/ Bristol walls
Give a brief Assessment?
How do you reckon it Compares to the Other 3?
Would be good if Someone on here who uses all 4 Bristol walls would do a wee write up and Comparison of them all?
Yes its rather good i went & found a couple of thing but after returning to TCA this week, im considering on swtiching to Bloc.
Pro: the climbs are high, plentyful, interesting, Plenty of parking, nice enviroment, no queuing for probelms in the main.
Cons: i think it costs a little more, lots of chalk dust around at the moment (i think that will change when the new mats are installed), some problems can be stretchy.
Bloc is also closer to me.
Im not Normally a Climbing wall Kind of Fella, but when my ribs Heal (gonna be Several weeks yet by the pain and all the clunking and grinding down that side), think i had best start with a Series of Gym Sessions on big juggy holds above Mats.
will be Looking for plenty of bouldering at different angles, soft Landings, easy parking, hopefully not manically busy.
UCR- Good routes for training, interesting bouldering
Redpoint- More varied technical routes than UCR but not a big fan. Bouldering worst out of the lot, no circuit board
TCA- Good (sandbag) circuit board, loads of problems some good some bad, a bit low, bit busy
Bloc- Proper full height bouldering with a top-out boulder, interesting problems, circuit board could do with a few more lower grades on it.
Bloc is the one for me right now!
I've used / use all 4. Started climbing indoors at URC (20 years ago), TCA regular, occasional visit to Red Point and been to Bloc 3 times since it opened.
Nowadays I only boulder indoors (prefer shorter intensive sessions and works my weaknesses.
TCA and Bloc are both excellent. TCA seems to have more powerful font & grit type problems, Bloc a little more suited to limestone perhaps.
Bloc is taller but TCA is steeper, grades at both walls are sandbagged a bit but as long as they are consistent who cares.
Staff at both walls are (with the odd exception) really friendly and helpful; for me TCA has been instrumental in changing the Bristol scene in to a much more friendly, fun and diverse group of people.
Personally I am going to split my time between TCA and Bloc, I'm not a big fan of working problems to death so this works for me.
We are lucky to have such great facilities in Bristol but need to be aware that five years ago there was only one wall. If we want all the walls to offer the continued great service we need to make sure we take advantage of them and visit them all every so often ensuring they are profitable.
Wouldn't it be great if they could work together to offer keen Bristol climbers a "super pass" that let you access them all for an annual fee. I would happily pay extra for this and it might ensure that we maintain such great facilities.
Looks Like ill Take a Look at Bloc first when im fit to do anything again.
main criteria will be some stuff not too Steep. Dont wanna be Hanging on the arms stressing Those ribs and soft tissue too soon.
Three weeks ago TCA was uncomfortably rammed on a Tuesday night (bloc hadn't opened) - didn't enjoy it much. Having more than a couple of goes at something becomes a real headache when there's crowds waiting to jump on an overlapping problem. I went yesterday and it was perhaps half as full, had a really good session plenty of room to work stuff didn't have to have eyes in the back of my head to check for flying bodies.
I haven't been to bloc yet but will give it a go as it appears to have far more wall/slab angles than the rather overhang fixated TCA. Bloc will need imaginative route setting on those walls though - easy for them to become a bit samey.
The setting at TCA is variable; at the moment there is a really interesting yellow circuit but an unimaginative black circuit at my level.
I think the competition could be good for both walls and hopefully they can differentiate themselves to offer contrasting styles so visits to both are worthwhile.
That would be great, but I don't see it happening spontaneously. Maybe if enough people ask for it, it could be done...
I avoid having a membership at any of them because it would stop me visiting any of the others, but a Bristol pass would definitely appeal (subject to sensible pricing, of course).
I too have had the experience of going to TCA when it was so flipping busy is was basically impossible to get anything done. It was unpleasant! If there is enough local interest to keep 2 big bouldering centres running happily then it seems like a v good thing to me. I don't think there is going to be a super-pass any time soon though - could be wrong, but I haven't detected wafts of friendliness between some of the centres in particular.
So far I have been very impressed with Blocs setting. They seem to have made good use of the more vertical/slabby walls to put up problems which are interesting even at the lower grade ranges and need a degree of subtlety, balance & skill to solve, not big guns and awesome grip strength. Also their grade ranges seem to overlap quite nicely.
I have got rather fed up at TCA that frequently I seem to be able to do one set of problems fairly easily, then get totally sandbagged and unable to do a single one in the next colour up - so I'm left disheartened and unhappy until the next reset.
That was the case at Big Rock in Milton Keynes (I could do greens, blues but almost nothing above) but they've sorted it by rotating holds/colours on circuits when they reset and I can now do a much bigger variety of stuff. Might be worth feeding it back to the wall - often those setting are of very high ability (not saying you're not, but I'm not!) and they don't necessarily notice this kind of thing themselves.
I would echo previous comments. I use all four walls and I find the new ones redpoint and bloc much better. Bloc is much more pleasant than TCA even when busy and the routes at bloc and redpoint both seem far more interesting than at the other two. In particular I think UCR really need to get a bit more imaginative.
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