've heard of or read about in old journals. There's a guest speaker, slide show, photo contest and the presentation of awards, both humorous and serious.
 
*'''[[Banquet|VOC Banquet]]''' (March) - The VOC Banquet is a semi-formal affair to wind up the year. It is usually well attended by both current and old members and is a good opportunity to meet many of the people you've heard of or read about in old journals. There's a guest speaker, slide show, photo contest and the presentation of awards, both humorous and serious.
  
 
*'''Summer meetings and monthly [[Summer_Barbeques|barbecues]]''' - First Wednesday of every month at Spanish Banks, at the foot of Tolmie St.
 
*'''Summer meetings and monthly [[Summer_Barbeques|barbecues]]''' - First Wednesday of every month at Spanish Banks, at the foot of Tolmie St.
 
*'''Thursday night climbing at [[Lighthouse_Park|Lighthouse Park]]''' (Summer)
 
 
*'''Weekday nights climbing at Cliffhanger''' (Year round) - Check the Cliffhanger Mass email [http://www.ubc-voc.com/phorum2/read.php?f=1&i=14307&t=14307| thread] on the board.
 
  
 
If you'd like to see any other social events arranged, please talk to the Vice-President, or go ahead and post your own trip sheet. Stay tuned for more details on all events via the VOCene and clubroom notices.
 
If you'd like to see any other social events arranged, please talk to the Vice-President, or go ahead and post your own trip sheet. Stay tuned for more details on all events via the VOCene and clubroom notices.
 
The weekly Wednesday meeting (12:30) is an important school year occurrence and is often overlooked as a social event. These meetings start the first week of classes and are run on the following format: As everyone settles into munching lunches, the President announces the weekends trips, introduces trip leaders to the general membership, makes special announcements and discusses general club business. After this there is a slide show, guest speaker or film. Any club members with suggestions for speakers, films or are interested in giving a slide show are encouraged to get in touch with the Public Relations Rep. The value of the meetings should not be overlooked as the place to meet active club members and find out about upcoming trips.
 
 
Equally important as a social centre is the clubroom (in the basement of the SUB). Crowds of members can be found there most lunch hours, but particularly Fridays when final plans for the weekend and impromptu trips are arranged. Remember: 80% of trips are arranged at the last minute - Friday at lunch. Feel free to come in to the clubroom and hang out.
 
 
When school's out, what do you do? Keep in touch with the VOC, of course! We're as active in the summer as we are in the winter, perhaps even more so. Let's face it, the weather during the summer is much nicer for many of our regular pursuits - hiking, climbing, mountaineering, cycling, canoeing and kayaking. In early May, a barbecue is held and is officially known as the first summer meeting. Thereafter, the VOC meets once a month at the Spanish Banks barbecue, 7pm at the foot of Tolmie. There is weekly rock climbing on Thursday evenings at Lighthouse Park. Access to equipment and books is maintained by electing a summer Quartermaster and Archivist, if necessary. Before you know it it's September (and time to redo the Handbook yet again).
 
  
 
==The Climbing Wall==
 
==The Climbing Wall==
Line 340: Line 176:
 
{{Main|VOC climbing wall}}
 
{{Main|VOC climbing wall}}
  
Members of the VOC lobbied for a wall on campus (following a long and glorious, if covert, history of "buildering" on structures all over campus) and were able to build a 22-foot high surface behind the SUB auditorium screen film screen. Our thanks to Mike Spagnut and others for their hard work on this project and the AMS for facilitating the construction.  VOC members, once we are satisfied that you can belay safely, can enter during posted hours. In March of 1992, the first "annual" VOC Climbing Competition was held and was very popular. The climbing competition (Festival, of late, as it's rather non-competitive) continues to be held each spring and is open to members of all abilities. The focus is on having fun and cheering on your friends.  
+
Members of the VOC lobbied for a wall on campus (following a long and glorious, if covert, history of "buildering" on structures all over campus) and were able to build a 22-foot high surface behind the Norm Theater screen. Our thanks to Mike Spagnut and others for their hard work on this project and the AMS for facilitating the construction.  VOC members, once we are satisfied that you can belay safely, can enter during posted hours (Usually whenever they're not showing a movie) and climb away.  Talk to the climbing wall coordinator exec.
  
