Exhilarating! Exciting! Challenging! Fun! Climbing offers youngsters a sporting experience that ticks all the boxes – it increases fitness and agility, builds strength, fosters trust between peers, develops leadership skills and helps children understand how to assess and manage risk. There are many ways young climbers can get into the sport – family taster sessions are ideal for youngsters aged 7+, our climbing clubs ‘The Monquays’ and, for older children, ‘The Youth Club’ provide focused tuition and we welcome visits from schools and youth groups. You can even celebrate your birthday at the Quay! The centre has been designed with the needs of young climbers and groups in mind. Our dedicated novice zone ‘The Quarry’, our abseil tower and our self contained boulder caves are ideal for groups to use. As children progress, the wide open space under The Prow provides a great space for learning to lead climbing with the support of your peers. Our maximum 1:9 instructor to child ration helps us deliver a fun and rewarding experience to each participant, whatever their age or ability. If you are an experienced young climber and wish to climb independently in the centre, please see our Youth Policy for guidance.
The Quay is a Primary NICAS Centre which means we are accredited to provide all levels of the UK-wide National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) and our instructors are trained to deliver climbing tuition in line with the scheme. NICAS is now taught in climbing clubs and as part of the school curriculum across the UK. For more information about NICAS see our Youth Climbing Clubs page or click here to visit the NICAS website.
Our youth climbing clubs are immensely popular with rock monkeys and mountain goats young and slightly older! We run clubs through the school term for climbers aged 7-17 and also run a series of holiday clubs and training programmes for those looking to continue their climbing, or take it up, during the school holidays. Young climbers often get their first experience on the wall at a taster session or a birthday party session but for those that want to learn more and develop their climbing joining one of our clubs is the ideal way to make progression. Our clubs are run under the supervision of our qualified instructors who focus on developing individual climbing skills in a fun and safe environment. Youngsters can progress through our climbing clubs from the Monquays Club for 7-11 year olds to our Youth Extreme and Youth Clubs for 11-14 year olds. Club sessions are available during the weekend and Monday nights. We also run three development squads for young climbers who show progress and commitment. Our squads train weekly and are grouped by age: the Young Gunns for 7-11 year olds, the Youth Squad for 11-14 year olds and the Friday Squad for 14-17 year olds. To find out more about the individual clubs and squads read on…
Monquays Club for 7 – 11 year olds – Monquays sessions are guaranteed to be great fun and develop your climbing through our in-house Monquays Award Scheme. The scheme tracks progress in three core areas: technique, safety/risk awareness and climbing graded routes. Members work towards their bronze, silver and gold awards in each area. With over 45 targets to complete there are challenges for everyone and the aim is to ensure that all climbers graduate from the club able to climb safely, efficiently and are able to belay a partner. Check out our Monquays progress booklet here.Our goal is for young climbers to move from the Monquays to our Youth Club able to belay independently and take the NICAS Level 1 Award. Monquays Club costs £11 per week (typically paid for in 5 or 6 week term blocks) and runs on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 12noon. During the school holidays we run Holiday Monquays every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.30am to 12 noon. You don’t need to be a member of our termly club to join – sessions can be booked up to the day before and are charged on a pay as you go basis at £12.50 per session. If you attend you will automatically enrol onto the scheme so you can chart your progress. Check out the events diary for holiday club dates and call the centre for more information and booking.
Youth Club 11-17 year olds – our weekend Youth Clubs and Monday night Youth Extreme group are immensely popular with climbers aged 11-17 year olds. Our Monquays climbers will graduate into the Youth Clubs when they reach 11 or have passed their NICAS Level 1. Alternatively new climbers can join the Youth Clubs direct although we recommend that they attend a Junior Induction beforehand to ensure they have a few basic climbs skills to begin with. In the Youth Clubs young climbers progress onto the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) which is a UK wide scheme, now recognised by GSCE exam boards across the country. The scheme accredits young climbers as they progress from the fundamentals (Level 1) to the most advanced climbing (Level 5). We promise exciting and challenging sessions including instruction in lead climbing for those who want it for an insight into the NICAS scheme check out the NICAS website here. Youth Club costs £11 per week (typically paid for in 5 or 6 week term blocs) and runs on Mondays from 4.30pm to 6pm, Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 12 noon. Check out the events diary for term dates and call the centre for more information and booking.
