/ Non climbers in the climbing area?

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simonp820 - on 26 Jul 2012
I was always under the impression that only those actively climbing/belaying should be in the 'climbing area' - this has certainly been the case in the close to a dozen walls I've been to around the Midlands.

I was surprised to learn that a new climbing wall close to me is happy to allow parents to wander around the climbing area whilst their kids are in the kids' club and also allow non-climbing children to simply roam about unsupervised.

I nearly landed on a very young (4?) non-climber recently whilst his dad was on his mobile!

Would appreciate feedback.
Flatus Vetus - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820:

Were you falling off or being lowered off?
EZ on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820:

Personally I would complain to the management in writing and if nothing changed I would escalate to the BMC and see if they could help.

I would have thought that the wall will be in breach of it's public liability insurance by not restricting access to the area to those who are registered to be there on the day and who have signed a participation statement. In light of that possibility I imagine that the wall's insurer is a public piece of information that if all else failed you could ask for whilst discussing the situation with them. It's rather a drastic approach but would I'm sure have the problem solved quite quickly. Of course it may damage your personal relationship with the wall, so maybe speaking only to a senior manager or owner would be the answer if you did feel the need to take it that far.
cap'nChino - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820: In aw liverpool it is the norm for kids and teenage chavs to run about causing mayhem. I am always tempted to stick out a foot when a kid runs under my rope.
simonp820 - on 26 Jul 2012
I'm certainly not out to cause trouble for the wall - quite the opposite in fact - I want to help them! Just want to check I'm not making a mountain out of a molehill. I think it's crazy that they're happy for non-climbers to be so close to potential dangers. I fully understand Mums and Dad want to see their sprogs climbing but that needs to be from a safe area.

Certainly in AW Stockport and Stoke I've only seen exceptional behaviour - not been to Liverpool ;)
cap'nChino - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820: I personally think it isn't an issue, if the wall, parents and kids are happy then who am to complain if I drop my 15 stone partner on one of the little gits.
tolly_60 - on 26 Jul 2012
You should try the Climbing Hangar in Liverpool on a Saturday! Kids running everywhere. I was once ready to drop off the top of a bouldering route and a line of sprogs ran through a tunnel underneath the route, great deadhang practice!
John1923 - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820:

The wall will be in trouble when someone gets hurt. By telling them, you are doing them a favour.
Oceanrower - on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to EZ: Not quite sure what he BMC can do. I don't hink that indoor walls come under their remit much.

Most are members of the ABC though.
tim000 - on 27 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820: the north face at warrington is bad for this on saturdays . they run kids clubs which is great , but the parents stand around in the climbing area getting in the way . i was belaying a couple of months ago and a woman decided to stand right in front of me and take a picture of her kids using a camara with a very big flash. asked her not to do it again and reported it to the management . they said only climbers should in the climbing area . but nothing has changed and still full of parents milling around.
unknownclimber6 - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820:

my local wall handles this very well i feel,there are always lots of kids but they are always supervised by an insturctor and anyone watchin is in the viewing area upstairs.
people are allowed just to come in and use the cafe upstairs as well or just to watch but wouldnt be allowed to wander round the arena or let there offspring runn around like headless chickens.
will - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820:

Being fair on everyone, we have to start somewhere, and letting people wonder around the climbing wall is a great way to inspire both young and older people to have a go. Because to be fair watching someone make something look extreme, like pulling over a roof is very inspiring and gets the blood bubbling.

I know that climbing wall staff try there best to manage this and ask viewers to keep control of the little ones and stop them from running around, and i know that staff at our wall even walk around with the viewers to ensure they maintain a safe and happy environment for everyone.
johncook - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to simonp820: I have had more trouble with climbers at walls than parents/spectators/kids. For example; someone traversed over the rope I was leading on. Asked my belayer to stand back so they can walk between him and the wall. Stand in a group below where I was lowering off an overhang and ignore requests to move (I just had my belayer lower me quickly into the middle of the conversation and then said oops!) Been knocked over when belaying by someone jumping off the first moves of the route my climber was on after I asked them to not be under my climber, etc etc. I used to be quite polite about it, but now as the offenders are often the same people or type I am just blunt. The walls do their best to control it but they can't (and shouldn't need to be) everywhere all the time watching experienced climbers and telling them what not to do. When there are kids in there is an instructor with them and the instructors are very assertive over bad behaviour, which is how it should be, the should have to be the same with more experience climbers.
jwa - on 31 Jul 2012
The best is when the parents are watching and telling their kids what to do in clubs, but what they're telling them is wrong and you have to correct both the kids and the parents. I find most parents actually hinder their kids more than help them by giving them bad advice, physically interfering with them climbing or pushing them too far in a rather horrible way.
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Grumble - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to johncook: you will live in the land of septics, what do you expect!

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