/ what users want to see in a climbing centre
For usual purposes of spec'ing the ideal climbing wall to meet everyones needs to 2p a visit, please list below your top 10 needs and wants in order if possible. your assistance is appreciated.
Please allow me to know you age, gender and location ....
Decent height for leading (I don't really do bouldering)
Imaginatively set and frequently changed routes
Within cycling distance of my house
Under a tenner and with a carnet option as well as an "unlimited monthly" one.
Long opening hours (including Sunday)
Great variety of hold types (or, better, textured surface rather than just ply)
Not bothered about cafe, changing, competitions, gear shop, bouldering, viewing galleries, water features in the foyer, etc.
Can’t think of 10, but always thought a resident magician would be a nice touch.
Age: 43 and three quarters.
Location: Kendal Village.
Crack training facilities
Padding at a minimum and only 20y/o mattresses
Grimey EDM music on repeat
Water served with a teaspoon of chalk in each cup
Tops off for power mandatory
Entry fee is a warm tinny
No air con but instead a fan just behind a chalk bucket to keep the air dry.
Wooden holds only
A good café.
Because I'm interested and I'd like to run a wall
Mine would be....
1. High quality bouldering
2. Inexpensive coaching for my kids
3. Sociable space to get to know the other climbers
4. Comp wall
6. Gear shop
7. Multi cultural / multi generational involvement
7. Good cofee and quality cake
8. High leading wall
9 . Friendly staff
10. Gym training area
11. Ban on topless climbing
12 mandation of colourful lycra for all.
48 years, hampshire,Male.
1. Hundreds of brilliant routes in four sectors, each sector reset in rotation once a month
2. Overhangs, corners, slabs, walls, bridging, laybacking, mantelshelves, every conceivable width of crack
3. Perfect lighting, and no routes of similar colour next to each other
4. A ban on shouting, unwanted beta and topless muscular sweat machines
5. Cake, pizza and drinks at non-profit prices
6. All holds to be cleaned of chalk and rubber each morning
7. Extensive and clean sauna area with a large selection of up to date climbing mags
8. Equally extensive training gym
9. Friendly staff and a free belay service
10. Free shuttle service to all the nearest public transport stops.
Please let us know when you open.
...and how does age , gender and location assist this research?
good coffee, 70's music, circuit boards
Start with Ratho.
Chuck out their bouldering.
Put in the bouldering from Eden Rock.
Get a Chinook helicopter and transport some classic boulders from Font. Put them in the grassy quarry area for summer evenings.
Get some explosives and reset the quarry as a sport crag.
Move the whole thing to Holyrood Park.
Make it free.
chimneys and pillars
jazz / classical / prog music at a discreet volume
simulated tidal events
63, male, Venice
Mainly I'd like to see the colour of the holds underneath the layers of chalk and in the dim indoor lighting.
I'd also like to see someone doing any moves I can't manage, preferably in a variety of different ways if that's feasible.
I’d like to be able to see the future.
1) Hot sunny location
2) No air conditioning
3) Sand for drying your hands
4) Made of concrete with added natural features
5) 30 to 50 feet high
6) Over 1,000 miles long
7) Ability to cook an egg on it while bouldering
8 ) Some of the hardest problems ever
9) A moat filled with snakes and alligators
10 ) Free entry for all
> 11. Ban on topless climbing
Deathly fear of nips? Poor chap.
> 48 years, hampshire,Male.
This sounds curiously similar to an early 2000's dating website. Are you looking to be more than just climbing partners? :o
1)air conditioning--huge 60 storey office blocks manage it so I'm sure your wall can manage it. I find walls pretty much unusable through the summer.
2)boulder problems with top outs- top outs often require a different set of muscles and people often struggle with them so why does this area tend to get neglected.
3) a soloing area above a ball pool would be great
Go check out
Sub Station macclesfield and flashpoint bristol, both walls new and have a vibe, this makes a big difference and is very difficult to capture or create
Yeah I don't know what the fuss is about topless climbing - are these people also asking for tee shirts in the swimming pool or on the beach?