Other indoor climbing facilities around Vancouver include
+
==The VOC Journal==
 
+
*'''The Edge''' - 2-1485 Welch Street, North Vancouver, 604 984 9080
+
 
+
*'''Cliffhanger'''  604 874 2400
+
 
+
*'''The Rock House''' - 520-3771 Jacombs, Richmond, 604 276 0012
+
 
+
*'''Vertical Reality''' - Surrey
+
 
+
==Publications==
+
 
+
The club has published a number of books over the years which include: The annual "VOC Journal" (since 1958), "A Climbers Guide to the Stawamus Chief" (1967), "A Guide to Ski Touring in the Whistler, Garibaldi Park, Squamish and Pemberton Areas" (1983), and a number of songbooks (most recently in 1999).
+
 
+
===The VOC Journal===
+
  
 
{{Main|VOC Journal}}
 
{{Main|VOC Journal}}
  
The VOC Journal is our yearly record of the clubs' activities and our legacy to the record of outdoor adventures here and abroad. First printed in 1958, it records many first ascents and is an important historical record of the exploration of Garibaldi Park during the 1960's and 70's.
+
The VOC Journal is our yearly record of the clubs' activities and our legacy to the record of outdoor adventures here and abroad. First printed in 1958, it records many first ascents and is an important historical record of various mountain explorations, particularly Garibaldi Park during the 1960's and 70's.
  
 
The old journals are a good source of information for planning trips and are very entertaining to read. They can be signed out from the VOC library or found in the UBC Main Library (GV 561 B7) and at several of our backcountry huts. The archivist has a limited number of recent journal back issues available for sale.
 
The old journals are a good source of information for planning trips and are very entertaining to read. They can be signed out from the VOC library or found in the UBC Main Library (GV 561 B7) and at several of our backcountry huts. The archivist has a limited number of recent journal back issues available for sale.
  
The VOC Journal goes to press in March and is distributed free to members at the VOC Banquet. To ensure receiving a copy, members should pick theirs up at the clubroom before the end of term. Photos must be submitted to the Journal Editor by the end of January and articles by the end of February (dates vary year to year). Photos can be submitted as either slides or prints, and will be returned after scanning. Articles should be submitted on disk along with a hard copy. The programs used for compiling the Journal vary from year to year, but plain text files of Microsoft Rich Text Format are generally preferred. If you have any questions or would like to help out, contact the Journal Editor.
+
The VOC Journal goes to press in March and is distributed free to members at the VOC Banquet. To ensure receiving a copy, members should pick theirs up at the clubroom before the end of term. If you have any questions or would like to help out, contact the Journal Editor.
 
+
===VOC Grad Newsletter===
+
 
+
{{Main|VOC Grad Newsletter}}
+
  
===The Library===
+
==The Library==
  
 
{{Main|Clubroom library}}
 
{{Main|Clubroom library}}
  
Besides old VOC Journals, the VOC library contains Canadian Alpine Journals, books on hiking areas, climbing techniques, avalanche safety, geology, wildflowers, skiing and even a bike on bicycle repairs. The library is available any time there is an exec member in the clubroom. The Archivist also sells VOC T-shirts, old Journals decals, songbooks and the like.
+
Besides old VOC Journals, the VOC library contains Canadian Alpine Journals, books on hiking areas, climbing techniques, avalanche safety, geology, wildflowers, skiing and even a book on bicycle repairs. The library is available any time there is an exec member in the clubroom. The Archivist also sells VOC T-shirts, old Journals decals, songbooks and the like.
 +
==A Brief History of the Club==
  
==Awards and Competitions==
+
{{Main|VOC history}}
  
{{Main|Awards}}
+
The VOC had its start back in 1917, when the "Mountaineering Club" was formalized at UBC's original location (near present day VGH). In these days, potential club members were required to ascend a peak equal in height to Grouse Mountain to become members. It was rumored that women were often exempt from this qualification, being "weaker vessels"...
  
At the [[Banquet|banquet]], various awards are given out. They are divided into two categories, serious and humorous and are described below.
+
In 1920, the first club [[History_of_VOC_huts#Grouse_Cabins|cabin]] was built on Grouse. In those early days, chaperones were present on mixed trips to "protect the honour of the fair sex". Alcohol was forbidden at all club activities well into the 70's.
  
===Awards - Serious===
+
By the 1930's, the club's expeditions had spread farther afield, including such exotic destinations as [[Golden Ears]] and the [[West Lion|Lions]] (the latter accessed by boat). By the 1940's, there was exploration in the [[Garibaldi_Lake_and_Black_Tusk|Garibaldi area]]. A VOC party made the first winter ascent of Mt Garibaldi in 1944, and the first ski traverse of the Neve in '46.
  
