Climbing Wall Instructor Courses in the Lake District

 Photo courtesy of jon chamberlain

Photo courtesy of jon chamberlain

The Climbing Wall Instructor (previously the Climbing Wall Award) is a national qualification administered by Mountain Training. It is about supervising climbers on purpose-built artificial climbing walls and boulders. It is ideal for people who work at climbing walls or at venues with permanent or mobile climbing towers. There is also an optional abseil and top-roping module (often run in conjunction with the training and assessment courses). Chris is approved by Mountain Training as a course provider for the Climbing Wall Instructor scheme. You can read more about it below, and you can check out the Climbing Wall Instructor page on the Mountain Training website.

Why book with us?

There are many Climbing Wall Instructor course providers throughout Britain, so why should you book with us? 

  1. We present the course syllabus in a relaxed, fun atmosphere, with the emphasis on interactive learning to encourage you to ask questions and get the most out of your time with us. 
  2. We view the assessment course as an opportunity for extending your learning and competence. 
  3. We offer discounts to returning clients: 5% off to any candidate who has previously done a Mountain Training qualification course with us. 
  4. Our clients think we do a great job! Check out some of their comments towards the bottom of the page.

What are the pre-requisites for the Climbing Wall Instructor?

Before you book onto a Climbing Wall Instructor training course, you need to:

  • be at least 17 years old
  • register on the scheme at Mountain Training and have an account on Mountain Training’s Candidate Management System, which includes a digital logbook (DLOG)
  • have at least 6 months of experience of using a variety of climbing walls
  • have an interest in climbing and in supervising groups on climbing walls
  • visit three different climbing walls on at least fifteen different occasions, including at least one major public wall
  • have led ten routes at F4 on climbing walls
  • have an understanding of the wider sport of climbing
  • enter your climbing experience in your DLOG

All our training courses include the abseil and top roping module, but some training courses run by other providers don’t include it. Before you book onto a Climbing Wall Instructor abseil module training course, you need to:

  • attend a Climbing Wall Award or Climbing Wall Instructor training course
  • have experience of at least 5 abseils from more than one location

The period between training and assessment varies in length for each person and is an opportunity to develop your skills, paying particular attention to any weaknesses identified during the training course. There is no time limit.

Before you book onto a Climbing Wall Instructor assessment course, you need to:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • attend a Climbing Wall Award or Climbing Wall Instructor training course or be granted exemption by Mountain Training
  • be familiar with the syllabus
  • complete a minimum of thirty visits to at least three different climbing walls
  • have led a minimum of forty climbs on indoor walls · be confident climbing routes at F4
  • assist in the supervision of at least fifteen instructed sessions on at least two different walls, including a large public facility in a variety of contexts. At least five of these sessions must have personal reflective comments recorded in your DLOG
  • have a current first aid certificate, minimum 8 hours and relevant to your work as a Climbing Wall Instructor
  • update your climbing and assisting experience in your DLOG

Before you book onto a Climbing Wall Instructor abseil module assessment course, you need to

  • attend a Climbing Wall Award or Climbing Wall Instructor training course
  • attend an abseil & top roping module training course
  • pass the Climbing Wall Award or Climbing Wall Instructor assessment
CW Kendal climbing wall masterclass 01 1500.jpeg

What do the courses cover?

Technical competence: equipment, belaying, personal climbing skills, background knowledge

Management & decision making: planning, managing participants, decision making, knowledge and demonstration of techniques, managing other staff

Teaching & learning skills

The climbing wall environment: access, etiquette, ethics

Detailed information on each of the above topics can be found in the Climbing Wall Instructor handbook (which is currently being developed, shortly available for download it from the Climbing Wall Instructor page on the Mountain Training website).

All our training courses are two days, and include the abseil module training, which can be booked as a separate half-day module if you have already completed the training. If you have a group of four or more, we can arrange a course on a date and in a location to suit you (a mileage charge is made for courses outside Cumbria). A typical training course looks like this:

Day 1: Meet at climbing wall at 10.00am. Course introduction, review of personal climbing experience, equipment, belaying. Personal climbing skills, movement skills, leading routes. Background knowledge – climbing wall development. Climbing wall rules and etiquette, duty of care. Finish around 6pm

Day 2: Meet at a different wall at 10.00am. The climbing wall environment. Planning, organising and managing sessions. Group supervision and management. Basic problem solving. Abseil & top roping module: equipment, belaying, anchors, managing simple problems, group management and supervision. Finish around 6pm.

The assessment course can be undertaken in a number of ways: 
1. Assessment plus abseil & top roping module assessment - eight hours
2. Assessment only - six hours
3. Abseil & top roping module assessment only - two hours

Where are the courses based?

Our training courses are based at two different climbing walls. For courses within Cumbria, the first day is usually at Ambleside, and the second day is always at Kendal. Assessment courses are at Kendal.  Courses run at other locations will be based at climbing walls with suitable facilities.

What equipment will I need?

  • packed lunch and drinks for each day
  • helmet
  • harness
  • belay plate and krab
  • quick draws
  • rock boots
  •  chalk bag
  •  climbing ropes, 50m, single
  •  notebook & pen

How much will it cost?

Training course including abseil & top roping module: £160
Abseil & top roping module training: £40
Assessment course not including abseil & top roping module: £80
Abseil & top roping module assessment: £30
5% off to anyone who has previously done a Mountain Training qualification course or a masterclass with us. 

When are the courses?

Dates for all our courses are listed on the calendar

If you have a group of two or more, we can arrange any of these options on a date and in a location to suit you (a mileage charge is made for courses outside Cumbria).

Useful blog posts

Build your first climbing rack
How To Use Prusiks
Confused? You’re Not Alone
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable in 2017
Top Tips From The Experts For Aspiring Outdoor Professionals
7 Ways To Make Your Goals More Achievable In 2018 (And How We Did In 2017)

What do our clients say about us?

Huge amount of knowledge from each instructor and very well presented. Chris was always checking the what he had said was understood and he has a very natural teaching ability. I really enjoyed the course. Hope to be booking the assessment in 6 months.
Paul Hampton, training course, October 2016