The Depot, a major new bouldering centre is due to open its doors to the public at the beginning of April. Based in Pudsey, West Yorkshire in a fully refurbished 1920's "art-deco" style bus depot, it offers climbers in the area a world-class indoor climbing experience in a unique setting.
The brainchild of local climbers Steve Dunning, Oliver Wright and Luke Bowers (picture) the centre offers a vast array of climbing surfaces with a wide variety of features and angles to suit and test climbers of all abilities complete with colour coded circuits and long route-style pump-outs.
The team told UKClimbing.com that they wanted to create the kind of shapes and features that literally beg to be climbed. And with an enormous overhanging prow, twisted slabs, double barrel roof and a "top-out" boulder giving just a taste of what is on offer. From what I witnessed on my recent visit, it looks like they have achieved just that.
Many visitors to the site have been truly blown away by the size and impact of the development which certainly appears to be the full package. Long-time local activist Dave Sarkar, had this to say:
"As soon as I stepped through the door of The Depot I knew that this was going to be an outstanding climbing venue. I was truly blown away with the awesome features and the first class facilities, if there were holds on I'd have been cranking like a demon! This represents a major leap forward for Yorkshire climbing and I'm looking forward to a season of hard training."
As well as the climbing facilities there will be a cafe complete with heated sitting area, changing facilities and a fully stocked gear shop; all manned by friendly, customer orientated staff.
The opening of The Depot comes at a time when the bouldering wall movement is growing thick and fast on our home turf, with inspiration coming from earlier developments such as Sheffield's Climbing Works. Now new walls are popping up like mushrooms all over the country. Only last week The Shropshire Climbing Centre (Outdoor Industry News) opened its doors in Newport whilst Leeds itself got another dedicated bouldering centre, when Citybloc opened its doors to the public earlier last month. Other notable walls of recent times include The Climbing Academy in Bristol and Andy Earl's Climb Newcastle. The UK is certainly no longer short of world-class indoor climbing facilities, something which is definitely a key factor in motivating a new wave of talent to enter the sport.