Meets with OUMC

The club runs climbing trips out of Oxford on the weekends of every term. These will be either day meets, where we head to a relatively nearby crag, or weekend meets, taking up the whole weekend and allowing us to visit the more far flung corners of the country. The plans for the coming term are laid out on the termcard. We try and visit a wide range of climbing destinations across the country every year.

Spaces on outdoor meets are limited by the number of minibus and car seats we have available. To sign up, look out for emails from the Meets Secretaries with sign-up forms and instructions. Your place on the meet is not guaranteed until you have paid! To pay, you'll need to send a bank transfer with a specific reference and then send an email to the Treasurer with the reference. This will all be in the confirmation email when you receive your place on the meet.

If you are wondering what you will need to take with you, have a look at our recommended kit list. We can't guarantee good weather on meets, so you need to be properly prepared for it to be cold and wet!

Climbing partnerships or groups will be organised on the way to the crag or when we arrive. If you're keen to climb a particular grade, want to climb with somebody more experienced or think you're being forgotten, please speak up!


Courses with OUMC

We organise a range of courses at subsidised prices each year. We want to cater to the needs of our club members, so if you have any ideas for topics or course content then get in touch with the courses secretary.

The number of places on each course is necessarily limited, so we do usually ask for payment in advance. Your place on a course is not guaranteed until you have paid!

Details of each course will be sent out to the mailing list when they are confirmed, or when places become available.

What courses do we run?

Advanced Mountain First Aid 1

Suitable even for complete first aid beginners, this course will give you the basic skills to deal with emergencies in the hills and mountains. Topics include altitude sickness, hypothermia, trauma, evacuation, and more. We would recommend this course to everyone who wants to climb regularly outdoors.

Duration: 16 hours over 2 days

Advanced Mountain First Aid 2

This course will cover more complex issues such as serious trauma and remote illness. It extends to the use of injections, sutures, intravenous fluids, wilderness dentistry, road traffic collisions, allergic reactions, and more. We would recommend this to everyone in the club as a continuation from AMFA1, and especially those planning longer trips. On expeditions to remote areas, advanced first aid skills can make ALL the difference.

Duration: 16 hours over 2 days

Ropework 101, Ropework 102 and Advanced Ropework courses

One of our longest-running and most popular courses, this covers a range of key rope skills needed to climb safely. Major topics include building anchors, prusiking up ropes, (un)assisted hoists, manipulating ropes on belay, basic and advanced abseils, and rescue techniques. Both new and experienced climbers benefit hugely from this course.

Duration: 6 weeks

Wilderness Navigation Course

This weekend navigation course takes place on the Hilary Term North Wales meet, and has been extremely well reviewed by OUMC members in previous years. Sessions on the theory and practice of mountain navigation are delivered in a ratio of one instructor to six students, with plenty of opportunity to practice these skills in the mountains.

Duration: Several sessions over the weekend


OUMC Socials

When we're not busy climbing, OUMC members love nothing more than to be sociable (honest). Whilst much of the socialising within the club is informal, there are several fixed events in the OUMC social calendar to look out for

Each year we have a number of exciting socials planned! For more information on any of the events, please see our club termcard.

What kinds of socials do we have?

The Pub (8pm Wednesdays)

The Gardeners Arms on Plantation Road provides a permanent fixture both within and outside of term time. With plenty of climbers to be found from 8pm on Wednesdays, it's a great way to get to know club members. 

The Gardeners Arms is also the scene of many other OUMC social fixtures, with film nights and impromptu gatherings also taking place here throughout the year.

The club AGM, in Trinity term, is also held at the GA. This event is when the new committee for the next calendar year is elected; any OUMC member can run for a committee position, regardless of how long you've been with the club, so don't be afraid to get involved! See the committee page for more details.


The other major (if ever so slightly less sophisticated) event of the OUMC social calendar is the somewhat infamous 'Iffley party' and the Iffley bouldering competition which precedes it. 

Taking place in Hilary term, the Iffley competition at the Iffley Road bouldering wall sees Oxford climbing at its best, promptly followed by the no less impressive sight of Oxford climbers at their less than best.

 The party itself is fancy dress, with costumes themed upon your favourite Iffley bouldering problem name - so get planning those costumes!

Black Tie Events

The two major formal fixtures of the OUMC calendar appear in the form of the Christmas dinner, which takes place towards the end of Michaelmas term, and the Annual Dinner, which is usually held in Trinity term. Both events provide an opportunity for usually scruffy climbers to dress up and at least pretend to be a little sophisticated. The dinners are usually black tie, but with a 'climbing theme', and act as celebrations of the various climbing achievements and epics of the year.

