BMC Coaching Awards at Reading Climbing Centre

Problem Solving

This June we are hosting a series of BMC Coaching Qualifications and Workshops here at Reading Climbing Centre run by the CCG Head Coach and GB Junior Lead Coach Ian Dunn.

These Qualifications and Workshops include:

Development Coach Assessment – Monday 15th June 2015

FUNdamentals 1 – Tuesday 16th June 2015

FUNdamentals 2 – Wednesday 17th June 2015

FUNdamentals 3 Physical Training – Thursday 18th June 2015

Foundation Coach Training – Friday 19th June 2015

If you wish to find out more about the Coaching Scheme please click here or if you’re interested in booking on any of the above, please email or call 0118 975 6298…

Coaches Blog – YCS National Final Round-Up

Blog and photos by Will Hatt – Head Coach

A rather damp, grey morning awaited all those who had travelled from far and wide to The Edinburgh International Climbing Arena (EICA) in Ratho on 25th April 2015.

RathoJoeJames2Many a bleary eyed youngster queued of for breakfast at the hotel, unaccustomed to such an early start but eager to fuel up ready for a big day of competing ahead. This grey Saturday saw the culmination of 8 months + of training and preparation from Competitors, Coaches and Parents alike as everyone did final kit bags checks then hopped into cars or taxis to the venue for the National Final of The Youth Climbing Series 2015. Academy Squad Members Joe and James were up there representing RCC, having finished in the top 3 of their Youth Age Categories in the 3 regional rounds of the highly competitive London and South East Region (L&SE), with a number of other Academy Squad narrowly missing out. EICA Ratho is an vast venue, built in a roofed over, disused quarry, with walls up to 30m high and a huge imposing articulated comp wall.

First order of the day for the 307 competitors was to find where your 3 routes and 3 blocs were (much harder this year, based on the level displayed in the regional rounds) then start reading them and get warmed up and mentally prepared before the 10am start time! As the day progressed there were tears of elation and frustration as routes and blocs were topped or dropped; dedicated coaches and parents on hand to cheer-on and gee-up as required. Joe and James cruised their first 2 Blocs and 1st routes in style as they prepped for the harder ones to come. James made an unfortunate slip on the crux of his 2nd route at just over half height leaving a lot to do on his final climb. Despite looking strong his finger snagged in the 6th clip ending his attempt early. James ended up in =9th overall (out of 32 in his category),a great result considering the strength of the field. Despite his disappointment he’s now focusing on training hard for the Imst Youth Colour Climbing Festival in Imst, Austria at the beginning of next month.

Joe performed like a pro in this, his first YCS series (let alone final), having only joined the Academy last summer. Joe made blocs the category above were struggling on look easy and very nearly topped his hardest 2 routes graded approx f7b+/f7c! All this effort (and a constant smile) led Joe to a well deserved podium spot, finishing 3rd.

RathoJoe Ratho L&SE RathoJames

Every year there is an extra trophy awarded to the region with the highest team score, and for the 5th year running all the squads that make up L&SE ran away with it finishing nearly 500 points clear, good work guys! It just goes to show how strong the competition in the L&SE region is and tough it is to get through to finals. There was a great atmosphere to the whole day, and despite the pressure, new friendships were forged and old ones strengthened.

Now the main comp season is over, the Academy are focusing on goal setting for the year ahead, working on weaknesses, looking to get outside, and of course continuing to make us mere mortals look silly by crushing routes and blocs every time they are in!

Thanks to The BMC and MCofS for putting on the series, to EICA Ratho for Hosting, to all the hard working Coaches and their Centres for supporting their squads, to all the tireless Parents and of course all the Competitors… and finally, bring on 2016!

A video round up can be viewed here, see if you can spot ‘Smiler’ Joe:

Full results from the regionals and Final can be accessed from here: h


May Half Term Kids Sessions


This May Half Term Reading Climbing Centre has a host of activities happening every day to keep the whole family active and entertained!

The holiday activities include:

  • Full day kids holiday club
  • Daily Little Monkeys classes for 5&6 year olds
  • Daily Rock Its classes for 7-11 year olds
  • Kids Intro to Climbing Course for 5&6 year olds
  • Kids Intro to Climbing Course for 7-11 year olds
  • Family/friends Climbing Taster Session, to book at a time to suit you (as available)

For a full timetable of courses and to book online, please check our bookings page.


