Most frequent questions we get regarding the meets and membership.
How do I book on a meet?
If you are a live member, just go to the relevant section on the website and book yourself on the meet. Once you’re booked, it’s a good idea to leave a note about your experience levels, what you would like to do and how you’re planning to travel to the meet, especially if it’s your first meet. More information is available here https://www.wessexmc.org.uk/meets/meet-guidance/
Do I need any training before attending a meet?
It’s highly recommended if you’re new to climbing. Once you can belay safely, you will have a chance to learn from more experienced members. The training weekends are a good opportunity to learn new skills or refresh old ones but they’re no substitute for training by a professional. By taking responsibility of your own training, you show your commitment to climbing – and to the safety of your partners (which will be easier to find). To begin with, it’s worth having a look at the videos on the Equipment and Use page of our website.
What grade do I need to climb to go on meets?
There is no minimum level of ability. We climb at a range of grades so you will usually find someone to team up with.
What do I need to bring with me on a meet?
If it’s a climbing meet, the absolute minimum is a harness, a helmet, a belay device, 3 locking carabiners, a 120cm sling, 2 prussik loops (or 3 metres of 5mm cord) and climbing shoes, plus appropriate clothing, food and drink. If we’re camping, you’ll need camping gear. You can find more information about the equipment, including a checklist, here https://www.wessexmc.org.uk/about-the-club/equipment/)
How do you travel to meets?
We usually try to share lifts to keep the cost down and reduce the carbon footprint. The recent Covid pandemic has complicated things in this respect a bit and we appreciate that not everyone will be ready to share a car.
If I go on a meet, am I going to have a partner to climb with?
Yes, most likely. There are usually climbers of different abilities and with various interests, so it shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you climb hard stuff, let’s say E1 and above, it might be worth getting in touch with people before the meet and see if there are others at a similar level. As always with climbing, it’s good to be flexible and have a back-up plan.
How do you communicate with those attending the meet?
All the necessary information is available on the website and an email with final details is sent to all those who have booked about a week before the meet. If you have any more questions, get in touch with the meet leader by email or phone. If it’s your first meet, there’s a big chance someone will be in touch with you directly anyway.
How can I find climbing partners?
Going on meets is the best organic way to meet new people but don’t be shy to post a message on our Facebook page either. Or get in touch and we’ll see if we can set you up with someone with similar interests.
How long does it take for a membership application to be processed?
You will usually get your membership confirmed within a week or two, and the membership card will arrive afterwards. If there is an imminent meet you want to sign up for, make sure you join a bit earlier so that we have enough time to get your account up and running. Or if you feel like you’re running out of time, you can contact the meet secretary and they will add you manually.
What’s the cost of attending the meets?
The meets are free for all members, so the only cost is the accommodation (usually a campsite), the travel (lift share whenever possible) and food. Sometimes there could be extra costs involved e.g. if we are getting external instructors to deliver training, like on some of the winter meets.
Can I get a discount if I’m a member of another BMC-associated club?
If you are a member of more than one BMC affiliated club you can claim back the extra payments from the BMC. See https://www.thebmc.co.uk/claiming-multiple-membership-refunds
Is this a kayaking club?
Nope, although it may sometimes seem like it when turn up at the Pembrokeshire, Devon or Cornwall meets. Most of our activities, however, take place on dry land. We do a lot of climbing, both in the summer and winter, scrambling, walking, mountain biking, take part in mountain marathons… the list goes on and on. So whatever you’re up to, you’re likely to find company for that.
If your question has not been answered, feel free to message us using the Contact form.