/ Hertfordshire indoor climbing walls?

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Simos on 16 Nov 2013
I am leaving London at the end of the month and moving to Hertfordshire, close to a town called Tring (for anyone that knows the area) and sadly will have to look for somewhere new to climb that will be reasonably close to where I am moving to (I have a car).

Anyone knows any decent walls in the area? I am mainly interested in bouldering.

Also, I've found a place in Milton Keynes called Big Rock climbing - anyone's been there?
fried - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos:

Big Rock good
Neil Williams - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to fried:

Seconded, I climb there a lot.

Big Steve - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos: Tring is a nice small town, very quiet by london standards. There is loads of great mountain biking nearby. There are a few walls nearish, Amersham wall I havent been to for 5-6 years now, used to be ok bit small though, Hertfordshire sports village which is a bit crap really, big rock in milton keynes which is ok for bouldering or if you can go a little further there is a great wall in northampton
ianstevens - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos: Big Rock is good, can't really speak about Amersham.

The XC in Hemel (Hempstead) is probably the most convenient from Tring, but is utter garbage. The facility itself is quite nice and swanky, although it does have potential to get a bit chilly at the end with a perspex wall (unsurprisingly). However, it's over £10 a visit, not all that big, and the routes are atrocious (at least over summer). They're just not very fun or well thought out, and some of them really reflect the height of the route-setter. Also, the grades are all over the shop. They also change them - when I was last unfortunate enough to attend (September) they had now routes newer than February. Shame really.
Simos on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos:

Thanks for the info guys, sounds like Big Rock is a good option and I will check Amersham out too
cwarby - on 17 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos: Your choice in the county may be reduced if you own a Smart or Click-up.
KevinD - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Big Steve:

Hertfordshire sports village is definitely on the small side and not really worth a drive across from Tring.
There is a new wall in St Albans, havent been there but doesnt look overly inspiring.

Worth checking the trains into London. Euston is quick enough for the Castle or Archway.
Certainly closer in to London its often best option although Tring might be to far out.
SteveoS - on 18 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos:

There's Harlow just off the 414. Bit of a drive though.
snowpup - on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to Simos:

Don't forget Watford Wall, it's a little small but has friendly staff and some great routes and features. Bouldering is a little sparse but whats there is good.

In reply to Simos: I agree with the last poster Watford walls is good

Simos on 25 Nov 2013
In reply to snowpup:

Thanks, that might be handy too
Simos on 04 Dec 2013
In reply to Simos:

Just for the record, I tried Big Rock last night and thought the bouldering was quite good - it did look a bit bigger in the photos but certainly big enough to keep one entertained!

Next stop - Amersham!
Simos on 07 Dec 2013
In reply to Simos:

Just realised that XC in Hemel has a climbing/bouldering wall - anyone's been?
roverhead - on 07 Dec 2013
In reply to Simos:

I live across the road from the xc and go there a couple of times a week. The bouldering room is smaller than milton keynes but bigger than amersham, its routes are probably not as well set as amersham/milton keynes but there is plenty to have a go at. It does get cold in the bouldering room so it can be hard to warm up/keep warm.

Like i said though its across the road from me so suits my time constraints. If i was driving there from tring i might try somewhere else first.
45networker on 09 Dec 2013 - 78-86-251-182.zone2.bethere.co.uk
In reply to Simos:

so why can't you climb in London anymore??? I Climb at castle and MK, Tring is so close to London, some trains are next stop Euston.
Simos on 11 Dec 2013
In reply to 45networker:

I think potentially I could from time to time if I happen to be in London anyway, but it's quite expensive and time-consuming with the trains so I don't think I could do it too often. I'd like to climb more often and I found from past experience that convenience for me matters in terms of motivation, I find it really frustrating spending half my life in trains or stuck in traffic etc, let alone the cost.

Will give it a go though at some point to see friends at Westway etc and see how it goes, maybe it's not as bad as I imagine it.
Simos on 11 Dec 2013
In reply to roverhead:

I think I'll give it a go. Just realised there was another (non-glowing) review above about it but even if problems are not well-set I'll try to make up my own problems. If you wanted to join some time let me know and I'll drop you a line when I am going.
Simos on 14 Dec 2013
In reply to roverhead:
Had a go at XC - I am not 100% sure how I feel about it yet, other than that the climbing was a bit... odd!

Due to the fact that I moved, I actually tried 3 different walls in the past couple of weeks (and Amersham to come) - having only done indoors bouldering at Westway before, it's only now that I fully appreciate how much variability there is out there when it comes to grades. So I'll take the time for a very short write-up in case it proves useful for anyone else.

Overall, I actually now fully appreciate how well the Westway problems are - the grading is fairly consistent too. Big Rock was pretty good too in terms of the problems, the grades were definitely 'easier' (at least for me) than Westway though. The Big Rock wall is quite shiny though so nearly no friction and as a result I guess they have to use more holds for the feet.

I found the problems at XC really hard - even some V0 problems were quite demanding. It's actually the opposite than BR i.e. the wall and holds have incredible friction and the holds are really sparse so most of the time I found myself smearing up the walls. There were definitely some odd problems, I did actually find myself in more than one occasion having to pull on one hold using one hand and then smear 5-6 ft up the wall to get to the next foot hold. Overall it was quite tough on the arms I'd say but maybe it's just my technique (or lack of).
Post edited at 20:11

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