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A wide-angled photograph from aerial view down the outdoor climbing wall of two boys climbing upwards and smiling towards the camera. One boy has his thumb up at the camera too.

Climbing

Climb new heights at Calvert Exmoor! With indoor and outdoor walls, your next adventure is ready come rain or shine...

Climbing

 

What is climbing?

Get ready to conquer new heights with climbing – an adventurous sport that involves scaling natural or man-made walls using physical strength and strategic thinking. From natural cliffs to purpose-built indoor bouldering walls, with each climb, your confidence, problem-solving skills and communication will improve too.

Climbing at Calvert Exmoor

At Calvert Exmoor, with indoor and outdoor climbing walls, we can promise thrills rain or shine. Our inclusive approach, with specialised equipment like hoists and slings, and the expert guidance, patience and compassion of our highly-trained instructors ensures everyone can take part and no one is left behind.

Your climbing session

Click on each step for more information on what you can expect from a climbing session with us…
A room with a red door and green floor. There are helmets on shelves and ropes hanging on hooks on the wall, a wheelchair in the centre at the back and in the foreground, there is a selection of harnesses on the floor laid out ready for guests to put them on.

1: Get ready

A room with a red door and green floor. There are helmets on shelves and ropes hanging on hooks on the wall, a wheelchair in the centre at the back and in the foreground, there is a selection of harnesses on the floor laid out ready for guests to put them on.

1: Get ready

  • You will meet your instructor at your allocated meeting point
  • Your meeting point will be given to you on arrival at the centre in advance of your activity sessions
  • Your instructor will take you to the equipment room to help you kit up with harnesses, helmets and any other specialised accessories needed for the session
A guest is turning to face the camera, wearing a white helmet and harness, as a member of Calvert Exmoor staff is securing a carabiner to her harness, which is attached to a rope in the indoor climbing wall area.

2: Learn how

A guest is turning to face the camera, wearing a white helmet and harness, as a member of Calvert Exmoor staff is securing a carabiner to her harness, which is attached to a rope in the indoor climbing wall area.

2: Learn how

  • Whether you’re using the indoor or outdoor climbing wall, your instructor will give you all a safety briefing before the activity starts. This will include teaching you how to use your equipment and what to expect from the session
  • Your instructor will be able to teach you techniques and answer any questions you have, as well as setting you challenges that are achievable and fun
A guest in a blue helmet is on the indoor climbing wall and smiling towards the camera.

3: Have a go

A guest in a blue helmet is on the indoor climbing wall and smiling towards the camera.

3: Have a go

  • After your brief, everyone has a go on our ‘cableway’, which is often described as a back-to-front zipwire, as it goes from the floor to the top of the climbing wall. This gives you an opportunity to get a feel for the heights
  • Depending on group numbers and staff-to-guest ratios, you’ll climb one (or two) at a time, with the rest of your group and the instructor supporting you along the way
  • When you’re not climbing, you might be given the opportunity to help belay the climber with the instructor
  • Set yourself some challenges: whether that’s just giving it a good go or climbing a more challenging route
A group of guests are wearing helmets and harnesses and are jumping with joy at the bottom of the indoor climbing wall, facing the camera.

4: Finish up

A group of guests are wearing helmets and harnesses and are jumping with joy at the bottom of the indoor climbing wall, facing the camera.

4: Finish up

  • At the end of your session, your instructor will remove any ropes attached to each of you and will take you to the equipment storage, where you’ll return your helmets and harnesses, before heading back to the centre.

Climbing equipment

Whether you want to get an idea of what our kit looks like, or see some of our specialised gear that helps make our sessions more accessible, have a look below…
A silver metal mobile hoist in front of the climbing wall with a black T section with hooks on.

Mobile hoists

A silver metal mobile hoist in front of the climbing wall with a black T section with hooks on.

Mobile hoists

  • These hoists can be used to transfer a wheelchair user from their own chair into the appropriate harnesses and safety systems
A selection of seven different harnesses laying out on the floor at the bottom of the indoor climbing wall.

Harnesses

A selection of seven different harnesses laying out on the floor at the bottom of the indoor climbing wall.

