Climbing Resources

What Experience Level am I?

Experience Levels are defined in our Rock climbing Standard Operating Procedure.  You should use these as a guide and err on the side of caution if unsure (or out of practice).


Skills required


  • None required

Novice Climber

(i.e. Top rope)

  • Can tie a figure eight knot
  • Can confidently and safely belay on top rope
  • Communicates using standard climbing calls


As a guide, Novices should attend at least 10 climbing trips (both indoor and outdoor) prior to working on Intermediate level skills

Intermediate Climber

(i.e. Sport)

  • Competent at all Novice skills
  • Can confidently and safely belay a lead climber
  • Can safely lead on sport climbs


As a guide, Intermediates should attend at least 10 outdoor climbing trips prior to working on Advanced level skills

Advanced Climber

(i.e. Trad)

  • Competent at all Intermediate skills
  • Can abseil safely
  • Can set up top rope anchors
  • Can competently place protection on trad climbs
  • Can prusik
  • Is familiar with basic rope rescue techniques
  • Can set up multi-directional anchors on multi-pitch routes


As a guide, an Intermediate climber may take a year or more of regular outdoor climbing, or lead 20+ trad routes, before considering themselves to be at Advanced level


What gear do I need?

If you’re just starting out with indoor climbing, you can hire a rock climbing harness, shoes, screwgate carabiner and belay device from the climbing centre.  If you go often, it will quickly become cheaper to purchase your own. 

For outdoor trips, it is expected that Novice climbers will have their own rock climbing harness, screwgate carabiner, belay device and shoes - climbs led by a club leader can utillise the club beginners climbing kit.  Rock climbing helmets must be worn on all AOAC outdoor trips – a limited number are available for hire from the Club.

Intermediate climbers are expected to have their own helmet, harness, screwgate carabiners, belay device, sling, shoes, 60m (or longer) dynamic rope and quick draws (or be able to share the last two items with someone).

Advanced climbers are expected to have all of the above, and their own trad rack (or be able to share with someone who does).

What else do I need to know?

Please read the Rockclimbing Standard Operating Procedures for information on how rock climbing trips are organised, and your personal responsibilities as a trip participant or leader.

Standards for Belaying

Standards for reviewing a member for leading an indoor climbing session

Question not answered?

Email [email protected] for more info.

Climbing Pages

AOAC Activities