Climbing opportunities for everyone

Posted by Joanna Rowbottom on 05/04/2017

Climbing, hill walking and mountaineering are activities that are incredibly fulfilling as well as physically and mentally demanding. People of all ages, abilities and backgrounds can enjoy these activities and disability needn’t be seen as a barrier to participation.

There are two types of indoor climbing centre; the first is a bouldering centre. Bouldering offers great freedom of movement, requires hardly any equipment and you don’t need a partner to hold your ropes. The second type is roped climbing, the climber is attached to one end of the rope, while the other end is threaded through a belay device and continually adjusted in order to remain reasonably taut as the climber makes progress. Having reached the anchor point the climber is lowered back to the ground by the belayer.

Many people start climbing indoors at a local climbing wall by going along to a taster session or introductory session. You can book these as an individual or as part of a group. Some climbing walls have regular inclusive sessions that are suitable for beginners where you can learn to climb and meet new people.

Find an inclusive climbing club near you

The map below lists inclusive climbing club sessions and climbing centres with accessible and inclusive activities. We are continuing to populate this information so if you don’t see any opportunities near you please check back in the future as we add more opportunities.

The BMC is working with various organisations to support mountaineering clubs, climbing walls and providers of activities to be inclusive. Recently Deaf Climbing UK held a launch event in Sheffield and it's a great resource for climbers who are deaf or have a hearing impairment.

WATCH: Deaf Climbing UK launches in Sheffield on BMC TV

The BMC has recently developed a partnership action plan with Sense, a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives. As part of this programme rock climbing sessions are being held in London and the Midlands for Sense service users.

We're also working closely with British Blind Sport to work on our partnership action plan, which includes supporting British Blind Sports  'Have a Go Days' that take place across the country.

For climbers who enjoy competition the BMC host the paraclimbing series for those with a disability or impairment. This series of events provides disabled people and those with long term limiting conditions the opportunity to try climbing in a competitive environment. The events are fun and friendly with lots of people on hand to assist. 

WATCH: BMC Paraclimbing Series 2015 R2 on BMCTV

It is also worth keeping an eye on the BMC website, BMC TVTwitter and Facebook where we post information and videos relating specifically to inclusive events and future activities.


JOIN THE BMC: Save 50% on your first year's membership

The BMC works for indoor climbers like you. Benefits include:

  • Retail discounts
  • Access to BMC Travel Insurance
  • Register for Mountain Training award schemes
  • £10m worldwide Combined Liability insurance
  • £10,000 Personal Accident insurance
  • Discounted entry to many competitions

Find out more about BMC membership benefits

WATCH: Molly Thompson-Smith: Portrait of a Champion on BMC TV

Follow the BMC's competition climbing Twitter feed: @BMC_Comps

Find all upcoming competitions here.


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