Fathers’ Dad at RCC

Fathers Day

Climbing is a fun, active and social activity, so this Fathers Day why not treat Dad to a Taster Session. Tasters are the best way to experience climbing for the first time. Whether your Dad is the adventurous type, or you think he would like to do something completely different this year, he’ll love scaling the heights of our climbing walls! Did you know we also do Family Taster Sessions and Beginner Courses?

To book your Tasters Session or Family Session or Course or to buy a gift voucher for Father’s Day, please call us at 0118 975 6298.

NEW! June to July NICAS Term


If your child is looking to progress into the exciting world of climbing, then The National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme here at Reading Climbing Centre is for them.


NICAS is the only nationally recognised scheme that introduces new climbers to climbing on indoor walls. The scheme focuses on making young climbers, getting them hooked for life, and giving them the tools to make this happen. Working through skill development, all safety aspects as well as climbing ability, the 5 awarding levels have the perfect progression for all young climbers aged 7 and above.

Aims Of The Scheme

  • to develop climbing movement skills and improve levels of ability.
  • to learn climbing rope-work and how to use equipment appropriately.
  • to develop risk assessment and risk management skills in the sport.
  • to work as a team, communicate with, and trust a climbing partner.
  • to provide a structure for development, motivation and improved performance.
  • to develop an understanding of the sport, it’s history and future challenges.
  • to provide a record of personal achievement.
  • to point the way to further disciplines and challenges in climbing beyond the scheme.

Structure Of The Scheme

The Scheme comprises five levels of award aimed at complete novices to expert climbers. The scheme is split into two parts; Part 1 contains Levels 1 and 2 and Part 2 contains Levels 3 to 5. Upon registering with NICAS at Reading Climbing Centre candidates receive a log booklet for Levels 1 and 2 and a log binder with booklet for Levels 3 to 5. After achieving each level they are awarded with a certificate on behalf of the ABCTT.

The five levels are:

  1. Foundation Climber

    An entry level aimed at novices that recognises their ability to climb safely under supervision.

  2. Top Rope Climber

    Aimed at promoting good practice in climbing and bouldering unsupervised on an artificial wall.

  3. Technical Climber

    A more advanced top roping and bouldering level that focuses on developing technique and movement skills.

  4. Lead Climber

    Concentrates on the skills required to both lead climb and belay a lead climber.

  5. Advanced Climber

    The top level that focuses on improving performance, a deeper understanding of climbing systems and the wider world of climbing.

To book your space call us on 0118 975 6298.

Kids Activities this May Half Term 2016

May Half Term Square

Whether you are new to the world of climbing, or looking to improve your technical skills, this May Half Term, here at Reading Climbing Centre we will have the session for you and your family!

Our MAY HALF TERM Holiday Kids Climbing Activities kick start from Monday 30th May 2016 at Reading Climbing Centre include:

  • Kids, Adult & Family tasters
  • Kids One Off Casual Little Monkey Session 4-6yrs+
  • Kids One Off Casual Rock It Session 7-11yrs+
  • Kids One Off Casual Hang Time Session 12-17yrs+
  • Kids Half Day Sessions 7-11yrs
  • Improver Sessions & Courses: Improve your Climbing with our Coaches 8yrs+ - NEW for 2016!

NEW for 2016!

Improvers Sessions, what’s the crack! These sessions are for those aged between 8-17yrs old who already have the relevant safety skills for bottom rope climbing, but want to improve their technical climbing skills. This is perfect for NICAS kids working on Level 2 and above!


Little Monkeys (4-6yrs):

  • Mon/Wed/Fri – 12:00-13:00 & 15:00-16:00
  • Tues/Thurs/Sun – 12:00-13:00
  • Sat – 09:30-10:30

Rock-Its (7-11yrs):

  • Mon/Wed/Fri – 11:30-13:00 & 14:30-16:00
  • Tues/Thurs/Sun – 11:30-13:00
  • Sat – 09:30-11:00

Hangtime (12-17yrs):

  • Tues/Wed – 14:30-16:00

Kids Intro (7yrs+):

  • Tues/Wed/Thurs – 11:00-13:00

Kids Improver:

  • Thurs – 14:00-16:00

For more information on any of the above sessions or course, or how to book please ask at reception, call us on 0118 975 6298 or email us at info@readingclimbingcentre.com

BMC Youth Climbing Series 2016 with the RCC Academy

Round 1: Westway

It was early in the morning on Saturday 23rd January, the air was crisp in West London where competitors, parents and coach’s started to assemble at Westway Climbing Centre for round 1 of the 2016 BMC Youth Climbing Series. The RCC Academy members gathered for their morning warm up, 20 competitors from Reading attended this round out of the 123, for many of which it was their first YCS event so there was a nervous excitement in the air. Following the competitors briefing everyone split up into their relevant groups half started in the bouldering area with the remainder starting on the routes with a switch over at around lunch time. By the end of the day after the chalk dust had settled we finished off with 4 Podiums, Kaia Marston Joint 1st in Girls Category E, Lilly Dekic 2nd, Abbie Arkle 3rd in Girls Category B & Ewan Walker 2nd in Boys Category B. Joe Olson also narrowly missing out on a Podium by finishing 4th in Boys Category A.