The most consistent failure of existing climbing walls is a lack of ventilation. Especially in warmer months. And I get quite tired of breathing mammoth amounts of chalk (apparently hoovering makes a difference, who would have thought it?). I get not really heating places and not having air conditioning - the buildings are usually old and shit and the cost would be prohibitive but lack of ventilation? c'mon. also noisy fans get on my tits because they blast the chalk around and get turned off because no one can hear. Quieter, slower fans are possible.
The second most consistent failure is crap, unimaginative route setting on shit worn out dirty greasy holds that is never changed.
Annual fees to climb? why? some walls do, some don't, so it is clearly not required but is an impediment to variety. I don't need to pay an annual fee to buy a pint of milk so why is this required to climb (at some venues)?
Third thing is people pissing all over the floor - seemingly you can't fix this in the UK but it doesn't seem to be a problem abroad and I hate the choice between standing in an old puddle of piss bare foot or standing in an old puddle of piss in climbing shoes. I suspect the solution might be the regular use of a mop or clogs.
I have the daydream of opening a climbing wall as well. My unique selling point would be taking laser scans of iconic natural routes, and recreate (parts of) the crags 1:1 using bendcrete or similar *.
What about having an indoors version of Separate Reality right next to Action Directe and Gaia? Leave a meter free on each side, and bolt holds for us mortals on the rest of the rock face. You could even place the roof of SR over a ball pool, deacondeacon's idea is great!
Ideally one hall could be rock climbing, and another one ice.
CB, hermaphrodite, 103, Ulan Bator (or something like that)
* Sport Scheck in Dresden used to have a 1:1 copy of an Elbe sandstone pillar from Bielatal in their stairwell, which unfortunately fell victim to refurbishment a few years ago.
1. 25m slight overhanging lead wall with 100 interesting enduro style routes 6a-8a
2. 25m Autobelay wall with 4 lines of basic "crimp ladders" 6a-7a
3. 18m steep lead wall 6a-8a cruxy routes.
4. 40 problem boulder circuits at each of the following grades V1, V2, V3, V4 & V5. Problems must not have weird contorted starts or low percentage high finishes and will have adjacent juggy down climbs.
5. At least 4 Beastmaker 1000 fingerboards (with pulley system).
4. Free weights to add to hangs 0.5kg-30kg
5. Very tall Campus board with autobelays and a range of rung size including very large. And foot rail.
6. Large stretching/yoga/calisthenics area.
7. Clean, well light, temperature controlled environment.
8. Comfortable cafe serving inexpensive, quality food.
9. Clean toilets and changing rooms.
10. Heavily discounted prices for the over 50's that basically means it's free to use.
Good range of routes but not ridiculously steep -leave that for bouldering
Auto-belays on an overhanging section
at least one section of featured bouldering wall and not just another identikit panel
not really fussed beyond that
56 West Yorkshire male seeks interesting wall for long-term relationship
Substation -but awful matts and from what I have observed alot of older climbers ( who are aware of the impact on knees) spead the word and then avoid like the plague.Whether that is their target market is debateable and shows you cannot please everybody all the time.
Recognise that you cannot please everyone.
Either have a bouldering wall only or a mixed bouldering/leading wall where everything is compromised.
Focus on the attitude of your staff and make it very welcoming with strong service culture.I see too many young adults who walk the floor who do not know how to communicate bad practises to other users.It is quite shocking how most walls are not good at imparting a good service culture to their staff. And make sure staff know a bowline is acceptable as a knot.
> 1. 25m slight overhanging lead wall with 100 interesting enduro style routes 6a-8a
Harder, please. The european walls usually have 8b/+ and often 8c - the standard is higher as a result IMO. For some reason most UK walls (with a few notable exceptions) have topped out their setting at 8a for years even though there's clearly a growing group of climbers who can and do go harder and don't have anything hard on the lead wall during crap weather.
> good coffee, 70's music, circuit boards
Oh and a MUST 30 degree system board. Why do all walls seem to only have 45 degree system boards!!
> Substation -but awful matts and from what I have observed alot of older climbers ( who are aware of the impact on knees) spead the word and then avoid like the plague.