Punting and BBQ

The last (official) fixture of the OUMC calendar is the Punting and BBQ which takes place in the last week of Trinity term each year. Regardless of the weather, the punting and barbeque is always a great way to round off the academic year. Typical activities include punt piracy, bridge-swinging, and slacklining across (or usually into) the river.

Other Seasonal Festivities

Throughout the year, the OUMC follows the strict mantra of 'any excuse for a party'. As such, there are several other social events to look out for including the pancake party (usually held in Hilary term), OUMC Ceilidh, roped-up pub crawl (held during Michaelmas term) and various Halloween or bonfire related shenanigans.


Competition Team



The OUMC runs a general training group as well as a competitive team. The training group is open to all regardless of level, while the competitive team is chosen by trials at the beginning of Michaelmas. We encourage anyone interested in advancing their climbing to get involved! For any questions, email our Team Captains.


Hundreds of climbing competitions take place in the UK throughout the year. Many are aimed at a range of abilities, so anyone can come along. Competitions are always a brilliant experience; you'll climb harder than you thought you could, make new friends and generally have a great time.

Each year, the Team Captains will be organising teams to attend BUCS and Varsity competitions for bouldering. However, there are various other comps available, so we will endeavour to keep you updated on the latest competitions through email.

Our competition plan is flexible so, by all means, contact the Team Captains if there are any other competitions which you would like OUMC to be a part of.

What other competitions are there?


London University Bouldering Event is a student-only series of bouldering competitions, based in the London climbing walls.


Part bouldering competition, part rave, this is an absolute must. Pre-register online. This is an individual event, so no teams, but that doesn't mean you can't organise a group trip!


Reading boasts fantastic lead climbing and top-roping, so it's an ideal venue if you want to introduce your friends to bouldering competitions and also get a bit of sport climbing done all in one.


What do we have?

  • Climbing shoes
  • Harnesses
  • Helmets
  • Belay devices
  • Screw-Gate carabiners
  • Indoor ropes
  • Quickdraws
  • Bouldering mats
  • Ice Axes
  • Crampons
  • Trad gear (cams, nuts, and slings)

Borrowing Gear

Since there's such a high demand for club gear in the first 4 weeks of Michaelmas term, it is not available to borrow until 5th week. Otherwise, OUMC gear can be borrowed during term time and over vacations, under the following conditions:

  1. You are a current club member
  2. You have arranged with the Gear Secretaries to borrow the gear.
  3. If gear is not being used, you return it to the Gear Secretaries.
  4. You return all gear for the annual gear inspection, which is at the end of Trinity Term.
  5. You understand that if gear is lost or damaged then the person who is borrowing it may be charged between 0% and 100% of the original purchase value. The amount will be decided by the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and Gear Secretaries, taking into account the age and condition of the gear along with the circumstances of the loss.
  6. You understand you are responsible for ensuring you have the correct skills to use the gear and for using it safely and responsibly.
Request Gear


The Oxford Mountaineering Library

What is it?

The Oxford Mountaineering Library, maintained by OUMC and the Bodleian Library, is one of the country's largest collections of mountaineering literature. The library contains many historic first editions, letters, and journals (including the Alpine Journal, American Alpine Journal, Himalayan Journal, Oxford Mountaineering Journal and Scottish Mountaineering Journal), as well as guidebooks and general mountaineering texts, and is open to all OUMC members and Bodleian readers. Members of the public may access the library for research purposes by prior arrangement with the OUMC Librarian.

Search the collection online at SOLO. Restrict your search to the OML by refining it to "SSL". Some books are stored off-site so make sure to request them on SOLO before visiting the library.

Where is it?

The library is currently located at the Social Science Library. 

How can you use it?

If you have a Bod card, you can swipe into the SSL and go and have a look for yourself.

If you do not have a Bod card, you can still access the OML and OUMC guide collection. Show the SSL librarian your OUMC card at the entrance of the SSL and ask to be admitted to visit the Oxford Mountaineering Library. The SSL librarians can point you in the right direction (if you’re not a member of the University please don't wander around).

We have a growing collection of climbing guidebooks for destinations in the UK and worldwide. You are welcome to borrow these. Most of the guidebooks now have barcodes in and can be borrowed as normal (they'll appear on your account on SOLO). A few do not; these need to be recorded in the black OML book that is kept behind the Issues desk. You may need to guide the librarians on this; they are not all used to dealing with OML borrowing!

"Books" in the OML can be borrowed by any current member of the university.

Guidebooks and journals can only be borrowed by OUMC members and OUMC Life Members. If you do not have a current Bod card, you can borrow guidebooks, books and journals from the OML by showing your OUMC membership card (please contact the OUMC Librarians if you have any difficulties doing this). They will either be signed out to you via the Black Book or via the OUMC library account (instructions for doing this are in the front of the Black Book).

If you borrow a guidebook, please make sure you return it.