A Fresher's Guide

This article is intended to give you, the new members of the club, some hints and tips and help you get started in the club. The Mountaineering club is one of the biggest clubs within the SS, signing up 100+ new members at the start of each new year, so the first few weeks are going to be pretty hectic, both for you and for us as the committee members. We'll be running regular session at our University wall, trips to Swansea's indoor climbing centre and trying to get you outside as often as we can on the weekends. We've got to show you the basic techniques such as tying into a rope correctly, and the skill of belaying.

Training, Trips and Socials

If you join the club with a friend then great - you've got yourself a climbing partner. If you've joined on your own to meet new people and enjoy an awesome sport/hobby (depending on which way you look at it), even better! Try and go to as many events the club has organised regardless if you're with a mate or on your own. This way you get to know us, we get to know you, and you get to know the other freshers. If you went climbing on a Monday up to the indoor centre, get down to the University wall on a Thursday to practise the new skills you will have learned, then after that it's drinking time at JC's. If there's a social mid week to town, find out the meeting place and be there! The same goes for outdoor trips run on the weekend by the experienced members - get your name down on the list to reserve your place!

Equipment and Gear Night

To start you off the club can provide you with pretty much all the gear you're going to need: harness, screwgate and belay plate, and ropes of course. They only piece of kit we would recommend you buy initially would be a pair of comfortable climbing shoes. The club has a limited amount of climbing shoes donated by its members, so in other words they're old, smelly, and have massive holes in them. These are fine to try out the first few sessions in, as climbing in trainers is pretty difficult. The club will be organising a gear night with a local outdoor shop which will be providing deals for the club's members. Get yourself a good pair of climbing shoes - they should be snug, but not too uncomfortable. If you're completely new to this you don't really want top end shoes because they're expensive and way more than you need. The staff at climbing shops know what they are talking about - listen to their advice. Try different brands, makes and sizes of shoes, hopefully we will have a good selection of sizes and styles for you to try. Just so you're not too shocked, you'll probably be looking at spending £40 upwards on a pair of climbing shoes (£130 being the higher end of the scale). This seems like a lot, but they'll make climbing a lot easier than in trainers. The shop should also be doing deals on harnesses, chalk bags, belaying equipment etc. If you get an instant hook for the club and climbing, consider taking advantage of the set deals on the night, which could save you more money. Before going to the gear night, ask club members what equipment they use and whether or not they would recommend it. We were in your position when we started, use our knowledge to your advantage.