The BMC is launching a campaign to improve safety at climbing walls and bridge the gap between indoor climbing and the less predictable environment climbers face outdoors.
Tens of thousands of people are taking up climbing on indoor walls. Climbing outside is very different and more dangerous. Last year there were a number of deaths and serious accidents, so the BMC is using the opportunity provided by additional funding to remind people of the dangers, encourage them to adopt good practice and techniques, and also provide them with quality information produced by training professionals. The messages will be conveyed through information panels at selected walls, and a new booklet and poster.
Jon Garside, BMC / MLTE Training Officer, said: "Indoor climbers often have lots of technical skill but don’t always have sufficient knowledge of how climbing outside can differ. We want them to have the skills to climb safely and in the best interests of the crag environment."
Climb when ready!
With funding from Sport England and support from the Association of British Climbing Walls, the BMC is installing information panels at more than 35 walls in England and Wales. Installation will take place early in 2005. The 1.5 metre high panels contain important safety and conservation reminders, and will be positioned for maximum visibility at wall locations.
The BMC’s thirty-page booklet has been written for climbers who have experience of indoor climbing, and want to make the transition to climbing outdoors safely. The booklet covers bouldering and sport climbing, but concentrates on traditional climbing and the necessary skills, such as placing protection, building belays, and abseiling. Also covered are ethics, grades, conservation, and history.
Check or Deck!
The third element of the campaign is a new Check or Deck! Poster, featuring an eye-bulging and eye-catching illustration by artist Ray Eckermann of smallmountains. This offers a revamp of the original 1997 campaign and the message is very much the same – take time to check your knot! The posters will be distributed to all climbing walls.
Additionally, all posters are available from the BMC Publications section of the BMC shop or telephone 0161 445 6111 and ask for the shop.
Another useful publication is the BMC's Young People: Climbing, Hill Walking, Mountaineering, A Parent's Guide
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