The British Mountaineering Council is the national representative and governing body for climbers, hillwalkers and mountaineers. The BMC works hard to ensure that our access rights are protected and that our climbing environment is protected. They also organise national competitions, seminars and climbing meets in addition to compiling guidebooks for a number of areas. The BMC relies heavily on a network of volunteers. You can get involved by joining the BMC and attending a local area group meeting. The BMC’s website has a wealth of information about climbing, hillwalking and mountaineering.
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There are several types of outdoor climbing:
Bouldering - Like indoor bouldering, you climb without ropes on shorter crags or boulders. Climbers bring their own bouldering mats to protect their landings. Boulders (also called blocs) are graded using either V-grades or Font grades (link).
Trad climbing – ‘Traditional’ climbing where the lead climber places their own protection in the rock. The second follows up removing the gear thus leaving no trace of the climbers’ passage. Traditional climbing uses the English grading system. (link)
Sport climbing – In this style of climbing, protection points (bolts with hangers) have been glued into the rock. Sport climbing uses the French grading system (link).
During the spring and summer The Castle runs one day and weekend bouldering and top-rope days out in The Peak District National Park (South Yorkshire) and on Southern Sandstone (Kent). We run these courses with a small student to instructor ratio so that you get the most out of your trip. Check our course page for more information or sign up for updates to find out when the next course is running.
Traditionally in the UK many climbers join clubs to learn to climb, share use of huts and meet climbing partners. There are many local, national and university clubs, many of which welcome novice climbers. The Castle has a designated notice board by the Featured Wall for clubs to advertise.