*'''Bronze Pin''' - Given to a member who has made a significant contribution to the club over the previous year. The first pin was awarded in 1995 - prior to that pins could be purchased. One is not necessarily given out each year.
+
The 50's arrived with an explosion of interest in skiing with the construction of a road up Seymour. As the number of capable skiers grew, a new tradition was born to the VOC. After spring exams, an annual pilgrimage would be made to the newly constructed [[Burton Hut|Sphinx Hut]], located on the terminal moraines of the Sphinx Glacier.
  
*'''Silver Pin''' - Given to a member who has made a significant contribution to the club over a period of several years. The first pin was awarded in 1953. One is not necessarily given out each year.
+
A desire to record the club's activities spawned the [[VOC Journal]]. First published in 1958, it was just in time for the numerous first ascents made by club members during the late 50's and 60's.  And there were lots - the Coast Range was largely unexplored until quite recently, and the has VOC played a major role.  There are even a few mountains and glaciers named after the club - Veeocee Mountain, The Lecture Cutters, The Bookworms, and the Ubyssey Glacier and many others named by members of the club. Aside from the Coast Range several major far-off expeditions were also undertaken, including Mt Logan ('59) and the Himalaya ('64).
  
*'''Gold Pin''' - Awarded to a member who has made an exceptional contribution to the club. Endorsement by 2/3 of the membership at a general meeting is necessary to approve this award. To date only five gold pins have been awarded:
+
By the mid sixties, the VOC constructed a large [[History_of_VOC_huts#Whistler_cabin|cabin]] in Whistler. It was intended to accommodate both downhill and cross country skiers. In time, the cabin grew too expensive to maintain, and the rights were turned over to the AMS. The money received (not without a [[Whistler_Cabin_History|fight]]!) from the handover was reinvested into new mountain huts, the [[Brew Hut|first]] of which was [[Construction_of_Brew_Hut_I%2C_II_and_III|constructed]] on Mt Brew across the valley from Whistler in 1982 and the [[Harrison Hut]] in 1983.
**Ron Leslie, Club Treasurer (1950) - Building the [[History_of_VOC_huts#Seymour_Cabin|Seymour Cabin]].
+
**Karl Ricker (1966) - Planning, designing and building the [[History_of_VOC_huts#Whistler_Cabin|Whistler cabin]].
+
**Byron Olson (1966) - Planning, designing and building the [[History_of_VOC_huts#Whistler_Cabin|Whistler cabin]].
+
**Roland Burton (1970) - Planning and building the [[Burton Hut]].
+
**Andre Zimmerman (1995) - Construction of the [[Brian Waddington Hut|Brian Waddington Memorial Hut]].
+
**Chris Michalak (2006) - Creating the VOC website and wiki section.
+
  
*'''Most Active New Member(s)''' - Usually this is a book prize given to the new member who has developed their outdoor skills the most during the previous year (not necessarily given to novices).
+
In 1998 the VOC has helped build a hut in the mountains surrounding Birkenhead Lake. The [[Brian Waddington Hut|Brian Waddington Memorial Hut]] is located at the headwaters of Phelix Creek in the midst of the "Tolkien Group" - mountains named (by VOCers) after Tolkien characters (they were very popular books in the 70s).
  
*'''Journal Awards''' - There are several awards given to contributors to the VOC Journal at the discretion of the Journal Editor.
+
More recently the club has been doing renovations on it's existing fleet of huts, include the complete (re)construction of the [[Brew Hut]] in 2005, major work on the [[Burton Hut]] in 2006 and renovations on the [[Brian Waddington Hut]] in 2009.
  
===Awards - Humorous===
+
There are always more projects on the horizon, but these will have to take place before we can include them in the history section.
 
