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About climbing

Different Types of Climbing

...And how to start doing them
We offer 4 types of climbing at The Reach:
  • Bouldering
  • Auto belay
  • Tope rope
  • Lead
All require you to be a registered member, or under the supervision of a member or instructor

Bouldering

Bouldering is climbing without ropes or harnesses
  • you climb shorter walls above thick mats
  • you can do it by yourself
Adults can register for unsupervised bouldering after watching a short safety video:

Auto belay

Clip into an auto belay device - it slowly lowers you to the ground when you fall or finish a climb
  • you wear a harness
  • you climb taller walls
  • you can do it by yourself
Members require a short induction by an instructor - available at the following times:
  • Weekends & Bank holidays: 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm
  • Weekdays: 7pm, 8pm and 9pm
(Booking NOT required)

Top Rope

Top Roping is the first step in your roped climbing journey
  • you climb in pairs — one climbing, one on the ground 'belaying'
  • you both wear a harness
  • a rope runs between the climber and the belayer, passing through a loop at the top of the wall
  • as the climber climbs, the belayer takes in the slack in the rope
  • when the climber has finished, the belayer lets out the rope in a controlled way so that the climber is safely lowered to the ground
our 2-day (6-hour) course teaches you how to use the equipment and belay correctly, providing an ideal foundation for unsupervised climbing and registering for membership at The Reach

Lead

Lead Climbing is a more technical form of roped climbing
  • for more experienced climbers
  • you climb in pairs — one climbing, one on the ground 'belaying'
  • unlike top-roping, the lead climber takes the rope up with them, clipping it through metal gates at intervals as they go
  • the techniques of both climbing and belaying are more technical than in top-roping
our intense lead course can teach you the additional skills you need for indoor lead climbing. To participate, you need to be top roping French grade 5+ confidently on a regular basis. You must also have at least 6 months experience belaying with an ATC device

The Reach Climbing Wall
Unit 6, Mellish Estate
Harrington Way
SE18 5NR

Weekdays: 10am - 10pm
Weekends: 10am - 7pm
Bank hols: 10am - 7pm
Registered company: Leap Training Ltd (a company limited by guarantee), registered in England & Wales. Company number: 4943740. Registered address: The Reach climbing wall, Unit 6 Mellish Estate, Harrington Way, London SE18 5NR. Not VAT registered

Copyright © 2023-2024 The Reach Climbing Wall

Glossary

Common Climbing Terms

The Reach Climbing Wall
Unit 6, Mellish Estate
Harrington Way
SE18 5NR

Weekdays: 10am - 10pm
Weekends: 10am - 7pm
Bank hols: 10am - 7pm
Registered company: Leap Training Ltd (a company limited by guarantee), registered in England & Wales. Company number: 4943740. Registered address: The Reach climbing wall, Unit 6 Mellish Estate, Harrington Way, London SE18 5NR. Not VAT registered

Copyright © 2023-2024 The Reach Climbing Wall

A man rock-climbing on a steep overhang

Onwards and Upwards

The sky's the limit! From here, you can:

  • Get into outdoor climbing — including sport climbing, trad climbing and deep-water soloing
  • Get into competitive climbing — including bouldering, lead climbing and speed climbing (all of which are now Olympic disciplines)... Perhaps you're our next Olympic medal winner!
  • Get into instructing — a great way to pass on your knowledge and experience to new and developing climbers
An instructor coaching a small group

Development Coaching

To further improve your climbing, you can book a development assessment, followed by coaching sessions with an experienced development coach.

As many sessions as you like, completely tailored to your requirements. Either 1 to 1, or with up to 3 other friends.

A woman lead climbing

Learn to Lead

Once you are top-roping French grade 5+ confidently on a regular basis and have at least 6 months experience belaying with an ATC device, you can learn the additional skills you need for indoor lead climbing, including clipping in and lead belaying.

An instructor coaching a small group

Foundation climber courses 2-4, Intermediate course 5 & advanced course 6

Foundation Coaching

90 min Coaching classes to improve technique, getting you to climb higher grades.

Coaching usually takes place in a small group of up to 4. You can attend as many as you want!

A man top-rope climbing, viewed from above

Foundation climber course 1

Roped Skills Course

It will give you everything needed to register for unsupervised top-rope climbing.

2 day course (3 hours per day) suitable for complete beginners and those whose skills are a little bit rusty.

A woman auto-belay climbing

Auto Belay Climbing

You wear a harness and clip into an auto belay device which slowly lowers you to the ground when you fall or finish a climb.

You can do it by yourself and you get to climb taller walls than when bouldering.

A man bouldering

Bouldering

The simplest way into climbing. You don't use ropes or harnesses — it's just you, some shoes, your hands and the wall!

Anyone at any level can give this a go, it's a great workout and develops your technique for other aspects of climbing.

Ladies preparing to climb and belay

Taster Session

Come and try roped climbing — see if you like it and want to do more!

A fun 90 min session with up to 8 other people and an instructor. Women only option available.

Stick figures of an adult and child standing on the ground looking up a tower climb

One possible path

Climb (scroll) UP to see a journey from complete novice to Olympian!

The Reach Climbing Wall
Unit 6, Mellish Estate
Harrington Way
SE18 5NR

Weekdays: 10am - 10pm
Weekends: 10am - 7pm
Bank hols: 10am - 7pm
Registered company: Leap Training Ltd (a company limited by guarantee), registered in England & Wales. Company number: 4943740. Registered address: The Reach climbing wall, Unit 6 Mellish Estate, Harrington Way, London SE18 5NR. Not VAT registered

Copyright © 2023-2024 The Reach Climbing Wall