Getting started
The four courses in the Rock Skills scheme are designed to provide progressive learning opportunities for new and developing climbers. Before you can attend a Rock Skills Intermediate course you need to register on the Rock Skills scheme.

Registration is free for 12-17 year olds and £20 for adults and it gives you access to all four courses. To register, create an account on our candidate management system or log in if you already have one.

Courses are delivered by approved tutors who will develop your rock climbing skills by introducing you to traditional protection, rope systems for constructing belays and moving well on rock. You will have plenty of opportunities to practise all of these skills as well as increase your environmental knowledge and risk management strategies, alongside other developing climbers.

Rock Skills participant handbook

Rock Skills Participant Handbook
Minimum age: 13.

Course length: 2 days.

Climbing experience required:
Completion of a Rock Skills Introduction course
OR
Have logged 10 routes on walls or outdoor crags; and
Have logged 10 belays of a fellow climber.
Course content
Background and Planning. Choosing a suitable venue, how to use guidebooks and mobile devices to find crags and routes, crag etiquette and the work of the mountaineering councils.

Climbing Skills. Warming up and injury avoidance, developing your movement skills and widening your repertoire of climbing moves.

Footwear and Equipment. Rock boot fit, selecting the right equipment for improved performance and an introduction to climbing protection.

Technical Skills. Building anchors, selecting runners, ropework, belaying, holding falls, lowering, seconding a route and personal abseiling.

Environmental Knowledge. The impact of climbers at the crag, ethics, access and environmental considerations.

Hazards and Emergency Procedures. Identifying hazards, managing risk when climbing, abseiling and bouldering, understanding common injuries, how to get help and the role of Mountain Rescue.

By the end of the course you can expect to:

  • Have covered the course content in a safe and enjoyable outdoor environment and classroom-style setting;
  • Have climbed outside for a good proportion of each day on an appropriate crag; and
  • Be in a strong position to second a lead climber on natural rock and participate safely in a climbing session.
Training
Rock Skills Intermediate courses are typically 2 days, although some providers may deliver the course over 3-5 days.

There are approved tutors across the UK and Ireland. A variety of cost packages are available depending on what's included; food, accommodation etc. so you can choose one that's right for you.

Find a course

What next?

Progression from this course could involve gaining further climbing experience with friends or through a climbing club.

Learn to Lead Sport Climbs or Learn to Lead Trad Climbs courses are the next steps in the Rock Skills pathway.



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