Sole Mates FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions
Some question have been asked about the rules implemented for the Sole Mates Hikes. We would like to explain some of the background.

Why do Active Members get Priority Access to move off the waiting list after the registration deadline?
This comes down to efficiency. After the registration deadline there is very little time to fill up spots that become available. Active Members have shown they are eager to join whenever possible and the amount of work required for our volunteer organisers to fill up last minute openings is reduced by focusing on filling those spots with Active Members.

Why is the Sole Mates WhatsApp group limited to Members in Good Standing?
We remove inactive hikers from the main group if they have not shown up to a hike in the past 4 months. We are strict about this and do not make exceptions. The main group is meant for organising upcoming hikes and providing a platform to communicate with the Members in Good Standing. Those that have not joined us in the last 4 months are no longer categorised as Members in Good Standing.

Why are the Hike Specific WhatsApp groups membership tightly controlled?
1) We only add Meetup Members to the WA group which makes them tracable via the platform that manages our registrations.

2) We are responsible for the content of the chat and for making sure that it is not offensive or unacceptable. In the end, the Admins of the group are responsible for maintaining a civil and acceptable atmosphere. We are not willing to take this risk with people we do not know or cannot trace.

3) We share pictures on the hike specific groups. Sometimes those pictures may include situations that only those on the hike will understand but could be misinterpreted by those that did not attend. Those pics are shared with those that were on the hike so we make sure people are removed from the group if they do not show up. Please note that when selecting pictures for the Sole Mates Meetup and Facebook pages we filter through them and make sure that nothing is posted that would be compromising or misleading.

Why is my attendance status on Meetup so important?
Many of our hikes have limited permits. We are not a group where many people sign up but only a few show up. That practice robs others of participating in hikes and wastes the volunteer organisers time in obtaining permits for people that do not use them.

We want to know who is coming, who to expect, and take attendance at the hike. The question arises, has something happened to you along the way? So it also boils down to safety.

Why do we take attendance?
If something happens to someone, if they go missing, we need to know who was there and be able to confirm if someone arrived and started the hike with us. Our system of Rabbits and Tortoises is to reduce the group sizes to manageable sizes. Our Group Leaders help ensure that everyone that starts, finishes. If we cannot confirm who started the hike with us, we cannot manage whether we all made back safely.

Late cancellations and No-Shows are no laughing matter. Those that sign-up, take a permit and then cancel after the registration cut-off or simply do not show are preventing others from joining the hike. We keep track of Late Cancellations and No-Shows and those that have been tagged will ultimately be blacklisted on future hikes. Your Going status should mean you will be there.

Why are we so punctual?
Well, that one just gets down to respect. Those that got up early to make sure they were on time should not have to start the hike later and often endure uncomfortable heat because others were not as organized with their time. We start hiking at the time indicated and expect everyone to arrive before that time and be ready to go. The heat does not wait, neither do we.

Sole Mates reserves the right to adjust the above policies at any time as it deems necessary.