/ Leaving the gym?
We're within travelling distance of the Edges or Peak District in general.
First thoughts are to buy a set of quick draws and helmet and try some easy (4-5) sport routes. We've been leading up to a 5 indoors.
Any suggested routes or tips?
Don't know if you'd enjoy the local sport at that grade and it might put you off.
If I were you I'd split the cost of some QDs (5-6), 10 nuts (WC classic?) a couple of slings , a nut key and a copy of eastern grit between the group. You could then go and muck about on some VDiffs until your heart is content. might be an idea to get someone to show you a few things wrt protection and anchor building tho'.
Cheers. We've got a few slings. The though about sport was we'd not need to get a grown up to help us.
I'd be happy with a boulder, but there was a bit of nose in the air when I suggested that :D
If you read through Peak District sport climbing guides you will notice that there is a very limited amount of very easy sportclimbing around. I recommend finding someone a little more experienced to go with you on your first adventure.
Also you need to be able to re-thread the top belay.
Remember, it is not (always) like in the gym where you have carabiners at the top where you just click in.
If you want your gear back on the way down you need to be able to rethread the belay.
Also please do not set up topropes using the belay bolts. This wears out the bolts and someone has to replace them (just saw this on the weekend again)
Toprope through your own quickdraws please.
If you know all that already, great! I just thought I write it anyways; just in case....
You may find some easy sport stuff at Haprur Hill near Buxton or in Horseshoe Quarry in Hope valley. You can read up on both crags here:
You should have 8-10 draws, a few locking carabiners, a few slings
A really beginners friendly crag is Castle Inn in North Wales in case you have a car aviailable. Parking right at the crag, plenty easy F4 routes.
Brilliant answer - thanks Bob.
Hadn't appreciated the differences to indoor. How naive :)
Looks like easy top ropers on the edges might be a better start?
Yes it is different. I have taken quite a few people on their first outdoor climb. Most described it as more scary and more difficult.
For example, indoors you have nicely coloured holds to follow, but outdoors you need to find the holds and there might be many options and you may miss the good ones because they are hidden...
Further, indoors the routes tend to go up in a straight line, but outdoors your route may go a meter to the left/right. Believe it or not, it confused a few of my indoor-climbing friends at first.
Definitely step down a grade or two from what you (safely) climb indoors.
Starting with a save toprope is good advice just to get used to the new situation and all.
For the leading you can practice the belay threading at home. Hang two screwgate carabiners somewhere and pretend they are metal rings that you can not open. Then go through the whole procedure.
If you take your time and practice a lot beforehand you should be fine.
Always double/triple check and speak with your belayer beforehand and agree to very clear commands like "slack", "take", "ready to lower" and so on.
In the end safety is the most important but on the other hand it is not rocket science either and by a combination of watching a few good instructional videos (from the BMC or other mountain guides) and practice at home/in the gym you should be fine.
If you have two ropes and two belayers maybe you manage to set up a toprope and then you lead a route with the toprope as backup, do the whole re-threading (could be a bit messy with the second rope though) and lower off on the lead rope again with the toprope as backup.
The way climbing developed in the UK meant that most of the good rock and easier lines, easier in a relative sense of course, were climbed using different tactics and ethics to those used in sport. This left mainly grotty quarries and extremely difficult lines to be climbed with bolts. Easy sport is as rare as rocking horse shit in the UK. Portland probably being one of the more aesthetically pleasing environments with plenty of routes in the 6's and even a few in the 5's.
Trad on the other hand offers a diverse range and quality of routes to keep you busy for a lifetime.
Tbh the Plas Y Brenin course is looking even better value
Luke - cheers, will get in touch with the others and get back to you. Might be tail end of next week?
> Trad on the other hand offers a diverse range and quality of routes to keep you busy for a lifetime.
Good explanation of why the uk offers so little sport climbing for those moving on from climbing walls.
Although experienced climbers disparage it, setting up top ropes on a few gritstone trad routes between diff and VS is a pretty sensible way to get started outdoors IMO. Though finding experienced people to take you out and show you the ropes MASSIVELY shortcuts the process; meaning you will get more climbing done, learn more quickly, and be less likely to kill yourself.
The Peak district is really rich in high quality traditional climbing at accessible grades, the same cannot be said of the sport, there is a bit but the quality isn't there in the low-mid grades.
If there's a few of you to club together I'd beg, borrow and buy a basic trad rack, a guidebook and a 'how-to' book. Get familiar with the books then persuade someone with some experience (someone you know or advertise on here and be honest about who you are and what you want/need - you'll get a better result) to go with you for your first day out. The books are a safeguard against your experienced mate being less experienced than you thought, the mate is a safeguard against the books being misunderstood and the mistakes we all occasionally make. The basics really are easy to learn and there is so much good climbing to do while you build experience it really is a great way to expand your sport.
If it's getting toward autumn before you get going I'd club together for a pad or two then head for the boulders.
Have you seen what Rob Greenwood at the BMC has recently put online?
See here https://thebmc.co.uk/rock-out-learn-outdoor-climbing-skills
Thanks for all your replies (and kind offers of guidance). I had t seen the Ready To Rock, but we have been discussing the courses at P-Y-B.
I can see that given the current popularity of "gym" climbing, this would be a good area of focus for BMC.
Not sure how we will progress as a group. Some are scared of trad, others turn their noses up at bouldering. Looks like the local sport routes are above my grade.
Hoping to meet up later this week and discuss.
Go trad, not that scary, buy some nuts/hexes and couple of slings and you're good to go
start easy on the less steep and more featured stuff, there is plenty of those and some are quite pleasant
once you're in there is no going back
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