I'd heard this before I went but I don't think the landings are significantly harder than elsewhere. It's interesting how walls have such differing styles. Comparing my two regular bouldering walls, the Substation has a lot more slopers and big rounded volumes than Awesome in Stoke, which is much better for slabs and crimps. They just have different climbing styles somehow.
Not for me. 8a is more than enough.
Essencially though I agree with you. I was of the opinion that the comp wall at Ratho should be set as Will Bosi saw fit. People argued that you can't set a wall for one guy but I would suggest that if today's kids see 9a routes being climbed they too will eventually climb 9a.
1. Lots of lead climbing in the 6s & 7s
2. Decent pricing
3. Less kids parties/groups/classes
4. Showers & changing areas
5. Floors/mats/surfaces hoovered regularly
6. Warm-up area
7. Friendly/attentive staff
8. Decent bags storage area
9. Serve your own water
10. Vegan food options.
Male, 32, Hampshire
Also more than 10 parking spaces at the venue, or agree a system with neighbouring companies to use their parking spaces after 5pm.
Unfortunately Your 2 and 3 are mutually exclusive
I'm mid 50's, Male, Bath, with daughters (lower teens) who also climb
> Essencially though I agree with you. I was of the opinion that the comp wall at Ratho should be set as Will Bosi saw fit. People argued that you can't set a wall for one guy but I would suggest that if today's kids see 9a routes being climbed they too will eventually climb 9a.
i'd agree with you - even if you set the comp wall at a range from 8a - 9a, surely Ratho is big enough to satisfy everyone??
>"surely Ratho is big enough to satisfy everyone??"
No. There are far far too many speed routes for some.
Higher than 10m
Lead, auto belay and top rope options
Well set routes, regularly changed
Range of grades
Good ventilation and temperature control
Guaranteed Partner Scheme (a la Redpoint)
No techno / dance music - classic rock at a pinch
A 'Who we are' staff board with pics. 10 yrs climbing at the GCC and I can only name two staff with confidence! It helps. if you want to discuss a route they set.
> >"surely Ratho is big enough to satisfy everyone??"
> No. There are far far too many speed routes for some.
Ah yes, silly me. I forgot that "nobody" is interested in speed climbing. Ever. At all.
and because what Ratho lacks is 15m slightly overhanging constants.......oh yes, and bouldering......
In no particular order:-
1) Moonboards to help avoid 'local grading'
2) shelves for drinks/bags/chalk etc. so you don't need to go back to the changing room
3) inspirational climbing pictures
4) routes using inset holds ('moondiscs')
5) cracks & features
6) easy 'jug ladders' on steep lead walls to allow mere mortals to climb on them
7) varying types of holds - novelty hold sets are useful when the colours become indistinguishable, and often provide awkward holds like in real life
8) no hard moves or awkward clips below 3rd bolt on lead walls, there's no point in having that risk.
9) not too hot or humid. Money spent on avoiding sweat is money saved on cleaning holds and annoying your customers.
Male, age 43, climb on hols all over as I've no local wall to speak of. The DAV walls are very good.
An entry point that is fast - not staffed by the same people trying sell coffee/tea/cake to customers already in
An entry point where, upon rocking up at a new/different venue it does not entail a 15 minute induction/safety briefing/ipad watching/questioning session - if you have your own shoes / harness then surely you know what to do ffs
Adequate space between problems/routes so your not always climbing on top of the people next to you (handy as prep for the Euro trip though I suppose)
Route setting where its not pink/purple/mauve holds on one panel as three different routes
Change routes regularly - more then twice a year!
Sensible pricing - most walls charge, in my opinion, way too much for what they provide - a gym provides far more expensive equipment, a far better environment, similar staff ratios for a far cheaper price (ok, "nice" gyms as opposed to grunt caves)
I'm personally not fussed about cafe's, food outlets etc. within climbing centres, takes up room and encourages loitering and the smell......
There are 2 good points here:
1. It would be great if walls in general (maybe through the trade association) could agree to accept each other's membership / registration for safety purposes. I know this is already done through groups of walls under the same ownership, but it would be great if it could be expanded (so for example, if I turned up at Awesome walls with a Redpoint membership, my competence would be accepted for insurance purposes). I recognise that there are GDPR implications here, and you would need permission to share data between walls for these purposes.