+
*'''The Broken Board''' - Originated in 1970 when a load of lumber destined for the Neve Hilton (a hut build on Mt Garibaldi, later demolished by snow creep) was destroyed after falling from a helicopter onto the only rock in a snowfield for miles around. It is awarded to a member who has broken something in an equally silly manner, or who has performed what is deemed to be the most spectacularly stupid act of the year. The Broken Helmet has joined this award lately, for those times when the stupidity required a team effort.
+
 
+
*'''The Loving Cup''' - An award cup designed to embarrass couples whose romance has blossomed during the past year OR to an individual who has tried repeatedly to engage other club members in relationships and failed.
+
 
+
*'''Goon Awards''' - A public warning about the stupidity of certain members, usually including a prop to help them extract themselves from embarrassing situations in the future.
+
 
+
===Photography Competition===
+
 
+
The VOC holds a photography competition each year. Slides can be entered in one of the following categories: Landscape, flora and fauna, portrait, humorous and VOC activities. Prizes are presented at the banquet. Complete details are announced early in the second term.
+
 
+
==Trip Rating System==
+
 
+
To help people decide whether a trip is suitable for them, each trip is usually given a two-part code. The system used was invented to apply to mountaineering activities, but it applicable to ski trips as well. A brief written description accompanying the trip outline is always helpful.
+
 
+
The two-part code consists of a letter followed by a number. The letter indicates the expected strenuousness (strenuosity? Level of strenuization? Degree of stress?) of the trip. A rough guide is as follows.
+
 
+
*'''Difficultly rating:'''<br>
+
 
+
{{Main|Trip Ideas}}
+
 
+
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
+
|- align="center" style="background-color: #cccccc;"
+
!Code
+
!Description
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|A
+
|An easy day (less than eight hours)
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|B
+
|A long day or easy overnight (greater than eight hours)
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|C
+
|A strenuous weekend OR a three day trip
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|D
+
|The Angel of Death shall reap a harvest of the weak
+
|}
+
 
+
The number refers to the degree of technical difficulty and applies to the most difficult part of the trip.
+
<br>
+
<br>
+
*'''For Mountaineering:'''<br>
+
 
+
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
+
|- align="center" style="background-color: #cccccc;"
+
!Code
+
!Description
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|1
+
|Hiking only
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|2
+
|Easy scrambling, sometimes off trails
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|3
+
|Easy climbing (rope may be needed), includes glacier travel
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|4
+
|Easy roped climbing, with belays but protection not necessarily required
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|5
+
|Technical rock climbing, graded on a (quasi) decimal scale (ie 5.7 or 5.10b)
+
|}
+
<br>
+
*'''For Skiing:'''
+
 
+
{| border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="0"
+
|- align="center" style="background-color: #cccccc;"
+
!Code
+
!Description
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|1
+
|Easy ski terrain, marked routes or roads
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|2
+
|Moderate ski terrain, some hills, some route finding
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|3
+
|Advanced ski terrain, steep slopes, difficult route finding
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|4
+
|Difficult and dangerous terrain, good skill needed
+
|-
+
|align="center" style="font-weight: bold"|5
+
|Slopes of 45 degrees and up
+
|}
+
 
+
Examples
+
 
+
*Hike up Mt Seymour A1
+
*Ascent of Black Tusk B3
+
*Spearheads Ski Traverse C3
+
*Slipstream (Ski Descent) D5
+
 
+
==The VOC List of All Time Classic Trips==
+
 
+
{{Main|Trip Ideas}}
+
 
+
Recommended weekend outings (1 or 2 days), easily accessible and delightful places!
+
 
+
===Hikes (A1 - B2)===
+
 
+
*The Lions
+
*Diamond Head Trail
+
*Garibaldi Lake Trail
+
*Singing Pass / Russet Lake Trail
+
*Needle Peak
+
 
+
===Rock Routes (B3 - B5)===
+
 
+
*Mt Habrich
+
*Smoke Bluffs
+
*Angel's Crest
+
*Mt Slesse
+
*Vienesse Peak
+
*Blanshard's Needle
+
 
+
===Alpine (ice/rock/snow, B4 - D5)===
+
 
+
*Mt Redoubt - NE Face
+
*Castle Towers - NE Face
+
*Wedge Mountain - North Arête
+
*Mt Shuksan - Price Glacier or N Face
+
*Mt Atwell - S Ridge (winter only!)
+
*Tantalus - Standard Route
+
 
+
===Mountain Rambles/Scrambles (B2 - C3)===
+
 
+
*Mt Saxifrage
+
*Anenome Peak
+
*Tricouni and Cypress Peaks
+
*Helm Creek - Gentian Pass
+
*Mt Aspen (C4)
+
*Tenquille Lake and area
+
 
+
===Ski Ascents (B2 - C3)===
+
  
*Mt Ipsoot
+
[[Category:Tips]]
*Mamquam Mountain
+
*Cayoosh Peak
+
*Mt Jimmy Jimmy
+
*Mt Callaghan / Powder Cap
+
*Mt Laughington
+

Revision as of 11:12, 13 December 2016

The handbook is also available in the fancy version

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Welcome to the Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC)

The Varsity Outdoor Club is open to anyone at UBC - students, faculty, staff, spouses and members of the greater community. Our club is dedicated to those who want to explore the outdoors here and anywhere else in the world. Some of the many pursuits our members actively pursue include: hiking, rock-climbing, mountaineering, kayaking, ski touring, ice climbing and "socializing". The club is about meeting people, making friends, learning and teaching. If you have a skill to share, please do so. If you wish to learn, please ask!


