What to expect
Climbing’s been around for ages – and there are loads of different ways to give it a go indoors, outdoors, and as a sport. In traditional climbing, the climber’s harnessed to a rope while they climb the wall – the rope’s attached to a belayer on the ground to keep them safe.
What you’ll learn
Climbing’s a great chance to find your bravery while being active. Setting targets is a great way to see how much you’ve achieved, whether you’re aiming for one metre high off the ground or the top of the wall. It’s also important to encourage your friends as people work as a team to try something new.
Mountaineering’s a type of alpine or ice climbing – it’s how people reach the top of the world’s biggest mountains. It helped Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay become the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1953.
- Something to practise. Knowing some knots before you go climbing can help you during the activity. Have a go at Knot a race with everyone before you go.
- Dress for the occasion. Climbing can get chilly while you are waiting to have a go, so pack plenty of layers. Don’t rely on a big, puffy coat as you may need to take it off to wear the harness.
- Grab some extra hair bobbles. People with long hair will probably need to tie it back. Take a few extra hair ties, just in case anyone forgets.
- Make sure your camera has a strap. Climbing is a great opportunity to get pictures, but you need to keep your camera safe. A camera strap’s the best way to do this.
At their Yorkshire, Edinburgh, Norwich, Bluewater and Milton Keynes parks, GRAVITY Active Entertainment have Gravity Rocks Urban Climbing walls, where your group can get started on their climbing badge when taking on the colourful, exciting and challenging climbing walls. Through our partnership, Scouts save around 40% on original prices at GRAVITY.Find a park near you
You must always:
Be safe outdoors:
- Check the weather forecast
Climbing and abseiling:
- Everyone must wear a helmet whilst climbing or abseiling on natural rock or if a novice, further exemptions apply.
- Make sure that all equipment is fit for purpose and in good condition.
- When walking directly to or from a mutli pitch climb the party size may be less than 4, otherwise follow 9.32 party sizes.
Joint activities with other organisations:
This activity can be led by you or someone else in Scouts:
The activity leader must have an adventurous activities permit with the right level and permissions for your group.
Where the group is entirely members over the age of 18 the permit scheme does not apply, please follow the rule 9.8 adult groups.
You can go to a centre or use an activity leader who is not part of Scouting:You must find a suitable provider who meets the following requirements:
- The centre/instructor should hold one of these: (If the provider is AALA exempt)
- Mountain Training - Single Pitch Award (SPA) - for climbing and abseiling on natural rock
- Mountain Training - Climbing Wall Award (CWA) - for indoor climbing
- Mountain Training - Mountain Instructor Award (MIA) - for multi-pitch climbing
- Mountain Training - Mountain Instructor Certificate (MIC) - for ice climbing
The provider must have public liability insurance.
Climbing’s a great chance for people to be courageous. Did anyone overcome a worry or face a fear? What helped them to do this? Hopefully people encouraged each other to be more courageous. How did people encourage one another? Well done to everyone who faced their fears, whether they took one step onto the wall or reached the top.
Climbing’s also an opportunity to be active. People used their muscles and strength to climb as high as they could – how does climbing help people build their fitness and wellbeing? What other active skills does climbing help people develop? People may think about flexibility and coordination. Did anyone set themselves a target? Did they achieve it? It’s OK if people didn’t reach their goals – hopefully they’ll have another chance to try again. Everyone should focus on everything they did achieve, from learning to put harnesses on to congratulating and encouraging others.
- Climbing can often be adapted so more people can give it a go. Many outdoor centres have facilities that cater for people with additional needs and experienced instructors to help everyone achieve their goals. Get in touch with your local provider to chat through the needs of people in your group – make sure you give them plenty of notice.
- For more information on making climbing accessible, check out The British Mountaineering Council’s website.
All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.