2. Colour coding of routes. Mixing routes with red and green holds is great until you are shouting up "no - not that one" to your colour-blind partner (I've done it!)
I really don't have a problem with groups / classes / kids. The NICAS scheme is pretty good, and most walls have youth squads, which are great for the more competitively minded kids. And classes are great to encourage diversity and social inclusion.
1. Temperature and humidity control. Following Sport England guidance on this could help deliver reductions in training injuries and more replicatable conditions. It would also help setters set using slopers with a degree of confidence that the moves will feel as hard during the actual use.
Wall currently go from too hot to too cold, except for in London where they go from too hot in the winter due to heating to too hot in summer due to lack of cooling.
2. Height. Ideally I'd like +50 meter rope stretchers and a lift to get back down.
3. Minimalist techno
5. No friction paint on the plywood. Makes you weak and wears out your shoes.
6. Regular re-sets with the grades in the grade band I'm currently climbing at.
7. Acceptance of partial nudity / no body shaming of ripped people by making them cover up. Though as its a constant 16 degrees there may be no need to take tops off.
8. Benchmark routes for the grade that do not get re-set often. These could be with wooden holds for example for checking longer term progress.
9. Lots of routes at a gentle overhanging angle like that of the Speed Wall angle.
10. Good jamming cracks. For example see those in the Momentum Gym in Salt Lake City. Long with a range of sizes and grades. Also comparatively comfortable so you can train on them without killing your hands.
Mid thirties in London
The only issue I have with children is when their parents strap them into the auto belays so they can flounder and play while they go for a coffee or catch up on their facebook while I'm waiting for my next rep
BTW 61, M, Sheffield
1. decent heating in the winter. I just don’t enjoy climbing in freezing cold walls
2. moonboards, and 30 degree system and circuit boards, wooden holds
3. Bouldering only
4. A big venue, like the Depot in Sheffield which never feels rammed
5. Separate out the jug ladders, kids, tasters etc into a side venue
6. less Parcours, more climbing
7. route setting by the Works setters
8. Training and free weights area
9. pizza, good coffee and a branch of V12
10. Make it like Eden Rock, Depot, Boardroom or the Climbing Unit
59 years old, M, Froggatt, Derbyshire
I have really no problems with topless climbers - apart from that, a good list
These days, a good kid's bouldering area ranks pretty high, followed by a reasonably priced café and lots of easy routes.
1. In Fife
2. That's it.
> 1. In Fife
> 2. That's it.
Cycle over the bridge to Ratho ffs!
Alternatively stick a tarp over Inverkeithing or Rosyth quarys
Interesting list, in that it's almost completely stuff that is of no relevance to me. I don't think I'll be visiting your wall!
High lead wall, yes. Along with imaginative setting in a range of grades, right down to the 5s. The rest is all fluff. I do really like good coffee and cake and friendly staff, but that's not going to get me to go to a wall where the climbing is poor.
I only offered my thoughts to get things going. This is all about seeing what other people value.
1. Pleasant walk-in.
2. Reasonably stable scree.
3. No crowds.
4. No midges.
5. Catches late afternoon sun.
6. No bird bans.
7. Good views.
8. A few loose blocks/holds acceptable.
9. A summit finish is a bonus.
10. A straightforward descent to an alehouse.
Yup! Know a few places that fit the bill.
62, male, North Wales.
1. Overly officious and elitist staff.
2. Preposterously expensive, yet underwhelming, cafe full of pristine down-jacketed yummy mummies ignoring their precious children as they run free across the matting and under other climbers.
3. An excellent niche house music soundtrack played at MAXIMUM VOLUME!!!
4. Parking populated by abandoned skips, broken glass, and passive aggressive scallies.
5. So much chalk in the air that you think you've gone down the shopping centre to visit santa.
6. Uncalled for beta - free of charge.
7. V3 lads doing their absolute best to pick up the gaggle of first timers / gym girls.
8. A computer based sign in system that is either always down or works infuriatingly slowly.
9. Routes to be reset regularly every 29th February.
10. An annual 'joining fee'.
30. Reading age 23 and 4 months.
> It's always nice to be able to stop for a cup of tea. Nothing fancy needed, just some mugs, ta bags and a kettle. No need for fancy coffee.
