/ Climbing advice for beginner

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Callum12 - on 17 Jun 2013
Hi being doing a lot of scrambling and I now want to progress onto rock climbing outdoors, I am really unsure whether to go for a 2 day course or to go for an intensive 5 day course at somewhere like plas y brenin in snowdonia. Or is this even the right place to start?. Any advice as to where I start with this would be very much appreciated. Thanks
3 Names - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

Do you have any competent climbing friends, who could show you the way?
Callum12 - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Vince McNally: No, unfortunately not
3 Names - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

Where are you based, maybe a local climbing club could help you out?
Callum12 - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Vince McNally: hi I'm based in Chester there is a few walls locally but I'm not sure whether that's the best place to start to do outdoor climbing.
3 Names - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

A wall can be a good place to start, as you get to meet people to climb with, indoors and out.
Callum12 - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Vince McNally: ok thanks for your advice will try out the local climbing walls
3 Names - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Vince McNally:

No problem, have fun.
trouserburp - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

or Plas y Brenin
Trevers - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:
> Hi being doing a lot of scrambling and I now want to progress onto rock climbing outdoors, I am really unsure whether to go for a 2 day course or to go for an intensive 5 day course at somewhere like plas y brenin in snowdonia. Or is this even the right place to start?. Any advice as to where I start with this would be very much appreciated. Thanks

I went on the PyB Touching Stone course. It's designed for people who've been indoor climbing, possibly even leading indoor, to get onto outdoor crags.

Leading indoors can only get you so far. Even if you meet someone who is prepared to take you out onto real rock, for the first few times you will only end up seconding on single pitch routes. I don't know where you live but if like me you're London based, even getting up to Stanage is a real investment of journey time.

I can't really recommend PyB highly enough, it definitely gave me the confidence to go into multi pitch territory. Aside from learning the general system of multi pitch climbing, there are lots of subtle things that you need to learn if you want to lead that you might never have thought of- the sort of thing which might be so second nature to an experienced partner that they may neglect to point out. There's also things like abseiling and prusikking which you do correctly or not at all.

Caveats- it IS expensive, and you do take a risk with the weather of course. If it's raining all week when you're booked on there's not much they can do about it.

Also, I went on the course with my friend who had a similar level of experience, with the assumption that we would become regular climbing partners (we are!) I guess this allowed us to get a lot out of it as a pair.

Finally, I didn't climb outdoors again for a couple of months afterwards and I forgot an awful lot in between, I needed to refresh on a lot of stuff. Like everything else it becomes second nature when you go regularly.

At the end of the day it's your choice. I'm sure that going with an experienced partner will be completely safe while you're with them, but will you be confident in knowing what to do with someone at your own level? Multi pitch trad climbing is the best thing ever when you take the step up, but it's a big step up to take.
Trevers - on 17 Jun 2013
In reply to Trevers: Sorry, didn't read you were in Chester, you're not badly placed for North Wales or the Peak
needvert on 18 Jun 2013
I'd suggest going the 5 days rather than 2. Unless you have some need to take things slow....The faster you become an independent climber the better :)

Not that I've ever been on those courses. Have been on a 2 day one and its really not much time at all.
tallsteve - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: Is there not a Chester climbing club? There may be someone prepared to show you the ropes there, and you could meet climbing partners so you can climb regularly.
tlm - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

Joining a local club is a really good way of meeting other climbers if you don't know any at the moment. That will let you carry on climbing after you have done your course, or even if you don't bother with a course at all, whatever you choose to do. You can find your local club here:

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/map#clubs,huts

If you love scrambling, then do whichever course you can afford to. You will love the whole thing!
SteveRi - on 18 Jun 2013
I've heard good things about the beginners course at NW Face Warrington, they're nice people for sure. Chester MC seem pretty active.
Pero - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: At the risk of stating the obvious, you'll need to find people to climb with! There's no point in going on a 5-day intensive course at PYB if you have no one to climb with afterwards.

