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4SO Climbing Shop Update > 15% off selected products!

The New Rock Climbing And Mountaineering Forums


Check out our gear shop and don't forget to drop by our climbing forums (aka wiki / discussion board/ chat).
You may register and reply to /post new topics.

Please feel free to join in the discussions and also get some fantastic gear deals on outdoor equipment, participate in gear reviews, discuss climbing routes, have some general banter, discuss where to camp, climb etc..  Laughing 


Learning To Rock Climb?


climb gekkoRock climbing is a growing sport involving all age groups and is becoming very popular.
As with most extreme sports, training is essential or things may go wrong.

How do you start climbing?
There are many ways to get involved in climbing, one is by knowing an already active rock climber who may take you out and introduce you to the sport. Other channels are outdoor education centers or professional guiding/ instructing companies like Rock and Ice.

When choosing an instructor or guide you may well wonder what qualifies people to teach these skills, the Association of Mountaineering Instructors [AMI] is a good place to start as members have to pass rigorous training and assessments to become full members, they can then display the AMI logo on advertising or web pages such as the Rock and Ice advert at the bottom of the page. Check here for more information on how to start climbing safely.

Rock climbing courses here


Indoor Climbing Walls

Indoor walls can be a good starting point as there are many climbing walls available in cities now. They were originally designed as training aids for traditional (trad) rock climbers but have now branched out into their own market and suit school groups and sports climbers more. Some tuition is available indoors but the best is to be acquired outdoors with professional organisations with many years experience of keeping participants safe in the outdoor crag environment. A rock climbing holiday may well be the answer for those looking to gain new skills quickly.

Indoor climbing courses here



boulderingBouldering is a fantastic way to gain strength and skills for climbing. Now a popular sport in its own right.

Bouldering is now extremely popular with students and the younger generation of new climbers. Many seasoned climbers regularly boulder too for strength and technique.

The UK has a wonderful choice when it comes to bouldering and we are lucky to have some of the best bouldering in the Peak District and this extends all over the country to Cornwall right up to the Highlands.

Deep water soloing has now become popular too, an extreme form of bouldering that grew from sea level traversing and bold solo's.

Overall bouldering is the cheapest way into climbing as it requires little in the way of climbing gear/equipment.

To start bouldering you only need some rock shoes, a bouldering guide, a chalkbag and a crash pad or bouldering mat.

Bouldering mats have become the norm, 10 years ago they were never seen, now nearly everyone has one. Bouldering problems have got bigger due to these mats allowing some climbers to take falls of over 10m onto them (highball problems)

Bouldering courses and bouldering workshops here

Sport Climbing - UK

Sport climbing is now taking off in many areas of the UK with topos and guidebooks becoming available in the climbing gear shops as well as online.

Sport climbs are bolted routes which generally make the climbing feel more secure than the traditional alternative.

Sports climbing venues have spread all over the UK now and exist in quarrys and even some sea cliffs have been equipped.

Gary Gibsons sport climbing site is here with an abundance of free topos and information on the Derbyshire Peak District

Sport climbing equipment.
Next to bouldering, sports climbing also requires very little in the way of gear.
A harness a few quickdraws, stickkies a rope, belay device and chalkbag just about sum it up.

Check the 4SO climbing shop for deals if you are starting out or you need to upgrade some old biners!


Rock Climbing With Kids

climbing with kidsRock climbing is a great indoor/outdoor activity for families, and children love it.

To start them off at an early age they need extra care and attention as the crag or mountain environment can be very dangerous for them.

Rock and Ice
have written an article see here for parents thinking of taking kids from the age of 3 climbing, check it out!

Things to watch out for include choice of harness, suitable helmet and how to keep them safe once out of reach.

Remember if you are taking babies to the crag keep them well back from any chance of falling debris or climbers, all to often you see little ones stashed under the crag.

Pictured here is Rich Hogan from Rock and Ice, short roping on a grade III French Sport climb. Richard is being belayed by an adult while he brings up the youngster (aged 3) on the short rope system. This inspires confidence, they descend together after the climb.


Rock Climbing Grades Explained

Where do you start with this subject? A complex subject for the climbing novice indeed.
Indoors it's all French and on the Derbyshire Peak District Gritstone the grade is everything, if you misunderstand the seemingly un?complex grading system you may well find you are climbing out of your comfort zone, you might mess up - maybe even attempting to solo the route under duress as protection may be non existent!

What are the differences from a Grade 4 indoors to a VS 5b outdoors? Is a V Diff an grade 5 or what?

See here for an explanation.


Fundraising Ideas For Charities

Many charities need new ways of bringing in funds, why not consider blindfold rock climbing or a stunt like abseiling from a huge building, viaduct or bridge? Companies like Rock and Ice have been assisting charities and businesses by providing insurance, locations and specialist insurance services enabling successful fundraising in the thousands!
Click here for more information on charity events and fundraising.

Their charity abseil portal offers an insight into a very productive and successful company which offers clients the whole package including, organisation, locations, equipment and public liability insurance for the event.


Rock Climbing Equipment

stoppersWhat gear and equipment do I need to start climbing rock? How much will it all cost? Where are the best climbing shops? What type and length of rope do I need? These are some questions we all ask when taking up a new sport.

Four Seasons Outdoors
( 4SO ) can provide you with expert advice and some excellent starter packages with a superb discount especially for subscribers.

The packages from 4SO will provide essential climbing racks for sport climbers and trad climbers alike and will save you loads of dosh. belay device ATC black diamond


 SHOP and SAVE on climbing equipment with 4SO shop


Currently there are 3 climbing racks available as kits. All the kits have been put together by a qualified Mountaineering Instructor to ensure you get what you need.

  • Sport Climbing
  • Trad Starter
  • Trad Pro

Click here to go to the 4SO climbing shop and watch this space for more information on rock climbing kit.

Great deals: 15% off list price for our members.




Create a free Blog - Spread the word!

Register here and create your own personal adventure blog that you can update by a mobile phone when on expedition or in the pub when you have a free minute or 2.
Let your family and mates see where you are and what you have been up to with this great new facility. If you don't require a blog you may wish to use our forums where you and other forum users can interect about various topics posted.


Rock climbing techniques explained

Just one tip from an experienced climber can help your own climbing progress.
We are currently compiling an article on techniques which will grow over time to be a useful resource for those taking up climbing - the article will focus on rock climbing techniques and tips as well as the jargon used by seasoned climbers.
Hopefully some of the newer climbers will learn a trick or two, see here


Insurance for climbers, walkers and skiiers

Insurance is so important for all our activities and Sportscover direct offer all the packages you should require at competitive rates.
If you walk, hike, climb, ski or mountaineer you need this cover click here for more information.








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