Sportclimbing is usually considered to have two major sub-disciplines. bouldering is up to 4 meters high and is done without ropes, while climbing is done on higher walls. Inside you can generally climb 10-25 meters and outside you can climb at any height, up to 900m per rock-face, with possibly multiple such sections consecutively on a mountain.
Most beginners start with bouldering. This sub-discipline is very accessible, since you do not need any belay-techniques or knots. Climbing-technique is very different in bouldering than in climbing. Bouldering focuses more on short yet intense routes and is more about complex and dynamic moves. Characteristic for bouldering are things such as (small) jumps, tiny holds, and movements such as the ‘toe-hook’ where you are (partially) hanging by the top of your toes.
Climbing requires more knowledge and skill, but you can get started with a top-rope (A) course at the RSC. Compared to bouldering, climbing is more endurance based. This makes climbing somewhat less prone to injury. The techniques and moves of bouldering are quite useful for application in the longer routes.
Both disciplines are done by many NijSAC members, both inside in climbing and bouldering gyms, and outside ‘on the rock’. For climbing outside, we often make trips abroad (to Belgium, Germany or even further) to find natural climbing/bouldering areas. The natural climbing areas, which are often part of nature preserves, give a lot of enjoyment.The NijSAC offers many courses in the various sub-disciplines of climbing:
Three times a year you can join a NijSAC introduction-weekend. During this weekend you will meet other people who are interested in sportclimbing. By the end of the weekend you will generally be able to top-rope independently.
If you can not or do not want to join an intro-weekend, you can also learn top-roping at one of the A-courses at the Radboud SportsCentre.
When you are able to confidently top-rope without an instructor, you can start the lead-climbing course. This course teaches you the basics of lead-climbing and single-pitch climbing on the rock (max 35m). After this course you are allowed to do lead-climbing in dutch climbing gyms, and outside on the rock in single-pitch routes.
After the lead-climbing course you can learn more about climbing at greater heights during the multipitch course. Using multipitch techniques you can climb up to 110 meters in Belgium. At first, after finishing the course, you can climb a maximum of three ‘pitches’. In the alps this amounts to a maximum of 150 meters.
Help and rescue is often quite far away in the mountains. Therefore, besides the basics of multipitch, you are taught the basics of self-rescue. With those, you will be able to solve simple problems yourself.
Besides the aforementioned courses, there is also a small group of ‘trad-climbers’ within the NijSAC. Trad-climbing is signified by the lack of anchors in the rock. This means that you have to take mobile anchors with you yourself. Natural elements such as rock-features, hour-glasses and trees are also used. This discipline is indispensible if you want to do alpinism or long multipitches on a higher level. Unfortunately, the NijSAC does not currently offer courses in this discipline.
If you are not from the Netherlands, and you have experience in another climbing association than the NKBV, you can email us if you have any questions about recognition of certificates, past experience or insurances.