/ plymouth life centre - Your thoughts ?

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SimonMarcYoung - on 24 Mar 2012
Hey everyone

i went to the plymouth life centre and tbh i went with views of awww its probaly just anouther over hyped place thats going to be a let down, but i have to say i was plesently surprised the top rope and lead walls were massive for an indoor wall, and really good routes on them (only down side was the grading seemed a bit dubious), the bouldering room is nice and large and the place is in general much better than the other plymouth climbing centres around. just wondering how other people found it and any views they had on it ?

Simon Young
SimonMarcYoung - on 24 Mar 2012
ooo only other down side i found was the priceing its pretty expensive if you only go now and again £8.50 but if you go loads £43 a month isn't that bad
colinkeb - on 24 Mar 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: im down the week of the 2nd so I hope to at least have a look at the bouldering. If I can find a partner i will have a go at the walls as well.
SimonMarcYoung - on 24 Mar 2012
In reply to colinkeb: aww cool dont get me wrong the boulderings nothing terrible i just go to a centre called the barn that has its own free standing boulder and is really good and the life centres bouldering isnt to the same standard, and i would offer to meet you and go with you then but am working sorry
colinkeb - on 25 Mar 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: yes Ive considered the barn it looks good and I've heard a lot of people rave about it. the problem for me is that when I'm down there I stay with my parents in wilcove, getting the ferry across and then the drive just makes it that little bit too far to go. Downderry is a bit of a yomp and you have to wait for low tide so I had hopes for plymouth life although it is pricey as you say. It will be worth a try just to have a nose
argyle_dude - on 25 Mar 2012
Will have to return for a proper evaluation as I was only able to pop in quickly on opening day yesterday do a few top ropes. Walls looked nice, although only the one slightly overhanging wall is disappointing. As for the grading being dubious, what time did you go in? When I poppoed in in the morning there was no grading on display?!?
Biggest complaint would be lack of floor space and price. When its busy in there you are going to be back to back with belays of climbers on the opposite wall and there is no viewing space so if you have a kids group in there with parents that want to watch its going to be like a sardine tin.
Price is also very off putting. From what I saw yesterday the quality doesn't compare to the quay and yet their off peak price is the same as the Quay's peak price.
Will probably take out a monthly membership price with the intention of doing at least one climbing and one bouldering session a week, in which case it is ok value, but when I completely fail to keep that up, I shall cancel it and continue using the quay!
SimonMarcYoung - on 25 Mar 2012
In reply to argyle_dude: yeah all valid points but it does definitely have plus sides like the height of the walls and so on and i went all day in the climbing area and at about 4 they put a poster on the wall with grades but i think they were rough grades and tbh they weren't too accurate i think, but a mixed result in terms of quality of the wall i think
Richy boy on 26 Mar 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: The amount of floor space is pretty poor and the pricing is ridiculous, went to RATHO a while back and it was cheaper!! I would definitely go out of my way and drive to the Barn where you have a real climbing atmosphere, good music, knowledgeable staff etc.

Don't get me wrong the main lead wall and bouldering room is wicked but its pricy and just doesn't have a real climbing feel to it!

Barn for me is the wall to visit.

colinkeb - on 03 Apr 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: just got back, it isn't as big as i was expecting but looks pretty cool. the beginners are separate from the main wall which is a good idea. we only went bouldering but had a look at the main wall, I tried to guess the grades of the routes from looking at them and was pretty much spot on every time. the 16m wall looks great, cant wait to give that a bash. plenty of routes but didn't seem to overcrowded although it may be once its full of belayers etc. the bouldering room was again smaller that i expected but a good mix of problems, well set and interesting lines. it would have been easier to follow the academy route of keeping grades with colours and offering a translation into font would have been handy. it was very expensive and if i lived in the area i would not be happy to pay this rather than drive further afield (the barn?), as i'm down there a couple of times a year its a bit more bearable but really overpriced all the same. it would also be helpful to make it clearer where you go when you get in the main doors, i nearly spent half an hour queuing with the swimmers etc but luckily asked a passing member of staff who told me it was just round the corner (no queue there) a sign would be a massive help. the staff were very friendly as well. I will go back but they do need to drop the price if they want to survive imo.
JonHarvey - on 04 Apr 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: Been a few times now. Want to pick holes in it, and I could but what we have to remember is that its in Plymouth and Plymouth doesn't really do anything to the fullest. Looking at the Life Centre as a whole it doesn't look like it should be here. A massive complex which hasn't been skimpped on. Well done Plymouth! Considering I can walk there and climb on a good quality wall IN PLYMOUTH ... I'm pretty stoked about that.

