/ New Sheffield Depot bouldering wall?

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alx - on 22 Oct 2017
Word is that it’s targeting a January opening date, it’s west sheffield somewhere, and is going to be huge.

Anyone have more current information?

I sacked off my Works membership a while ago due to the poor training facilities so am looking forward this!
vancian - on 22 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

That would be quick if so. They're only just about to open Birmingham and that's been in the works for some time.
planetmarshall on 22 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

A search of current Sheffield planning applications wasn't forthcoming. Not that that means anything of course, but the Works required several applications for 'change of use' etc.
john yates - on 22 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

Understand it's on the Parkway not too far from AMRC
kevin stephens - on 22 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:
As a matter of interest what did you find the Works lacked in terms of training facilities?
From my own point of view I find it frustrating that none of the three Sheffield Wales have good 30 degree boards for strength training which would be much more useful for many climbers than the more demanding and ubiquitous 45 degree boards which I hardly ever see anyone on. I only really use the Works for the circuit board which is great for power endurance
Post edited at 19:49
deepsoup - on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:
> From my own point of view I find it frustrating that none of the three Sheffield Wales have good 30 degree boards for strength training which would be much more useful for many climbers than the more demanding and ubiquitous 45 degree boards ...

The 45 degree board at the Works gets a fair bit of use - lots of strong people in there!
Funnily enough, I think they have plans for just what you're after. Work on the new training area seems to have stalled a bit, but I believe they're meaning to put a new campus board in there (the space between the windows and the back of the recently re-developed 'castle'), extend the current campus board (minus it's rungs) down to the floor and make that into a new, less steep, system board.

Quite excited by the prospect of a Sheffield Depot. I just recently visited the Manchester one for the first time and was v impressed by the quality of the setting, all that space and the general vibe of the place.
Graeme Alderson on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

We are waiting for our rubber crumb to arrive!
planetmarshall on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to john yates:

> Understand it's on the Parkway not too far from AMRC

Ah well that could be Rotherham, not Sheffield - and certainly not West Sheffield. Though it would explain why I can't find anything in the Sheffield planning applications registry.
alx - on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to vancian & planetmarshall:

Pretty much what I thought, very short timelines and nothing showing up in the searches. Unfortunately the depot are registered as a single company so Beta.companies did not report any new registered business addresses.

Shall have to wait and see!
Mowglee on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to john yates:

That would be brilliant. Where did you hear this?
AndyPagett - on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

I did wonder why Sam and co have been busy titivating the ol' Works recently.

Actually on a serious note last time we were there we were wondering if the Depot would soon be ready to take on Sheffield. Just hope that they've got a plan... there's just no way to fit facilities to compete with something like the Manchester Depot into that building (though the setting remains the best!)
Graeme Alderson on 23 Oct 2017
In reply to AndyPagett:

We make changes to the wall and structures at least once a year and have done every year since we opened
Jono.r23 - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

Well im sure it'll be all big and shiny but i'll be supporting my local for the majority of the time. Even if i wasnt just that way inclined you cant beat the atmosphere (and convenience..and setting) of the Works. Still..of course it makes sense for Sheff to have a large bouldering wall.. fingers crossed it doesnt have too harsh an impact
dunc56 - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Make sure you keep an eye on the gym next door and take that space when they go bankrupt.
thepodge on 24 Oct 2017

Its all well and good catering to people who want to train but do enough of them exist to keep a wall open? I think any new wall in or around Sheffield needs to look at the beginner market to be successful.

I split my time 75/25 between Works & Awesome walls.

Awesome Walls is often empty and Works is often packed but then AW only has 30 problems up to and including f5+ and the Works has around 150 problems up to the same grade. I've never really been to the Foundry but they don't start till f5 so again, not overly beginner friendly.

If you corner the beginner market then people will largely stick with you as they grow but if you just cater to the more experienced then is seems you're likely to have a big empty room.
Post edited at 13:22
planetmarshall on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to thepodge:

> Awesome Walls is often empty and Works is often packed but then AW only has 30 problems up to and including f5+ and the Works has around 150 problems up to the same grade.

Bouldering at AW Sheffield seems a bit of an afterthought, I rarely see anyone using the facility. I wonder if they've just decided not to bother trying to compete with The Works.
Jon Stewart - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to planetmarshall:

> Bouldering at AW Sheffield seems a bit of an afterthought, I rarely see anyone using the facility. I wonder if they've just decided not to bother trying to compete with The Works.

