/ Xscape Castleford
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Really?? Where did you hear that?
Anyone else know anything about this?
Thought it was too good to last.
I agree, it sounds like they're being a bit unimaginative if they can't let the retail units.
I'm not surprised if its not making money, it hasn't really marketed itself to the climbing community and its pricing structure (particularly when it first opened) was expensive and confusing. The need to do a supervised session to get assessed (which took about 5 minutes out of the hours session) was off-putting to most climbers used to signing a disclaimer at a wall and getting on with it. Add the cost of getting to the place and it all became a bit unattractive. I now see they've reduced the prices, a bit late though
The only time I went they charged me £30 for an hour's sesssion and then gave me a £29.99 t-shirt as a "special opening offer". I thought that was good value, but not exactly commercially viable!
I'm sorry to see it go, it was a good facility. Let's hope the ice wall that's supposed to be coming to Manchester actually gets built.
yep it is closing.
The excuse has been already given, but some people( no names) suggest that it is because the owner of the 'mall' was too fat to get off the floor when he tried!
I will regret it's loss, in my view the Ice Factor at Kinlochleven is better built and better run but Xscape wins on location.
The marketing has been really poor. The windows look onto the part where few people climb so most Xscape visitors are unaware what it is about, when climbers are there you cannot easily watch them (unlike Kinlochleven),there are no explanatory signs, they shut at 5.45pm so no climbing in the evening, and the pricing has only recently become sensible but they haven't promoted this.
The rock climbing at Xscape is for kids and the whole place is becoming just another shopping centre.
I am told that Xscape will continue to provide snow for the Manchester ice wall.
I spoke to them this morning - they mentioned staying open until Mid October.......
Perhaps there ahs been a last minute rush
I don't know if it's any good so opinions would be appreciated. I'm going with my partner as a treat because I'm buggering off to Glen Coe this weekend :-D
What's the skiing like there? Is it greatly superior to a plastic slope like Rossendale?
Best fake skiing!
much better than tamworth, I always found it too icy there.
I think they do a deal sunday nights £30 for three hours.
It's ok. Either too slabby or too pumpy to be anything more than an introduction or refresher, in my opinion.
Did some training there Dec 05 and Jan 06 before we went to Rjukan in Feb 06.
We found it ideal for Water Ice style e.g. Rjukan, but would not have been ideal for Winter climbing in the UK.
It is more like water ice in it's aspect (verticall-ness, if that's a word) but it's made of snow ice. Not a conbination you really find in the real world.
Unless an army of santa's little helpers have been pelting the side of the ben with a lot of snowballs :-)
Thought it was a pretty close approximation to the water ice I've climbed in Norway and Colorado. Never ice climbed in Scotland so can't comment.
Shame it's closing (if indeed it is).
was a few months ago i looked at it in passing; the ice seemed to be in indifferent shape. the climber was just placing his axes into big pockets and pulling up on them. maybe i just looked in on a bad day, but it put me off trying it.
Probably, the ice gets maintained pretty regularly.
Not any more it doesn't. We visited for the first time very recently, and it will be the last time because they are closing down.
Maybe it's because the instructors are losing their jobs or something, but they were surly, uncommunicative, unenthusiastic and made it clear that they didn't really care. The ice seemed to be hacked to pieces and I spent much of the time pulling up on picks placed in holes that had been bashed out.
Looking forward to trying Manchester. (and Rjukan).
I'm not quite sure what world you live in but in my real world winter climbing generally involves a lot of snow because it snows in winter (well, sometimes)
Also, generally in winter you will find evidence of people who've climbed before you, and if they've hacked out pockets you'd be a bit foolish not to take advantage of them!
Oh, and if there wasn't these pockets at the Ice Wall then most of you would struggle (even more than you do) to get up the routes!
I was at XScape right from the start, before it even opened officially. The company I worked for ran the climbing wall and the Skyride. After it went 'bankrupt' (it was attached to Ratho so went down with it), the operation got taken over by Ellis Brigham. The manager left almost immediately because he didn't like the package he was being offered by Ellis Brigham (I don't blame him - they wanted him to run the whole operation including the ice-wall - an extra responsibility - but refused to give him full accountability or powers to actually make decisions, even though anyone higher than him would very rarely be around). A few other people left because we were left with a muppet in charge of us who ran the Ellis Brigham shop and knew nothing about anything other than running a shop.
The first day after our manager left, an executive representative turned-up from Ellis Brigham to have a little meeting. The first question I asked him was, "so who is in charge now?". Believe it or not, the reply was that they thought we could just get on and run the place for the time being.
They unofficially put two of the full-timers in joint charge of the rest of the staff, without giving them new contracts or increased pay and without telling the rest of the staff either, which obviously made it difficult for them and us.
Basically the atmosphere became very sour indeed over a period of time and I got out eventually. That was after getting royally screwed-over by Ellis Brigham over some holiday pay. They decided they were entitled to deduct money from my salary to get it back. It was illegal as they didn't seek my permission. Their reasons were also poor. I could have launched a tribunal over it but I couldn't be bothered at the time (wish I had now though!).
Ellis Brigham made the two full-timers joint managers, which was a terrible move 1. because one of them is clearly a terrible manager and 2. because they find it almost impossible to work together 3. joint managing is difficult at the best of times.
A friend of mine has finally left and it's a great relief to him, not only because of the poor atmosphere between the staff and terrible management and lack of vision and proactivity from Ellis Brigham, but because the building is an awful enviroment to work in: incredibly noisy, very busy during certain times and sheer and utter monotony and lack of variety.
Some of the problems for the ice-wall have been caused by poor initial planning. Another thing against it that Ellis Brigham's management style is to manage from afar. The managers in the shops are effectively puppets and they tried to manage the rest of the operation in the same way. They have never managed facilities like these before and were new ground. However, facilities like that need someone on the ground with power and accountability to make things happen and solve problems. One of the Brighams turning up once every two months is not enough.
However, so long as the place is making a profit, they will probably just leave it and keep it running in the same way.
The place and the facilities could have been much better under different management. It is a real waste of a facility.
Just spoken to one of the bods @ the icewall - it defanatley is closing this weekend.
Why you so interested? Planning on waiting for them in a dark alley after hours and doing them in for passing on information??
I'm just curious to know if it was anyone I know, that's all.
We did leave some of the routes hacked up since all but one of the routes were vertical and otherwise beginners would have struggled. You probably did see someone hooking and pulling but some people wont listen to advice and continue to climb like ass, doesn't mean you have to.
Apologies to the fella who found us sullen and uncommunacative but yes, it was probably because we had all just been told that we no longer had a job on the ice wall and were offered jobs peddling the wares in the climbing shop. Needless to say I'm quitting and heading to la grave for the winter.
It is well and truely closed now. Stripped down and ready to be removed. Basically, PYB, the big guy in charge of Xscape didn't like it and wanted it out of there so wouldn't renew our lease. We fought to keep it open for 2 months and lost in the end. Manchester and london ice walls are still open but each is less than half the size of ours and is maintained and managed in the same way.
In reply to Tenchu:
Dude, are you the guy with the Salomon fruit boots?
lol, probably, white pants and black north face softshell? thats me
Maybe, I work at the countin house too.
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