This is a very popular course, aimed at those with little or no experience of climbing, the emphasis is on safe enjoyment of the sport, with as much or as little technical instruction as you want.
Most courses start at Symonds Yat Rock in the Wye Valley ( 75 mins. Birmingham, 150 mins. London ) – where there is a large car park, toilet block, cafe and tourist information site. There are nearby good quality campsites / restaurants / hotels / bunkhouses, etc.
This area is especially suitable for the beginner as there is easy access to over 400 climbs – all within 2 to 10 mins. walking of the car park. It is a friendly venue set in picturesque surroundings, sheltered by mixed woodland and warmed by the afternoon sun.
A typical course starts at 09.00 hrs, meeting at the Cafe where after an introduction, issue of equipment and safety briefing, the cliffs can be accessed quickly – climbing movement, the safety system, belaying, knots etc. can be studied whilst participants take it in turns to climb. After lunch the cliffs can be further explored, using the different climbs to extend and develop the skills, with maybe an ascent of the well known Longstone Pinnacle ( a free standing pillar of rock, 130m above the river ) to end the day.
For two day courses there maybe a return to Symonds Yat or a visit to a similar venue nearby to further develop the techniques acquired on the first day, with the addition of abseiling, setting up belays etc. This course is usually run at a ratio of 1:4 and is tailored to suit individual ability and requirements, all technical equipment is supplied.
What you need:
- You will need to wear suitable clothing for the day:
- Warm / cool depending on conditions
- Cotton clothing doesn’t work too well if you get wet / sweaty !
- Lightweight walking boots are ideal for the ‘walk – in’ and for some of the climbing.
- Waterproof jacket in unsettled weather ( although there is a lot of cover at Symonds Yat )
- Long sleeved tops and long trousers are recommended even in warm weather.
- Car park fee – currently £ 3.50 for the day if you arrive by car.
- Small rucsac / day sac
- Packed lunch ( this gives us flexibility during the day ) Any personal items – medication / sunglasses / camera etc.
Although I have £ 5m Public Liability insurance you may wish to insure yourself for personal accident, cancellation and travel insurance etc. as you think necessary ! Packages which include insurance for rock climbing and other mountain activities are available from: www.thebmc.co.uk
What is supplied:
All technical climbing and safety equipment. There are a selection of rock climbing boots available. If you need anything else let me know e.g. day sac etc. ( You are welcome to bring any of your own personal climbing equipment – this aids familiarity and creates discussion points about the pro’s and con’s of different equipment ).
For one day courses and the first day of all other rock climbing courses , Symonds Yat Rock is the venue ( at the car park above the cliffs overlooking Symond’s Yat East !! – not West . For a map click here .
Cafe post code: GL16 7NZ
Campsites and other accommodation can be found on links, under accommodation.
The Forestry Commission Car Park at Symonds Yat Rock is a large woodland car park and picnic area just South of the main view point, at the top of the cliffs, with a toilet block and cafe, this is a good meeting place with easy access to the rock faces ( 2 minutes walking ).
Most courses start at 09.00 hrs at the car park, packed lunches are available from the cafe if you need anything.
During this initial meeting we briefly discuss what you are hoping to get from the day, your past experience and your aspirations for after the course – this will allow us to choose the best itinerary to suit you – there are 400 climbing routes within 10 minutes walk to suit the beginner and advanced climber.
After issuing any technical equipment and a brief safety talk we will walk to the cliffs ( 2 – 10 mins. ) Courses usually finish around 16.30 hrs
Tradclimbing+ by Adrian Berry and John Arran – Rockfax.com – ISBN 978-1-873341-91-9
Rock Climbing by Alun Richardson – Acblack.com ISBN 978-0-7136-8690-6
Online sources include : http://www.ukclimbing.com
or drop me a line if you have any queries: firstname.lastname@example.org