I went yesterday for a boulder and they've put up a map/diagram of the boulder room and some chalk boards in the lead area with grades and route numbers on. Its going to have problems to start with but I'm sure it'll be good at the very least. It's definitely got enough to keep me going!

Hopefully we all have time to get strong for the summer! Happy climbing x
chalk monster on 08 Apr 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: having just moved back to Plymouth from Birmingham leaving behind its two excellent indoor walls, Redpoint & creation, it was great to hear that Plymouth was getting its very own indoor climbing wall!
I've paid for monthly membership which is good value since I've been 4 times in the first week,
I've been told that the initial routes were set using a cherry picker
The 16m high wall is awesome as is competition & granite wall!
Well done enterprise walls & High sports
will be climbing there again today!
cheers mark
Cant think of a name on 10 Apr 2012 - whois?
Only been climbing a short while and not had much to compare it to as only been to dartrock indoors..... So for me the walls here are. BIG! Been there all week and hopefully going tonight making the most of monthly pass.

Pricing seems fair considering I save a tenner on petrol going to dartrock for the same entrance price so all good 4me. Still loads of routes I've not got round to yet so need to get climbing.

cheers see u up there, Shane
royal - on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung:
16m? Thats pretty impressive, is there anywhere else in the south of the country with walls that high? London is all around 12m.
Cheese Monkey - on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to Cant think of a name: Go to the barn, closer and cheaper.
bitterdrinker on 10 Apr 2012 -
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: i went last wk for a boulder and was impressed, the price is abit steep i joined as a annual member so hopefully itll make it abit cheepr in the future, looking forward to going back.
Sean Kelly - on 10 Apr 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: Been twice now and a few points to note:
1. The belayers on the main wall area are apt to bump into each other when the wall is very busy as it was on the opening night. They could have pinched a few feet off the bouldering area to get more space between the two walls.
2. Early days but some holds still spin.
3. Some of the grading is a bit strange. Some very strenous routes are only 5 but some easy fingery routes are easy. This hopefully can be sorted especially if they have a route comments book.
4. Most of the climbs I have tried (up to 6c), are pretty much straight up, not much variation of technique/direction. Again I think this will improve over time.
5. It is expensive but as the centre cost over £45 million they have to get some of that money back.
6. We have been promised a cafe in the climbing area so look forward to that.
7. Changing area is excellent with big lockers for stashing gear.
8. Will there be a gear shop in the near future?
As a final comment all this is meant to be constructive. Just remember that only a few years ago we had no walls in South Devon.
And the swimming complex is to die for, but I have never seen so many diving boards. The Tom Daly effect...
Hinchrn on 12 Apr 2012
I found it so much better than most walls ive been too. it makes a nice chance not to drive for an hour just to climb indoor (the quey, Barn). on the grading i thing it better that they are under graded. makes it more like the outdoor grade at portland and such like. my only thought it is a little expencive and dont do any forces discount. the best way to make it afordable is to get a 30 day pass and go like 3 times a week then it ok.
High Sports - on 16 Apr 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly: Sean, just to pick up on a couple of your points; the sofa's arrived today and the coffee machine is on order so that area is coming together. We are going to have a Mammut shop which should get its shop fit around the end of the month. Finally, point well made re route setting. We think the EP setters used a scissor lift for the initial set, hence the fairly straight up and down feel. We'll definitely be creating some more intresting lines as we go forwards. Thanks for your feedback.
plasticclimbingcaver on 17 Apr 2012 -
In reply to Hinchrn:
There are pretty generous discounts for military and NHS, etc at Dart Rock if you are looking for an alternative...
Hinchrn on 24 Apr 2012
Really I never knew that. I've been to darktock too. I'll have to go the for a change now and again
Chris H - on 27 Apr 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung: went there today- plus points- very long routes,good bouldering,friendly staff and quick paperwork. Minus points - expensive,lack of floorspace for belaying. More leading than the barn , not as much as the quay. Another useful option for us cornish climbers.
will - on 03 May 2012
Hi All, just a quick update. We have now set up the cafe area, which comes complete with sofas and a coffee machine, which offers pretty much every type of hot drink under the sun..