I always liked Boulder UK's tea - 50p a mug, or 75p if you wanted one of them to make it for you.....
Sounds like Sunderland
So which of those venues will you be enjoying this evening?
I'd like a bouldering area where only I'm allowed in, because I hate other people. Good sound system on which I can play anything I like, whether that's Schubert piano sonatas, or glitchy minimal techno. Don't bother with any fancy route setting, just boards at 10, 20, 30 deg overhanging with appropriate holds on.
In terms of setting, I like BUK Preston. Basic, and effective. They just need more 19th century piano music and fewer customers.
> Don't set routes using the same colour holds on adjacent lines, or similar colours on the same line.
Every wall I visit suffers from this. A full spectrum of colours, plus spots, swirls, stripes to choose from and the genius routesetters still manage to repeat the same mistake over and over again.
It really is not rocket surgery.
Are you sure snakes get on with alligators? Should there be two different moats?
Yes. A wall I was at on Saturday had route with green holds but purple discs next to a route with purple holds and green discs.
> Are you sure snakes get on with alligators? Should there be two different moats?
Well judging by the Whitehouse plenty of snakes and alligators side by side. So I think they will do fine.
1. Brushes everywhere
2. Encourage everyone to brush the holds when they’re done
3. Ban people who can’t/won’t f*cking brush holds
4. Ban people who think lathering a hold in chalk will double their finger strength and make them able to hold it
5. Good problems across a range of styles/grades with regular resetting. Ideally arranged in circuits spanning two letters (e.g. 6A-B, 6C-7A etc)
6. Water tap for easy bottle filling
7. Clean toilets
8. Small cafe with staff independent of those on reception
9. Good training area with multiples of a range of hangboards, including beastmaker and Lattice boards. Pull up bars, space for floor exercises/free weights, and some pull up bars. See 1-4 re brushing...
10. Not to warm, not to cold (10-15C please)
Bonus (As 1-4 are basically the same)
11. Play nothing but techno and ban headphones in climbing areas (first is tongue in cheek, second very serious)
12. Decent circuit board covering a range of grades with minimal crabbing
13. Don’t try and be a lead/boulder wall, be one or the other.
Try to please your regulars (the people who come 3/4 times a week) rather than your occasionals
Male, 29, Newcastle
Have more ladies climbing (sorry I know that's childish and sexist, but still true all the same)
Age 13 3/4
Sex: yes please.
Location: location (my fav. TV program)
An absolute must is rockpro plus or whatever powered by i-pads seemingly incapable of responding to climber's dry and hard skin. And the requirement to re-enter all the incredibly tedious information on an annual basis for no good reason for a spurious annual fee with the added bonus of extra spam.
It would save me having to return to the car for my reading glasses if the trick "no" question was simply highlighted in red.
BTW the question, "when is it appropriate to belay sitting down?", needs to be amended or administered by people who have done some actual climbing, preferably outdoors...
A genuine wish list:
Possibly my number one current bugbear would be, if you set a problem/ route and then later reset another problem in the same part of the wall, ensure that the second problem doesn't radically alter or render the first problem unclimbable. This applies especially when setting with massive volumes ads these can easily wipe out 3-4 problems at a stroke.
> Possibly my number one current bugbear would be, if you set a problem/ route and then later reset another problem in the same part of the wall, ensure that the second problem doesn't radically alter or render the first problem unclimbable. This applies especially when setting with massive volumes ads these can easily wipe out 3-4 problems at a stroke.
that's just crap route setting?
> Well judging by the Whitehouse plenty of snakes and alligators side by side. So I think they will do fine.
Didn't the whitehouse staff start eating each other a few months ago?
> Didn't the whitehouse staff start eating each other a few months ago?
