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What is Good Climbing Etiquette?

What is Good Indoor Climbing Etiquette?

Coming into a climbing centre for the first time can be a daunting experience for some. With the climbing industry growing so fast, newcomers often don’t get the benefit of learning the community and social norms from more seasoned climbers. Because of this, new climbers can unknowingly violate these norms and potentially taint a session and the psych of others in the process. This isn’t just directly new climbers though, those experienced within the sport can fall guilty of this too! 

The good news is that if you’re here and reading this then you’re keen to learn more about the community and etiquette! We’ve listed some points below to help as much as possible.

Always be aware of your surroundings.
Seriously, you need to be aware 24/7 when you’re in a climbing centre.

This is one of the most important things when you are navigating a climbing centre, people can quite literally be all around you.
To avoid any embarrassing or dangerous situations you need to take into consideration all aspects of your surroundings, such as where a climber may land if/when they fall, will this boulder problem cross paths with another one someone is on & keeping an appropriate social distance from other climbers.
What it mainly comes down to is, if a climber is on the wall they always have ‘right of way’. 

(Picture preCOVID when fist bumps weren’t discouraged)

Respecting others in the centre.

There are several ways you can respect other climbers in a centre, most originate from simple manners. Below are slightly more specific points that will help to keep the psych high.

+ Don’t be afraid to ask. As intimidating as strong or seasoned climbers can be, they are secretly big softies and like to see other people getting into the sport and following the right etiquette.

+ Avoid hogging a certain bloc. Projecting a bloc can be fun and satisfying especially once you get the full send, but hogging a route and not allowing others to try it doesn’t go down well. Sharing is caring, right? If there is someone projecting a bloc, asking to have a go doesn’t go amiss!

+ Don’t force unsolicited advice or ‘Beta Spray’. A lot, if not most people, enjoy the problem-solving aspect of climbing, so to have someone come over and break down a project for you, completely uninvited, can come across in a very negative manner. This isn’t just newbies to the sport who fall guilty to this one, regulars and seasoned climbers regularly fall into this category too. If you’re itching to help someone out, again ask first and if they say ‘no’ respect their answer. Manners cost nothing and go a long way!

+ Those who brush, crush! Brushing holds is one of those things that gets overlooked very easily. It will often be the deciding factor if you get up a bloc or not! Saying that don’t jump on a bloc while someone is putting their brush down, that’s like jumping the queue or stealing their fruits of labour! Wait for them to have a go, then ask, brush it yourself and have a climb! 

+ Avoid disrupting the peace. Climbing can be hard, power grunts happen, everyone understands that. Swearing and shouting at an excessive level, however, can be avoided. Allow others to climb without being distracted by loud noises, it’ll stop from potentially ruining their climbing session.

That is pretty much it! It doesn’t sound too hard either does it? It mainly comes down to being aware within the centre, respecting others and having a bit of manners throughout!
We all make mistakes, we’re only human after all, but if you learn from them that’s the main thing!