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Everything you need to know about

Climbing for Teenagers

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.

Teen Social

What it is: Our Teen Social is a casual, drop-in session aimed at 14-19 year old experienced boulderers. A Highball coach will be on-hand* to offer advice on techniques and skill until 21:00. This is an opportunity to climb and socialise in a safe and welcoming environment with others of a similar age group. Ideal for those who have come through our NICAS Bouldering program.

No commitment required, each week can be booked separately. 

When is it: Every Friday 6:30pm – 9:30 pm (arrive and leave at any time)

Who’s it for: Individuals aged 14-19

Price: Entry priced at standard Concession rate £11.50 or multi-pass/membership holders.

Do you want to take part in our Teen Social but not signed off to climb independently yet? No worries! Take a look at our ‘Teen Intro to Bouldering’ below and get yourself signed off.

*While we aim to have a Highball coach on-hand to offer advice on techniques and skill until 21:00, this is not always guaranteed as this is an independent climbing session.

Intro To Bouldering

What it is: This session is the same as our Intro to Bouldering but for teens. It’s a single session that covers all the basics of bouldering, as well as how to be safe on the wall and walking around the centre so you can climb independently. It does not teach you how to use our roped walls. See our ‘Intro to climbing’ if this is what you are looking for.

(Please note, under 16’s will need a parent/guardian present to counter sign their forms before and after the session.)

When is it: Weekly on a Friday between 6pm – 7pm*

Who’s it for: Adults / Teenagers aged 14+

Duration: 1 hour + optional particiapation in teen social afterwards

Price: £20

*You will need to select the Friday that is relevant to your desired booking day 


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.