We’re making changes to our novice supervision policy!
Novice supervision is a great way to introduce your friends and family to climbing, to boulder with them and to belay them when they do their first roped climbs. Here’s the lowdown on the changes we’re introducing from April 3rd 2017.
Updates to our policy will require that when supervising novices taking part in roped climbing activities, supervisors MUST remain on the ground and back up the brake rope when teaching someone to belay. Supervisors are expected to remain with the novice at all times, and particular care should be taken at all times when supervising children in the Centre.
These updates will come into effect on 3rd April. Please note all novices and their supervisor, having previously visited the Centre, will need to recomplete our novice supervision form after this date. To speed up the process this can be done online (prior to visiting the Centre), after 3rd April.
We want to strike a balance between making climbing accessible and at the same time safe. In recent years we have recorded a high proportion of poor practice incidents, involving novices and their supervisors. In a number of cases, if our staff hadn’t intervened, an accident could have been the result. The Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) has now amended their guidance, recommending novices only belay if their supervisor is on the ground with them and backing up their brake rope.
To combat poor practice and align with continually evolving industry standards, we’ve changed our novice supervision policy. These changes are intended to encourage newcomers to climbing, whilst ensuring they receive instruction in current safe practices.
We appreciate you may want to climb, yet it’s important to recognise you can’t safely supervise your novice belaying from halfway up the wall or the other side of the bouldering wall. Updates to policy will allow your novice to build up their skills and confidence - you can still have a great session and teach your novice best practice.
Any additional questions you may have can be answered by reading our novice supervision FAQ page, alternatively, please email us.
Becoming a competent climber takes time and practice. Even if you’ve covered the basic safety points, your guest may not be ready to climb unsupervised. Our staff are here to help you - if there’s anything you’re not sure about just ask one of our Duty Managers.
We’re delighted that you’ve chosen The Castle to bring a guest climbing and we hope that they’ll love climbing as much as we do!