Youth Pathways

Climbing

Entry points

Climbing walls

Climbing and bouldering walls are great places to try climbing for the first time. They can be found in every major city and town of the UK. Search for your nearest climbing wall here: Most climbing walls run taster courses for adults and children and many have kids’ birthday party packages. A typical adult beginners’ course that will train the skills to become an independent climber takes between 4 to 6 hours, spread over some evenings.

Youth organisations

Try new activities (including climbing), make new friends and learn life skills.

Scouts (ages 6-25)
Cadets (ages 10-20 depending on the cadet force)
Girlguiding (girls aged 5-18)
Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (climbing can fulfil the ‘Physical’ section of the Award) (ages 14-24)

Outdoor centres

Climbing is often available as an activity at most outdoor centres.

Summer camp and multi activity holidays (ages 4-18 depending on the company): search ‘summer camp’, ‘activity holiday’ or ‘adventure holiday’. Include the term ‘adventure for all’ if searching for centres that cater for those with disabilities.

Find an outdoor centre

Adventure for all-friendly centres: Bendrigg, Calvert Trust

Schools and colleges

School trips to local climbing walls, outdoor centres or with experienced staff can open your eyes to the possibilities of a lifetime of challenge and adventure ahead.

Many school and college staff hold national qualifications to deliver climbing activities or clubs.

The new Mountain Training Rock Skills courses can introduce school and college students to outdoor climbing while the NICAS and NIBAS schemes introduce young people to indoor climbing. Many schools offer climbing as part of their GCSE PE syllabus.

Clubs

Climbing wall kids clubs
Most climbing walls have a kids club (ages 5+ depending on the climbing wall). Contact your nearest climbing wall or use the search links below. University taster sessions
Most universities have a climbing or mountaineering club and during the start of each academic year they will hold taster sessions (often free or very cheap) to encourage people to join. They often accept complete beginners as well as experienced climbers.

Friends and family

Many people are introduced to climbing by friends or family. If you are thinking of taking your own kids out take a look at this advice: A parent's guide to climbing, walking and mountaineering

Climbing and bouldering walls are great places for families to begin climbing together.

Development

Climbing walls

NICAS and NIBAS
Clubs, academies and squads
Local and regional competitions

Youth organisations

Scouts
Girlguides
Cadets
Climb Scotland

Rock climbing training

Rock Skills
BMC youth courses
Licensed providers
AMI members

School/College/Uni courses

Degree courses - UCAS
BTEC courses
Apprenticeships - IOL

Clubs

BMC/Mountaineering Scotland/Mountaineering Ireland youth courses
BMC/Mountaineering Scotland/Mountaineering Ireland clubs - youth member
Student clubs/competitions - British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS)

Friends and family

BMC New Rock Climbers
AMI/ MTA

Directions

Indoor climbing

Independent social climbing (youth membership 14+)
Training for fitness
Competitions: Youth Climbing Series (YCS) to GB Team level

Outdoor climbing

Bouldering
Sport climbing
Trad (traditional) climbing
Winter climbing
Mountaineering

Qualifications

Mountain Training qualifications: Indoor Climbing Assistant, Climbing Wall Instructor, Rock Climbing Instructor
Local accreditation/site-specific sign off - climbing walls
Other qualifications - e.g. Scout permits

Careers - outdoor industries

Institute for Outdoor Learning
Assisting and volunteering

Clubs

BMC/Mountaineering Scotland/Mountaineering Ireland clubs - full member Social media clubs - search Facebook or MeetUp National clubs - e.g. Climbers' Club, Alpine Club

Friends and family

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