NCMG Code of Conduct

The coronavirus pandemic has made all of our lives a lot more complex and difficult. We strongly believe that getting out in the natural world for some adventure is a key step for many of us in encouraging mental health, happiness, and balance. While there are very real benefits of guided adventures in the mountains, there are very real risks as well -- from rockfall to lightning strikes to ankle sprains on the approach. In our current world, we must consider one more objective hazard – that of coronavirus. Because up to 50% of coronavirus transmission originates in asymptomatic COVID+ individuals, we won’t be able to absolutely eliminate the risk of coronavirus to our clients or guides. But just like we wear a helmet to reduce the consequences of rock fall, we can take thoughtful steps to reduce the likelihood of coronavirus transmission while on NCMG programs.


We consider the following procedures a “code of conduct”; by coming on an NCMG program, you agree to abide by these procedures to the best of your ability. We welcome feedback on these procedures as well as any questions you might have. We are doing our very best to limit coronavirus transmission in a very non-standard environment (the CDC does not have specific advice for social distancing at belay stances) and we need your help to succeed! We want our clients and our guides to embrace adventure with appropriate risk, while we mitigate what risks we can.


If you’d like to see NCMG’s complete coronavirus / COVID-19 plan, we are happy to share it with you.

Screening Measures

  1. Less than 14 days prior to the beginning of any NCMG program, we will send you a COVID-19 screening document, we expect your forthright disclosure of any symptoms, no matter how mild

  2. When you meet your guide, they will ask you these questions again. Please let them know of any changes in your health status.

Distancing Measures

  1. NCMG will seek to work primarily with intact groups (defined as groups that are already in close contact with one another prior to their NCMG program, as opposed to open enrollment groups that include people with no previous contact to one another).

  2. Clients and guides will not carpool, except in limited circumstances on some Stevens Pass programs. All carpooling will be done with masks and vehicle windows partially open.

  3. Whenever feasible, clients and guides will keep six feet of distance from one another

  4. When appropriate distancing is not possible (e.g. a belay stance), clients and guides should use masks for the purpose of reducing potential virus shedding from an asymptomatic COVID+ person.

  5. NCMG guides and clients will be asked to bring and utilize multi-layer cotton masks whenever feasible, and may utilize single layer buffs when that method is more conducive to adherence with masking protocols.

  6. NCMG asks that guides and clients use the best option available for a face covering without creating additional risks. For example, a guide minding a belay may choose to pull a buff over their face because attaching a mask would create a less attentive and higher risk belay.


Hygiene Measures

  1. NCMG will request that clients and guides carry hand sanitizer during the program for use prior to eating, touching one’s face (applying sunscreen, for example), or other activities with a higher likelihood of transmission.

  2. As per usual, clients are responsible for bringing all their own non-technical equipment

  3. Since chemically sanitizing technical equipment is difficult without damaging the equipment, we will generally use time. All NCMG (or guide personal gear that the client comes into contact with) will be out of service for 72 hours prior to NCMG programs, or cleaned in line with industry recommendations. Hard goods (metal) can be wiped with either a 10% bleach solution or alcohol-based sanitizer and utilized immediately.

Food Procedures

  1. Guides and clients will not share food. Clients will be responsible for all meal preparation.

  2. Guides will not give their food with clients unless they assess that a client’s lack of caloric intake and available personal food create a risk. In these rare instances, guides should share only pre-packaged items that can be sanitized by the client (e.g. energy gel packet).


COVID Screening Guidelines:

The following is from the Washington Department of Health, and we ask all guests and employees these questions three days prior to the start of any NCMG program and again at the start of any NCMG program.


Class A Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever (>100.4)
  • New loss of taste or smell


Class B Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Congestion or Runny Nose
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Diarrhea



If the client has had 1 class A symptom or 2 or more class B symptoms and has not been cleared by a health care provider (including a negative COVID test result), then the client will not be permitted to participate in NCMG programs. The program may be rescheduled if possible to allow for an adequate quarantine period.

NCMG Code of Conduct