NUS Climbing FAQ


Questions about Climbing

  1. What is bouldering?
  2. What is sport climbing?
  3. Is climbing a dangerous sport?
  4. I'm not strong/fit/young enough, can I still climb?
  5. How can I climb if I'm afraid of heights?

Questions about Membership

  1. I don't know how to climb, can I join?
  2. I know how to climb, can I join?
  3. How many members do you have?
  4. Why do you limit the amount of memberships?
  5. I'm an exchange student, can I join?
  6. Do I need to buy my own climbing equipment?
  7. Do I need climbing safety and belaying certifications?

Questions about Recreational Club

  1. Why is there a minimum attendance requirement?
  2. Why are attendance requirements not strictly enforced for exchange students, or NUS postgraduates and staff?
  3. What is Climbing Camp about?
  4. What is Climbing Carnival about?
  5. Can I bring my friends to climb during climbing sessions?

Questions about Varsity Team

  1. What is the Varsity Team? How is it different from the club?
  2. I don’t have experience, can I join?
  3. How can I get through the trials without experience?
  4. I have experience do I still have to come for trials?
  5. How many people are selected to join the team?
  6. Can I join the team but not compete?
  7. What is the level of commitment like?
  8. Does the team focus entirely on bouldering?



FAQ about Climbing

  1. What is bouldering?
  2. Bouldering is a subset of climbing, somewhat akin to sprinting. It typically involves 4-10 powerful moves and does not go beyond 6 meters in height. As such, harnesses and ropes are not required and protection comes in the form of foam mattresses and pads to cushion your fall.

  3. What is sport climbing?
  4. Sport climbing would look more familiar to the layman. It involves ropes, harnesses, carabiners and high walls. Ropes are fixed to anchors at the top of the route, or the climber will clip into bolts on the wall as they climb. Sport climbing calls for endurance, finesse, and trust in your belayer.

  5. Is climbing a dangerous sport?
  6. Climbing is inherently dangerous and the risk of death or serious injury can never be completely eliminated. As such, we take precautions to prevent the worst from happening and safety is always on our minds as we climb. A ship is safe in harbour, but that's not what ships are for. Hence, it is up to each individual to make their own choices regarding acceptable risk.

  7. I'm not strong/fit/young enough, can I still climb?
  8. Climbing demands mental fortitude and technique. Physical strength and fitness will help but they are not necessities to begin climbing. If you keep climbing, you'll find strength, fitness, and youth along the way :)

  9. How can I climb if I'm afraid of heights?
  10. Everyone is afraid of heights. For climbers, we just keep putting ourselves out there until we get used to it. Some of us just get busy with the climbing and forget about the heights, while others just try to manage and control their fear. Bouldering doesn't bring you too far away from the ground (3-5 metres), so you can start there and see if climbing is your cup of tea.

FAQ about Membership

  1. I don't know how to climb, can I join?
  2. Definitely! We'll teach you the skills if you're willing to put in the time and effort. Strength isn't a pre-requisite to start climbing - passion is.

  3. I know how to climb, can I join?
  4. Of course! We have a good mix of new and experienced climbers in the club. However, we expect our more experienced members to guide the newer climbers. It’s a climbing club after all, so it is expected that we should get stronger together. If it's a training ground you seek, then I'm afraid you should look elsewhere instead.

  5. How many members do you have?
  6. At the moment, we have about slightly less than 100 undergraduates, graduates and post-graduates, staff and faculty members climbing with us.

  7. Why do you limit the amount of memberships?
  8. Our club grows expontentially year after year. As big as our current facilities at UTown and SIM are, these facilities can only accommodate so many people without compromising the safety of our climbers. Hence, the club will only take in as many new members as we can safely support whilst also ensure that our members enjoy greater access to these facilities.

  9. I'm an exchange student, can I join?
  10. We have reserved a number of memberships for exchange students. When our current exchange students leave us after a semester, we'll open those spaces at the start of each semester for new exchange students to join.

  11. Do I need to buy my own climbing equipment?
  12. We expect our members to, at the very least, own a pair of climbing shoes and chalk bag. Beyond hygiene concerns, these are essential equipment that will make a big difference to your climbing. If you're just starting out, you can loan a pair of old shoes from the club. Other equipment such as harness and ropes will be provided by the club during our climbing sessions.

