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Climbing Glossary 

We understand that not everyone who comes to White Spider knows what belaying is… so here is a little guide to some of our commonly used terms. 

Again, it's important to recognise the following statement issued by the BMC when considering getting involved with climbing. 

"The BMC recognises that climbing, hill walking 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."


1. Top Rope Climbing

Involves climbing while tied into a rope fixed to the top of the wall. 


2. Lead Climbing 

When leading, climbers clip the rope into fixed points in the wall as they climb up. This is more technical, requiring a bit more skill and experience than Top Roping


3. Bouldering 

Is lower level climbing (maximum 5 metres) with no ropes or harnesses. While there is thick matting in the bouldering areas, falls are not as protected as roped climbing and greater caution is required. 


4. Belay/Belaying 

Belaying someone essentially means managing their rope while they climb. This includes everything from taking rope in as they ascend, slowly lowering them back down to the ground again, or providing more rope or 'slack' while lead climbing. As the rope helps protect any falls, this is a vital part of climbing requiring experience and attention. 

Anyone climbing here with us without instructor supervision will be tested on their belaying before being signed off. 


5. Karabiner 

This piece of kit is used as part of belaying, and is a crucial piece of climbing equipment. It is essentially a strong clip. 


6. Belay device

This equipment enables the rope to be secured (locked off) or loosened (when giving slack or lowering off) as necessary while the climber is on the wall. These come in a number of different forms – we don't mind which you use as long as YOU know how to use it and it's in good working order! 


Where we are
Google Map of 51.372456,-0.291

White Spider Climbing
225 Hook Rise South
Surbiton, KT6 7LD
Just off the A3/A240 at Tolworth Junction.

Mon           2pm - 10pm
Tues – Fri           10am - 10pm
Sat – Sun        10am - 7.30pm
Bank Holidays 10am - 7.30pm

Save time - preregister!

Book online now!

Red Spider - Fareham

Climbing on the South coast, love bouldering?

Then check out our sister wall, Red Spider, an awesome, spacious, dedicated boulder wall just off the M27 J11 between Portsmouth and Southampton.

And if you are a member at White Spider - then climbing is included free in your membership

So check out the great programs and reviews at Red Spider and Facebook and try some of the best bouldering on the South coast

Also a huge kids castle, separate from the climbing wall and with its own cafe.

We hope to see you there, cheers the Red Spider Team