If you are thinking that you might want to start climbing then I’m here to explain what easy steps you can take that will leave you feeling confident with your new skills. And most importantly, help you find other people just like you to go climbing with at your local wall.
In my last post I ‘busted’ a few common reasons why people might choose not to take up climbing. It’s very clear that, if you want to climb, there is very little in the way of you achieving this.
There are two hurdles that a lot of people, perhaps understandably, get stuck on. Firstly, finding somewhere to learn to climb, and secondly, finding someone to climb with. However, there is an easy way to climb over these obstacles.
Finding somewhere to learn to climb
Very simply… search the internet for “Climbing wall in [your nearest city] [your county]” and there will almost definitely be a wall within 30-45 minutes of your home, no matter where you live. Visit the UK Climbing website and use their climbing wall finder and you’ll see how easy it is to start climbing.
At Southampton Climbing Wall, our Intro to Climbing Course consists of three one and a half hour sessions spread over a few weeknight evenings. We find that this repeat learning process works well and leaves new climbers confident in their skills.
Some walls offer this course over just one full day at the weekend, other walls might do it for a couple of weekend mornings. Whatever times your local wall does they will cover four main subject areas, teaching you how to:
- put on a harness
- tie a climbing rope to your harness
- belay (control the climbers rope for them)
- understand basic climbing movement skills
And you should expect this to cost anywhere between £50 and £100, depending on how long the course is and the instructor to client ratio.
Once you’ve found your nearest climbing wall then you need to call them up. Every public climbing wall will offer a course that teaches new people to climb – fact. Get them to tell you about their course programme, check the dates, and book your space.
Then you just need to find someone to climb with, right?
Finding someone to climb with
This is the easy part, you don’t need to do anything, just turn up for your course and you’ll see that most of the other people booked on to the course have also done this on their own. At Southampton Climbing Wall 68% of Learn to Climb Courses were booked by independent people in the past year.
Your local wall will most likely have a Facebook page and this is another great way to meet other new climbers at that wall. Just post on the page wall saying “I’ve just learnt to climb and looking for someone to climb with. Anyone fancy a climb this week?”. You’ll almost certainly get a very good response.
Once you’ve found your new climbing partners, make sure you keep hold of them. Give them your number and most importantly take theirs. Join them on Facebook and send them a message right after the course to arrange your first visit back to the wall before time moves on too far. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be ready to start climbing in no time at all.