HOW THINGS ARE WORKING NOW...
In the last year a lot has changed for climbing walls and the climbing industry. In delivering all of our activities we follow the guidelines laid down by the Association of British Climbing Walls (the ABC), the National Indoor Climbing Industry Award Scheme body (the ABC Training Trust) and guidelines set out by the UK Government related to Covid-19 measures. Climbers are used to managing risk and we treat Covid-19 as another risk that we must all take individual responsibility to manage – to protect ourselves and those in our community. Our objective has always been to keep our team safe, to keep you safe and to ensure that your experience at the wall is a positive one.
Most of you are familiar with the measures that have been put in place over the last year to manage the changing situation – please remember the core mantra:
- HANDS – sanitise when you arrive and before and after every climb
- FACE – please wear a covering at all times except when actively climbing, consuming food in our cafe or if you are exempt (see FAQ’s for latest guidance)
- SPACE – please respect social distancing and give each other space when choosing routes and moving around
As we move into the next phase of the UK’s Roadmap for Easing Lockdown in 2021 we are able to open some of our activities. With each phase we will be able to offer more and more of the exciting range of activities that indoor climbing centres are used to providing.
The Roadmap will evolve and we will keep you up to date as it does – but please ensure you are familiar with what you are allowed to do at each stage when you visit.
Step 2 – from April 12th (we hope) will enable us to open up:
- Pre-bookable climbing for our registered climbers and experienced climbers from within the same household/support bubble
- Taster, Induction and Intro to Climbing Sessions as well as 1:1 Coaching for participants from within the same household or support bubble
- Youth Climbing Programmes including youth clubs, squads and organised activities for external youth organisations
- Takeaway food and drinks in The Workshop Café.
For up to date detailed information please refer to our FAQs and our social media pages so you are aware of what to expect and what you might need to consider before your visit
The Key Points....
- Stay at home if you have symptoms of Covid-19, or if anyone in your household has symptoms. We reserve the right to ask you to leave if you display symptoms during your visit. Please be aware of NHS England’s guidance on Covid-19 symptoms and what to do if you display them
- Pre-book your climb or boulder before visiting using our new online booking system
- Familiarise yourself with the current Roadmap Phase – starting with Step 2 during which you can only climb individually or with your household/support bubble or if taking part in an organised youth activity or one-to-one coaching activity at the centre
- Sanitise your hands when entering the building, before and after every climb, when moving through different parts of the centre and when leaving. There are sanitiser stations around the centre and we have individual hand sanitisers on sale at reception
- Wear your face covering at ALL times except when climbing, bouldering, when purchasing food in the cafe (currently operating as takeaway only) or if you are exempt. This means coverings should be worn when moving between climbs, when stationary on the climbing floor and, if you can communicate effectively with your climbing partner, when belaying
- Respect social distancing and be considerate of other climbers when moving around the centre and choosing climbs
- Follow directional signs and instructions
- Bring your own water (we will have bottled water on sale if you forget)
- Avoid coughing into your hands and touching your face
- Arrive ready to climb
- Please bring your own padlock for our new lockers (padlocks will be available to purchase at the centre if you forget)
There are sanitiser stations throughout the centre and we encourage you all to bring your own hand sanitiser too (we have some available for sale at Reception). Please sanitise when you enter the building, when you visit the bathrooms and before and after every climb. If you use the training equipment (either in the Moon Board Room or the rings by The Quarry) please sanitise before and after using it.
It is your responsibility to adopt strict sanitising protocols when using the centre in order to protect yourself and others around you.
We regularly clean high touch areas of the centre such as toilets, door handles, screens and movable equipment. Hold cleaning will continue to take place only when holds are removed from the wall as part of route setting.
We have operated with reduced capacity for the last 8 months (when open) – we’ve got a large, high space with lots of choice of routes. Capacity has been set for roped climbing and for bouldering as well as for the Clip ‘n Climb arena. As and when we can, we will adjust capacity if needed or allowed.
Please be mindful of other climbers. You are responsible for managing distancing while using the centre, however our floorwalkers will remind you if they feel you are breaching the guidelines and we reserve the right to ask you to leave if you do not comply.
You can book online through our website or through the Rock Gym Pro app which can be downloaded onto all smartphones.