It's pretty crap, with highly variable setting, but I quite like the old school flat panel type walls and am not so keen on the "woo, technical, man" stuff at the works. For using a bouldering wall to train (doing laps on problems etc, rather than fingerboards) then I found it quite good, mainly because it's quiet.
kevin stephens - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to Jon Stewart:
AW Sheffield bouldering could be so much better with improved setting, plus maybe some power endurance circuits too. And the topos are ridiculous. I would use it much more often if these issues are addressed

And as for the Foundry the Moon Board and Lattice board are just pointless gimmicks taking up valuable training space
Post edited at 14:54
Keith C - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

I am curious. If the moon board and lattice board are pointless gimmicks what training facilities would you like to see in their place?
thepodge on 24 Oct 2017
There was a thread on here recently that put Awesome Walls Sheffield as one of the top 5 lead walls in the UK, maybe they don't think they need to try with the bouldering but I think its a missed opportunity.

There are so many minor improvements that AW could make which would bump it up but no one seems to be interested when I've broached this with the counter staff... If anyone has a high up contact for Awesome Walls Sheffield I'd appreciate the introduction.

The Works is in a league of its own, which is good but also a pity that no one seems to want to challenge it.
kevin stephens - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to Keith C: well everybody has their own preferences and requirements but for me it would be a less steep system board and a circuit board. By the way recent addition of auto belays to the furnace was a very good move

Keith C - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

I guess we all want different things. Doesn't make what you don't want a pointless gimmick. I think it's great the foundry continues to invest in training facilities - the new wooden holds are great and both the lattice and mood boards I think are great additions. The works are also changing their training facilities and plans sound really good - a less steep training board is planned!
johncook - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to thepodge:

Go on facebook and find awesome walls. Then message Dave Douglas. He is always keen to talk to customers and is often seen around the building in Sheffield. He is interested in what his customers think and will give you a willing ear on any improvements you can suggest. He will probably ask around his customers to see what they think of your ideas.
He is a very approachable guy. He even talks to me.
ianstevens - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

> well everybody has their own preferences and requirements but for me it would be a less steep system board and a circuit board. By the way recent addition of auto belays to the furnace was a very good move

Is the lattice board not essentially a circuit board?
thepodge on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to johncook:

Cheers for that, I'll give it a shot.
kevin stephens - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to ianstevens:
I've no idea what it is, I've never seen anybody on it
Post edited at 21:59
alx - on 24 Oct 2017
In reply to Jono.r23:

For me and a number of others we quit the wall due to how busy it got. I think that there’s plenty of room for a new large boulder wall in Sheffield without impacting on the Works. The Works will have more reasons to look at new and innovative ways to improve their business model.

The new wall will also generate its own new business, those who don’t identify with the Works brand.
ianstevens - on 24 Oct 2017
deacondeacon - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:
I agree, Sheffield can definitely handle a new wall.
I love The Works, it's a brilliant wall with some of the best, regularly reset problems in the country. But It's just too busy to climb there. With my job I can only climb there after six and just bimbling about is difficult, never mind trying to do a structured training session.

On the other hand the best bouldering wall I've ever been to is Manchester Depot. Great setting again and regularly reset, fantastic training areas including a gym area, and very friendly staff (no offence graeme but you don't half have some mardy buggers working down there).

Sooner the better for The Depot imo.
kevin stephens - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

Is it too much to hope for that the new wall could include a Bendcrete replica of the now demolished Broughton? To my mind and that of many others Broughton was the best and most effective bouldering wall for training in the UK
deepsoup - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to deacondeacon:
> (no offence graeme but you don't half have some mardy buggers working down there).

Really? My experience is the complete opposite. The only mardy bugger there that I can think of is Percy..
Post edited at 07:21
paul__in_sheffield - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to deacondeacon:

It’s an interesting one regarding how packed walls get.
Climbing in Sheffield, the Foundry has the best lead route setting yet in the winter we’ll mostly go to Awesome Walls even though the setting is grim. This centres around how packed the Foundry gets, and there’s space at AW to train on 4x4s and crank the big overhangs which are rarely crowded. However if I get the chance to do a mid week afternoon session it’ll be the Foundry.
For bouldering, I haven’t yet come across anywhere with the level of consistently high quality route setting of the Works (and in situ beta from Ron), but it’s a victim of its own success and is a bit of a grind in the evenings and weekends. However, It’s bad enough going across sheff to AW, would I make more trips across to another bouldering wall? Probably not, unless they could replicate an enormous version of The Wave.
The largest concentration of climbers in the country live in S7,8,10,11 so there’s obvious room for more bouldering, but who wants to regularly drive across to the Parkway?
Graeme, get your finger out and find a bigger property......
planetmarshall on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> However, It’s bad enough going across sheff to AW....who wants to regularly drive across to the Parkway?

