In previous years, winter indoor climbing was really organised informally by KMC members themselves. This year we have a lot of new members so I think we need to make a bit more effort – to make sure everyone is getting out climbing and has a partner to belay them.
To try and ensure members are going for an indoor climb, we’d like to encourage members to come climbing at the Kong Wall in Keswick on Tuesday evenings (e.g. from about 5:30/6:00 until 8:00/9:30). Climbs at Kong have normally been followed by a drink (and food?) at Wetherspoons. Each group of people will have different amounts of stamina and will want to stay later at Kong, or leave earlier. Some will not feel the urge to climb at all, and will just come along to Wetherspoons for a bit of a chat (typically from 8:30 onwards).
Of course members will get together in smaller groups of 2 or 3 to climb at other times at Kong (or other walls) but by setting one fixed day/time each week we will enable a bit more socializing.
We have also been approached by Kong to provide a “Guaranteed belay” scheme on Tuesday evenings. This would be aimed at new climbers at Kong (who are either experienced but have just moved into the area, or are new to climbing and have just finished a climbing course over several weeks at Kong). These climbers are potential new KMC members but initially want to meet other climbers and have someone to belay them. We have produced some posters to be put up at Kong to advertise this guaranteed belay scheme and those interested will be asked to contact us in advance of each Tuesday evening meet at Kong. We don’t know how many climbers will register, but for every two Kong climbers registering, we need to find KMC volunteers to climb with them and belay them. If you volunteer, you would still be able to do your normal climbing (e.g. with them belaying you). One big benefit of volunteering to climb with and belay a Kong newbie is that KMC members who do this volunteering on a Tuesday evening will be given free entrance to Kong for that session (I’ll notify Kong each week, who has asked for a guaranteed belayer and which KMC member(s) have volunteered for the belaying and should be let in free).
If you are likely to come to Kong fairly often on a Tuesday evening, and you would like to volunteer to belay newbies (and get in free), then let me know by emailing email@example.com . Kong have asked that belay volunteers should be prepared to stay until 9:00 (ideally 9:30). Having said this, I imagine that if your newbies want to leave earlier then you won’t be forced to hang around.
I intend to set up a WhatsApp group to allow instant messaging about the next meet (typically to take place in the few days preceding a meet). I won’t automatically add all members to this group but if you are likely to come along to some Tuesday evening Kong meets you’ll probably find it useful (more immediate than a message on Facebook). So email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the group. WhatsApp ‘pings’ when a message is received, but allows you to switch this off individually for each group. For a large group like the KMC, I suggest you do switch the group to be silent. WhatsApp uses your mobile phone number as your identifier (which effectively make it public in the group) – but the group is for KMC members only so this should not be a privacy problem.
It’s worth reminding you that Kong give KMC members a discount (whenever we climb) so take your KMC card and ask for the KMC discounted rate.
Thanks for your attention. I look forward to hearing from most of you to say you’d like to be part of the WhatsApp group (where you’ll then hear more about Tuesday evening meets). I also hope a few of you will be prepared to climb for free on Tuesdays, to help new climbers get out climbing with a belayer. See you Tuesday evening!
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