We run the National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) as weekly 1.5-hour sessions during term time. These sessions are open to kids aged 7 – 18 and cover 5 levels of a nationally-accredited scheme covering; basic safety and best practice, climbing technique, lead climbing, and general fitness and nutrition for training. All required equipment hire is included in the course, but we do suggest that, as they progress, participants invest in their own equipment to ensure they are getting the most progression out of their sessions.

NICAS Bookings are now open!


How many sessions are there per term?
We run NICAS alongside school terms, so the number of sessions will change based on how many weeks are in a term. We don’t run sessions over half terms, Easter, Christmas or summer holidays.

What if I want to bring my child in over the holidays?
We run drop-in sessions for those that still want to carry on learning NICAS over the holidays. We also offer Holiday Camps which are 6-hour sessions run over several days.

Do I need to rebook NICAS? If yes, how often?
Yes, at the start of every term you will need to book your place on NICAS. We will be keeping you posted on social media and by email when term time starts, and when you will be able to book it.

What equipment do I need to bring?
If you have your own shoes, harness, belay device, chalk bag, then you are more than welcome to bring them along. If you don’t, then all the necessary equipment hire is included in the booking price.

What kit would you prioritise if we were to buy our own?
Having your own pair of tight-fitting shoes will have a massive impact on your climbing performance. We would advise any NICAS participant to get their own shoes and ensure that they are the right fit. Other items such as harness, belay devices, chalk bags are not as much of a priority, as they are less specific to individual climbers.

Is the NICAS book/folder included in the price?
You will have the option to pay for a NICAS book/folder when you book onto the session.

Who is responsible for logging climbs in their book?
The participant on session is responsible for looking after their logbooks and making sure they have written in it every session.

My child has done a single term of NICAS are they ready to move to the next level?
Always ask the instructor whether your child is ready to progress onto the next level. It can take more than 1 term to pass a level.

Who can I talk to about my child’s progression within NICAS?
With the instructor that ran the session or anyone in the coaching team.

I have a disability, an impairment, or need extra support, can I still climb?
Currently we are running NICAS SEN - a session with fewer participants - for those that need extra support. You can also email in and we can make some reasonable adjustments on sessions to accommodate other needs.

At what age can my child start NICAS?
We run Wild Climbers, a NICAS precursor, for 3-6yrs olds. The NICAS sessions are divided into 2 age groups; 7-10 and 11-18.

Can my child climb unsupervised?
In order for your child to climb unsupervised, they need to pass an assessment by an instructor. We run assessments for bouldering, top-ropes/auto belays, and for lead climbing. They must be 14yrs of age or have been scouted by a senior instructor. The price of assessment is £18 and can be done on session at the instructor's discretion.

Can I supervise my child?
In order to supervise your child climbing, you will need to pass a competency test that can be completed on arrival at reception. You can do separate tests for bouldering, auto belays, and ropes. Bouldering is the easiest sign off to attain if you have no previous experience. Watching the registration video will provide you with all the information you need to pass the boulder competency test.

We also run auto belay sign offs which are 15min with an instructor. These cover how to use the auto belays safely. (Please note - you must already be boulder signed off). For the ropes, our best advice would be to book onto an Adult Beginners' Course which will train you to safely use the top-ropes we have on offer at Parthian.

As your child progresses into Levels 4 & 5, our Learn to Lead course will equip you with the advanced skills required to lead belay (and climb!) safely.

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