YCS Westway

Round 2: Lock Climbing Wall, Harlow

The 2nd round was held at The Lock Climbing Wall in Harlow. Essex was by far the furthest event but yet had a much more relaxed atmosphere after the tension of the first event was over and in part due to the more rural location. The event kicked off with an improved efficiency with the competitors splitting off into their groups once again, this time 22 competitors made the trip from Reading, it was the first YCS event ever held at The Lock and due to the enclosed bouldering area no spectators where allowed into this area; The end result was everyone was spectating from the square main hall & all the viewable action was all around you which made for a very good atmosphere. Competitors were encouraging each other regardless of home centre & even some of the belayers got some encouragement when climbing up to pre-clip the 2nd clip! We walked away with 4 Podiums again, Kaia Marston with another Joint 1st in Girls Category E, Abbie Arkle improving on her 3rd place spot with 2nd in Girls Category B, Ewan Walker with another 2nd place in Boys Category B & Joe Olson picking up his first Podium of the series with 3rd in Boys Category A. Ranulph Carlill also performed well in his first event of the 2016 series with a 4th place in Boys Category D.

YCS Lock

Round 3: Reading Climbing Centre

Round 3 was held on home turf at Reading Climbing Centre on the 19th March & due to this fact 27 Academy members competed at this event. The spectator’s area’s where well organised with most of the bouldering action viewable from the mezzanine area coffee shop or you could watch some of the routes while you sipped on your much appreciated coffee. Alternatively, you could witness the action from the centre of the main hall with the routes spread out well this also gave you the feeling of being amongst the action especially when Boys Category A got into action on the Big Competition Wall at the end of the centre. This time we picked up 5 Podiums, Ranulph Carlill with his first ever Podium & 2nd place in Boys Category D, Abbie Arkle with another 3rd in Girls Category B, Ewan Walker with another 2nd, Oliver Janes back from injury with a 1st place in his first event of the year in Boys Category B & Joe Olson improving on his last result with 2nd place in Boys Category A. Other highlights include Elspeth Martin-Dye finishing 4th in Girls Category E, Ella Jacobs finishing 4th & Alex Hutchins finishing in 5th place only 1 point behind Ella Jacobs in Girls Category C.YCS RCC Pic

The Final: Ratho, Edinburgh

The National Final took place on Saturday 23rd April in Edinburgh International Climbing Area, this impressive venue has lines up to 28 metres long & its own outdoor crag. 5 competitors from Reading qualified for the event. Kaia Marston Girls Category E, Lilly Dekic & Abbie Arkle Girls Category B, Ewan Walker Boys Category B and Joe Olson Boys Category A. 360 competitors attended from 12 regions jetting and driving in from all corners of the UK & Ireland. The RCC Academy Team, wearing their London and South East North Region hoody’s, met up and warmed up prior to the competitors meeting where each category was divided into 2 groups & sent off into various directions to start on their first blocs or routes. After a long day we finished off with 1 Podium place, Joe ‘Guns’ Olson finished in 3rd Place in Boys Category A well done Joe on an impressive days climbing.

Highlights? To many to mention really but Girls Category B route 2 was an impressive line zig zagging across one of the walls, Abbie climbed it really well on fell near the top the excitement was intense when she nearly topped it & Lilly sheapally shouting ‘skittles’ when she fell off her last route. Joe’s instinctive cheeky toe hook on his route 3 to clip a difficult clip unlocked what seemed to be an impossible sequence. And finally the RCC Coaches, Academy members & parents impromptu evening meal in Ratho to celebrate Joes 3rd place and all the Academy performances throughout the series.

For full BMC YCS 2016 results and The BMC Blog on the Final, please click here……

YCS Final Collage

In closing I must say thanks to all the belayers, judges & chaperones who volunteered nationwide for all the events, the competitors for all the hard work in the build up to the series. Every member of the RCC Academy who climbed and trained hard before and during the series. I would also like to say a special thank you to Ian Dunne (GB Youth Team Coach & CCG Head Coach) for the training you have provided to the coaching team in 2015 & 2016, I look forward to the future & YCS 2017 bring it on! Oh and Dan for laughing me off a boulder on our detour in the peaks on the way to Edinburgh.



Blog by RCC Coach Mark Petty

May Bank Holiday Weekend


Great news for Bank Holiday Monday…

…we’re open as normal! That’s not the only good news, we also have a whole heap of new routes; lead, top rope & auto belay lines, plus loads of new blocs! There really is something for everyone this Bank Holiday!