  13. Do I need climbing safety and belaying certifications?
  14. Club members are required to have SNCS Level 1 certification. While exchange students may be certified in their home countries, the institution does not allow these students to belay other climbers as there may be differences in climbing standards. For those who are not certified, the club conducts courses for our members at discounted rates, so you can join us first and get your certification later.

FAQ about Recreational Club

  1. Why is there a minimum attendance requirement?
  2. We had more than 400 people applying for membership spots last yea, and have unfortunately turned away a lot of people. As such, we want to ensure that we are taking in members who deserves their membership by being actively involved in the club.

  3. Why are attendance requirements not strictly enforced for exchange students, or NUS postgraduates and staff?
  4. We understand that exchange students want to travel and may not be always around. As long as you’re not a phantom member, we're okay with that. For graduates, postgraduates, and staff, if you can fit climbing around your busy schedules, we'll be happy to have you :)

  5. What is Climbing Camp about?
  6. Climbing Camp happens every Recess Week of Semester 1. It is one of the few opportunities for the Climbing Club and Varsity Team to come together and meet everyone. During the camp, we'll eat, sleep, play camp games, climb, and repeat!

  7. What is Climbing Carnival about?
  8. The Climbing Carnival is an internal club event for our members. Climbers from the competitive team and our more experienced members will set 20-30 problems on our bouldering wall for everyone to try. You'll get some points when you finish each problems and at the end of the day, the top scorers get a small prize - and of course, bragging rights!

  9. Can I bring my friends to climb during climbing sessions?
  10. Access is restricted to members of climbing club and varsity team ONLY.

FAQ about Varsity Team

  1. What is the Varsity Team? How is it different from the club?
  2. We are a group of climbers who not only loves climbing but also enjoys competing on a regular basis. There are several differences between the recreational club and the team.

    Firstly, we train with more frequency, structure and intensity. Attendance is compulsory THREE times a week. Training programmes are set each session which are tailored for individual climbers to enable you to work on you weaknesses and boost your strengths so that you can realise your best potential. If you are looking to climbing as a recreational hobby, the club is more suited to your needs.

    Secondly, we represent TeamNUS at national and invitational competitions. These competitions are compulsory and subsidised by the school. As a result, we expect our athletes to be on top form for the competitions and to do their very best and leave without regrets.

    Thirdly, we keep our numbers small and this confers certain benefits. The climbing gym is never overpopulated on team training days (on club climbing days, it tends to get slightly crowded!). We are a close-knit family that trains, eats and competes together. The sense of comraderie and belonging is strong.

  3. I don’t have experience, can I join?
  4. Yes! We have accepted and will continue to accept people with no or little prior experience. We believe that climbing is a sport that one can pick up even when you’re in university and still excel in it within your undergraduate days (we have living breathing proof of such people). However, all parties interested in joining the varsity team have to be selected based on your results at the trial.

  5. How can I get through the trials without experience?
  6. Trials consist of pre-set routes (known as problems) which are marked with tape. You will be asked to climb them and we will guide you along. These problems are set with the understanding that you are a complete stranger to climbing. We look out for your movement on the wall and if you are instinctive about body positioning and stability as well as your physical form.

  7. I have experience do I still have to come for trials?
  8. Yes you will have to attend trials. All successful candidates will be notified. Allez!

  9. How many people are selected to join the team?
  10. This depends on our current team size. If more senior climbers graduate or leave the team, we have the liberty of accepting more climbers. This number is, however, arbitrary. Should we find more talent than our specified quota, we will gladly take them all.

  11. Can I join the team but not compete?
  12. No. You are a competitive athlete, it is understood that you will represent TeamNUS in competition unless you have a legitimate reason (eg. sick, injured, overseas).

  13. What is the level of commitment like?
  14. Climbers in the varsity team are expected to come for all scheduled trainings (thrice weekly) as well as internal competitions, national/invitational competitions and team meetings. This is relatively demanding considering that undergraduates have deadlines, projects and examinations.

  15. Does the team focus entirely on bouldering?
  16. No. Although majority of trainings revolve around bouldering (due to the frequency of bouldering competitions and the facilities that can accommodate the team), we do prepare and compete in lead climbing competitions as well.