An indoor wall with a local club may be the best place to start and take it from there.
JAnders48 - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: Join a club and help combat the creeping curse of commercialism and Health & Safety. :-)
martinph78 on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: Whatever route you choose you're going to need a climbing partner. Finding one isn't as easy as it sounds...

Joining a club is a good idea, it'll help find a partner as well as getting the advice you need.

Personally, I think that if you want to climb outdoors then start outdoors. I'm not convinced you'll find an outdoor partner at the indoor wall...
GrahamD - on 18 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

Plasy Brenin is a good place to start. Looking for local climbing clubs is another.
tallsteve - on 19 Jun 2013
In reply to JAnders48:
> Join a club and help combat the creeping curse of commercialism and Health & Safety. :-)

Yep. You can't beat an old hand passing on knowledge. I am sure PYB is not guilty of this, but some youngsters with climbing certs got them as part of a longer outdoor/sport education course. Had to have stiff words with one such person I caught doing dodgy things. Just 'cause they have a piece of paper saying they can teach it doesn't mean they have depth of experience.

I have 25 years experience climbing. Who would you prefer to learn off, some young punk straight out of school, or a grey haired bloke who has "survived" this long!

ads.ukclimbing.com
SCrossley on 19 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:
Go on the Plas Y Brenin course and get things right from the start, yes it`s pricey but it will give you a priceless foundation to your climbing life, and will be a sign to others that your not looking for a free guided trip up Milestone buttress.
Then either join a club or get a good partner off here, I did both.
Most of the partners I got off here I still climb with and they taught me so much.
The club system has also taught me loads, people who have climbed for 20,30,40,50 or even 60 years a depth of experience a phone call away and believe me, they are more than happy for you to phone them or call round for a brew and dispense wisdom.
Last thing you will be told by everyone, learn to use your feet, DO IT ;-)
sjc
Callum12 - on 20 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: Hi just a big thank you to everyone and all your advice. I have decided to start my climbing life off at Plas-y-Brenin. I have also managed to find someone who wants to learn with me.
Mark Kemball - on 20 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: Libby Peters http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rock-Climbing-Essential-Techniques-Mountain/dp/095415116X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8... is a very useful reference book, could well be worth it for some background reading before the course, certainly useful as a memory refresher afterwards.
needvert on 21 Jun 2013
In reply to tallsteve:

(To play the devils advocate!)


Quite true, but suppose the following could be true of some grey haired bloke with 25 years climbing experience:

- He counted 20 years of indoor top roping as experience

- He climbed with another grey haired bloke who never fell, he's never caught a lead fall

- His rope is 23 years old

- He belays you on steep sport with hip belay

- All of his climbing gear is pre-UIAA certification

- He has a 25 years of smoking cough

-- He coughs out his false teeth, you get shortroped as he bends over to retrieve them

- He has to relieve him self once a pitch
tlm - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to needvert:

That's enough about yourself, needvert...
jezb1 - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to tlm: Nothing wrong with PyB but lots of other good course providers out there. Take a look at the Association of Mountaineering Instructors site to find one close to you.

http://www.ami.org.uk/
ashaw - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: come and join our outdoor ed course here in buxton mate its not that far from chester and you will do shed loads of climbing ouside
Landy_Dom on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:
> (In reply to Vince McNally) hi I'm based in Chester there is a few walls locally but I'm not sure whether that's the best place to start to do outdoor climbing.

I'm based in Mold near Chester and don't mind you tagging along sometime. Message me if you like?

Dom.
SteveOc - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12:

Follow the above advice but also get yourself some boots and a chalk bag and get yourself down to the Racecourse walls and start going traversing.
Jep_uk - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to SteveRi:

They are pretty helpful and friendly there (its my local wall). They have a beginners day out on rock at wilton 3 in july for 65 (I got an email about it the other day).
mrdigitaljedi - on 28 Jun 2013
In reply to Callum12: I went to plas-y-brenin 16yrs ago on there 5 day introduction to climbing course, it was the best 5 days of learning all the basics before returning home with the knowledge to be able to go out with the local climbing club, best advice if unsure try the 2 day course and see if its for you.

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