We have recently had our first official route set on numerous roped/lead lines throughout the centre, with another set happening next week.

We are also having a sound system put in next week, to help eliminate some of the silence, it has also been set up so people can bring their own I-pods/ Cds which we will happily play. (As long as its clean)

The route comments book, as proved a great help over the last couple of weeks, and we have changed numerous things throughout the centre, to ensure we satisfy everyone.

Does anyone have any updated comments or recommendations about the centre? We will happily try and accommodate.

Happy climbing

fire_munki on 03 May 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung:
Only that the yellow route coming out of the cave/chimney is ace, all but led it putting in QDs with only one fall.
I plan to go back and do it clean.
fire_munki on 04 May 2012
In reply to willstuckey:

Do you allow fig 4s on the wall?
chers - on 04 May 2012
How about put the grades at the base of each route...pain in the arse looking at grades, especially when a belayer is stood in front of the board or its around the corner!
Switch the heating off...too warm in there!
Kafoozalem - on 04 May 2012
In reply to willstuckey:

Well done on being so responsive to climbers comments. It's a good wall and rapidly getting better because the staff are making improvements. The coffee area, route book and music are all to be commended. Another vote here for turning the heating down a bit or there is going to be far too much old man flesh on display from me

I hope to use it in conjunction to The Barn. Whilst The Life Centre is excellent stamina training on the long lead walls I think The Barn is far better for power endurance and building core strength. I personally prefer to boulder at The Barn because you are less likely to injure yourself on a boulder you top out on.
will - on 05 May 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung:

The heating has now been turned down in the climbing wall, and it is definately colder. So make sure you bring your down jackets with you.

That yellow bridging route has proven to be a great test peice for numerous people, and because of this during the Route set next Monday and Wednesday (7th & 9th May) The yellow route will be staying, and we will also be setting our own version of a bridging master peice. any recomendations on what type of holds you would like?? Please let us know

Happy climbing
will - on 05 May 2012
In reply to willstuckey:
Please excuse my spelling mistakes.
fire_munki on 14 May 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung:
Not in the yellow cave area but maybe on one of the lower walls (maybe auto belay so I can train when I come up on my todd) something around the high 5 mark with lots of open hand hold.
I was bouldering up at Cuckoo Rocks and I need to work on those hold so they would help me!
will - on 24 May 2012
Hi All, Just a quick update for you. We have just finished a massive route and boulder set. of where Gaz Parry set over 10 new routes on the 16m wall and 10 new boulder projects for people to try. Any feedback on these routes would be great.

Happy climbing

fire_munki on 24 May 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung:
Good thing I'm heading up in a couple hours then!
fire_munki on 05 Jun 2012
In reply to SimonMarcYoung:
I'm in the mood to get some fig 4s, can I use them here?
plasticclimbingcaver on 11 Jun 2012 - []
In reply to fire_munki:
If you aren't ready to invest in them, you can hire them and use them any time at Dart Rock

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