/ where to go next
Is the services club no use?
What about Guildford Mountaineering Club?
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I would definitely join a club, to find people to share petrol costs with from where you live. It's a great time of year to get outdoors. Do you have people to climb with? Another option is to buy some minimal kit and set up a top rope outside for yourself - there is plenty of information around on what to do...
i honestly never thought about it, thanks for the tip. i will be giving them a call tommorow although it is a friday, trying to find a squaddie on a friday is like trying to find gold in the desert. do you have any experience of the army mountaineering club or what its like?
Simple step would be getting into leading indoors. If you're only used to top roping, leading suddenly leaves you feeling a lot more exposed.
Bouldering is also a good way to develop technique and strength. Though it's much more fun done in a bigger group of people.
Also try a different centre if occasionally if you can (White Spider in Surbiton is supposed to be good). Different wall lengths and setting can shake thinks up and lead to improvement.
Libby Peter's Rock Climbing: Essential Skills and Techniques is one of the standard books nowadays, I think (although I've never read it - I learnt to climb back in the dark ages before it was written!)
When I started climbing, I joined a club and other people were very welcoming. I was able to climb using other people's gear for a bit (with my own harness, boots, nut key, helmet, belay device, and then after a bit, bought a half rope and a couple of slings and screw gates. My club organised monthly meets to climbing areas all over the UK, the Lakes, Cornwall, the Peak, North Wales, Pembroke etc, and many of the people in the club got together and went away climbing at weekends as individuals too....
Get in touch with a club near you and they can tell you a bit more about what they do and how they work. It's a great hobby to have!
A number of things, a nuber of which have been metnioned before
- Try the Army Mountaineering Club, they have a number of meets including a beginners' meet in the summer. Some of them are (or were, Im going back a bit here) classed as exercises, so someone else picked up the fuel bill.
- go and see the PTIs, who may know which of the PTI's locally are into climbing.
- get down to Fox Gymnasium in Aldershot and speak to the PTIs there - they at least have a climbing wall worthy of the name.
- join a club
- start leading - you're very limited if you only top rope
- get yourself on an Army course
I don't think this particularly matters, to be quite honest. People have been learning to climb outside for 100 years or so, and the 'need' to learn indoors first has only been around for less than 10 years.
If you climb outside, you can second plenty of climbs, which gives you far more opportunity to see how gear can be placed, how belays are constructed etc than climbing indoors ever will. You can always ask your leader why things have been set up as they have too...
It is the gear placement that actually requires the thought, rather than anything else, and you simply won't get any experience of this indoors.
Army mountaineering is the dogs bolloxs, you get paid to climb whats not to like.
Speak to your troopie and get on a rlt course at jsmtc (joint service mountain training centre). They ll teach you how to set up top ropes and stuff and by the end you will be able to supervise a group of novices from your unit.
All great fun and will teach you how to climb outdoors and how to place gear. Then in your own time just apply those skills to lead climbing.
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