So, What Does Your Membership Give You?

The biggest benefit is networking - you will have access to hundreds of like-minded individuals, keen to get into the outdoors. This happens through access to the message board, members list, social events like the weekly slide shows, and of course trips.

Being a VOC member does not mean that you have to be a skilled outdoors person (but we need those too) - in fact it's a great place to learn these skills. More experienced members and the executive offer introductory trips to help get you up to speed and take you places you might otherwise think were impossible. It is not even necessary to have all of your own technical equipment - as a member, you may borrow (with cash deposit) any of the gear from the club's gear room. If you need a guidebook to help you figure out where you want to go, you can borrow it from the library in the clubroom.

Every week you will receive (via email) the VOCene newsletter, which lets members know what trips are going out, what other members are up to and all sorts of other useful information - it condenses the high amount of traffic on the message board and wiki, so you still know what's going on even if you're not addicted to the webpage yet.

The club also has a climbing wall which VOC members can use for free.

At the end of term you'll receive a free copy of the VOC Journal - an annual ~300 page book chronicling the adventures of the club throughout the year. We welcome your contribution, whether an epic first ascent or a poem about learning to ski.

The club also gets group deals on professionally instructed avalanche courses, first-aid courses, and discounts at certain local businesses.

Again the main thing is all the wild and interesting people you'll meet. We love the outdoors, and we want to share this passion with you. Come join us - you might just have the time of your life.

Where does my membership fee go?

The VOC, and all VOC events, are run under a shared-cost principle - no club members make any money off VOC events, which is why things are generally either cheap or free. Other than joining in the first place.

A rough breakdown would be:

  • 1/3rd goes to maintaining and purchasing gear for the gear room (which you borrow at no cost). This is the biggest expense.
  • 1/4er goes to producing the VOC Journal
  • 1/5th goes to the Federation of Mountain Clubs, to help improve/maintain access to the backcountry and bargain collectively with the government
  • 1/5th goes to maintaining our huts and trails
  • 1/20th for "social" costs - holding the AGM and banquet, for example
  • 1/20th for maintenance of the VOC climbing wall
  • Other small costs give another 1/10th or so

This, of course, adds up to more than 100%. Other than membership fees we also collect money through donations from Alumni, donations from people staying at our huts, and advertisements published in the VOC Journal. If you're not a member of the AMS (ie. a regular student at UBC), then the AMS demands that we charge you 50% more. But the AMS provides us with the clubroom and free insurance, among other things, and they get all their money from the hundreds of dollars worth of student fees that all UBC students pay... so it's not really all that unfair.

How to Become a Member

If you're already browsing this via the internet checkout the membership page. If you're not, then go find yourself some internet and find us online at www.ubc-voc.com. This particular article is located at www.ubc-voc.com/wiki/VOC_handbook.

VOC Trips

Main article: Trip agenda

The VOC is extremely active during the school year with one or two trips going out most weekends. These typically cover the whole spectrum, from novice day hikes to month long mountaineering expeditions. Some of these weekends include instructional sessions on mountaineering, rock climbing, ski touring or telemarking. Trips are generally announced in the VOCene, on the message board, and/or on the wiki trip agenda. Depending on the level or organization trips will typically be announced between 3 weeks and 3 hours ahead of time.

It should be noted that on almost all VOC trips, enthusiasm and determination can make up for lack of technique. Beginners should not be deterred - most members of the club learned their outdoors finesse on real trips, not magically in the city. New members and beginners are encouraged to coordinate their own novice trips as soon as possible. You will learn a lot from making your own decisions, and you will add to the range of available trips for less confident new members. If you need ideas, there are many guidebooks in the clubroom library, and the executive is always eager to suggest ideas. Talk to the trips coordinator exec.