Bloody hell, I live in the middle of the Peak and it's at least a 45 minute drive to AW or the Works, or the Manchester Depot (about equidistant from both) - you don't know how lucky you are!
kevin stephens - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to ianstevens:
Thanks, that explains it well, an effective and systematic approach to training aimed at those operating 7b and above; a bit like 45 degree boards.

A large part of Sheffield's climbing population is made up of older folk in our 50s and 60s who've got our footwork. body position and other technical stuff sorted long ago and the main thing holding us back (given the motivation) is a similar systematic approach to physical strength conditioning (given 4x4s for endurance on the ropes) to make the step up from, say, upper 6s to mid 7s; something bit more interesting and varied from using the finger board at home.
Post edited at 08:10
ianstevens - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to kevin stephens:

Never really looked at/thought about it in terms of grades... I have to say that I live nowhere near Sheffield and haven't even visited in a while. I had a go on the the lattice board, but having looked at it realised that I do fit the bottom (very bottom, just) of that grade profile. FWIW, I got on ok with the lattice board, but can't touch a 45 degree board generally.

I can see the argument, but from what I perceive my way is that the high 6/low 7 group is small; there tend to be people who are either above or below this. Like I said, I have little awareness of the scene in Sheffield so may be a local thing. I think there is such a thing as an adjustable moon board where the angle could be changed? Maybe the foundry would benefit from this sort of setup.

Despite all of this detail, every time I visit the walls in Sheffield seem rammed, business as usual seems similar to busy in north Wales. I'm sure it could take a new one without detracting from the other three without issue.
thepodge on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

>The largest concentration of climbers in the country live in S7,8,10,11 so there’s obvious room for more bouldering, but who wants to regularly drive across to the Parkway?

Is that not a little bit catch 22? People who climb will move near a climbing wall, climmbing walls will move to where climbers live. Plus there is a whole lot of Sheffield outside those post codes.

Its as easy for me in S6 to get to AW or Works, AW wins as I can park there and not have to queue to climb, Works wins because theres much more to climb.
stp - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to ianstevens:

The Foundry already has a Moon board. The board is adjustable but it's not a simple procedure. It requires time and tools to change the angle so once it's set at a given angle there's no point in changing it as it would screw up people's projects at the other angle.

I tend to agree that Sheffield could probably take another bouldering wall. The Works does get really busy in the evenings, to the point where I imagine some people won't go just because they can't be arsed with the crowds.
stp - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to thepodge:

In Sheffield people live in those particular areas because of easy access to the Peak and also that's where the climbing community is. Those areas have been popular with climbers for many years, long before the existence of modern walls.
paul__in_sheffield - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to stp:

> In Sheffield people live in those particular areas because of easy access to the Peak and also that's where the climbing community is. Those areas have been popular with climbers for many years, long before the existence of modern walls.

no Manor or Arbourthorne bouldering massive then?
stp - on 25 Oct 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

No I don't think so. But a wall could change that perhaps. Indoor bouldering would be a great alternative to more traditional youth activities in those areas like burglary and nicking cars.
thepodge on 26 Oct 2017
I'm not really sure what people are getting at here. Is it that a successful chain of climbing walls is going to fail because its outside certain postcodes and that no one from any other postcode would want to give climbing a go?

I'm sure that Depot who had their Manchester branch voted no. 1 bouldering in the UK, Foundry in S3 voted top five climbing in the UK as well as Awesome walls in S4 also voted top 5 climbing in the UK would probably have a different view.
Arms Cliff - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to thepodge:

Which vote was this? I must have missed it.
Karl Wooffindin on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

Any firm news about this wall and its location or is it all just 'chat' at the moment?

If it was out near the AMRC it would be ideal, personally speaking!
deepsoup - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to Karl Wooffindin:
> Any firm news about this wall and its location or is it all just 'chat' at the moment?

