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Information For Trip Leaders

The Ski Committee fully supports its leaders and hopes this page provides a useful resource of information for trip leaders and co-leaders. The Ski Committee wants to help you with problems or questions about your trip.

Trip Leader Checklist

How do I become a Ski Leader or Co-leader?

We welcome leaders and co-leaders with new ideas and energy. Requirements for leaders in the Ski Committee are two co-leads with an approved Ski Leader (strong preference for these two co-leads to be with two different leaders), or one co-lead and one instructional at a Ski Committee Workshop. Anyone may become a Ski Co-Leader by asking the Ski Committee Chair; however, we recommend first taking the AMC Boston Chapter Leadership Training Workshop, usually offered through the Boston Chapter Hiking/Backpacking Committee. This workshop emphasizes group safety and dynamics, and decision-making skills. Co-leaders applying for leadership status do so by submitting a "resume" to the Ski Committee Chair. Your resume should include the following: Backcountry trips are defined as trips where, in case of emergency, you are over one hour's travel from outside help. If you plan to become a backcountry ski leader, you must take a certified Wilderness First Aid course, such as SOLO Wilderness First Aid before leading your first backcountry ski trip listed with our committee. For more information, please visit our Backcountry Ski Leadership Requirements. The Hiking/Backpacking Committee of the Boston Chapter regularly sponsors WFA courses in the Boston area. The Ski Committee can assist in the paying for part of the cost of this course. AMC Boston Ski Committee Leader Training Subsidy Policy.
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Trip Planning

The first step to a successful trip is planning. These are required and recommended tasks for all leaders and co-leaders to keep in mind when planning out their trips.

  1. Trip Listing: List your trip in Outdoors, the Mud, the On-Line Trip Listing System and the amc-ski Yahoo Group. There is a lengthy lead time for publications; see the table of publication dates below for Outdoors (~2 months) and the Mud (~1 month).
  2. Money: There is a $2/person/night fee for overnight trips that goes to the Ski Committee. This is to reemburse the committee for training, workshops, expenses and planning costs. There is no fee for day trips. As leaders, you are entitled to have reasonable expenses covered out of the cost trip.
  3. Screening: As people contact you to sign-up, describe your trip itinerary, difficulty, and necessary equipment. Describe any hazards they will face during your trip. Allow them to select themselves out of the trip. Verbally talk with each participant with regard to their ABILITY, EXPERIENCE, FITNESS, MEDICAL problems, and their EQUIPMENT. Although email is convenient, you need to talk to everyone on the phone prior to the trip. Questionable/Marginal skiers don't know their equipment and are vague about their experience. Be particularly careful with last-minute sign-ups and those signing up friends.
    If the person meets your requirements, obtain their Name, Phone #, Email. You should also obtain their town for car pool info, but you don't need their specific address.
  4. Checklist:Leader and Coleader should carry FIRST AID kit, MAP & COMPASS, extra CLOTHING and FOOD, and extra EQUIPMENT or TOOLS. (See Leader Equipment checklist). Leader should discuss equipment with coleader prior to trip.
  5. Poop Sheet: Leader needs to send out POOP sheet at least one week prior to departure date. This should contain the trip objective, meeting place and time, itinerary, necessary equipment and ability, back-up plan, costs, cancellation policy, and other specific info needed. An example poop sheet is shown here, and a more complete equipment check can be found here.
  6. Weather Forecast: Before leaving town, obtain a current WEATHER forecast and snow conditions. Forward this info to participants if you have an email list.
  7. At the trailhead:
    • Ensure everyone is properly clothed and equipped.
    • Take a total headcount of participants; make sure all sign-ups are present.
    • Describe the itinerary, lunch stop, and weather forecast. Describe any known hazards and where. Introduce the Coleader, and ask for questions. 
    • A sweep should be designated; the trip coleader or leader is preferred. The sweep should know the overall route and equipped to handle problems or emergencies.
  8. During the trip: Pause frequently to shed clothing, admire the view, and keep the group together.  Take a headcount during these breaks and at lunch. Watch and talk with each participant during the trip; identify participant problems early and assess their ability to keep up or continue with the group.
  9. Group Decisions: Final decisions are up to the leader. Coleader and participants should suggest ideas or options, but the leader makes any final decision. The coleader's role is to assist the leader and support his decision.
  10. After the trip: Account for all participants at the end of the trip. In the interest of group enjoyment, it is best to start the trip together, stay together, and leave together.
  11. Enjoy Yourselves: Beyond safety, the most important responsibility of the leader is that everyone has a good time. The success of the trip is measured by the enjoyment that the participants derive from it. To a large degree, it depends upon the enthusiasm, tactfulness, sociability, and good sense of the leader and coleader.
  12. Trip Report: File a trip report even if the trip is cancelled. This report should describe number of participants, any accidents or problems, recommends new leaders, and other useful comments.

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Announcing and Publicizing Your Trip

Trips should be submitted to the AMC On-line Trip Listing (OTL) by using the AMC Trip Planner, a tool that allows leaders to post their trips to the AMC Outdoors Magazine and AMC website ( simultaneously. These trips will also be added to the next possible Mud Newsletter and Ski Committee Email Announcements. The SkiCom website will contain a link to your trip under "Trips".

For a step-by step guide, download the Full Instructions (pdf file).

Listing A Trip

  • Go to the AMC Trip Planner at:
  • Login with your username & password    
  • Select Add Chapter Trip(s) from the menu, and click the Go button
  • Select Chapter: Boston, Committee: Skiing
  • NOTE: If you want participants to register for your trip via email, be sure to select the checkbox Show Email on Web under Leader Information. This will allow participants to reach you via email on both the Outdoors and Ski websites (the website uses JavaScript technology to hid your actual email address from spammers). Include a contact phone number.
  • After entering your trip description, click the button: Save/Edit Later to save your listing. Once saved, you have the opportunity to come back later and edit it, delete it, or view it as it would appear in the magazine or online.
  • When you're ready to submit your trip, click the button: Save & Forward to Reviewer. You will not be able to edit your listing after this point, so be sure you're ready.
  • Getting Your Trip Online: When you submit an online listing, it's reviewed, submitted, and posted online within a day or so. While this new system gives leaders the ability to list trips with short lead times, we encourage listing trips as much in advance as possible so that they can appear in the MUD and Outdoors. This can be especially important for trips that require a financial commitment.

Editing Saved Trips

  • Saved (or Pending Trips) are trip listings that need to be submitted for review, and are not yet posted online.
  • You may view, edit, or delete these trips.
  • To do this, log onto the system and select a trip from the View All Your Trips menu.

Viewing Current Trips
  • Current Trips have been reviewed by the Trip Coordinator and posted online.
  • You may view or change your trip status for Current Trips.
  • To do this, log onto the system and select a trip from the Current Trips table
  • To delete a current trip, please contact the Ski Trip Coordinator »

Deadlines for Online Submission

As of September 2009, the Outdoors Magazine is published bi-monthly, 6 times a year.

Outdoors Issue

Outdoors Deadline

November/December Sep 10
January/February Nov 10
March/April Jan 10
May/June Mar 10

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Trip Reporting Requirements


The Forest Service requires all AMC trips to the White Mountain National Forest be reported. The information they need is:

Date(s) of trip
Location or Destination
Number of persons on the trip
Number of person-days (#persons times #days)
This report can be emailed to the Forest Service directly.