The bread and butter of the club is largely rock climbing, backcountry skiing and mountaineering (or scrambling) - but a number of other activities are also pursued, including hiking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking and ice climbing. The club is also active in the summer, when many extended trips take place, as well as weekend hikes and climbs.

Skiing is the main club activity during the winter, as basically all mountainous areas are under substantial amounts of snow (although some will insist on rock climbing or hiking in the rain). For the purposes of deciding whether or not you need skis/snowshoes "winter" runs from roughly mid-November until late May. "Backcountry skiing" usually doesn't mean skiing off the wrong side of a chairlift - we call that the "slackcountry" - we just enjoy being out in the mountains, and that's the best way to get around. Most trips go out on skiis, although snowshoe and split board equipped snowboarders are starting to make their presence felt. Of course, skiing all that untracked powder can be a damn lot of fun too. The various huts the VOC maintains provide exceptional base camps, and are free for members to use.

In the summer rock climbing and scrambling are the main activities, although some people will continue to ski year 'round (September is the hardest month). With long days and nice weather it's a great time to head over to nearby Squamish, rock climbing capitol of Canada, to climb on the fine granite. There will also be some hiking trips, once the snow leaves the mountains some time in July, and people can climb the remote peaks of the Coast range at whatever level they choose - anything from easy hikes to difficult mountaineering objectives.

Traditional Trips

Main article: Annual club events

There are quite a few traditional trips and schools that have become established over the years. The exact dates are rarely carved in stone - keep an eye on the VOCene, the trips board and the wiki.

  • Glacier School (September) - Learn the basics of glacier travel with our crack team of snow fanatics. A good chance to practice crevasse rescue and snow climbing techniques.
  • Needle Peak Scramble (October) - Scrambling Needle Peak on the Coquihalla is a semi-traditional trip.
  • Indian Arm Kayaking (October) - A two day sea kayaking trip up Indian Arm, starting from Deep Cove and camping at Granite Falls. Most people rent gear and we get a group discount.
  • Rock Party (formerly known as Longhike) (October) - Rock climbing instruction or hiking on Saturday, huge party Saturday night followed by more climbing or hiking on Sunday. This is traditionally a huge event with 100+ participants - a celebration of our new members and that we survived the summer.
  • Leavenworth (Fall) - This faux Bavarian town is surrounded by some of the best (and driest) rock climbing in the state of Washington. It's been conclusively proven that a healthy dose of dry rock improves midterm performance!
  • Skaha-ha-ha (Hallowe'en Weekend) - Visit the sunny (spooky) Okanagan for BC sport climbing at it's best. Costumes are definitely encouraged. Often it snows, but that won't stop us.
  • Smith Rock (Remembrance Day) - Head down to Oregon to climb in the sun. This trip has been going on for ages, and we've yet to get rained on!
  • Early season Brew debacle (November) - Never skiied? No problem. Get the ski season off to a flying start by struggling your way up to the Brew Hut. The days are short, which is good because you just might need the whole 14 hours of darkness to recover for the ski back out.
  • Christmas Trips - Lots of extended ski tours happen during the holidays and over New Years. Usually there's a big party up at the Brian Waddington Hut (bring 'yer skis, and do some naked laps around the hut). There's also the funny habit some people have of driving 1400 miles to the desert (Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, Zion) to find dry rock.
  • Winter Longhike (January) - This is where you learn to camp in winter with no tent. Ever wanted to sleep in a snow bank? We'll show you this, and more, all in a healthy, non-judgmental atmosphere. Also a bit of a party, but not as rowdy or expensive as the fall Longhike.
  • Tele School (January) - Learn how to genufluct with the best of them. We also offer refresher courses in snowball fights and snow angels. A good chance to refine the telemark technique you've been trying to figure out since November.
  • Intro to Backcountry Skiing (February) - Put it all together. You've probably done lots of hut-based backcountry skiing, and maybe just learned to winter camp at Winter Longhike. Time to carry a tent into the hills, crank some turns, and get that go-anywhere feeling of independence.
  • Intro to Ski-Mountaineering (February) - Similar to intro to Backcountry Skiing, but more complicated. Add some ropes and ice-axes, to try and climb a more difficult objective. All those scramble routes from Summer can seem a lot harder in Winter.
  • Son of Rock (April) - At sea level it's going to start feeling like summer, this is a good chance to get together and practice more advanced rock skills.
  • Spring Ski Traverses(March-June) - Days are long and the snow is hard, it's time to travel long distances in the mountains
  • Summer Traverses - The past few years have seen some pretty large VOC parties travel long distances to cross interesting terrain. Hard, but not too hard, and don't require any special skills.
  • Mountaineering Camp (Labour Day) - We all get together in the same area, and bag as many peaks as possible as small independent groups. A great way to enjoy the mountains before classes start again.