Nothing concrete yet. Though the sources I've heard it from as mere rumour are generally pretty well informed so I'm inclined to believe it.

Funny isn't it, reading this thread, to think that 11 or so years ago, when word was out that the Works would be opening soon there was much discussion (on here and elsewhere) about whether there would be any demand for a climbing wall with no ropes?

Many thought a wall that was all bouldering and had no routes could not be viable, even in Sheffield.
(A full-sized wall that is, the Matrix was already open but I'm not sure a converted squash court really counts as a proper wall.)
Graeme Alderson on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Steve Dunning sent Sam a text saying he was planning a Depot in Sheffield and he had found a building. Nothing shows on the planning website so they either don't need planning or they haven't applied yet.
alx - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to Karl Wooffindin:

Location wise near the AMRC would be good, I’m about to put a bid in for funding a 3yr project working with them.
alx - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

The old Virgin Active at millhouses perhaps? I can’t think of another really big building that would fit the area people are talking about.

If it’s too far out then students would be unlikely to visit it
kevin stephens - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

Proximity to the M1 would open up a massive catchment area
Graeme Alderson on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

Yep, we heard that rumour but http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/sheffield-gym-to-be-turned-into-indoor-trampoline-park-1-7926032

Although of course Oxygen Freejumping already operate in Trafford Park which gave some credence to the rumours
davidalcock - on 26 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

As an aside, what happened to the plan for a wall in the Picturehouse?
ashtond6 - on 27 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

I'd love a new wall.... getting sick of the business of the works - you really can't get much done. Weekend evenings used to be bad - 10am Saturday morning is even heaving now!

Matrix is always full, plus 100 degrees

Tried to foundry last night and again, barely anything was free

Aw bouldering and autobelays aren't great
thepodge on 29 Oct 2017
I wasn't sure if the Matrix still existed, it's where I started but you can't find it on the uni website these days.

I believe the idea of putting a wall in the old picture house was financially trumped by renting it out as a bar.
ashtond6 - on 29 Oct 2017
In reply to thepodge:

> I believe the idea of putting a wall in the old picture house was financially trumped by renting it out as a bar.

I heard it was an insurance issue with the roof! Ahhh rumors
Graeme Alderson on 29 Oct 2017
In reply to thepodge:

Nope the bar just replaced the old snooker club. The sheer cost of turning a grade 2 listed building into anything was prohibitive. So Phil turned it back into a Picture House. The BMC did the Honnold show there, Grimer did his Ape Index/Hard Grit thing there and we are showing Reel Rock next month.
alx - on 29 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

Is there any info that it would be open in January? Or is this more rumour mill stuff?
kevin stephens - on 29 Oct 2017
In reply to alx:

> Is there any info that it would be open in January? Or is this more rumour mill stuff?

That's like asking Microsoft if they know when the new IOS upgrade will be out....
thepodge on 30 Oct 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:

> we are showing Reel Rock next month.

I have tickets, wondering how different it'll be since I was last in there some 16 years ago.
deepsoup - on 01 Nov 2017
In reply to Graeme Alderson:
> Grimer did his Ape Index/Hard Grit thing there

The lighting and sound on that thing was the worst I have ever seen by an order of magnitude. It really was astonishingly bad. Pub gigs, school plays, am-drams, semi-pro shows on a shoestring budget - nothing else I have ever been to came close for sheer technical ineptitude.

Shame, judging by the odd word that did make its way to the back of the room over the feedback and the fumbling, I think there was the odd moment of genuine brilliance. Hard to tell from the back, but I think half a dozen people on the front row might have enjoyed it immensely.
thepodge on 29 Nov 2017

Not January and not in any of the previous locations mentioned but looks like a new wall is being considered at the old ski village as part of the developments.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-42157424

That takes us to a potential of 7 public walls

Works
Foundry
Awesome Walls
Matrix
Jump Sheffield
Depot (TBC)
Ski Village (TBC)
Post edited at 12:04
hang_about - on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to thepodge:

I used to really like The Edge...
Pity it closed.
thepodge on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to hang_about:

From what I understand, its still there, they just took the holds down.

https://www.28dayslater.co.uk/the-edge-climbing-centre-sheffield-june-2014.t90550

Currently being used as Go Outdoors storage space
paul__in_sheffield - on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to thepodge:

> From what I understand, its still there, they just took the holds down.


