Everything You Need To Know About Climbing Post-Pandemic
This past year has been tough on a lot of us. Many of us have lost jobs, seen loved ones suffer, and had to contend with sudden closures in almost every aspect of their lives. With the constant back and forth with gym closures and outdoor exercise excursions in particular, those who lead active lifestyles or exercise for mental health benefits has struggled in particular. Many climbers have seen their favourite spots open on a restricted basis, struggled to get a booking or seen these areas close altogether.
In April, hundreds of climbers are set to return to Mount Everest for the first time in over a year. The world’s tallest peak reopens after a year of closure under strict conditions the government and mountaineers have advised. It has been reported that more than 300 climbers will likely attempt to scale the mountain during the peak climbing season. Tourism Department official Mira Acharya stated that each climber will have to adhere to a one-week quarantine requirement as well as a certificate showing they have tested negative for the virus.
With climbing season close to returning in full swing, here’s everything you need to know or consider when looking to return to your favourite climbing spots.
You may have to stick to the UK
Lukas Furtenback, a representative from US-based guiding company Furtenbach Adventures, told alijazeera.comthat many of his clients have postponed plans to travel to some of the world’s most popular climbing attractions because of travel restrictions in countries like Britain.
If you do manage to travel, expect things to be different
Furtenback also went on to say that they have a very strict COVID-19 protocol they are still following as well as a tight testing schedule. If you do manage to make it abroad, do not expect things to be the same as they were before. The pandemic has impacted all countries differently. If you are undertaking an expedition that requires a base case, many organisers have started they will be operating with a closed bubble and have a doctor onsite for the base camp as well as hygiene protocols that must be followed.
You should still plan your visit
Whether you’re climbing in the UK or beyond, most places will be operating with a maximum visitor capacity in mind. Across the globe a lot of places where you can climb will have websites with real time user levels you can check. This is always worth checking out whether you can pre-book or not. Check a couple of times a day to gauge how busy it is and decide what you’re most comfortable with before you turn up and climb. Other things to remember are checking what non peak times are and if they are operating under reduced opening hours.
You may have to replan your visit
If you haven’t checked out the place you are visiting and their website, you may arrive and have to deal with a sudden change of plan. Some places will be only allowing visitors and climbers a maximum visit time to allow everyone a chance to be able to use the facility. Basically you should be prepared for any and all situations as organisations and society try to tackle the first few months of post-lockdown re-openings.
Consider speeding up your entry
To avoid delays and in order to stick to capacity, many places are encouraging climbers to speed up their entry. Fortunately, this can be done in a number of ways. First thing you can do is purchase a membership. Many places will allow members to enter in a separate place quicker for ease. There will likely be other benefits and things to aid you in your visit as well.
Be prepared to continue to follow guidelines
Despite what some may say, we are not out of the woodworks yet. Until mass-vaccination is achieved, a lot of us are still at risk for contracting coronavirus. We still don’t know when we will be out of lockdown completely and what the longterm impact of the virus is, so you should still be prepared to continue with guidelines. If you are not prepared to do this, we wouldn’t recommend being outside and taking part in a climb. Some guidelines you should be prepared to follow are keeping up with good hand hygiene. This means washing your hands before and after visits, and to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. By now, there’s a whole bunch of choruses from songs proven to be a good fit for this, take your pick!
Social distancing should still take place
If there is one thing we can take from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and continue to apply in our everyday lives post-lockdown, it’s to give people space. Wherever you are in the world, when returning to climbing please remember that social distancing measures will still be in place. As mentioned above, it’s important we keep this up. Again if you are not prepared to do this, ask yourself why are you visiting a hotspot that will be near others? Remember to respect other climbers during your visit.
If you are booked on to an instructed session, be prepared for things to be a little different there too. It’s likely you will be operating in smaller groups and for a maximum time again.
Remember there is no rush
It’s easy to feel a pressure to jump right back into things and reimburse yourself after a year of not being able to. However, it’s important to use this time to check in with yourself, look within, and decide what you’re comfortable with. It’s worth noting that not all mountaineerings companies are returning as everyone has different risk assessments. It’s totally okay if you do not feel safe returning to climbing yet. Try not to let the endless stream of social media posts and news stories make you feel bad. In fact, it’s a very responsible way to operate. It is good to listen to your body and do what you feel most comfortable with.
Don’t forget to mask up still!
Wherever you are travelling, it’s important to continue to do your bit to help eliminate the spread of COVID-19 whilst we wait for everyone to be vaccinated. It is still compulsory to wear a face mask or covering, especially if you are visiting an indoor space or training area. Those who are seated in a cafe area with food or drink, medically exempt or aged under 11 will not be required to wear face masks. You will still need to maintain social distancing though, and respect other users nearby.
Don’t over do it
Whether you are climbing, walking, or trekking, it’s important not to do too much at once. After a year of closures, it’s likely your stamina has dropped and that’s okay! Most of us are having to retrain ourselves and find our new limits. There is no shame in this. Do not push yourself and try to gauge what your new abilities are and remember this isn’t forever. You can always rebuild stamina and strength, that’s part of the fun!
Contact My Climbing Gear
As long as you are prepared to take all the necessary precautions and not put others in danger, you can still go out and get back to climbing again. If you’ve dusted off equipment and found you’re in need of an upgrade, there’s never been a better time to shop with My Climbing Gear. We have a wide range of accessories perfect for anyone who is interested in trekking. Whether you’re a novice or seasoned pro, there’s shoes, kits and accessories available online. When shopping for trekking gear, you want a reputable online dealer that carries name brand trekking gear and that can offer some useful tips and advice that will help you get started and become a better climber. Find a trekking gear retailer that can grow with your needs and that carries everything for the beginner to the advanced trekker. For 10% off your first order, simply sign up to our newsletter and receive a limited time only exclusive discount code.
If you are looking for more tips and advice designed to make you a better climber, as well as a wide range of name brand climbing gear and apparel, check out My Climbing Gear today!
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