- Choose from a morning, afternoon or evening climb – sessions will be at least 3.5 hours long – or for any of the activities available at the time (sessions, coaching, clubs etc depending on the current guidelines)
- Booking will stay open until the last minute to afford you more flexibility in planning. You can even book from your phone from outside the centre and as long as there is space in the session you can join.
- To help you plan your visit, when remaining capacity is low you will be able to see how many slots are still available.
- You’ll be asked to pay online
- If you’re a holder of an annual membership or multi-climb punch card you should select the Members Booking options when booking – this will enable you to use your membership or remaining punches to ‘pay’ for your climb
- For climbing/bouldering you can turn up at any point from the start of your session – you don’t have to turn up on the dot.
- For courses or sessions please turn up 5 minutes before the start of your session briefing
- When you arrive at the centre you will have to check in. Please ensure you have access to your booking confirmation email.
- Our floor walkers will call the end of the session with a 5 minute warning to all climbers and there will be a gap between sessions to limit crossover of climbers
We use Rock Gym Pro to manage bookings, memberships and our customer database.
When you first book a session at the centre, we recommend creating an Online Profile as this automates a lot of the form filling for subsequent bookings.
Once you have an Online Profile, you can use it to make bookings via our website by clicking on the ‘Log In’ option before you book. You can also view your profile online and review any prior bookings.
The Rock Gym Pro App is also available to download if you have an android or Apple smartphone. You can use it to manage and make bookings – there’s also a clever widget that shows you real time capacity in the centre (ignore the time zone though!).
Where possible please arrive ready to climb and change before you arrive at The Quay. Please bring minimal personal belongings into the centre. We have reduced locker capacity and have installed new lockers which are easier to sanitise. We will have some open cubbyholes if you do have larger items. You will now need to bring your own padlock – if you forget, we will have some on sale at the centre. Please sanitise before and after using the lockers. Please bear in mind that space around the lockers is relatively constrained so be sensitive to other users when leaving and collecting belongings.
Please bring your own climbing gear. We will have rental kit available if you forget or if you are visiting the area without your gear but we would prefer you to use your own kit. Rental shoes will be sprayed after every use, as they always have been (inside and outside).
Some of you may have trained throughout lockdown but for many of us its been a long break from the wall. Please climb within your limits and don’t push yourself – prudent choices at the wall will avoid accidents or injury.
Climbers are expected to respect social distancing while using the centre. Climbers from the same household or social bubble may climb together more closely in groups of six or less. Otherwise please keep the government recommended distance between yourself and others. If unsure please refer to government social distancing guidelines
Please follow directional signage to help you move through the centre safely. There will be a one-way system to help you enter and exit the centre and manage the stairways. Please be courteous in all areas and sensitive to others in narrow or busier sections. Areas that are particularly narrow will be clearly marked.
You are expected to wear face coverings when moving around the centre and at all times except when climbing or consuming food and drink in our cafe. We require you to wear coverings when stationary on the climbing floor and between climbs and recommend you wear them when belaying as long as you can safely communicate with your climbing partner. If you are exempt just let the team at Reception know.
The Workshop Café will operate a takeaway service only during Step 2 of the Lockdown Easing. You can still enjoy all your favourite snacks and drinks after your climb but they must now be purchased to take away.
Our current policy regarding face coverings reflects the most current UK Government legislation and industry guidance and applies to all customers aged 11 upwards.
You SHOULD wear a face covering when
- Arriving at the centre and moving around our public spaces
- Checking in at reception
- Ordering takeaways from the Cafe or purchasing merchandise
- Receiving any Safety Briefing (for example harness checks or a Clip ‘n Climb Briefing)
- Clipping children into climbs at Clip ‘n Climb unless you are also participating yourself
- Moving around the climbing arena and boulder caves between routes
- Using bathrooms
- Belaying – please ensure you can safely communicate with your climbing partner
- Actively climbing, bouldering or participating in Clip ‘n Climb as a climber
- Consuming food or drinks in our café table service area (the cafe is currently closed to table service whilst we are in Tier 3)
- If you are exempt
Our Reception Team will check in with anyone not wearing a face covering. If you are exempt just let the team know or show them your UK Gov exemption card/app. Don’t worry if you forget your face covering – we will have buffs and single use face masks on sale in our reception area.
Our team will be wearing face coverings around the centre and for some duties you will also see them donning face shields and/or PPE.
If you hold an annual membership you will still need to book your climbing session. Please do NOT turn up without booking as we will not be able to let you in.
