While many of our members did resume personal climbing for some of 2020, the club did not resume our normal climbing meets. We hope that it will be possible to resume climbing meets before too long (after Easter), in a way that maintains social distancing and protects the health of our members. We did organise some scrambling meets in 2020, as it is easier to maintain social distancing, and avoid sharing gear.
Many of us rely on club meets because we need someone to climb with (e.g. a belayer). In the absence of club meets, use the club facebook site and or the website forums to find someone to climb with. If more than one person responds to your request, please do not be tempted to go out in groups larger than 2 (unless they are all part of your household, and/or you are happy that you are following government advice)
The BMC advice is that if you do go out climbing and hill walking you should be cautious in your actions (to avoid the possibility of requiring rescue and putting extra strain on health services), be respectful of local communities (many of whom may not support your actions in going out climbing because of fear that you may transmit the virus), and be extremely vigilant in avoiding transmitting the virus.
- Stay at home if you have any symptoms of the virus, or have had any possible contact with a carrier.
- Maintain social distancing of 2m with anyone outside your household (so choose single pitch routes or routes with large belay ledges that will allow this).
- Be cautious of touching surfaces and shared equipment. Don’t put the rope in your mouth. Be committed to hand hygiene. Take hand sanitiser and sanitise before and after every pitch. Consider top-roping single-pitch routes as a way of minimising the need to touch shared gear.
- Scale back your ambitions: be cautious and choose objectives well within your technical and physical limits to minimise the risk of accident and injury. Mountain rescue teams are still stretched.
- Avoid popular/crowded areas; seek out less frequented venues, and have backup plans to avoid overcrowding.
- Where possible stay local (whilst not part of government advice, rural communities are sensitive to increased visitor numbers, fearing incoming climbers and walkers will bring the virus with them). Be sensitive and respectful of local communities and give houses, farm buildings, vehicles and people a wide berth. Inconsiderate actions could damage the public’s view of climbers and climbing, making access to crags more difficult in the future.
- Some car parks may still be blocked off and closed – check car park status here before you head to a climbing venue.