/ The Castle
Also what does 'no three pound power hour throw haha' mean?
Apart from the vague idea that you like the wall, I can't make much sense of that.
£12 is a fair bit but not actually that much. I get there at 6 and leave just before 10 so get nearly 4 hours in, £3 an hour is a bargain. It'd cost me more to see a film or sit in the pub.
It is probably one of the UKs best walls and I've paid £9 to climb a load of ladder like routes in some particularly grotty walls.
Yeah but factor in a tenner on the tube Mike. That sort of price for two, well you could have an evening at Ramshaw, or something...
Them were the days :)
Just returned from my second visit to the Castle, got to say it was pretty cool, good music, interesting routes and a good, friendly atmos.
The routes are good but I far prefer enjoy the longer (upstairs) routes and there's just not enough space devoted to them. Its adequate during quiet periods but positively claustrophobic at busy times and I really think they missed a trick during the recent upgrades. I understand why they've concentrated on the bouldering side as thats where the 'new money' is but just wish they'd extended the upstairs leading area a bit more than they did.
If they just copied a few other centres and set up some of the upstairs walls as both lead and top rope on the same route that would help a lot. What I was really hoping for from the renovations was removing the floor at the base of the long upstairs lead routes and starting them at the ground floor level- that would have given them an awesome niche in London with truly long routes!
With all that said I still regularly visit the Castle and enjoy it but do find myself heading to the Westway and Reach more often to enjoy the excellent lead they both offer.
True, that said those Ramshaw evenings ruined me whereas at least I can still move after a session at the Castle.
There will be new leading routes in the next phase of their expansion (area under the cafe, and the new comp wall).
I went once and thought it was an
Utter pile of donkey shite!
Yeah it's impressive in that there's lots to climb, but there was no imagination in the route setting so the vast space was somewhat wasted.
This was particularly highlighted when
I went back to my regular local wall in derby for some bouldering: probably only 20% of the space available to the Castle, but I was entertained and challenged for a good 4 hours. I was over the Castle after 40mins.
You're clearly in the minority then, as the place is heaving most weekday nights. Personally I find the setting excellent. They also get big name setters in from time to time, eg Steve mac, gaz parry. But then again, maybe this is just a troll posted after a few beers .... Or maybe you climb v13 f8c and found a lack of stuff at your grade ...
There are a couple of things they could do better from my perspective: putting a couple of autobelayers up on decent routes (instead of the joke line where they have it now, wtf?!) by the back door upstairs perhaps, would help endurance training no end. A circuit board for bouldering endurance would be similarly good, both arch and ww have one. Why not make all the upstairs lines into leading or have dual lines that can be toproped OR led by allowing the toproped to be tied out the way behind.
On the positive side, they have by far the best warming up and stretching area, which is excellent at preventing injuries (at the other walls i warmup much less carefully). The new leading wall is flipping ace! :-) and I can't wait for the new bouldering to open! Still the best all round wall in London....
I've climbed there a lot, and I have to say that for London I much prefer Westway or Reach (or Arch/Biscuit Factory for bouldering). The routes are good (albeit hard) but there's more long, lead walls at the other two. Moreover, I find the staff at The Castle to be rather rude at times, and I know of quite a few other people who have had negative experiences with a couple of them.
I have to say that I've always found the Castle staff to be really lovely, especially the women who do WWA. My only regret is that WWA is only monthly and I'm not able to get to them each month.
A bit 'trolly', i'll admit - but i do honestly think they could do a lot better given the size of the place, or maybe that's why i don't find it that good, too much space = too many problems to set and therefore you don't get the attention to detail that you get with smaller walls.
At Alter Rock in Derby the bouldering and routes are set on a bi-weekly basis by 'big names' and the problems are exquisite! And the place is comparatovely tiny.
> I find the staff at The Castle to be rather rude at times, and I know of quite a few other people who have had negative experiences with a couple of them.
I've had that at the Castle before, maybe it depends how busy they are. Sometimes they as helpful as can and other times they're decidedly frosty.
Personally, I find the Castle to be too busy/cramped to the point where you can't really climb some lines if someone is on the one next to it. But I am used to nice spacious climbing walls in the NW as well as the crags and mountains up here (when it's not raining).
This year The Castle have upped/ are upping their game big style, with loads more world class bouldering walls. More lead walls too!
Hardly, just telling it like it is, hardly a biased point of view.
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