Whether you’re looking to get out on rock for the first time or build up your existing skills, finding the right outdoor climbing course can be challenging, especially if you’re new to the sport or have done all your previous learning from friends and are unsure of who to ask. We put together some tips to help you find the right course for you.
Ask Your Climbing Circle
If you are new to outdoor climbing or climbing in general, this one may not apply, but your climbing friends or climbing Facebook groups can be a great resource for finding a course. Ask climbers how they first learnt to trad climb, or ice climb or whatever it is you want to learn. Likewise find other people who are also keen to learn and group together – if you can’t find the right course for you, you can hire an instructor and split the cost.
Check Out Mountain Training Courses
Mountain Training recently released a new range of courses for climbers who want to skill-up. These include Rocks Skills Introduction for those who haven’t climbed on rock before, up to Learn to Lead Trad.
Look For Local Activity Centres
There are outdoor activity centres dotted all over the country and some, like Plas y Brenin and Glenmore Lodge, are renowned for their expansive climbing courses covering a range of disciplines and skill levels.
Join a Climbing Club Or Group
Clubs are cheap to join and allow you to meet a range of other climbers. As well as learning from more experienced members, clubs often provide subsidised courses throughout the year. There are also often informal groups on Facebook for local climbers in specific areas which are different from clubs but can still be really useful.
Check Your Local Climbing Gym
Some climbing gyms provide outdoor climbing courses as well! Check if yours does and if not they may be able to give you some recommendations. Climbing gym noticeboards are often a goldmine for this sort of information as well.
Check Out Climbing Festivals
Climbing and outdoor activity festivals like the Alpkit Big Shakeout, and Arcteryx Lakeland Revival often have courses on offer providing different climbing skills from basics skills to the more advanced like self-rescue and aid climbing. Other festivals like the upcoming Women’s Trad Fest are specifically aimed at helping people learn (or improve) in trad climbing.