Wasn't that Monica Lewinsky and several years
1. Regular route setting with only "benchmark" routes remaining for more than a month. Perhaps "Classics" could be recorded and return after a break
2. Wide variety of wall angles in all areas (Bouldering/toprope/lead) and a wide variety of holds and use them on different angled walls
3. Overshoes or some other hygenic solution to the gents toilets/climbing shoes/climbing holds piss gets everywhere problem
4. Make all walls "lead-able" quick draws in place and alternative hanger at the top on top rope routes - means more variety for people wanting to lead, and spreads demand when top ropes are quiet (8pm onwards for a lot of walls)
5. Warm up/stretching area away from the climbing so a) you don't get trampled when stretching b) you don't get in the way when stretching
6. Plenty of Traverse wall with a good variety of grades
7. A notice board/armband system for people arriving on their own looking for a belay partner
8. Plenty of Lockers/cubby holes for kit bags (if lockers make them ones like swimming pools so you don't have to remember a padlock)
9. A small area for "outdoor" practice - somewhere a (obvs very short) multipitch situation can be set up, practice rope rescues & other rigging
10. Knowledgeable, friendly staff aiming to police consideration of others/good climbing practice/safety/occasional coaching etc politely and reasonably but able and willing to be firm if necessary ultimately aiming to provide a safe&friendly environment for all
Yes and if I recall correctly it was a trouser snake. That must make her one of the alligators
Auto belay lines set with sustained crimpy endurance routes. Its not much use having cruxy routes where people are likely to do laps. Take the quick draws away from these lines too, leave them as dedicated baby bouncer lines for those on their own, time pressured, antisocial or whatever.
Foster a culture of inclusion, encourage a culture of inviting those on their own to join you/approaching others if alone.
Hang the top ropes from independent anchors so the are out of the way of the lead lines.
Some attempt to control air quality and temperature, in some walls this can be as simple as a window which actually opens.
Or just move Kendal wall closer to my house.
> Crack training facilities
> Padding at a minimum and only 20y/o mattresses
> Grimey EDM music on repeat
> Water served with a teaspoon of chalk in each cup
> Tops off for power mandatory
> Entry fee is a warm tinny
> No air con but instead a fan just behind a chalk bucket to keep the air dry.
> Wooden holds only
> A good café.
Ah. You'll be looking for Tennessee Bouldering Authority in Chattanooga then (which is a great bouldering gym and meets all of the above criteria)
> Yes and if I recall correctly it was a trouser snake. That must make her one of the alligators
All them teeth must catch.
> 8. Plenty of Lockers/cubby holes for kit bags (if lockers make them ones like swimming pools so you don't have to remember a padlock)
I'd say a load of small lockers for keys wallet and phone - I don't mind leaving a bag of gear lying around, but not those items just in case. They wouldn't take up as much space and would be cheaper, yet I have to at most walls take up a full size locker with them.
Add to that signs saying "please only use lockers if you intend to lock them" and have some shelves/cubby holes for those not wishing to lock stuff away. It's frustrating when lockers aren't available because someone has put their bag in one and not locked it when there are cubby holes available.
After climbing next to a guy who was actually wearing a smog mask ti filter the dust out of the air at the Depot, Pudsey, last weekend, some decent extractor fans and probably a ban on powdered chalk
The ABC are in the process of setting up an indoor climbing passport to cover point 1.
That's what I thought. It was going so well until 11! If it was swapped with solar powered air con I'd be fine with it tho
I just find it so odd that certain people have a problem with seeing skin. It's clearly a deep seated cultural thing and then they'll try and back it up with statements about how sweaty t-shirts are somehow cooler (convection science says they're not) and just as comfortable (obviously not).
Can you not see that for some people who are self conscious of their bodies and possibly not in the shape the media tells them they should be, seeing a wall half full of shirt off men with great physiques could be a bit intimidating? Same goes for parents taking their kids, and women who are wary of unwanted attention.
None of this is the fault of most blokes who would like to climb shirtless, and I agree that it's a shame that is how society is, but it's not really a hardship to put on a vest or thin t shirt. If that makes some people feel more comfortable and helps to encourage a bit more diversity in walls then that seems like a good thing.
Do you go swimming ever? The "great" physiques you mention are something in the eye of the beholder - in my experience this is often a sweaty hairy middle aged bloke gone slightly to pot and to be honest it is not the most ascetically pleasing sight but it is a gym primarily for physical activity and if it comes down to a choice of being able to climb my route or not offending your overly sensitive sensibilities the climbing wins out.
