im getting really into my climbing but at the minute its only top roping on a climbing wall, usually craggy island in guildford. iv managed a few 6Bs but think iv taken my climbing as far as i can with just top roping. id love to get out and try real rock but im not sure how? id be interested in joing a club but carnt find one local to basingstoke where i live. id also be interested in doing a guided day but im a serving soldier and gauranteeing the time off can be a problem.
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...
In reply to JLS:
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?
In reply to tlm: thanks for the friendly reply. i already have my basic kit being shoes harness 35m rope belay device and general outdoor kit. i generally just climb with the mrs but always looking for other climbing partners so a club might be a good idea. do you have any reconmended reading? finding it harder than i thought to find the basic info.
In reply to samwise24: Climbing outdoors is the best great, and in Basingstoke you're less than 2 hours to Portland, Cheddar (sport climbing) and Swanage (trad). Rockfax do 2 good instructional books - 'Sport Climbing+' and 'Trad Climbing+' - check them out on Amazon. Best to climb with more experienced people outside first though.
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
In reply to samwise24: As others have said, clubs are probably the best bet for getting outdoors. Before you do though, I would learn to lead indoors. Once you've wrapped your head around indoor leading, it'll be a whole lot easier to lead on rock.
> (In reply to samwise24) As others have said, clubs are probably the best bet for getting outdoors. Before you do though, I would learn to lead indoors. Once you've wrapped your head around indoor leading, it'll be a whole lot easier to lead on rock.
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.
In reply to samwise24:
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.