When you book, select the Members Climbing or Members Bouldering option. This will enable you to make a booking using your membership. We ask you to be considerate when making bookings and do not block book sessions.
We will not be selling new monthly memberships for the time being. If you are an existing monthly member, you will still have 15 days left on your membership in lieu of the closure period in March 2020. When you book, select the Members Climbing or Members Bouldering option. This will enable you to make a booking using your membership. We ask you to be considerate when making bookings and do not block book sessions.
Ten Climb Punch Cards and Annual Memberships will continue to be available as options for our regular climbers.
If you have a current Ten Climb Punch Card you will still need to book your climbing session. Please do NOT turn up without booking as we will not be able to let you in.
You will be able to use your remaining ‘punches’ (climbs) to pay for your climb . When you book, please select the Members Climbing or Members Bouldering option.
No. All external instructors must contact us (call on 01392 426 850 or email) at least 24 hours in advance to discuss whether a visit is possible for them and their group. We will not provide entry to any group that turns up without booking.
Yes! Youth activities are approved from Step 2 of the UK Government Roadmap to Lockdown Easing. Your child can climb at the centre in one of these ways:
- Climbing under the supervision of a competent adult in their household or bubble. If your child is a keen climber then you are welcome to bring them to the centre but you will have to belay them yourself and be responsible for them for the duration of their visit unless they are a Purple or Green Card Holder. To book select the concession option together with the ‘Belay Partner for a Child’ option. Its free to accompany your child as a belay partner during off peak sessions (weekday mornings and afternoons) and costs just £2 at peak times (weekends and evenings).
- By attending one of our Youth Climbing Clubs or Squad programmes – for more details email email@example.com
- By attending a taster or coached session with our instructors on a one-to-one basis or with members of your household
If you’re a competent belayer, signed off to belay at the centre, you’re welcome to bring your child climbing as long as they are aged 5+ and you supervise them at all times. We ask that you book in alongside your child as we need to know who is in the centre and when for capacity management and Track and Trace. If you plan to climb (for example on auto belays) please book a climbing slot for yourself and concession slots for your child. If you are just belaying then you can select the Belay Partner for a Child option. Its free during off peak sessions (that’s the weekday morning and afternoon sessions) and it costs just £2 at peak times (that’s evenings and weekends).
There’s been lots of discussion around the use of liquid chalk and its role in supporting infection control. Whilst, in theory, if the alcohol in liquid chalk is sufficiently concentrated (70%+) it could kill the virus there is no conclusive proof of this. Therefore it is not in any way a replacement for good hand hygiene (sanitising before and after every climb) or social distancing. However, if you use chalk we would advise you to invest in liquid chalk and it could be seen as a back-up to other sanitising procedures. We will have liquid chalk on sale at Reception. Please ensure that it has dried completely before climbing and mark your bottle clearly so that it is not picked up by other climbers.
We ask that you bring your own climbing gear where possible. Rental gear will be available if absolutely necessary. We will be spraying rental shoes on the inside and outside after every use but harnesses will not be cleaned.
The Government guidelines say that air flow should be 20L per person per second. This is a very low rate of flow especially in a building our size so we should achieve this level of air flow relatively easily. We have installed a Carbon Dioxide monitor which will indicate whether ventilation is adequate and our fans will be in operation.
At the end of each session we will sweep the arena for lost property. If it can be easily identified (ie is named/labelled) we will bag it in a sealed bag for customers to collect – you should quarantine the bag for 3 days before opening it. If items cannot be easily identified we will NOT be able to store them in the centre and will have to dispose of them. Please make every effort to take your belongings home with you and label any items that you would not wish to lose.
We require at least 48 hour notice to cancel any session booking. Cancellations after this point will not be eligible for a refund.
Covid-19 Exemption – if you or any member of your household displays symptoms of Covid-19 you should cancel your visit regardless of notice. We will arrange a refund.
To cancel please call us on 01392 426 850.
The latest guidelines provided by the UK Government for our sector can be found here
Sector specific guidance has been published by the Association of British Climbing Walls (the ABC) and approved by The British Mountaineering Council, the sport’s National Governing Body for England and Wales. The ABC Guidelines can be found here. These guidelines are compliant with those produced by the Department of Culture, media and Sport which have been written in consultation with UK Active, Sport England, Sport and Recreation Alliance, National Governing Bodies, Public Health England and the HSE.