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U18 assessments

Young climbers aged 14 to 17 may climb unsupervised at The Castle if they pass our U18 assessment. Parents and young climbers must read the Information Sheet (available for download) and complete the registration form and parental consent. Under 18 assessed climbers may not supervise other climbers.

All climbers must be able to boulder safely and top-rope climb and belay.

  • 14-15 year olds: Climbers must be able to boulder safely and  top-rope and lead climb and belay.
  • 16-17 year olds: Climbers must be able to boulder safely and top-rope climb and belay. Climbers may pass an optional lead climbing assessment if they want to lead climb.

Young climbers must re-register as adult climbers (either Roped Climbing or Bouldering Only Registration) when they turn 18.

The Assessment

Assessments are conducted by Castle Duty Managers who will judge whether the candidate has the necessary maturity, experience and skills to climb unsupervised.  The top rope assessments usually take 45 to 60 minutes, the lead assessments usually take 60 to 90 minutes. All assessments must be booked in advance by phoning Reception on 020 8211 7000. There is a £5 fee for the assessment payable whether the climber passes or is deferred.

We are able to conduct assessments during the following hours:

  • Mon:  13:00 – 16:00
  • Tue:  13:00 – 16:00
  • Wed:  13:00 – 18:00
  • Thu:  13:00 – 18:00
  • Fri:  13:00 – 18:00

Please note that your child must bring someone to climb for them during the assessment so that they can demonstrate belaying skills.

Parental attendance and consent

  • 14-15 year olds: Parent/guardian must sign parental consent and attend the assessment.
  • 16-17 year olds: Parent/guardian must sign the consent form, but does not need to be present at the assessment.

Training Aid Restrictions

14 and 15 year olds may not use The Castle Gym. 16 and 17 year olds may use The Castle following an induction. Contact Reception to book the free gym induction.

The BMC recommends that young climbers do not use the campus board.

Further Information

The BMC has an excellent guide on Climbing, Hill Walking and Mountaineering for Young People that can be downloaded from their website.

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