Countdown to the 10th August when we get to welcome you back.
Our priority has always been asking our customers to stay as safe as possible and support us when we re-open and we are glad to say that from Monday 10th August we will be back to our normal opening hours.
There will be some differences at the centre but if you’ve been following the news from the BMC, ABC or other climbing centres, none of this should come as a surprise, but every centre will have their own way of doing things.
We will, of course be revising these if government advice changes, or if we need to modify our operating procedures for any other reasons.
Regular sanitising of hands
Unlike ‘normal’ gyms where the equipment can be cleaned after each use, climbing walls will have to sanitise the climbers rather than the ropes and holds etc. To enable this we will have sanitising stations on entry and at other points in the centre, but we will rely on customers using their own sanitiser throughout their session, ideally before and after climbing a route. We will have small personal bottles of sanitiser (with a mini karabiner) and refills available at reception for a nominal fee. We have tested these and reckon that each bottle is good for around 100 goes.
In case you are wondering, tests have shown that hand sanitiser has no detrimental effect on ropes and harnesses. There has been a lot of talk regarding liquid chalk; you are welcome to use it but only in addition to sanitising as liquid chalk is not something that you would use after a route. Rock On has a good stock of this if you want to try it.
Incidentally, a soon-to-be-published study seems to indicate that climbing chalk is very effective at de-activating viruses very quickly, which would be great news for climbers!
We are currently intending to avoid pre-booked time slots for climbers that don’t need instruction. We would like everyone’s return to climbing to be as normal as possible but with additional social distancing and sanitising.
Everyone who has been to the shops will be used to queueing in a socially distant manner, so you might need to do this on entry and logging in at reception. Contactless payment will be preferred, as well as pre-paid options. If you do wish to pay cash, we will not be accepting old (paper) £20 notes as we have to sanitise them.
There will be a limit on the number of people in the building at around 50 people. Looking at previous footfall, the proposed limit is rarely reached but if it is, we may have to refuse entry at the busiest times, until space becomes available. This is unlikely but we need you to understand this.
Currently there will be no limit on how long you can stay, but to make this work it is essential that everyone not only logs in, but also logs out at reception, and don’t forget to sanitise on your way out.
We are not making additions to our Conditions of Use to accommodate the risk that COVID-19 poses, although we have added it to our own Risk Assessments, it is a fact of life now and anyone taking part in the activity will be assumed to accept this as a risk (along with gravity)
Customers will be expected to observe the 2m distancing rule wherever possible, unless climbing in a family bubble, or similar. This will mean choosing your climbing route to keep this spacing either vertically or horizontally. Belayers will need to position themselves accordingly and climbers will need to stagger their starting times if other climbers are on an adjacent route.
The ‘1m +’ rule may be followed in the brief moments where climbers need to pass one another (e.g. one ascending and one descending) by facing away from each other. This will also be applied at non-climbing ‘pinch-points’ on the ground and on the stairs.
Climbers on any of the lead-climbing link ups will only be able to do these routes when capacity allows as these cross over multiple lines.
A quick note on lead climbing.. if you are one of the many who have the habit of putting the rope in your mouth whilst clipping, it would be a good idea to break that habit. It may be your own rope but remember how many fingers have been on the quickdraws before you.
As with the rest of the centre, we will rely on climbers to apply the 2m and 1m+ distancing rules as appropriate.
Rock On Shop
The Rock On shop will be back to its normal opening hours. Please remember that although masks are optional for climbing, Rock On will be subject to the government rules that anyone entering the shop must wear a mask or face covering.
Our ‘normal’ hours will still be 10am till 10pm on weekdays and 10am till 6pm at weekends and bank holidays. We may review our opening hours based on demand, we will update these on the website.
With so many people working from home, this gives some flexibility for when people might be able to come climbing as the centre is generally quieter during the daytime. Please consider coming in the daytime if you can. Midweek evenings tend to be busier but Monday and Friday evenings are quieter.
We will rely on customers to NOT attend if they are feeling unwell. Entry will be on the understanding that anyone persistently coughing or displaying other possible COVID symptoms may be asked to leave. Anyone coughing or sneezing must do so into a disposable tissue, or something similar (and dispose of), or into the crook of their elbow.
Café and reception restrictions
Initially we will be unable to sell any prepared food in the café, but we will be able to sell pre-packed snacks, bottled drinks and cuppas. You will NOT be able to refill your own water bottles.
Seating will also be restricted in reception to help with social distancing.
At present, in keeping with many other centres we will be unable to accommodate spectators, including parents of children on lessons. Any lessons that can be run will be on a drop off and pick up basis wherever possible.
We would be grateful if customers could arrive as ready to climb as possible to minimise the need to use lockers or changing rooms. Some lockers will be available, but we need to avoid ‘pinch points’ around them. Changing rooms will be available on request, anyone needing to get changed is requested NOT to do so in reception.
We are required to assist with contact tracing, so we will need to have a valid current telephone number for everyone entering Redpoint. We’ll check this with you on your first return visit.
Something to consider..
Many of you will have seized the good weather to get outdoor climbing when you can, but for those of you that haven’t belayed or tied in for a while, please feel free to ask us to check that you can remember the necessary skills.
If you haven’t built a home climbing wall and been training throughout lockdown, please be kind to yourself when you start climbing again. You might not equal your personal best on day one. Remember to warm up and take things easy to start with.
Post-lockdown, you will be allowed to add a grade to every route if it makes you happy 😉