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Climbing Experience Days & Gifts

As extreme experiences go, ice climbing has to be one of the most challenging. It’s cold, it’s tough, it’s steep and it’s slippy (wait - people actually do this for fun?).

For a full 40 minutes, you’ll scale a sheer, solid wall of thick, unforgiving ice. The bad kind of ice. The type that makes old ladies fall over and sticks your top lip to a glass.

After getting suited up in safety gear, you’ll get a personal round of tuition from an expert climber who hops and skips over this stuff every day. Then you’ll be assigned to a slope suitable for your level of experience and ability, climbing with up to 5 other people. This gift is ideally suited to people who want to get into climbing, as well as those who want to try something new and challenge themselves.

It’s great if you want to vary your experience if you’ve learned to climb at a local climbing wall. Our thrilling ice climbing sessions are held at venues in London and Manchester and last a minimum of 40 minutes. Anyone 13 or over can attend and enjoy this challenging and rewarding day out, even if they’ve never climbed before.


Q: Which direction will I be climbing in? Up or down?
A: Both! Possibly! With our climbing experiences you’ll be going up and then coming back down again. With the abseiling, you’ll go up and then come down in a different way. A more ropey way. Using ropes. Or try both with our climbing AND abseiling combo experience.
Q: What will I be clambering up?
A: Depends on what you choose to do. We have a beginners’ course on an indoor climbing wall. There is a more challenging environment at the Sandstone rocks of West Sussex. Or for the most extreme experience, why not have a crack at Ice Climbing?
Q: Ice Climbing? What’s that? Some kind of climbing on ice?
A: Exactly! At a special climbing centre in London, specially designed with a variety of ice walls to challenge newbies or more experienced types.
Q: So I don’t have to be a super-duper climbing person to have a go at all this?
A: Nope. Anyone can have a crack. Obviously there is a certain amount of exertion and physical activity, so you’ll need to be in OK shape.
Q: My shape is often described as OK, but it is quite immense...
A: There might be some weight restrictions on the experience you choose. Have a peek at the details on the page or get in touch if you’re not sure.
Q: Should I bring my own crampons?
A: That shouldn’t be necessary. All the equipment needed should be supplied, just wear comfortable clothing you don’t mind getting a bit mucky (if climbing outside). With the indoor climbing you’ll need to bring your own gym kit. But ropes and things will be there already.
Q: Who will be pointing and telling me what to do?
A: Our trained range of specialist instructors, all experts in the fields of going up rocky places and possibly coming back down them using the ancient skill of abseiling. They are super knowledgeable and will ascertain your skill level, before informing you of which bit of rock to have a crack at.
Q: My 3 year old likes climbing on things, can I bring them?
A: Probably not. For some of our climbing activities the minimum age is 5, with the more tricky ones it’s 14 or so. But check the information on your particular experience for full details.

Fun Facts

  • 1. In 1906, at the age of 47, Fanny Bullock Workman set a world climbing record for women when she reached the top of Pinnacle Peak in Kashmir. She should have also received an award for ‘best multiple rude sounding name’.
  • 2. Junko Tabei of Japan was the first woman in the world to reach the top of Mount Everest, on May 16th 1975. Which is around the same time that I had my first nosebleed, but I don’t see anyone giving me any recognition.
  • 3. Rock climbing began to be recognised as a sport in England during the 1880s. They needed something to do before telly was invented.
  • 4. In 1856, the famous mountain was named after George Everest, a retired Surveyor General who never even saw the peak. He must have got confused, and possibly slightly excited, by people constantly saying Mount Everest?
  • 5. Though it is unknown whether his intention was to reach the summit, ‘Ötzi the Iceman’ ascended to at least 10,530ft in the Alps about 5,300 years ago. His remains were found, preserved in a glacier. Though he was frozen while whistling ‘The Happy Wanderer’ which may have been a bit of a giveaway.
  • 6. The first recorded mountain ascent is by Roman Emperor Hadrian who ascended Mount Etna to see the sunrise in 121. Mountains, walls, what was it with Hadrian and trying to be slightly higher?
  • 7. A film depicting the ascent of the Mont Blanc by the American climber Frank Ormiston-Smith was released in 1903. It terrified early cinema-goers, not used to seeing moving images, who thought they might be up a mountain with him.
  • 8. Cliffhanger is in the Guinness Book of World Records for the costliest aerial stunt ever performed. Stuntman Simon Crane was paid $1 million to cross between two planes at an altitude of 15,000 feet. It is also in the record book for the ‘Most Dangly Sly Stallone movie’.
  • 9. Reinhold Messner became the first person to climb the world’s 14 peaks over 25000ft when he conquered Lothse on the Nepal-Tibet border in 1986. Than man has been up more peaks than Hugh Heffner. I’m not sure what I mean by that.
  • 10. The first documented usage of the term ‘mountaineer’ comes from Shakespeare’s ‘Cymbeline’. I think the line was ‘Hey Cymbeline, have you met this mountaineer?’