FAQ’s

Updated: February 2022

In this section, we will hopefully answer all your questions and queries. below are sections about the club, info for beginner climbers, joining us for the first time and some basics of climbing.

The BMC Participation Statement say that: The BMC 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

  • About the group
  • New to climbing
  • Pricing
  • BMC Club Affiliation
  • What does that mean?

About the group

  • Why have an LGBT+ climbing group?
    • LGBT+ people still face oppression, bigotry and fear in their everyday lives. Having groups that share an understanding of experiences and provide support can significantly benefit mental health and feelings of belonging. Climbing as a sport can be pretty intimidating and isn’t helped as it is still a largely white, Cisgendered, straight male community. Although most people who take part in climbing are friendly, when people are already scared, having a safe space and a community that understands the fears and how to move through them can allow people to engage in climbing that they might not otherwise. 
  • Do I need to be LGBT to join?
    • No, you don’t need to be LGBT+ to join, which is why we have the ‘and friends’ in our description. IMPORTANTLY, however, as we said above, we want this to be a safe space for LGBTQ+ people. So you must be happy to help us ensure this and understand that we won’t tolerate any hate from any members. 
  • Do I have to pay to be in the group?
    • At the moment you we have no club membership fee:
      • However you will only have to pay the climbing centre’s entrance fee and equipment hire (see costs)
      • Please be aware we are currently working on becoming an affiliated club of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC). When we complete this we will need to charge yearly membership fee of £20.25 (£16.75 for students and £15.00 for under-18s). This will be in addition to any climbing centre entrance fees
      • For more information on this see: Why are we a BMC club?below and we will update eveyone on this as we progress.
      • IMPORTANTLY, we don’t want this to be a barrier to people joining, so if you want to join, but money is a barrier, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will see how we can help. 
  • Is climbing Dangerous?
    • There is a danger to climbing especially if you are not being carefull or are taught skills badly (see BMC Participation statement at the top). Risk and safety (thebmc.co.uk)
    • Importantly we do everything we can to ensure all climbers that climb with us do so safely.
    • We teach all new members to climb safely and do not let them climb on their own untill assesed to be safe.
    • We also continue to check and update all members skills no matter how experienced they are to ensure we are all staying safe.
  • Does the group have insurance?
    • Currently we dont haveinsurance as a club. this is why our club sessions are currently only at indoor climbing centres as their insurance currently covers us.
    • We are looking to join the BMC  as an affiliated club where we will have club liability insurance. For more information on this see: why are we joing the BMC
    • If you agree to any activities with members outside of organised climbing club activities, you do so at your own risk. 
  • When and where do we meet?
    • Please see our current sessions here: (link)
  • What happens on my first visit to a climbing centre?You will be given an introduction to the centre and the available facilities.
    • Experienced climber:
      • You will be asked to show how to safely put on a harness, tie into a rope with a rethreaded figure of 8 and belay safely
  • First-time climber
    • Induction to the centre and facilities
    • How to move safely around the climbing centre and the safety rules of the centre
    • safe use of equipmentBoulderingHow to fall and land safely
    • Roped climbinghow to put on and fit a climbing harness safely
    • how to fit climbing shoes and why we wear them
    • What are climbing ropes, and how do we use themTying into a rope and safe knots to use
    • Keeping the climber safe and belaying 
    • Climbing! YAY!
  • How can I contact you?
  • How does the group keep in touch?
    • Generally we communicate with members through our Facebook page, this website and email.
    • Signal group?

New to climbing

What do I need to know as a beginner?