Stop adding to body shaming culture by covering up.
> Do you go swimming ever?
Yes, in a pool the norm is to see men topless. In a climbing wall it is not. I'm just suggesting asking people stick to the norm to help some people feel more comfortable is not really a big issue.
What's the norm/rules in gyms? Do they have a policy? Genuine question, I haven't been to a gym in a long time.
> Can you not see that for some people who are self conscious of their bodies and possibly not in the shape the media tells them they should be, seeing a wall half full of shirt off men with great physiques could be a bit intimidating? Same goes for parents taking their kids, and women who are wary of unwanted attention...
I don't think the media are to blame, it's more the case that some people are too lazy to stop stuffing their face with junk food, and they're just jealous that some people have the self discipline not to do that. I disagree with the "how society is", too. It is more how "society is becoming". Perhaps the influence of US type prudishness and the wish not to offend a certain large, although minority, cultural group with an aversion to bare skin is the cause. I rarely take my top off, but when it's really hot keeping it on is not very pleasant so I do remove it for the duration of a climb (and I don't have a great physique). I don't ever remember this sort of thing being a problem when I was growing up or when I worked on construction sites when younger before the health and safety nutters took over.
> Can you not see that for some people who are self conscious of their bodies and possibly not in the shape the media tells them they should be, seeing a wall half full of shirt off men with great physiques could be a bit intimidating? Same goes for parents taking their kids, and women who are wary of unwanted attention.
No. Just like I don't cater to people who are 'intimidated' by people of another race, or another sexuality, or any other whimsical prejudice that they've decided to subscribe too. It's such an incredibly strange thing to be opposed to. There is nothing abnormal about our bodies, man or woman!
> None of this is the fault of most blokes who would like to climb shirtless, and I agree that it's a shame that is how society is, but it's not really a hardship to put on a vest or thin t shirt. If that makes some people feel more comfortable and helps to encourage a bit more diversity in walls then that seems like a good thing.
Nah. People can just get used to it. I'm not compromising my training and climbing so that Karen can stop her kid seeing a man's nipple in public for another year or two, or Bob who boulders jug lines once a month doesn't have to think about the fact that he might be a little out of shape (which I couldn't care less about, free that belly Bob, and good effort for getting down the wall!). This reminds me of the people who complain that restaurant workers preparing food should wear gloves for hygiene despite there being clear evidence that bare hands actually increases hygiene standards significantly because people wash their hands far more often whereas gloves stay dirty. It's a clear case of people with little understanding and a lot of prejudice attempting to force their opinion on other people, and they need to be challenged.
> No. Just like I don't cater to people who are 'intimidated' by people of another race, or another sexuality, or any other whimsical prejudice that they've decided to subscribe too.
But we all, already cater to society norms. We all keep our pants on in public, and accept that most pubs and restaurants have a shirts on policy, even on a really hot day.
I'm not offended by male nipples, but if a wall owner thinks it will bring in some extra business or make some of their customers more comfortable by having a shirts on policy, it doesn't seem like something to worry about.
> Nah. People can just get used to it. I'm not compromising my training and climbing so that Karen can stop her kid seeing a man's nipple in public for another year or two
So do you not go to walls with a shirts on policy?
> So do you not go to walls with a shirts on policy?
Thankfully this hasn't presented itself as an issue thusfar.
> But we all, already cater to society norms. We all keep our pants on in public, and accept that most pubs and restaurants have a shirts on policy, even on a really hot day.
Pubs and restaurants aren't sport-specific facilities designed for performance training so I don't see the relevance of this. Nobody would be complaining if I was to wear an 8000m down suit in the climbing gym (weird and different as it might look) so this issue clearly has its roots in certain people being uncomfortable seeing other people's bodies. They don't represent a majority and shouldn't be catered for.
> I'm not offended by male nipples, but if a wall owner thinks it will bring in some extra business or make some of their customers more comfortable by having a shirts on policy, it doesn't seem like something to worry about.