VOC Equipment

Main article: Gear rental

The selection of equipment available through the club allows all members, novice and experienced alike, to safely try the various gear-intensive sports we do without the financial commitment of purchasing their own technical gear. The equipment is available to members throughout the year on a first come, first served basis (with some priority during large club-run trips). There is no fee for this service - just a refundable cash deposit. We ask that you give something back by completing a workhike / volunteering before borrowing gear, but there's some leeway when you first join.

We have lots of:

  • Ropes
  • Harnesses
  • Helmets
  • Rock Shoes
  • Mountaineering boots
  • Crampons
  • Ice axes
  • Snowshoes
  • Ski poles
  • Telemark boots
  • Telemark skis
  • Climbing skins (they let your skis stick to the snow and go uphill!)
  • Avalanche transceivers
  • Avalanche probes
  • Snow shovels

We also have a limited supply of random stuff, stop by sometime and see if we've got what you need, or ask the QMs about it.

What is a Workhike?

Main article: workhikes

A workhike is where you help keep the club running smoothly by contributing a little of your time and energy. They usually don't involve a lot of time, or any hiking - anywhere from an hour or so to multi-day excursions, depending on the task you land. At the same time they are a good way to get to know other club members and can even be kind of fun.

See the Tool Inventory for a complete set of tools that you can use freely to help with your workhike.

Some possible workhikes include

  • Lead a trip - This is an excellent way to complete your work hike and travel someplace interesting at the same time! Note that you don't have to be an expert paddler/climber/ wilderness guru to lead a trip. All you need are some organizational skills (come on, this is university) and some background research.
  • Hut Maintenance/Construction - The VOC maintains several backcountry huts for the use of the outdoor community. There are always projects that need to be done, or supplies that need to be carried up. Ask the special projects exec about it.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Wax our skiis! Sharpen our crampons!
  • Trail Maintenance - We have a couple of trails up to our huts, and do workhikes to maintain them. If you help maintain another local mountaineering club's trails that counts too.
  • Writing, Typing, Photocopying, etc. - Help with the production of the VOC Journal by writing an article, or index an old one. Ask the journal editor or the archivist execs.
  • Teach at our Schools - Sufficiently proficient members are always needed to help instruct at our various schools. If you can climb, ski, sleep in the snow or read a map, let an exec know. Student demand invariably overwhelms teacher supply at these events.
  • Clean up after a party - We've got lots of gatherings going on throughout the year. We'll even let you attend the party first! Longhike and the annual VOC Banquet are the biggest social events of the year and they don't just happen on their own.

Don't wait for a work hike opportunity to be posted - talk to an exec member about things that need doing. The sooner you complete your work hike, the sooner you can use club gear.

VOC Huts

Main article: Huts

The club currently has in its charge four huts scattered around the local Coast Mountains. These are: The Sphinx (Burton) Hut, located on the SE end of Garibaldi Lake; The Brew Hut, located near Brew Mountain, across the valley from Whistler; the Harrison Hut, located near Meager Hot Springs, some 50 km NW of Pemberton; and the Brian Waddington Memorial Hut, located at the headwaters of Phelix creek, in the mountains surrounding Birkenhead Lake.

All these huts were built and are currently maintained by the VOC. All are open to the public free of charge, although we do request donations to the club to aid in the maintenance of the buildings for non-members. There are many trips throughout the year to the various huts, both for maintenance and fun. As a VOC member you're also encouraged to go whenever you like - they're your huts, after all!

Social Scene

Over the years many traditional social events have been started and are still as popular today as when they began. Many of the annual trips are also largely social events, especially the Longhikes.

In addition we've got:

  • Slide Shows - most Wednesday evenings in the school year
  • Winter Social (December) - We're about to head off for the holidays, and will miss each other. A good excuse to get together.
  • VOC Banquet (March) - The VOC Banquet is a semi-formal affair to wind up the year. It is usually well attended by both current and old members and is a good opportunity to meet many of the people you've heard of or read about in old journals. There's a guest speaker, slide show, photo contest and the presentation of awards, both humorous and serious.
  • Summer meetings and monthly barbecues - First Wednesday of every month at Spanish Banks, at the foot of Tolmie St.

