Frequently asked questions

Can I join?
The club welcomes individuals over the age of 18, of all levels of experience and ability. New members are always very welcome.

Do I need much experience?
No, novices are welcome.
However, if you are new to climbing, please consider the following points.

  • If you want to climb with us you must be able to belay safely. None of us have any formal guiding or training qualifications to teach this, so if you can't do this we recommend you go on one of the introductory rope-work sessions at either Alien Rock 1 or EICA, Ratho.
  • Since club members do not have formal guiding qualifications, you should consider the following Mountaineering Scotland 'Participation Statement'
    (see the foot of every page on the Mountaineering Scotland web-site).

    Mountaineering Scotland recognises that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement
  • Be aware that mountaineering and climbing are high risk activities with the potential for injury and death. Every member of the Edinburgh JMCS is entirely responsible for their own safety and no member of the club, nor the club itself, is responsible or liable for the safety or welfare of either fellow members or aspirant members of the club at any time.

What equipment do I need?
At the indoor walls you can probably hire equipment (check with the wall first).
Outside you'll need rock boots and a harness at a minimum (and having your own belay device would be helpful). We would also strongly recommend a helmet, and a chalk bag is worth having. Apart from that, most of the regulars have a full rack of gear so if you turn up without anything else you would be able to climb with one of them (maybe as a threesome).
You can buy this gear at any climbing shop - the main ones in Edinburgh are the various branches of Tisos, or you can get them online. However, it is worth getting boots, harnesses and helmets that fit properly, so buying these online is not really a good idea
(also, there is little point shopping around - the climbing market is a cartel that does not compete on price).

When do you meet?
During the summer we routinely meet on Monday and Wednesday evenings. We get outdoors if we possibly can, climbing at the local crags. There is a 'formal'ish meets schedule for Wednesdays posted here. In the Winter or if the weather isn't good, we tend to go to Alien Rock 1 (Mondays) or the EICA at Ratho (Wednesdays).

What if you change your plans about where to meet?
We have an email list to coordinate plans on any given evening — the latest emails can be seen here. These show the evolving 'plan' for Monday or Wednesday (or other times) evenings. If you check here from mid to late'ish afternoon you can see what the plan is for that evening.

What time do you meet during the week?
People tend to arrive between six and seven, climb for two to three hours and usually head out to a local pub afterwards.

How do I get to the local crags?
Directions to the local crags can be found here.

What about weekends or climbing further afield?
We have a Summer and Winter weekend meets list which is published here.
Club members also regularly organise other trips both in the UK and internationally. Recent meet and trip reports, and newsletters can be found here.

I'm interested in hillwalking, mountain biking, kayaking, etc., do you do these activities?
Our club members are actively interested in enjoying a wide variety of outdoor activities. However, we are primarily a climbing club, and tend to do other activities when we can't climb.

How old/fit are club members?    (yes, this is a 'frequently asked question'!)
Both age and fitness is very varied.
Age: the majority of the people who turn up to the evening meets are roughly 30-60
Fitness: a minority are very fit or pretty unfit (although that's probably relative!), but most of us are somewhere in between; we can all get up a Munro or two in a day, but probably none of us could run the Mamores (not now anyway ...).