/ Midlands walls
My first post, so take it easy on me please.
I've just started indoor climbing, and have climbed at Alter Rock, Derby several times, Nottingham climbing centre (the old pool), Pinnacle at Birmingham, and White Spider in Surrey. I like them all.
I'm looking for recommendations within about 100 miles of Leicester for the best walls with varied top rope routes. I'm climbing 4s,5s and the odd 6a. My partner is better than I and climbs 6b & 6c. I guess most walls cater for the level we are at.
Ideally what we are looking for is a reasonably large centre with a good number of top ropes, or lines where we can climb an easier route up to set our own rope and come back down and do a harder route, so maybe lead on a 4 and then use the set rope to climb back on the same boards for 5/6s. Again this is probably true of most centres I imagine, so just the bigger centres in the midlands and surrounding areas. I'm happy to look at the individual websites once I've a few suggestions, but going through the BMC site brings up leisure centres with only one board/line/wall so it can take a long time to go through that site trying to find the right place......any recommendations please?
Bear Rock at Warwick Uni, Coventry would be my first choice, then you have Red Point climbing centre, in birmingham, then Creation again, in birmingham. Bear rock is a leisure centre on campus but their wall is very good, red point and creation are both dedicated centres.
If you are wanting bouldering too, there is the climbing station at lougborough, which is very good, birmingham boulder centre (only gripe about that is that its permit parking between monday and saturday as it's right in the city centre) and boulder central which is west bromwich.
There is also bouldering at the 3 previously mentioned walls too.
Any questions? :-)
Pinnacle is in Northampton.
Redpoint in Birmingham is a good choice, a nice friendly wall with good bouldering and roped climbing.
Nearest to Leicester is the Tower. Not a very big lead wall unfortunately and there aren't permanently set up top ropes although they're a friendly bunch there so I'm sure you can find someone to set you a rope up (or climb up on everything). They do also have an area called the Bloc which is ONLY top rope and mostly routes well within your ability. One panel is bendcrete features which is great to practice climbing on features.
There's also Bear Rock at Warwick. Good lead routes and a range of top ropes.
Redpoint in Birmingham. Routes tend to be harder but there is a good range of top rope routes - and they sell good cake.
When you say Pinnacle in Birmingham, do you mean Northampton?
Milton Keynes is also worth travelling to - good routes, good bouldering, good cafe.
Hi Staceyjg, thanks for your response. I realise I had a brainfart, I've not been to pinnacle yet, but the one in b-ham we went to was red point which we both liked and thought v friendly - got to love the brummies for their natuarally friendly demeanour.
We will take a look at the suggestion in more detail this w.e. -thanks :-)
Any more for any more?
Cb6- thanks, i think pinnacle is definitely on the short list :-) cheers
And as you give quite a large radius, Big Rock in MK might be a reasonable option, as there are a lot of top-roped routes and almost all lead routes have a screwgate and a snapgate at the top so you can put up your own top rope if you like, and you can lead on pretty much every panel regardless of whether there is an in-situ toprope or not. There is also a mix of grades on each panel so you can do what you describe.
 There are a couple that don't, so look up first, or keep a spare screwgate on your harness to put your own up if you end up on one of those routes. Or trail another rope to feed through the maillon if you have two, or learn to thread a belay :)
 A couple of panels don't have quickdraws on the bolts because a lead fall would be dangerous, e.g. would cause a swing around the side of the wall. The new slab area also doesn't have them, but I don't know if it'll gain them in future.
Pinnacle is indeed very good.
out of those I prefer Warwick, with MK close behind, Oxford's a bit crap I think.
How does Northhapton compare to these?
I have nothing to compare to as yet but Bear Rock is good. I think there are maybe 45 routes, half of which are top ropes. There's also a boulder roonm as mentioned early.
Northampton is probably a bit better for roped climbing than MK, but not as good for bouldering.
The Climbing Station in Loughborough is bouldering only, but pretty much the best bouldering wall I've been to. The setting there is quite thought-provoking & tends to require actual climbing technique rather than the ability to dyno from one huge plastic blob to the next. If I lived in Leicester it would be my first choice.
I think my fav. of all time is Craggy at Guildford.
I've always missed the variety they have there in other places.
Warwick seems to have the same routes for a longer period than it used to.
good point, they changed a lot before Christmas but not a lot since
Neil Willams, thanks - BigRock looks cool and just down the M1 is pretty easy. Thanks for the pointers, I'll be sure to keep them in mind. Pinnacle and MK ROck are defintely on the agenda.
Going to meet a friend over at Kings Lynn Hangar this week, not becasue I want to go there, but its kind of half way between us.
Krikoman - thanks for the pointer on Warwick, Ill give Guildford a go next time I head south to see freinds, last time we chose White Spider over Guidlford for proximity to friends we were visiting, but Guildford did look good so will defintely give it a go. With a name like that it is impossible to resist ;-)
Im building up quite a list here.
Alanlittle - Im going to have to learn the intellectual side of this sport sooner or later, and as Loughborough is close I think I will get there pretty soon too. I hear they do free skills sessions on Wed nights, which sounds great.
Mr. K - yes definitely, just waiting to get on an introductory course or for a good weekend of weather and we will be out on some sport climbs for sure. In fact this aspect excites me the most, and scares me the most too :)
Again, thanks everyone for responding. This will give us plenty to keep busy with for a while ;)
I did a good introductory outside course just last weekend with Ascential Climbing. They are based in Evesham, most recommended.
I'd also recommend the Climbing Station at Loughborough. It's the best bouldering wall I've been to in the UK. There is certainly a lot of slabby and near vertical climbing there. I know that you were specifically asking for top rope walls but I imagine that you'd get a lot out of the Loughborough wall.
I've now also been to Creation in Birmingham and on first visit it looks very impressive. Great layout and big so you're not in other people's way and the bouldering area is huge.
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