New to climbing?
You don't need to have climbed before to become a member (although it helps); if you are new to the sport we will offer advice on how to learn the skills you need, and introduce you to like-minded outdoorsy people. You can also practise your hiking and pub-going – key skills for those days when it's too wet to climb. We run an annual Novice Meet, usually in early May, where experienced climbers help out members who want to try climbing or improve their skills.
Please note that we're not a training or guiding organisation, and cannot provide direct training. We can however help new members to find appropriate training courses.
New to the club?
If you're not new to climbing but are new to Rockhoppers, and want to climb on our trips, at a minimum we ask that you are a competent belayer and second with your own basic gear (harness, shoes, belay plate, helmet). If you have a trad rack and rope(s) and are willing to lead, you will find yourself with more options and flexibility on trips. Our trips are mostly self-organised, meaning you will need to find your own climbing partner(s). We can help you find people to climb with through our regular meets at the Castle Climbing Centre and the pub, or our Facebook and Whatsapp groups.
Rockhoppers trip are usually to trad venues (i.e. placing your own gear), though there are occasional ventures to bolted crags for some sport climbing action, and bouldering is often an option. Most of our members climb between VDiff and the lower E grades (British trad grades - between about F4 and F7b equivalent in sport/indoor grades).
Rockhoppers climb weekly at the Castle Climbing Centre on Tuesday nights and members arrange informal session on other days and other venues. Every 2nd Tuesday of the month we host a prospective/new members night.
There is no minimum climbing level required to join but we do ask those who join to be component belayers and registered as unsupervised climbers at the Castle.
We have a few Whatsapp Group for members for climbing at the Castle, Westway and The Reach - contact the Climbers' Rep
to get your number added.
Get involved and do it yourself!
We strongly encourage our members to be self-organised, and actively involved. This can be through attending several trips a year, volunteering to lead a trip (newbies welcome to volunteer too!), or posting photos and stories of your adventures to Facebook or our newsletter. If you have an idea for a trip outside our official calendar, in the UK or abroad, promote and arrange this with our members to broaden our skills and experience as a club.
Find information on the club's commitments to its climbing members
, or feel free to contact the Climbers' Rep
for more info.