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Don’t let go! Climbing in retirement

Climbing is something that can be enjoyed at all ages. There’s something for the whole family. We met with one of the most familiar faces at The Church climbing centre in Bristol, to find out about climbing into retirement.

After a long day, it’s so easy to be lazy, to opt for an evening of Netflix instead of a climb, but as ‘The Giffer” told us recently “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. Watch our interview with Alan below.

For those of you who thought that climbing was a young person’s game, think again. Climbing is a sport that can be enjoyed well into later life. You might opt to boulder less and do more roped climbing as you get older – or maybe it’s as simple as sticking to climbs within your ability and down-climbing problems instead of jumping. There are lots of ways that you can extend your climbing career, even if you think your body is finding it more challenging than it used to.

Alan (71 years old) climbing at The Church

Adjusting your mental game can also help. Don’t be so hard on yourself, only push your grade if that’s really important to you. For many, the beauty of climbing comes from simply moving on the wall. Feeling the strength and agility it brings to your body and enjoying cool moves!



At TCA, we want our members to keep active throughout their lives and we want to encourage those who have never tried it before to have as few barriers to entry as possible. That’s why we offer free climbing for over 70s at every TCA centre. Why not gather some retired friends for a daytime visit or try it with family?

It’s easy to try bouldering. Just come to any of our centres and watching a safety video. There’s no need to book. If you would like to book an instructed session, call your nearest centre. If you want to try roped climbing, we offer courses at The Church (Bristol) and The Prop Store (Glasgow).


Meet Alan, AKA The Giffer

Find out about his journey into climbing in his early 40s and how it has changed his life.

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