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Everything you need to know about

Climbing for Teenagers

At Highball Climbing Centre.

TEENAGERS AT HIGHBALL

Climbing is a fantastic activity for teenagers. It’s exciting, social, and develops good balance, coordination and strength. The only complication is that, because of the nature of the sport, there are a lot of rules we all need to abide by. They apply to all climbing centres in the country and are designed to keep everybody as safe as possible.

Here’s a quick summary of the rules:

Anybody aged 12+
  • Can be supervised by an  experienced adult e.g. friend/family member
  • Can attend a supervised session with a Highball Instructor – see below.
  • Will need written consent from a parent/guardian (provided via the ‘Supervised‘ registration form) before taking part. 
  • Do not need parents/guardians to be present in the centre during the session.
Teenagers aged 14+

Can register for unsupervised climbing once they have achieved their Greencard (see below).

Teenagers aged 16 and 17

Can attend any of the adult courses where they can learn to climb independently and without supervision; effectively this is a fast track Greencard.

Coach-Supervised Sessions

We have a range of supervised climbing sessions suitable for teenagers, from one-off taster sessions, to pay as you go club sessions and ongoing coaching.

All these sessions can support the achievement of a Greencard

The Greencard

A Greencard allows teenagers aged 14+ to climb and/or boulder without the supervision of an adult. It is a privilege earned by displaying safe climbing under supervision and having an understanding and acceptance of the risks. Teenagers who wish to climb unsupervised must attend a course or a number of supervised sessions before taking the unsupervised access test in the presence of a parent or guardian*.

Note: A Greencard is a privilege, not a right. Young climbers who climb dangerously or behave immaturely could have their Greencard removed.

Greencard for Bouldering:

Teenagers aged 14+ who want to have unsupervised access to the bouldering walls will need to attend an Intro to Bouldering course.

Once the climber demonstrates a clear understanding of the risks of indoor bouldering and consistent safe bouldering and behaviour, the instructor will ask the climber to invite their parent/guardian to join them for the sign off briefing*. 16 & 17-year-olds can opt for direct access via the Bouldering Induction.

Sign off Requirements:

  • You need to be aged 14+ (16+ for lead climbing)
  • Be aware of and understand ‘The Risks’ and how to minimise them
  • Understand how to keep yourself and others safe whilst bouldering – this will include safe use of all required equipment.
  • Displays consistently safe behaviour
  • Greencard (Climbing)
  • Teenagers wanting to use both climbing and bouldering walls without supervision will also need to demonstrate how to use a harness and belay device safely.
  • Once the young climber can demonstrate consistent safe use of climbing equipment and shows and understanding of climbing risks and how to climb safely, the instructor will then ask the climber to invite their parent/guardian to join them for the sign off briefing*.
  • 16 & 17 year olds can opt for direct access via the Intro to Climbing Course.