OV course, Outdoor lead climbing

The next step in the trajectory is the OV-course, outdoor lead climbing. In this course you learn all the rope techniques needed to climb independently in the rocks in a safe way. Single pitching and multi pitching will be combined within this course.

Why should I take part in the OV course?

Simply said, if you want to climb on real rocks, it is sane (and obligatory within Ibex trips) to learn that safely. The OV-certificate is your ticket to participate in climbing weekends to Germany, Belgium and France and to go on your own with a group of Ibexers. Without this certificate, you can only join weekends when there are enough instructors available to guide you throughout the weekend. Outdoor climbing really lifts up your membership to another level. Not only will climbing become a lot more adventurous and challenging than in the gym, but you also get to know Ibexers from all ages really fast and well by spending a weekend camping, cooking, having drinks and climbing together. Instructors are scarce on weekends, so we recommend getting your certificate as soon as possible. Another perk of having an OV-certificate is that you can use a lot of equipment, like ropes and helmets, from the storage of Ibex to bring on your own trips to the mountains and rocks. The last thing we would like to say that this course is not just a standard NKBV course, in this course, Ibex takes you a little bit deeper into the material, and next to just let people successfully finish the course, we also want to give people a super nice introduction into the world of climbing outside. Learning how to camp, cook, survive and play outdoors isn’t something that comes natural or through family for everyone. So if you’re not yet what we call a Bever (a Dutch outdoor company like Intersport)- girl or boy, don’t worry, also this aspect of climbing you will learn with Ibex.

What does the course look like?

After finishing this course successfully, you are able to manage yourself in the rocks independently, both in bolded single pitch as well as multi pitch routes.
The course starts off with four evenings of theory, where you will get theoretical background on falling mechanics, rock types and safety issues. Next to that you will already practice with knots and rope techniques needed. Subsequently, the learned techniques will be put in practice in the Netherlands, on an outdoor climbing wall near Rotterdam, Monte Cervino, where you can even multi pitch. Then the course moves on to the Belgian rocks. In at least three weekends of climbing (most inexperienced climbers need 4), each from Friday to Sunday night, you will be prepared for your exam. The exam will also take place during a weekend of climbing in Belgium. 
The preliminary dates of the weekends are hard to pin down beforehand, because this depends strongly on the weather and this year of course also corona. Taking this course therefore asks for a lot of flexibility and responsibility from the participants.Usually, the first practical day in the Netherlands takes place mid March. From then you can count on last minute departure on and last minute cancellations of weekends till approximately June. The subscriptions for the course aren't open yet.

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Which skills do I need to have to participate in the OV course?

You must be in the possession of an approved IV certificate (indoor lead climbing). A climbing level of 5c+ in a Dutch climbing gym is obligatory (we check this!). The foremost reason for this is that while climbing outdoors you will focus on new techniques and things that will be extra for OUTDOORS. So your focus shouldn’t be on whether you can climb a route such as 5a or not. Furthermore you need to have insurance that covers outdoor climbing sports. To get access to the climbing areas in Belgium you have to be in the possession of a so called ‘’klimjaarkaart’’, a yearly allowance to climb in the belgian rocks, see (https://nkbv.nl/kenniscentrum/klimjaarkaart.html). If you have any more questions regarding this, do not hesitate to contact the board via wsacibex@gmail.com or contact the material or weekend commissioner personally. They are happy to help, also with translating. Furthermore you need a good motivation to actually finish the course. It is really fun and absolutely worth the effort. Outdoor climbing is one of the, if not THE, most fun activities that Ibex has to offer, but the course does take a lot of time because of traveling abroad. It also requires some flexibility from you as a participant, because weekends sometimes need to be rescheduled during the weather.

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