To take advantage of the wonderful paddling opportunities within easy reach of Inverness - as well as further afield - a programme of regular trips is arranged each year. To get an idea of what trips with ICC are like, have a look at previous trip reports.
Members take it in turn to organise these trips and a meeting of all those interested in becoming involved is held around February time in order to sort out the calendar. The aim is to arrange a camp site based trip each month during the summer; this is open to anyone meeting the minimum criteria for joining club trips and numbers will be limited only by the availability of coaches. There will normally also be a number of day trips, as well as trips that require a higher level of skill and experience and/or are limited in numbers due to wild camping. It is Club policy to restrict the numbers on wild camping trips to a maximum of 8 people in order to mitigate the impact on the environment.
Wherever possible on each trip there is a coach led group and a group of peer paddlers. For sea kayaking, peer paddlers should be of 3 star standard and have practised rescues (both as rescuer and being rescued) in the last year. Trips are graded according to the definitions set out below:
Grade A is in sheltered water. On the sea participants should be capable of paddling 20km (12 miles) per day in Force 2/3 conditions. For inland lochs this will be open water no more than 200m off shore with wind strengths not exceeding force 3.
Grade B is in more challenging waters and may include tidal streams, exposed headlands, and open crossings between islands. Participants should be capable of paddling 25km (16 miles) per day in up to Force 4 conditions. A Four Star paddler would feel comfortable on such a trip. Inland this moderate water environment may include larger areas of open water, no more than 500m from shore with wind strengths not exceeding force 4.
Grade C participants should be capable of paddling in more difficult conditions than Grade B for a longer time. Inland, this is any open water exceeding the grade B definition or with winds in excess of force 4.
Once the programme has been finalised, details of individual trips - including the date when bookings open - will be added to the events calendar. The complete calendar, as a Word document, including organisers' email addresses, is circulated to the members of the Sea list around the same time (usually sometime in February); it is also available in the Members Area. As wild camping trips in particular tend to fill up very quickly, do take note of the date and time on which bookings open!