Harnesses

  • Harnesses come in all shapes and sizes – these ones are called “sit” harnesses and are commonly used for rope-based activities like climbing
  • This picture shows harnesses on the floor ready to put your feet into the smaller circles and then pull up and over your waist, like a pair of trousers
  • Our instructors will help you to choose the right harness for you and show you how to put it on correctly
A member of Calvert Exmoor staff is sitting in the accessible sling and being suspended above the ground by another member of staff who is using a belay system in the foreground. The blue abseiling chair is to the left of the picture.

Kite Harness – Flexible

A member of Calvert Exmoor staff is sitting in the accessible sling and being suspended above the ground by another member of staff who is using a belay system in the foreground. The blue abseiling chair is to the left of the picture.

Kite Harness – Flexible

  • This harness has velcro strips which allow instructors to attach some special padding that increases the rigidity of the harness
  • Without the padding, the Kite harness adds a different level of support: the harness is easily moulded to the shape of the user
  • Individuals who need extra spinal support benefit from this gear
The blue Abseiling wheelchair with a red seat shaped cushion inside in the middle of the floor to showcase the equipment.

Kite Harness – Rigid

The blue Abseiling wheelchair with a red seat shaped cushion inside in the middle of the floor to showcase the equipment.

Kite Harness – Rigid

  • This harness has velcro strips, which attach the red-coloured seating inside the chair: this increases the rigidity of the seating
  • The red seating adds more structure to the seat, which can be a better option for some people than its flexible counterpart (Kit Harness – Flexible)
  • Individuals who need extra spinal support benefit from this gear
Three shelves with three green helmets on the top shelf, three red helmets on the central shelf and four blue helmets on the bottom shelf.

Helmets

Three shelves with three green helmets on the top shelf, three red helmets on the central shelf and four blue helmets on the bottom shelf.

Helmets

  • In all of our rope-based activities, you must wear a helmet!
  • We have helmets of all sizes
The camera is at knee-height and facing upwards, focused on a piece of climbing equipment and a person's hand and waist next to the equipment with the orange indoor climbing wall behind.

Rope Equipment

The camera is at knee-height and facing upwards, focused on a piece of climbing equipment and a person's hand and waist next to the equipment with the orange indoor climbing wall behind.

Rope Equipment

  • Don’t worry, it’ll be the instructor’s responsibility to use this equipment and, should you need to use it yourself, they’ll teach you exactly how to use it safely
  • This equipment could include ropes and various metalwork
A man wearing glasses is standing facing the camera and smiling, wearing a harness that goes around his chest, shoulders, waist and legs.

Chest Harness

A man wearing glasses is standing facing the camera and smiling, wearing a harness that goes around his chest, shoulders, waist and legs.

Chest Harness

  • Much like a “sit” harness is pulled on like a pair of trousers, the chest harness is put on like a jacket
  • This harness engages around the top half of the body and attaches onto the “sit” harness, which creates a full-body support system
  • This is typically used for those who are
    • larger-bodied
    • smaller-bodied
    • lack core strength
    • would simply like to feel more supported
A member of Calvert Exmoor staff smiles at the camera holding up a harness, which can be used for accessible climbing and abseiling, within a red wheelchair in front of the indoor climbing wall.

Pont Harness

A member of Calvert Exmoor staff smiles at the camera holding up a harness, which can be used for accessible climbing and abseiling, within a red wheelchair in front of the indoor climbing wall.

Pont Harness

  • The Pont harness is similar to the Kite harness, in that the seat section is rigid, but the back support is not
  • This harness benefits users who may need extra support but still have the core stability to sit upright by themselves

FAQs

Yes! We leave no one out and no matter what, we do everything we can to make sure you can enjoy the experience of climbing in a way that suits you and keeps you safe.

At Calvert Exmoor, it’s what you CAN do that counts. Our instructors use the term ‘challenge by choice’, which ensures that while you’re taking part and given challenges along the way, you ultimately always have the agency and control over your own limitations. Our staff are there to keep you safe but also build your confidence, even if this means accomplishing a simpler version of the activity.

Every instructor has:

  • extensive in-house training including observation hours logged prior to running a session independently
  • Either
    • a Climbing Wall Instructor (CWI) qualification including an abseil module by British Mountaineering Council
    • OR
    • a Rock Climbing Instructor (RCI) qualification by British Mountaineering Council

Our climbing activities can take place either in our sports hall or outside at our outdoor climbing and abseil wall. Both of these are onsite (2 minute walk away from the main centre) and next door to each other.