If you'd like to see any other social events arranged, please talk to the Vice-President, or go ahead and post your own trip sheet. Stay tuned for more details on all events via the VOCene and clubroom notices.

The Climbing Wall

Main article: VOC climbing wall

Members of the VOC lobbied for a wall on campus (following a long and glorious, if covert, history of "buildering" on structures all over campus) and were able to build a 22-foot high surface behind the Norm Theater screen. Our thanks to Mike Spagnut and others for their hard work on this project and the AMS for facilitating the construction. VOC members, once we are satisfied that you can belay safely, can enter during posted hours (Usually whenever they're not showing a movie) and climb away. Talk to the climbing wall coordinator exec.

The VOC Journal

Main article: VOC Journal

The VOC Journal is our yearly record of the clubs' activities and our legacy to the record of outdoor adventures here and abroad. First printed in 1958, it records many first ascents and is an important historical record of various mountain explorations, particularly Garibaldi Park during the 1960's and 70's.

The old journals are a good source of information for planning trips and are very entertaining to read. They can be signed out from the VOC library or found in the UBC Main Library (GV 561 B7) and at several of our backcountry huts. The archivist has a limited number of recent journal back issues available for sale.

The VOC Journal goes to press in March and is distributed free to members at the VOC Banquet. To ensure receiving a copy, members should pick theirs up at the clubroom before the end of term. If you have any questions or would like to help out, contact the Journal Editor.

The Library

Main article: Clubroom library

Besides old VOC Journals, the VOC library contains Canadian Alpine Journals, books on hiking areas, climbing techniques, avalanche safety, geology, wildflowers, skiing and even a book on bicycle repairs. The library is available any time there is an exec member in the clubroom. The Archivist also sells VOC T-shirts, old Journals decals, songbooks and the like.

A Brief History of the Club

Main article: VOC history

The VOC had its start back in 1917, when the "Mountaineering Club" was formalized at UBC's original location (near present day VGH). In these days, potential club members were required to ascend a peak equal in height to Grouse Mountain to become members. It was rumored that women were often exempt from this qualification, being "weaker vessels"...

In 1920, the first club cabin was built on Grouse. In those early days, chaperones were present on mixed trips to "protect the honour of the fair sex". Alcohol was forbidden at all club activities well into the 70's.

By the 1930's, the club's expeditions had spread farther afield, including such exotic destinations as Golden Ears and the Lions (the latter accessed by boat). By the 1940's, there was exploration in the Garibaldi area. A VOC party made the first winter ascent of Mt Garibaldi in 1944, and the first ski traverse of the Neve in '46.

The 50's arrived with an explosion of interest in skiing with the construction of a road up Seymour. As the number of capable skiers grew, a new tradition was born to the VOC. After spring exams, an annual pilgrimage would be made to the newly constructed Sphinx Hut, located on the terminal moraines of the Sphinx Glacier.

A desire to record the club's activities spawned the VOC Journal. First published in 1958, it was just in time for the numerous first ascents made by club members during the late 50's and 60's. And there were lots - the Coast Range was largely unexplored until quite recently, and the has VOC played a major role. There are even a few mountains and glaciers named after the club - Veeocee Mountain, The Lecture Cutters, The Bookworms, and the Ubyssey Glacier and many others named by members of the club. Aside from the Coast Range several major far-off expeditions were also undertaken, including Mt Logan ('59) and the Himalaya ('64).

By the mid sixties, the VOC constructed a large cabin in Whistler. It was intended to accommodate both downhill and cross country skiers. In time, the cabin grew too expensive to maintain, and the rights were turned over to the AMS. The money received (not without a fight!) from the handover was reinvested into new mountain huts, the first of which was constructed on Mt Brew across the valley from Whistler in 1982 and the Harrison Hut in 1983.

In 1998 the VOC has helped build a hut in the mountains surrounding Birkenhead Lake. The Brian Waddington Memorial Hut is located at the headwaters of Phelix Creek in the midst of the "Tolkien Group" - mountains named (by VOCers) after Tolkien characters (they were very popular books in the 70s).

More recently the club has been doing renovations on it's existing fleet of huts, include the complete (re)construction of the Brew Hut in 2005, major work on the Burton Hut in 2006 and renovations on the Brian Waddington Hut in 2009.

There are always more projects on the horizon, but these will have to take place before we can include them in the history section.