“The British Mountaineering Council recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.”
Although the climbing centre is an artificial environment the risks involved are no less serious than when climbing outside on a crag or mountain. There is an additional risk that bolt-on holds can spin or break and this may result in a fall. Spinning holds (or “spinners”) must be reported to staff immediately. Climbing The Walls cannot be held responsible for any injury that you may sustain as a result of a spinning hold.
The soft flooring under the bouldering walls is designed to provide a more comfortable landing for climbers falling or jumping from the bouldering wall. THE SOFT FLOORING DOES NOT MAKE THE CLIMBING ANY SAFER. Broken and sprained limbs are common on this type of climbing wall despite the soft landing. Uncontrolled falls are likely to result in injuries to yourself or others.
Climbing beyond your capabilities on any wall is likely to result in a fall. Any fall may result in an injury despite the safety systems in place to avoid it. You must make your own assessment of the risks whenever you climb.
Our Duty of Care
The rules of the climbing centre set out below are not intended to limit your enjoyment of the facilities. They are part of the duty of care that we, as operators, owe to you, the customer, by law. As such they are not negotiable and if you are not prepared to abide by them then the staff must politely ask you to leave.
Your Duty of Care
You also have a duty of care to act responsibly towards the other users of the centre. Statements of ‘Good Practice’ are posted around the centre adjacent to the relevant facilities. These describe the accepted methods of use and how customers would normally be expected to behave towards each other.
Prior to climbing unsupervised you must complete the appropriate Bouldering or Roped Climbing Registration Form, available at reception, and demonstrate an appropriate level of understanding of the activity for which you are registering. Before you rope climb without supervision, the centre expects you to be competent in the use of a safety harness, a suitable knot to attach a rope to the harness and a belay device to secure a falling climber or lower a climber from the wall using a rope. All climbers are required to register to say that they know how to use appropriate equipment, that they are prepared to abide by the rules of the centre and that they understand the risks involved in their participation. They will also be required to demonstrate competence in using the auto belay devices.
Anyone who is unable to satisfy the minimum requirements for registration as a competent roped or bouldering climber shall register as a novice and must not climb without supervision.
Unsupervised climbing is just that! Staff will provide whatever help and advice they can, but instruction in the use of equipment or climbing techniques will only be provided where it has been booked and paid for in advance. If you are not confident in the use of any climbing equipment or technique then do not attempt to use it without the supervision of someone who is competent to do so.
An adult who has registered at the centre may supervise up to two novice climbers as long as they are prepared to take full responsibility for the safety of those people. Groups of three or more novices must only be supervised by an instructor holding the relevant Mountain Training qualification.
Children/Minors (under 18)
ALL children/minors in the centre must be supervised by an adult unless they have been assessed by the management and registered for unsupervised climbing.
Climbing The Walls reserves the right to close the facilities or part thereof for any period of time required for route setting, tournaments, other activities or in connection with repairs, alterations or maintenance work. Climbing The Walls occasionally films and takes photographs for marketing and training purposes.
• Report to reception on each visit before you climb
• You must exercise care, common sense and self-preservation at all times.
• Report any problems with the walls, equipment or other climbers’ behaviour to a member of staff immediately.
• Be aware of the other climbers around you and how your actions will affect them.
• Do not distract people while they are climbing or belaying.
• Stand well back from the climbing walls unless you are belaying or spotting a climber. Never stand directly under someone who is climbing.
• We reserve the right to ask you to use a harness provided by the Centre if we feel that your harness looks old or unsuitable
• Spectators are prohibited from entering the climbing areas.
• Climb within your own limits.
Top Roping and Auto belays
• Many of the climbs in the centre have top ropes already in place. Do not take them down to use on other routes.
• When using auto belays, always clip into the belay loop on your harness.
• When using auto belays remove helmets and any loose clothing or snag hazards on harness.
• When using auto belays always be aware of any climbers beneath and make them aware of you before decent.
• Never top out or touch the auto belay unit.
• Always check for correct function of unit before use.
• Report problems or issues to staff.
• If auto belay line malfunctions alert staff immediately.
• When using the lead walls you must supply your own appropriately rated dynamic rope. Do not use the centre’s top ropes for lead climbing.
• Running belay attachments (runners) are already provided at intervals on the lead walls so you may not use your own ‘quick draws’. You must clip all the runners on the route you are climbing.
• Always use a belay device attached to your safety harness with a locking karabiner. ‘Traditional’, or ‘body’ belaying is not acceptable. Self-belaying is not permitted.
• Sandbag ground anchors are provided to give support to people belaying a climber who is much heavier than they are. Direct belays from the sand bags.
• Always pay attention to what the climber is doing.
• Always stand as close to the climbing wall as is practical. Sitting or lying down are not acceptable.
• Be aware of other centre users, and features such as the bouldering matting when lead belaying.
• The tall walls are designed to be climbed using a rope for protection. Solo climbing is not acceptable on these walls. Always use a rope to protect yourself on these climbs.
• Always use a safety harness to attach yourself to the rope.
• Always tie the rope directly into the harness using a re-threaded figure-eight with double stopper knot. Clipping in with a karabiner is not acceptable.
• Do not carry phones, cameras, wallets, coins, keys etc. when climbing, they may fall and hurt other people.
• Always climb within your capabilities and descend by down climbing, or at the very least a controlled fall. Avoid jumping from the top.
• Never climb directly above or below another climber.
• Topping out on any of the bouldering walls is strictly prohibited.
• Helmets, harnesses, food and drink or any hard objects are not permitted in the bouldering areas at any time.
• Only spot a partner if you understand how to spot correctly.
• Bouldering only customers are not permitted to use the roped climbing areas.
• This area is only to be used by over eighteens, unless special permission has been granted by the centre manager.
• Please ensure you are warmed up properly before using facilities.
• Please take due caution when using this area.
• No items to be left on matting.
• Please remain fully clothed when using this area
• Please ask staff if you have not used this type of training facility previously.