I appreciate your opinion is somewhat neutral on this but I do wonder if it has a relation to your personal level of climbing (and I mean absolutely no offence by this whatsoever). With a logged PB of 6c/E2/E4TR I assume (apologies if mistaken) that you've not engaged in higher intensity training. Anyone I've met who has delved into structured training where limits are found and pushed has also agreed with my opinion on this topic.
> I appreciate your opinion is somewhat neutral on this but I do wonder if it has a relation to your personal level of climbing (and I mean absolutely no offence by this whatsoever).
No offence taken,
I sweat like a good'un when running, but organised races and triathlon's have a shirt/vest policy that no one seems to complain about. Not sure if their reasoning is "public decency" but can't see what other reason they would have. If Mo Farah or Ali brownlee have to wear a vest to win an Olympic medal I don't see the hardship of wearing one in a climbing wall.
Anyway, I'll leave it at that, I can't imagine this point is one of the most important factors either way in what makes a good wall. Sorry for sidetracking the thread.
Textureless walls and no feet? No thanks...
> Textureless walls and no feet? No thanks...
A climbing centre has Ratho lead walls, Eden Rock bouldering and a garden area with boulders imported from Font and a sport crag, it is in a beautiful park right the middle of a city and it's free.
The first customer feedback is 'No Thanks'.
This is obviously a tough business.
How about if there was also free beer?
>"Eden Rock bouldering"
That could be better if they didn't have (as I understand it) an exclusive deal with one hold manufacturer. An injury gave me cause to be wanting to do LOTS of easy problems. It was very noticable the same sets of holds were reoccuring at such high frequency that many of the problems seemed almost identical.
Still, it was great to have the volume of problems I was after.
Free climbing AND free beer. Not sure that's a good combo
> That could be better if they didn't have (as I understand it) an exclusive deal with one hold manufacturer. An injury gave me cause to be wanting to do LOTS of easy problems.
I agree with that, especially for regulars and the coloured circuit scheme adds to the problem because you end up being limited to not just one manufacturer but a couple of ranges from that manufacturer.
Still I much prefer Eden to Alien Bloc or TCA Newsroom (I've not tried the new TCA yet). It's big with lots of different wall angles, it's got top out boulders and the walls have a modicum of friction.
Not so much a tough business as there are clearly a few different styles that some people prefer. I've stopped going to Eden as I don't like the setting style, and it's a criticism I've levelled at a number of the Ratho route and that's down to a lack of feet. If I focused on it, would it make me a better climber? Very possibly. The trouble is that I actually want to enjoy it, and paying £10 a go to have lots of problems that are all either parkour, dynamic, and/or no feet just holds zero interest to me. The feature boulders in the arena at Ratho are great, the general boulder setting not so much. Transporting the Eden style flat walls and setting style to there would lead me to do even less bouldering than I already do!
>"lots of problems that are all either parkour, dynamic, and/or no feet"
I'm kinda with you. While I marvel at the abitilies of those that get get on well with this stuff, it does feel a bit irrelevant to the sport routes I want to climb. A more basic "training" style would suit me just fine but I appreciate than would be kinda boring for the regulars that are there 3/4 times a week.
It is the norm for people to be allowed to go topless in (climbing) gyms. I regularly use 10 different ones and only one has a tops-on policy but it isn't a dedicated climbing gym.*
It it was hot an sweaty all year round then it would be the norm for topless climbing all year round but right now a beanie and puffer jacket are more normal.
It isn't the norm for people to go topless simply because most of the time it isn't that warm but when it is people go as skimpy as convention allows. Several of the climbing gyms I use are in old swimming pools I don't see why the rules need to change - it's practical in the pool whether it is full of water or full of matting.
Genuinely don't worry about it. For 99.99% of topless climbers I can assure you the motivation is "will I sweat off that problem?" and not "Let's oppress the unfit with my rock hard abs". I think you've got more to worry about standing in the check-out next to the magazine rack at the co-op.
* incidentally this is the only one with heating and terrible and it is way too hot and humid all year round.
One problem with toplessness is the sweaty topless people falling off and sliming up the mats. It's not particularly hygienic.
1. even numbered lines to have contrasting colours v. the odd numbers
2. free ibuprofen
Male, mental age of 10, Stockport.
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