Coaches Blog: Easter’s gone, whats next…?


Steve Backshall with RCC Coach Danny Haynes

Blog by Danny Haynes

Easter has been and gone, with the holiday seeing some busy sessions here at Reading Climbing Centre. The half term kids clubs went down a storm, with fun and games being the main aim of the day. With daytimes seeing an influx of both kids and lunchtime climbers, the evenings have been busier than ever. It would seem as the days get longer, the down jackets are getting stored away and everyone is in training mode. Coaching sessions have been on the increase, with everyone getting psyched again for outdoor projects, we even saw Steve Backshall in over the Easter period for a 1:1 coaching session.


We have reintroduced our Partners Boards making it even easier to find new climbing buddies, revamped our membership with some snazzy new Membership Cards and introduced a new ‘What’s RCCurring’ Board to keep you up to date with the latest circuits, comps and social events!



Now back to normality here at RCC, with the NICAS & NIBAS terms about to start back this week alongside Social & Ladies Clubs too! This month also sees further progress with development of our Outdoor Courses which we hope to see rolling out in the Summer, watch this space… The Academy’s are back into the swing of things making great use of the newly set Comp Walls, both lead and bouldering, in preparation for Youth Climbing Series Final where head coach Will heading up to Ratho with academy members James and Joe. We wish them both the best of luck!


Setting has seen an influx of new holds and volumes appearing on the walls, with routes and blocs getting a regular turn around. We hope you boulderers out there are loving the new comp wall set up, which seems to have gone down well along with the recent Orange/Green VB, Green V0-V2, White V1-V3 and Pink V2-V4 circuits. Later this month and early May, the Orange, Purple and Blue circuit all get reset as well as the Comp Circuits for the Army annual Southern Championships returning to RCC late April. Moving onto the ropes: the barrel, comp wall and left of the barrel have all seen a revamp. We hope you like climbing the new routes as much as we enjoy setting them.


Some sad news of late is that we are saying goodbye to two long serving members of staff: Elliot and Matt. They have been instrumental on creating the academy’s training programmes, stripping the walls of holds and setting some top notch routes. All in all I’m sure you will agree they will be sorely missed, but be sure they will still be regular crankers here at RCC and wish them all the best with their new ventures.

So, April now coming to a close and spring having finally sprung, keep your ears to the ground as to what’s new in the wall!

Stay Psyched!

Instructor Courses Running at RCC this Spring


16 Hr First Aid Course - Now Fully Booked!

Monday 20th & Tuesday 21st April 2015


CWA TrainingNow Fully Booked!

Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th April 2015

The Climbing Wall Award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to supervise 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.

Is it for me?

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:

  • You must be at least 17 years old (18 at assessment)
  • You should have at least 6 months of experience of using a variety of climbing walls
  • You should have an interest in climbing and in supervising groups on climbing walls

CWLA Training - Now Fully Booked!

Thursday 7th May 2015

This award trains and assesses candidates in the skills required to teach lead climbing skills on indoor or outdoor artificial climbing walls and structures with fixed protection. It builds on the skills gained through either the Climbing Wall Award or Single Pitch Award, one of which candidates must hold to access the Climbing Wall Leading Award scheme.

Is it for me?

Registration for the Climbing Wall Leading Award is an application process, during which your experience of logged sessions as a Climbing Wall Award holder or Single Pitch Award holder, along with your personal indoor climbing experience, is taken into account.

The prerequisites for registration are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must hold either the Climbing Wall Award or the Single Pitch Award
  • You must have an up to date logbook (ideally DLOG) with evidence of the following…
  • 50 led routes
  • Climbed at 3 different major climbing walls
  • Belayed a lead climber 50 times
  • 25 lead routes at grade F6a on indoor climbing walls
  • 20 supervising sessions after passing either Climbing Wall Award or Single Pitch Award
  • A referee within your digital logbook who can endorse your experience

CWA Assessment – Only 2 spaces left!

Thursday 28th May 2015


For more info on how to book please email