/ Just got the climbing bug... now what?
It was fantastic. The instructor was fun, the group were randoms and all got along well. The weather was glorious (played a part in my amazing experience I am sure). What do I do next?
I can't afford to go away every weekend and do a climbing lesson so I was wondering if there are groups of individuals that go along together that I could find and join perhaps? I am not so interested in a climbing wall, I want to get out.
What's my next step?
There are loads of clubs and individuals who will be happy to take you out and help you along. Where are you based?
I've just moved to Cheltenham so I don't really know the area or many people yet. Getting to 'grips' with everything at the moment ha!
Glad to hear that you want to get outdoors but indoors is a useful training facility and the only practical way of getting anything done in the winter months.
I don't really know the area but it looks like there are a couple of clubs based nearby:
Gloucestershire Mountaineering Club http://www.ukclimbing.com/listings/info.php?id=751
Malvern Mountaineering Club
I'm sure there will be others along later who have personal experience of the clubs near by!
WOW - Way to bamboozle the noob!
I wouldn't bother with that stuff, I'd recommend just staying home arguing about Margaret Thatcher or sexism on the internet.
Climbing walls can be a bit ordinary, but they're a good place to work out leading/belaying, build up your body and meet/create climbing partners.
A club is an obvious solution but not for everybody, i never joined one and have never struggled to find partners and get out. especially if you're up for driving an hour or two.
Also worth considering - for about £150 a day you could hire an SPA qualified instructor, of which there are many freelance around, and fast track yourself. Thats what i did a few years ago(link below - good guy), over 2 days he taught me the basics of leading, setting up belays, ropework, gear placements etc. That enabled me to confidently find a partner on UKC "lifts and Partners" knowing i wasn't going to be out of my depth of easy trad routes. You can also quite easily be taught how to manage the lower off and properly protect a sport route which opens up the world of bolts.(be careful talking about bolts on here - stick to less controversial subjects like Syria or Thatcher.)
If you dont want to go down the instructor route then join a club or just ask for a partner on here - just always be 100% honest about your experience and make sure you can at the very least belay properly, the rest will come.
Oh, and set up a profile even if you dont have much to put in it yet. Only axe murderers dont set up profiles, everyone knows that.
Grab a guide book, some climbing shoes and go out bouldering!
-eagerly awaits standard bouldering abuse!-
Joking aside, that and indoor climbing is how I met the people I now climb outside with.
i'm pleased the op is not too keen on indoor walls as this will negate the mental anguish of the beanie hat / no beanie hat decision. op, you will need to buy a singlet (which are apparently referred to as wife beaters these days) and lots of jangly equipment.
seriously though, i am sure i have heard a quote that the best climber is the one having the most fun (and who is safe and alive obviously) so remember that in all you do and save your opinions for these forums!
An SPA qualified instructor shouldn't really be instructing leading. You'd need an MIA for outdoor leading. I'd recommend learning the basics at an indoor wall then making friends with more experienced people who don't mind taking you out or joining a club.
Whatever route you choose, welcome to the club. It's definitely a bug that bites hard when it does.
Don't make the mistake I made. I've been climbing for coming up to two years but until a few weeks ago had only been outside once, although had done some bouldering too. So if you can mix up the indoor and outdoor.
I'd recommend Ascential Climbing http://ascential-climbing.co.uk/ seems they are based close to you. I used them a couple of weeks ago and we've booked a follow on session too.
> An SPA qualified instructor shouldn't really be instructing leading. You'd need an MIA for outdoor leading.
Not strictly true. It may be outside of their remit but that doesn't mean they can't instruct a novice as long as that novice is over 18. As indeed can any competent, experienced climber.
Yeah, fair point but it was more about familiarisation with gear and belays in addition to the other info passed on. All done on the ground, in response to me asking lots of questions as i was due to head out the next weekend. Certainly got me started on the right foot.
Best post I've seen on UKC for ages- great to hear some enthusiasm. Ignore the rubbish some can't help but post, there's some good stuff on here too.
Firsly, you'll need a basic set of equipment- in this order- climbing shoes, harness, HMS caribiner & belay device, chalk bag.
There's oodles more gear you may end up wanting after that- but on the assumption you're climbing with someone who knows what they're doing then they should be able to share theirs with you in the short term- esp a rope.
In terms of finding someone to climb with, Options-
1) Join a club- I totally get that you're not interested in a climbing wall, but tbh that's where most clubs do their regular meets these days. It's probably the best place to meet other climbers- though be warned, a lot of them won't share your interest in the outdoors. Still- recommended. A lot of the more traditional clubs also own huts in various parts of the country- which are usually much nicer than the word hut might suggest- where accomodation will cost around £5-10/ night, so the cost of going climbing canget brought down that way.
2) Put a post for a climbing partner on here. Explain yourself- your level of experience, the equipment you own, where you might like to go, your travel facilities, your aspirations, etc. You may well find you can hook up with someone useful. Don't forget that you can go climbing on a daytrip from Cheltenham- to the Lower Wye Valley (the Forest of Dean, Chepstow area) or to the Bristol area (Avon Gorge by the Clifton Suspension bridge for example) You can actually climb (it's limited in some respects) at Cleeve Hill above Cheltenham.
3) Ummm... On that last one, I'm guessing you're a 28yr old lady. Sometimes 28y old ladies prefer (for a whole load of valid reasons) to climb with other ladies. I'll suggest to my girlfriend that after her triathlon, in a couple of weeks, when she wants to do a little climbing, that she drops you a note. She 'knows the ropes' so might work out to be a good day out. We're between the Forest of Dean and Birmingham at the moment, so Cheltenham is in the ball park.
But if they're operating outside of their remit in a professional context they won't be covered by their insurance surely.
That's interesting. From the limited research I've done insurance companies will cover an instructor performing activities under the remit of their qualifications. I guess things have changed.
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