Great new bouldering facilty in Leicester!
Run by a really nice guy with a sense of humour who has obviously put his heart + soul into creating a challenging wall that he understandably loves + takes pride in. That's no surprise really as he's scrubbed the floor, repaired the building, designed the venue, built the wall, set 70 routes, done the marketing + was standing behind reception when we arrived (albeit dragging a planer over some new home-made plywood holds)!
This place ain't shiny but has the feel of the loft/basement of an elite climber where he + his mates hang out, train + dream. Nigel (the owner, builder, route setter and receptionist) was helpful, polite + chatty showing us routes we hadn't discovered yet, moves we should try + grades we can only aspire to.
Gradings seemed realistic although the very low grades weren't so easy and there seemed to be a lot of pinches + long reach moves (at least in most of the routes I was able to try in 90mins) so I'm waiting to see how my little 8 year old daughter fares. Nigel has his own numbering system (based on the Ninja apparatus gradings, from an easy 1 up to an evil 10) alongside the more familiar Bouldering V Grade and French Sports Grade but as the gym rules state "if you understand how unrealistic these comparisons are then you don't need them" (paraphrased, sorry). The wall tops out at the maximum allowed 4.5mtrs with varying degrees of overhang but no cave and there are deliberately no usable arrets. The mat is new + VERY firm but he has additional soft mats that you can drag around with you if you're working on a problem that pushes your limits near the top.
There's also a side room with custom-built endurance testing boards, campus boards, rings, etc and a partially finished kids' "Hard Play Area" (as opposed to Soft Play) as well as the tempting Ninja Warrior training obstacles which require an hour's induction before use.
The planned Phase 3 includes the construction of a mezzanine to house a future café / canteen. Phases 4, 5, 6 + 7 are eagerly anticipated, whatever they are, but don't hold your breath...this whole project is a one man operation + that man still has a lot to do to make his complete dream become reality.
Entry price was mid-range for what we usually pay to climb indoors locally but a "12 visits for the price of 10" offer and 3 month or 12 month membership option makes it more affordable as a regular activity. However, having looked at the website after we left, Nigel now owes me £1.50 as my son is under 18 but paid full price this evening. Chances are though it will probably end up in his honesty box for coffee when we next return anyway
This exciting new climbing gym needs customers + it's biggest plus for us is it's location so we shall be back, hopefully we'll see you all there!
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