UAL Climbing was founded in 2012 as a way for climbers within UAL to meet and climb together. Our aim is to help introduce climbing to people who haven't tried it before, and provide a space for enthusiasts to team up and share in the community that revolves around climbing, a love of the outdoors, and just overall having a good time. Climbing is a social sport even though it’s not team-oriented, and this is and always will be at the heart of the club - we’ll keep it informal, relaxed, and open to anyone who wants to meet new people and likes the idea of climbing!
It's a great way to stay fit as it’s a really good workout, and targets a lot of core muscles. It’s also really brilliant for mental wellbeing and can be a good way to find focus or de-stress. Working out your way to the top is a bit like a physical puzzle! It’s also a great way to socialise and meet new people - you spend a lot of time off the wall as well as on it! If you’re a bit of a beginner or totally new to climbing there are experienced members who can help you out and coach you, and if you’re more experienced you’ll meet people to climb hard with!
Climbing has become a growing sport in recent years, and with that, competing has also become more popular. In the past we have had some members competing in University-oriented competitions - it’s generally something decided year on year, based on members’ interest. We approach it quite casually as a club - at the moment we don’t have an official team or anything, but if you are someone who would be interested in competitions, we would love to hear from you, and we’re always open to new ideas!
We are predominantly a bouldering club (low-level climbing without ropes), and we usually meet at least once a week (previously Friday evenings), at Stronghold Climbing Centre in Tottenham Hale. We are currently are looking at changing where we regularly meet when we are able to, to somewhere more central to make it easier to access for as many people as possible.
We predominantly do bouldering as we have found this is the most accessible form of the sport for novices and experts alike! However, a lot of club members do meet informally to do variations of roped climbing at other walls/outdoors too. There are some great training facilities at a lot of the climbing walls and more experienced climbers often dedicate some time to training as well.
The walls offer climbing shoes and also chalk for hire, and most of the club members are happy to offer some of their own chalk to you here and there! If you’re wanting to climbing quite regularly or climb outside the indoor wall, it can be a good idea to invest in your own pair of shoes. There’s lots of different climbing kit available for lots of different types of climbing - if you want to take the first step to owning your own kit, purchasing some kind of chalk is a great idea. You can find it in most sports shops or at the climbing wall. In terms of clothing, it’s best to wear fairly loose fitting/stretchy clothes that you’ll be comfortable in - climbing involves a bit of stretching and reaching so wear something that keeps you mobile! (Also be prepared to get a bit chalky!)
Currently, our membership fee does not cover entry fees to the wall - to use the climbing facilities as a club member requires paying an entry fee, as we climb at locations that are not owned or associated with UAL or Arts SU and we do not have a wall of our own! This can vary depending on the climbing wall and whether you purchase pay-per-entry or a membership. A student discount is usually offered on the entry fees. (Please contact Hannah or the Sports Development Coordinator if you have concerns about this.)
After our weekly evening of climbing we usually venture out to the climber’s true favourite place - the pub. As well as this, we usually have a special Christmas dinner/social and a summer social. Feel free to get in touch with Noah or Tom if you have any other ideas for socials or events!
As students in London we are sadly without easy access to proper rock and mountains, however, to break up the monotony of plastic holds we organise trips for our members to get out into nature and in touch with some real rock! In the past few years, club members have been to Newquay, Tunbridge Wells, the Peak District, Dorset, Tenerife, and Fontainebleau (France), for outdoor climbing. We have club crash pads which we’ll usually take with us. If you’re thinking about coming on a trip, we would recommend having your own shoes and possibly chalk too!
President: Noah Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
Treasurer: Tiernan Hughes - email@example.com
Social Sec: Thomas Black - firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to get in touch with us! If you have Facebook or Instagram we’d encourage you to join our group/follow us to stay up to date. You can also get in touch via email.