With the number of new climbing gyms opening up in Perth, the popularity of climbing and bouldering indoors has grown exponentially.

When I first started climbing indoors, learning the ropes outdoors was essentially going along with a more experienced climber and entrusting them to know what they are doing and will put your safety first. I was pretty fortunate however not everyone may have that opportunity. With the abundance of information available on the internet these days, it’s just as easy to watch a Youtube video in the morning and go climbing outdoors for the first time by noon. You don’t know what you don’t know and being oblivious, you could be putting yourself or others at risk.

Our first “Transition to Climbing Outdoors” Workshop was held on Saturday 14th September at Mountain Quarry, Perth’s local outdoor gym. Through theory and practical activities, our team of 8 volunteers shared the importance of preparation, communication and awareness when we go climbing. As well as the attitude we should be bringing to the rock, learning how to use our equipment to safely climb up, clean anchors and come back down.

The “Transition to Climbing Outdoors” Workshop was an idea to bridge the gap between the indoors and out, a workshop to help people gain the confidence to safely venture out on their own and enjoy what the outdoors has to offer.

Safety is an attitude that we choose to carry and begins days before we jump in the car. We shared the importance of preparation, such as understanding the expected weather conditions as well as how to tease out vital information from route descriptions. A show and tell pointing out different types of bolts on the rock and passing around some dodgy bolts gave the participants an awareness of what they should they be looking out for. The importance of effective communication on the rock and common misunderstandings, how to safely belay when climbing outdoors as well as last-minute checks before leaving the ground highlighted the importance of preparation.

The afternoon practical session focused around understanding what to do when we reach a bolt and when we reach the anchor. All participants practised cleaning the anchors multiple times on the ground before cleaning a climb with the support from their instructor hanging by their side.

The workshop received really positive feedback from both the participants and community and we’d like to thank everyone for their support, it means a lot to the team.

Looking forward to seeing you all on the rock.

Safe climbing
Peter Zhang


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