The ultimate Belgium Read-Me
Due to its proximity our most regular climbing destination is Belgium, where we usually stay in the KBF refuge.
To avoid repeating myself I have outlined most of the information you need to know. If there is anything missing from here then please let me know and I will update this page.
You will find this page handy particularly if you are visiting the KBF Refuge for the first time
The Checklist will also give you some pointers of what you need to pack.
First of all, Belgium is a great place to climb. Travelling time from Amsterdam is about 3hours (though it can take close to 5 if the traffic is bad) and there are many crags all with easy access from the road.
To climb in Belgium you need to be a member of an affiliated climbing organisation, check the KBF website for specifics.
One thing to bear in mind is that the NKBV have more restrictions placed on them than most:
The official situation is this:
When visiting the crags you MUST take your membership card. Although they do not always check, if they do check and you are card-less you WILL be asked to leave, the crags are all private property so you do not have automatic rights.
If you're not a member of a climbing federation then please let the event organiser know a long time in advance so this can be taken into consideration.
Make sure you take a look at the Checklist for a list of essential items you’ll need to bring. Of particular importance is a helmet, whilst not compulsory rather ridiculous looking they are definitely worth investing in. Personally I never climb without one and it is the first thing I put on when I arrive at the crag.
Accommodation in Belgium is usually at the Chevee hut or Refuge which is set in the Belgium countryside and run by the KBF. There are dormitories of various sizes with bunk beds which are basic but comfortable.
N.B. The refuge does NOT provide bed clothes, so you will need to take either a sleeping bag or duvet or similar.
Camping at the refuge is also possible; there is a small field out the back suitable for camping.
The prices of the refuge can be seen from their website and it cheaper for club members (that includes affiliated clubs). They will provide breakfast, packed lunch and dinner if booked in advance. You will need to discuss the plan with your event organiser.
N.B. The Chevee hut only accepts cash
There is a large trekkers-kitchen which for a small fee is available for you to cook your own meals. They have all the necessary equipment, pots pans etc - though they do lack sharp knives and chopping boards. Don't forget you need to bring all the food you need (incl condiments) plus washing up liquid and a tea towel.
N.B. Do not bring your own wine or beer. The bar is fully stocked with both at very reasonable prices.
Well I think this covers most of it, the refuge is a great place with a friendly atmosphere and a bar stocked full of some lovely Belgium beers :-)
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