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Getting started in climbing

Getting started can be feel like the tricky part sometimes. Where to go? What to book on to? What to ask for? Who to speak to? What do I need? Lots of questions maybe flying around your head. Hopefully we can answer them and put your mind at ease about getting involved in this fantastic sport!

A lot of climbing facilities run their very own ‘taster’ or ‘come and try’ sessions, perfect for people wanting to give it ago for the first time or even refresh old skills.

On these sessions, the climbing wall will have relevantly qualified staff to train you up on what you need to know, plus provide you with all the relevant equipment required to take part.

Another alternative to an instructed session is to get someone you know who is a climber to take you along and show you the ropes. If you are doing this, make sure you are comfortable with their experience and ability to teach you safely. If in doubt, don’t risk it and seek professional advice.

It’s recommend that wear appropriate comfortable clothing that allows you to move easily and isn’t restrictive. Gym or outdoor style clothing is a safe bet.


What not to wear

Stay clear and be aware of:

·         Tight clothing: If it stretches it's fine, but jeans etc will tend to restrict movement.

·         Baggy clothing: Although this is generally good for movement, be aware of baggy clothing that could get caught up or snagged on the wall.

·         Rings and jewellery: If possible, remove rings from fingers as they could get damaged or cause potential finger injuries! If you are unable to remove jewellery, advise the person you are climbing with, whether it’s a friend or climbing instructor. Climbing tape can be used to cover rings to help prevent injury to you or the ring.  Other jewellery could also get damaged or also be a potential snag hazard.

If you want to be able to use a climbing wall without the supervision of an instructor or a friend who is a competent climber, then we recommend that you attend a ‘learn to climb course’. The majority of climbing walls run these courses on a regular basis and will teach you all the skills and technical competences you need know about how to safely use a climbing facility.

What equipment will I need?

Starting off, you will be able to hire the necessary equipment from most climbing walls in order to take part.

For roped climbing, this will consist of:

·         Climbing Shoes

·         Climbing Harness

·         Carabiner and Belay device


For bouldering, all you require is:

·         Climbing shoes

This makes bouldering the easiest form of climbing to get involved in.

If you get the ‘climbing bug’ then it is worthwhile purchasing your own equipment as this will save you money over time as you will no longer be forking out on equipment hire on every visit to the wall, which can soon add up.

Whether you get involved in roped climbing or bouldering, you will also see climbers using chalk bags. This is a handy piece of kit for those starting to get involved in climbing and they are relatively in expensive in comparison to some of the other equipment required. We have our own chalk bags available in our online shop.