Our Rock Climbing Taster Day is the business! We are based in the very best place in the world to try rock climbing for the first time. Beautiful countryside, accessible climbing venues and thousands of user friendly climbs. Add to that the easy accessibility of the Peak District National Park and the well established visit infrastructure (our Hope Valley Guide will give you some useful info if you are a new visitor). Believe us, in this area we really do have it all.
Our team have been climbing on the gritstone crags of the UK’s first national park for decades. That’s important. We know all the sneaky venues to escape the honeypot sites and the best climbs to maximise your climbing development. We are the Peak District experts.
Over many years of operation we have introduced thousands of people to this fantastic sport and here’s your very own chance to try. Our Rock Climbing Taster Day will allow you to have a go, see what all the fuss is about and decide if rock climbing is a sport you’d like to do more of (you will!).
You don’t need previous experience to attend our Rock Climbing Taster Day, although we regularly get climbers with indoor wall experience attending. This course offers the perfect way to move your indoor skills outside. Our taster days are all about inclusivity. Everyone is welcome and the day will be spent outside getting busy. Well that’s what you are here for isn’t it?
Our instructors are fully qualified through the Mountain Training qualification scheme. They are also experts at tailoring the day. We can meet the needs of differing ability/experience levels easily. Please don’t worry that the climbs will be too easy or hard for you. All participants for this course must be over 16 and under 18’s must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
We include all technical equipment. All you need to provide is suitable clothing and a sense of adventure. If you do have more time available or want to focus more on skill development our Introductory Rock Climbing course is another great option.
Who is the day suitable for?
Our rock climbing taster day suits everyone from those completely new to climbing through to family groups and those who have done some climbing indoors and are now keen to find out what it is like on ‘real’ rock. We have run taster sessions with children as young as 6 and as old as 91 so age is certainly no barrier! Under 18’s need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
What is the format of the day?
We will meet at 9.00am in at the village of Hathersage which is right in the heart of the Peak District National Park (full joining instructions will be sent with your booking confirmation). We are very keen to help protect this precious natural environment (please check out the details of our Environment Policy) so if you don’t have a car we can collect you at the local train station and if you are travelling by bus we can also pick you up and drive you to the venue. Once introductions are complete we’ll head out to one of the many world class venues around the park and get started.
After kitting everyone up with safety equipment and introducing some key climbing skills we’ll focus on getting plenty of time on the rock. Climbing venues are always selected to ensure there is a range of challenge levels so you won’t be left struggling on climbs that are too difficult or be short of routes to challenge you either.
We stay out for a full day so be sure to bring food and drink for a picnic lunch at the crag.
During the session you’ll try a selection of climbs and also learn an introductory ‘toolbox’ of essential climbing techniques ready to progress your climbing in the future if you choose. The selection of techniques covered will include:
- Choosing and the correct use of equipment
- Understanding climbing grade systems and the use of guidebooks
- Crag etiquette
- Climbing movement skills
- Correct methods for tying into a rope
- Belaying and lowering other climbers
- Understanding climbing terminology
- Plenty of climbing!
The day will end at about 4.30pm.
Who will be looking after me?
Peak Mountaineering prides itself on the quality of its instructors and our excellent reputation. The instructor that leads your day will be fully qualified and fully insured. They will be also be one of our close knit instructor team and personally known to us. We only use instructors who know the area well so they can ensure you visit the best climbing venues and get the most from your day.
Having said all that, we know that the views of past clients are probably your best guide to the quality of our provision. Please take the time to read the independent reviews clients have left before you book.
What do I need to bring?
We provide all the technical equipment including harnesses and helmets (although you are welcome to bring your own if you have them) so all you need is suitable clothing and lunch. Long trousers that you can move in freely and warm upper layers are ideal.
The best footwear is simply a pair of training shoes although we do have a limited selection of climbing shoes in various sizes so we will happily lend you them free of charge if the right size is available.
Please also bring a set of waterproofs as the weather can change significantly over the course of a day.
Other benefits for Peak Mountaineering customers
We have negotiated some great discounts with a selection of great retailers for all course participants. Full details will be sent with your Joining Instructions.
Our Peak District rock climbing courses run around the Hope Valley – the very heart of gritstone country. Gritstone is a coarse sandstone that is fantastic to climb on and forms part of the rich history of the area. There is a reason climbers call it God’s rock!
We centre our courses around the buzzing village of Hathersage as this gives us access to dozens of great venues and thousands of climbs within just a few minutes drive.
Hathersage makes a good base and, as well as being easily accessible by car, it is also well served by the Manchester to Sheffield rail line and regular buses from Sheffield. If you are travelling by public transport we are happy to provide local transport.
Hathersage has plenty of shops and other amenities, but it is also worth mentioning that a host of nearby villages also make a great base for your course. Bamford is just a couple of miles from Hathersage, Hope is really close and the lovely villages of Grindleford, Eyam or Castleton are also nearby. One of the beauties of the Peak District National Park is that a huge amount is packed into a small area.