> Currently being used as Go Outdoors storage space

Goodness, that takes me back. Spent a lot of time in there. The end was in sight when their best route setter left, and set up his own bouldering wall.......Phil said a bouldering only facility was doomed to failure ;-)
Also used to be an entertaining sport when the owner had very vocal fallings out with people (or go outdoors).
ashtond6 - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

The finger crack is still up! How do I get in????
paul__in_sheffield - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to ashtond6:

Looks like you can still Jumar up a fixed rope.......
Did you ever do the circuit up the overhanging wall, out along the finger crack, across the roof and down the pillar?
Classic
ashtond6 - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

No! Sounds amazing haha. Someone else should get that volume
stp - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to thepodge:

Sound's like it's some kind of sports centre so unlikely to be any good. The Matrix is more for students and really not very good. I've no idea about Jump Sheffield but I'm guessing it's probably crap. There are other poor walls too. One in the Virgin Sports centre. There's one in the YMCA (if it's still there) and one in the Poly gym (also poor). But for climbers only the first 3 are worth visiting.
paul__in_sheffield - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to stp:

Is the one in in the poly gym the old Al Rouse wall or was that ripped out? Used to go there in the ‘80s and watch Andy Pollitt giving himself shoulder injuries on the pull up bar ;-)
stp - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

Don't know if it's still there but it was/is a shoddy wall. Not as good as the exterior wall on the outside of the building just up the road which wasn't even designed to be climbed on. If you can't design something better than random brickwork then you've failed pretty miserably in my opinion.
Stuart (aka brt) - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to paul__in_sheffield:

> Is the one in in the poly gym the old Al Rouse wall or was that ripped out? Used to go there in the ‘80s and watch Andy Pollitt giving himself shoulder injuries on the pull up bar ;-)

Last I heard it was boarded over but is intact.
thepodge on 02 Dec 2017
Yeah, some generic sports centre is my guess too, something to fill a blank wall. I've only seen one pic of the Jump wall and it didn't look worth the increased entry fee over Works / Foundry / Awesome.

When you say the Poly gym, you mean Hallam uni? Never realised they had one. Probably wouldn't have lied about being a Sheff uni student to get into the Matrix had I known I could have used my own.
deepsoup - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to thepodge:
> When you say the Poly gym, you mean Hallam uni?

Hallam Uni was Sheffield City Poly prior to 1994 - the wall was in the main the sports hall in the Pearson Building (I think) on the Collegiate Crescent site.

> Probably wouldn't have lied about being a Sheff uni student to get into the Matrix had I known I could have used my own.

You don't need to be a student to get into the Matrix. I generally have about one session in there a year when it's just too cold to face the Works.

It's actually pretty good as converted squash court bouldering facilities go. Easy to be a bit sniffy about it in Sheff, but there are plenty of places you could live that people would be glad of a wall as good as the Matrix.

paul__in_sheffield - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to stp:

> Don't know if it's still there but it was/is a shoddy wall. Not as good as the exterior wall on the outside of the building just up the road which wasn't even designed to be climbed on. If you can't design something better than random brickwork then you've failed pretty miserably in my opinion.

Not suggesting the Al Rouse wall was any good (it wasn’t, holds cemented into a vertical wall, I don’t remember any mats, really polished etc.) but back in the day there wasn’t much else. I remember driving to Altrincham and Hucknall (corridor traversing) at the time, otherwise it was minus 10 or looking enviously at Pollit’s garage facility (I suspect he only built it so he could impress the local girls).
However, through rose tinted spectacles, Geraldine’s one and only tape of Stiff Little Fingers playing over and over again to a backdrop of some intense activity on finger edges screwed to a wooden beam doesn’t seem quite so bad.
thepodge on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Yep knew "the Poly" was local speak for Hallam just didn't know it had a wall but then I was always based at city campus.

Started climbing at the Matrix 20 years back but only stuck at it for a year or so. Always felt the Sheffield / Hallam divide was more territorial than it actually was hence the lies so they didn't sniff me out.
deepsoup - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to thepodge:
> Yep knew "the Poly" was local speak for Hallam

It wasn't local speak, lots of places had a poly.
thepodge on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to deepsoup:

Yeah but locals weren't referring to lots of places though were they? They were referring to Hallam.

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