What is it?
What did I get up to?
I initially went to just have a look around and do some bouldering by myself. I walked in, paid a one time lifetime registration fee of £6 and a one off session cost of £6 (Which I think is not too bad) and started taking some pictures. Whilst marvelling at the set up and the scale of the walls compared to what I have experienced before I noticed an advertisement for free 1.5 hour adult climbing sessions twice weekly.
As luck would have it, I heard over the PA system that a class was happening in just under 5 minutes. So needless to say I ran to the front desk and asked if I could join in. They were happy to let me do so even though they were half way through their 8 week cycle.
I joined the session and our coach for the day gave the new people (myself included) a quick run down of what they had done in previous weeks but then went straight into the lessons focus for the week. Naturally then it would have to be a stamina session. This involved doing all 40 or so green routes (the easiest routes) in the complex within an hour and then moving on to the red routes if we had time. We did this in pairs and myself and my climbing buddy managed to get on to the red routes within the time given to us. Once we hit that hour we did a conditioning session and cool down, which consisted of some brilliant isomeric core holds and some good stretches.
After the cool down we were left to our own devices, either to work more on technique or just go home. I was desperate to get home so decided enough was enough and headed back down south.
What do I think of The Climbing Works
There are a couple of lounging areas dotted around should you want to have a rest and finger boards for grip strengthening. They have a cafe where they offer a free beverage to anyone who has walked or cycled to the centre and convenient lockers for those who want to keep their belongings out of reach. The building as a whole is well looked after and as clean as it can be with heavy use of chalk and best of all does not smell of bad feet like my local wall. They also have a Mini Works in a separate building geared towards teach children how to climb, which can only be a good thing with climbing attempting to become an olympic sport. Hopefully this will help to cultivate future generations of awesome climbers way better than I will ever be.
The other stuff
The session itself was fun, hard work and even though this time not aimed at technique, I learnt more about how to climb and movement than I have done on my own. I failed at two climbs towards the end as I was getting tired so I know it certainly made me work and with added conditioning my core was shredded. These lessons I think are invaluable as I know first hand there is nothing more frustrating than trying to learn on your own and feeling like you are getting no where.
The wall seems centred around having fun with a very varying degree of route types with a slide in one area I think geared towards kids, though I'm pretty sure I saw a few adults sliding down it while I was there, again there seemed to be no pretence, it was just about the climbing and having a good time.
Any of you been there, what do you think of The Climbing Works? Let me know in the comment section below.