Here are a list of questions clients frequently ask about our climbing courses. We hope you’ll find the info you need but, if there’s something you want to know that we haven’t covered, please call or email us and we’ll be more than happy to help. Infact, if you’ve thought of it then the chances are other people have too – so we’ll add it to the list!
What equipment is provided and do I have to pay to use it?
We supply all the technical equipment you’ll need for your course completely free of charge.
Do I need insurance?
We have professional indemnity insurance and for all UK courses we are all lucky enough to have free access to mountain rescue services and healthcare (although you may still consider it worthwhile purchasing your own personal accident and cancellation insurance). The following companies provide appropriate mountaineering insurance:
British Mountaineering Council www.thebmc.co.uk 0870 010 4878
Snowcard Insurance Services www.snowcard.co.uk 01327 262 805
What if I have a specific objective or want to learn things not offered on one of your courses?
That’s what we specialise in! Just get in touch and we will happily tailor an itinerary to suit your requirements.
What about under 18s?
For climbing courses we welcome participants over 16. For younger children we can still offer a great range of family climbing options – details on these are available on our family climbing page. Please note that under 18s must be accompanied for the duration of the course by a parent or guardian.
Will you give my details to other people?
All information supplied to us remains completely confidential and we will never pass it on to third parties.
Why is the instructor to client ratio so important?
You will get more out of your time with us if you work in a group where the numbers suit the activity. We favour small instructor to client ratios so that you benefit from quality time and instruction, where you have time to ask all the questions you want, the routes chosen can be tailored to suit you, and we can take plenty of time to show you specific techniques and skills.
What if I need to cancel a course booking?
If you cancel over 26 weeks in advance of a course start date we refund all the money you have paid us so far. If you cancel within 26 weeks of a course start date, you forfeit the deposit, but we refund any other money you may have paid. If you cancel within 8 weeks of the course start date you forfeit the full amount unless we are able to resell your place. See the Terms and Conditions page for more detailed information. To cover this eventuality we recommend you take out an insurance policy that includes cancellation of your trip or holiday.
Can you guarantee good conditions?
Unfortunately we can’t control the weather. However, we do always try to plan areas and routes that should be appropriate and in good condition. One of the advantages of being in small groups with flexible itineraries is that we can make the best of the conditions on the day. This does mean that we reserve the right to change the itinerary for safety reasons if required. Please follow the kit lists and be prepared for all the ‘interesting’ weather the U.K. has to offer.
What is the timetable for courses?
For non-residential courses we will meet somewhere convenient on the first morning of the course and a typical day lasts from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Full joining instructions will be provided with your booking confirmation.
What about transport arrangements?
We ask you to provide your own transport to and from venues although we can quite often organise car sharing to minimise environmental impact and reduce fuel costs. Once we are there we will try to use car sharing to get us around during the course. We can usually collect you from a local station if you are travelling to your course via public transport.
How do you try to reduce your environmental impact?
We are passionate about protecting the natural environment. Please take the time to read our Environment Page.
How fit do I need to be?
It goes without saying that arriving fit and well is important if you want to get the most out of your course and it is essential for succeeding on many of our objectives. Please take note of the guidance on the Course Syllabus before booking and contact us in advance if you need more information.
Do you need to know about medical conditions?
It is essential that you let us know about any medical condition or injury when booking and that you also let your instructor know on the starting day of your course.This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to tailor our activities to suit you and to ensure the safety of other group members.
Of course we always hope that your Peak District Climbing Course will take place in stunning sunny weather, but this is the UK and so anything is possible! We will always try to adapt the course venue to the weather conditions, but our courses always take place outside and many of the local crags are quite exposed. Please also be aware that, unless there is a significant safety risk, our courses will always run regardless of the weather. So, the key message is to please come well equipped to climb in all conditions and to be warm, dry and comfortable for extended periods outside. It is also worth mentioning that venues in the Peak District are always close to a road and so don’t worry about packing light – it is worth bringing more than you think you might need rather than being uncomfortable during the day.
- Rucksack large enough to carry all your clothing and lunch items. We will also ask you to carry a helmet, harness and rock shoes and so it helps to leave some spare capacity for these items.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Walking boots, approach shoes or sturdy trainers. The walk ins to crags is likely to be over challenging ground and it may be wet or muddy.
- Thermal base layer (synthetic fibres rather than cotton)
- Fleece mid layer
- Another spare warm layer
- Trousers that allow a full range of movement (not jeans)
- Hat and gloves
- Lunch and drink
- Spare food
- Personal first aid and medication
- Sunglasses and sun cream
- Rock climbing shoes or trainers
We can provide all specialised climbing equipment but if you have your own feel free to bring them along. The key items are a climbing harness (with belay device and screw gate carabiner), helmet and rock shoes. If you have any other climbing hardware you are welcome to bring that too. We will always provide ropes.