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TCA’s guide to climbing etiquette

We wanted to re-share our climbing etiquette series. Unpicking a few climbing mysteries and offering simple advice that will help you become everyone’s favourite climber.

The Beta Spayer

We’ve all met this guy! Make sure your beta* is welcome before sharing. Half the fun of climbing is working it out for yourself. It goes without saying, if you need beta, just ask. There are always lots of helpful climbers around.

*Beta = tips on the way to climb a particular problem or route.


Brushing Holds

The notion of brushing holds may seem pretty strange when you start climbing and rarely is a brush on your initial list of essential kit. However, brushing removes chalk residue that builds up on holds and allows you to get a better grip of the actual hold – helping you to stick moves and climber better. It can also be applied to help provide a bit of friction on a shiny surface. Play your part and regularly brush holds that have a build-up of too much chalk and brush off any tick marks that have been added by you or others.


Taking turns

So you start climbing and it may initially feel a bit intimidating. You might suffer from imposter syndrome and find it hard to muster the courage to step up in front of others. In that case, it’s up to everyone at the climbing centre to support that person and allow everyone to take a turn. When you approach a problem, be sure to look around for more reticent people and invite them to get on a problem or section of the wall before you.


Sweet feet

Follow these simple rule to step up your game. Climbing shoes not only help you stick to holds but they help to keep your sweaty feet off holds – never climb barefoot at indoor walls! Take them off when you visit the toilets. Use boot bananas or other fresheners to keep your shoes smelling fresh…or at least more fresh than they currently do!


Liquid Chalk

Love it or hate it chalk is an essential part of climbing that helps you to stick that hold even on the warmest of days. If you’ve never tried liquid chalk – get on it – but use it properly.

Always wait for it to fully dry, BEFORE climbing…otherwise our hold cleaning teams will be very sad! It makes hold-cleaning much harder.

So now you know. Use just as much chalk as you need, but don’t overuse it – and always brush off excess from holds.

What next?

Watch more videos on our YouTube channel.
Learn more top climbing tips by booking a Movement and Technique courses in Bristol or Glasgow.