Two New Walls: Manchester and Bristol

by Mick Ryan Jun/2007
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Dave Douglas's Awesome Walls in Liverpool has reputation for not only excellent climbing, but importantly a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere, according to many who climb there. Dave and Awesome Walls (www.awesomewalls.co.uk) is an interesting story and maybe one day it will be told; from small beginnings 11 years ago, with virtually zero cash, lots of enthusiasm and hard work, Dave successfully filled a gap in the Merseyside climbing scene.

Now Dave is all set to expand Awesome Walls with a brand new wall in Manchester scheduled to open in November 2007. Work has begun at a building in Stockport. Some stats: Dave promises 76 bolt lines (3 routes on each) spread out over 1,500mē of climbing surface. The lead walls are all over 13.5 metres high with 11 of these at 25m. A unique featured free standing central fin will be built with cracks, pockets, flakes, tufas, chimney, slabs, vertical and overhangs with an abseil station on top for tuition. Rockworks from Newcastle are building the lead walls.

If you fancy some bouldering, Andy Long and Jason Pickles (who built the Sheffield 'Climbing Works') are building a state of the art dedicated bouldering arena: 500mē of bouldering of all angles up to a height of 4.5m.

The new wall will be operating a strict 'No Membership Fee' policy, so you just pay your entrance fee and climb. In addition they are starting an 'Awesome Loyalty Card Scheme' at Liverpool, which rewards regular users with free hot drinks, cookies, muffins and climbs. The loyalty cards will be able to be used in both Awesome Walls.

Heading South to Bristol, the Climbing Works of Sheffield is all set to expand. Yet another UK climbing wall success story, the Climbing Works co-operative of Sam Whittaker, Percy Bishton and Graeme Alderson working with Ron Barraclough are opening another state-of-the art bouldering wall this time in Bedminster, Bristol and it is set to open in November 2007. The building is a circa 1960s industrial unit with a huge floor area of 1,416mē and with 1,300mē of climbing surface planned.

They are working on the concept that whatever grade you climb you will find 40 problems that you can do easily and a further 40 more for you to work on. Sounds as good as Fontainebleau. This new Works will include colour-coded circuits and the "Cheddar wall", an area of specifically set problems to help you train for the delights of climbing in the nearby Cheddar Gorge. The climbing wall construction wizards, Andy Long and Jason Pickles are also involved in this project.

You can read more www.climbingworks.com/Bristol

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