Junior Inductions – our Junior Inductions are designed to give high school age children an all-inclusive introduction to the basics of climbing. Run by our youth club team the course is similar to the adult induction and covers everything from how to fit your harness, how to tie into the rope and how to belay to the techniques required to scale the wall efficiently – balance, movement and position. At the end of the course participants will typically have acquired all the skills to pass their NICAS Level 1 awards – this is a national climbing award scheme that is used in climbing centres and schools across the country. For climbers wishing to join our Youth Clubs, attaining NICAS Level 1 readiness will ease the transition into the youth club structure. Junior Inductions typically run in the school holidays as a whole day or two half day session and cost £50 per person. Check out our events diary for dates or call the centre to schedule one.
Holiday NICAS Sessions
Young climbers, who are registered on the NICAS Scheme, whether as members of our youth clubs or through their school or other group, can take part in our Holiday NICAS Sessions. These sessions run every Friday during the school holidays and are aimed at climbers who want to continue working towards their NICAS levels during the school break. Sessions are led by our youth instruction team and are structured around the NICAS syllabus. NICAS Sessions cost just £15 and last two hours.
Rock Outdoors – Holiday Club
Have fun on real rock this summer with our weekly Rock Outdoors Club. Aimed at climbers aged 7-14 years Rock Outdoors will give you a chance to learn to climb on rock and get stuck into some abseiling. Sessions run from 10am to 3pm every Monday during the school holidays. You can sign up to as many as you like – just meet at Hounds Tor and bring a packed lunch, we will bring all the equipment and gear you need for a great day’s climbing. Our qualified and friendly instructors will guide you through top roping, technique and basic bouldering. Sessions cost just £37.50 per person. Call us now for more details! Sessions are weather dependent but we will always give 24 hours notice of cancellations and will rearrange sessions where possible.
Quay Climbing Squads
Young climbers who show commitment and potential may be invited to join our development squads. We currently run three squads: The Young Gunns for 7-11 year olds, the Youth Squad for 11-14 year olds and the Friday Squad for over 14’s. Squad members receive intensive coaching and are encouraged to participate in local and regional competitions such as the BMC Youth Climbing Series and Blokfest. We currently have a number of South West Squad level climbers as well as some that have climbed for the GB Youth Team and our coaching team is experienced coaching climbers at the very highest levels of the sport.
After your climb we will serve you a feast in our party room – you can choose from our homemade pizza menu or a traditional party buffet, all washed down with water and squash and finished off with bowls of ice cream. We can cater to vegetarian and special dietary needs. Our party package costs just £19.95 per person and includes 60 minutes of climbing, a pizza feast (with margherita and pepperoni pizza) or traditional buffet (comprised of cheese and ham sandwiches, crisps and sausage rolls) and use of our party room for 30 minutes. Just remember to bring your own cake! Clip ‘n Climb parties are suitable for children aged 4+ and indoor rope climbing parties are suitable for children aged 7+. Call us now to find out more!
We are an accredited provider of the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) which is the UK wide indoor climbing award scheme used in most climbing centres and now recognised by many GCSE exam boards as part of the sports syllabus. As a NICAS Primary Centre we can offer in-house NICAS sessions but also train instructors within schools to deliver the scheme. To learn more about the NICAS scheme click here. We are able to tailor sessions to the needs of your group and have experience delivering everything from NICAS syllabus based sessions to individual coaching, gifted and talented programmes, to school activity days – often in conjunction with Clip ‘n Climb Exeter or Haven Banks Outdoor Education Centre. We have also provided work experience for keen climbers in year 10 and 11.
Schools may bring their own instructors to lead groups or hire the team at the Quay to run sessions. If you are bringing your own group please click here for more information about our Visiting Instructor Policy, in particular to check the qualifications and insurance we require. We run programmes for teachers wishing to become qualified instructors. Our Site Specific Scheme is designed to qualify you to instruct at the Quay only – we offer each local school the chance to train one teacher for free on this scheme. Click here for more information. Alternatively we run courses and the assessment for the MLTE Climbing Wall Award (CWA) which is the UK recognised indoor climbing instructor qualification.