Depot Climbing

Common Climbing Questions

Find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about climbing with us.

Depot Climbing

What is bouldering?

One of the most common climbing questions we are asked

Bouldering is a style of climbing free from the use of ropes. Taking place above our state-of-the-art matting, climbers are free to express themselves on hundreds of climbs (called problems) for all abilities.

Everyone can enjoy bouldering – regardless of your level of fitness – and it’s a superb way to keep fit in a social environment. Here at Depot Climbing we cater for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. We have an expert team of friendly instructors who can get you started in under an hour with one of our inductions, or, can help you progress through the climbing grades on one of our coaching courses!

We are an Approved Member of the Association of British Climbing Walls.

How long do I get?

As long as you like! We do not enforce a time limit for sessions, but we do ask you to be mindful of the length of your session during busy periods due to limited capacities within the centres.

Do I need to pre-book?

Just arrive and we’ll get you to watch our induction video. You’ll then be asked some questions on the video, assuming we’re happy with the answers, we can sign you off the climb unsupervised that day.

You can pre-book our coaching sessions, social sessions and junior climbing activities via your local Depot Climbing centre website.

Do I need to complete and induction?

Yes, but a simple online induction by watching our induction video and completing a registration form.

There is no requirement for you to complete an in-person induction with a member of staff, except for answering some basic safety questions based on our induction video that you view online.

Do I need to be physically fit?

We cater our climbs to any individual level, so regardless of your own fitness, you will find plenty of options for climbing in our centres.

What should I wear?

The main thing is to be comfortable and wear something that allows for lots of movement. Loose gym-style clothing is perfect!

What do I need?

You don’t need to bring anything other than some comfortable clothes – equipment can be hired from our centres:

Climbing shoes: £3.5

Harness: £3.5

Belay Device: £1

Full hire set: £7 (BIG Depot sites only)

Our comprehensive on-site climbing shops are on hand with friendly staff to help you with any climbing equipment you might want to buy for yourself too!

Can I Climb if I'm scared of heights?

Most of our centres are bouldering specific, meaning you won’t be climbing very high (our walls are a maximum of 4.5 meters) with padded matting underneath. Often you will feel higher than you are on the wall, as our feet are a lot lower than our head and hands. As you settle into your climbing journey, you’ll likely notice your attention to height diminishing.

Our BIG Depot sites have walls up to 15 meters high, but with ‘clips’ attached to the wall spaced every 1.5 meters up each route.

When are your quiet times?

As we don’t have a booking system, busy periods can vary, but what we can say is that centres are usually at their quietest between 9-5, Monday to Friday.

What is the minimum age?

There is no minimum age, if you would like to supervise Under 18s yourself then please be aware that you will need a minimum of 1 Unsupervised Adult to every 2 Under 18s. U18’s registrations must be completed by the legal parent/guardians.

How do I become an adult unsupervised member?

Visit our website and select get into bouldering for the centre you want to attend. Here you will find our video induction and registration forms. Once completed you can come to the centre where we’ll ask you a few questions relating to the video to make sure you’re in the know. Once you’ve answered the questions correctly, you’ll be free to climb in the centre without supervision.

For roped climbing at our BIG Depot Centres, you will need to pass safety checks with one of our trained instructors before being signed off to climb independently.  If you are not signed-off, you can still climb in our centres, but will need to be signed in by an unsupervised climber.  Our Learn the Ropes courses are the perfect route to becoming an unsupervised climber.

Can I drop my child off and leave them unsupervised?

Only if they are aged between 14-18 and are experienced climbers who have been signed off to climb unsupervised in the centre.

Sign-off takes about 15 minutes and the parent or legal guardian must be present in the building whilst the assessment takes place. If you are on an instructed session (e.g Kids Club), you are welcome to leave once the child is with the instructor and return before the session finishes for the handover.

Can I make a change to my membership?

Yes, this can be done online via a simple and quick form available on the Membership section of the website.

cashless payments only

All of our Depot Climbing centres are now fully cashless; we can only accept payment via card and contactless.

Common Climbing Questions

We’ve tried to answer as many common climbing questions as we can here, based on what we are asked the most; but if you have a question you can’t find the answer to, click the link below and drop us an email. We’ll be happy to help!

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Depot Climbing

More about Depot Climbing

You can find out more about Depot Climbing on our About Us page, where you will find our Accessibility Statements.