  • Why climb?
    • Fun: Whether it is the physical challenge, mental problem solving, being social, or the sense of achievement, climbing can be a fun time out…
    • Fitness: climbing is a whole-body activity that helps you develop strength, coordination, and balance. You can get a full workout from a single session.
    • Brain training: climbing is as much problem solving as it is exercise. Working how to move your body between holds, how to use your hands and feet to help you move, and sometimes working through the fear in the back of your brain.
    • Make Friends: Climbing is a social activity; keeping each other safe and sharing ideas (beta) on how to get up a climb can mean you meet new people with shared interests.
    • Adventure: exploring a new climb, a new climbing wall and meeting new people are all part of the adventure. Climbing indoors can also lead to much bigger adventures climbing in the outdoors on real rock! Exploring places and spaces that you wouldn’t be able to see any other way.
  • When are beginners nights?
  • What should I wear?
    • Clothes you can comfortably move in:
      • Top half, bring layers. You can get hot when climbing and cool down quickly between climbs
      • Bottom half; shorts, loose trousers, leggings – anything that will cover your hips and theighs and won’t stop you moving your legs comfortably.
    • You will need to hire: climbing shoes (bouldering/ roped), climbing harness (roped)
  • What do I need to bring with me?
    • Water! Even in winter, you can get through a couple of litres of drink if climbing hard.
    • Snacks or money for snacks
  • How much does it cost?
    • The Quay
      • Guest climber
        • £11
        • concession £9
      • Equipment hire
        • Harness and shoe hire £7
    • Plymouth Life centre
      • Entrance £6
      • Equipment hire:
        • 1 item £3,
        • 2 items£5,
        • 3 items £6
  • I’m scared of heights!
    • That’s ok, many people are. Climbing is much more than just getting to the top. The more you climb, the easier you will find heights. Especially when getting started, you will be more focused on getting used to everything you need to know and jy=ust climbibg rather than getting to the top of the climb.   
  • Is climbing dangerous?
    • Moving off the ground has its dangers; however, if you are sensible, listen too and learn from all the safety advice given to you, then climbing is a surprisingly safe sport. However, Risk is an integral part of the activity; minimising the risk boils down to having the right level of skill and experience relative to the difficulty of the activity.  When starting out climbing, choose the easiest routes available and work your way up as you feel comfortable. (see BMC Participation statement at the top). Risk and safety (thebmc.co.uk)
    • Importantly we do everything we can to ensure all people who climb with us do so safely.
    • We have experienced and qualified climbers within the group who will provide advice and training to make climbing as safe as possible. 
    • We teach all new members to climb safely and do not let them climb on their own untill assesed to be safe.
    • We also continue to check and update all members skills no matter how experienced they are to ensure we are all staying safe.
  • What happens on my first visit to a climbing centre?
    • You will be given an introduction to the centre and the available facilities.
    • Induction to the centre and facilities
    • How to move safely around the climbing centre and the safety rules of the centre
    • safe use of equipment
      • Bouldering
        • How to down climb, fall and land safely
      • Roped climbing
        • how to put on and fit a climbing harness safely
        • how to fit climbing shoes and why we wear them
        • What are climbing ropes, and how do we use them
          • Tying into a rope and safe knots to use
          • Keeping the climber safe and belaying 
          • Climbing up the wall and safely coming down again
      • Getting moving on the wall
  • What does “belay” mean?
    • Broadly belaying is using friction on a rope to stop and control the safe descent of the climber. Belaying is often done using something called a belay device and screwgate carabiner. The belay device adds friction to the rope to make it easier to hold the climber’s weight if they fall or when they want to come back to the ground. IMPORTANT when belaying, you must NEVER let go of the rope.
    • However, we will take you through how to do this in your first session.
  • What is bouldering?
    • Bouldering is climbing on short, technical climbing protected by a crash mat. Bouldering focuses on power and technique rather than climbing high and so can be a fantastic workout.

Pricing

  • BMC Club membership (when affiliation complete- TBC) £20.25 (2022)
  • Climbing centers
    • The Quay Exeter
      • Registered climber
        • Annual registration £7
        • Session fee £9
        • Concession £7
      • 10 Climb pass £78
      • Monthly subscription £39.50
      • Annual Pass £395
    • The Climbing hanger Exeter/ Plymouth
      • Adults £11
      • Concession £9
      • Membership £29.99 (Covers Plymouth & Exeter)
    • Plymouth Life Centre
      • Entrance £6
      • Equipment hire:
        • 1 item £3,
        • 2 items£5,
        • 3 items £6

Why are we a BMC Club?

Combined Liability Insurance for your club
The BMC provides Combined Liability Insurance cover for your club and its members.  The policy covers you for combined liability in connection with hillwalking, climbing and mountaineering.  The limit of indemnity in respect of any claim made during the period of insurance is £15 million in any one event. (For members who are resident in the Republic of Ireland, the total limit for Public Liability is £10m). More details can be found on the BMC Insurance Website.

Training courses
The BMC provides a range of training opportunities for your club officers and committee members, club leaders and club members.  Ranging from courses about working with novice members, to qualifications in outdoor first aid, to improve your navigation or scrambling or climbing skills, and to workshops to help committee members.  More details can be found on the Courses page.

BMC Travel and Activity insurance
Members of affiliated clubs can take out our Travel and Activity Insurance to cover medical, rescue, baggage and cancellation.  Rates are available to cover activities from beach holidays to an ascent of Everest, from 3 days to annual cover.

Discounts with over 800 outdoor retailers
BMC members can get discounts on all their outdoor gear purchases when shopping with the retailers on our list – see the full list of retailers here and can also get further discounts on travel and accommodation costs.

Club Member upgrade
In 2004 the BMC introduced a membership upgrade option for members of BMC affiliated clubs on payment of an additional premium of £15.20.  This provides access to the full range of Individual Membership benefits, which include;

  • 4 copies of Summit posted to you directly per year
  • £10k personal accident insurance
  • A plastic BMC membership card
  • Access to a full range of Individual Member benefits

By upgrading your membership you will also be making a financial contribution to the BMC’s vital access, conservation, mountain safety and technical investigation work.  You will also be supporting work in representing the needs of climbers hillwalkers and mountaineers to the government. 

Multiple Club Refund
For any club members who are members of more than one BMC-affiliated club, they only need to pay once for their BMC membership.  Any additional payments can be claimed back, and once the BMC has been notified this refund will automatically take place year after year.

Access & Conservation
Access and conservation work is one of the most important and highly regarded of the BMC functions.  Over the years, the programme has gone from strength to strength and is now coordinated by BMC officers in England and Wales with many regional access volunteers and specialist advisors, together with countless others who are called upon to assist with various projects.  “On the ground” work is undertaken by area volunteers who, backed by the BMC officers, liaise with landowners and conservationists in their areas to negotiate access agreements and deal with any conflicts that arise. 

Mountain huts
There are currently 68 buildings providing great value, high quality, self-catering accommodation for hillwalkers, climbers and mountaineers – typically situated in the heart of the popular mountain areas in the UK.  Most are managed by affiliated clubs, with others run by the BMC and Mountaineering Scotland for the benefit of BMC and MS members.  Click here for the full listings 


What does that mean?

Useful language and phrases you will hear when climbing with us.