This is an exciting time for the climbers here at Facewest. Being located just north of Leeds means that we have a range of amazing and accessible crags right on our door step. Unfortunately, this being Yorkshire, the weather doesn’t always play ball. Until now the only nearby indoor walls have been the University Wall (currently defunct) and the ever-popular Leeds Wall but this year that’s all changing with two new bouldering facilities opening, backed by some of the strongest climbers on the local scene.
At the start of February Citybloc, the first dedicated bouldering centre in the area, opened in Hunslet and looked to offer a greater variety of styles, angles and problems than The Leeds Wall had been able to. Designed ground up to provide bouldering for all abilities it promised a lot and now that Tim and I have had the opportunity to visit and test ourselves against the circuits we’re happy to report that it delivers admirably.
The first thing you’ll notice when you go into Citybloc is the variety of angles and features on offer. Everything from reachy, balancy slabs to fiercely overhanging arÍtes is provided and every effort has been made to spread the features across the grade range. With six circuits available, ranging in difficulty from children’s jug-fests to the most desperate looking problems I’ve ever seen indoors, and around 20 problems on each circuit you might expect everything to feel a little packed in, but it really doesn’t. Problems feel natural, logical and don’t all feature contrived sit starts to fit in an extra move or two. Even the easy Pink and Red circuits feature some great moves past really striking features and a variety of hold types to test technique as well as strength. Very much a thumbs up all round for the climbing.
The only problem we had was finding the place for the first time but I’m sure that will be easier next time.
I wish the guys at Citybloc all the best, we’ll certainly be back (Tonight in fact!).
The Climbing Depot
After several months of rumour and conjecture concerning the building of a new wall in North Leeds it finally looks like The Climbing Depot might be on the verge of opening. This is billed as the country’s largest dedicated bouldering facility so could be a huge boost to local climbers but as yet precise details are sketchy. All we know is that it’s being built in Pudsey (which really isn’t North Leeds…) in an old bus depot and that it’s going to be big! Once it opens we’ll head down there and try it out.
I really hope that the Leeds scene is able to support all three walls as competition can only make for better facilities. Whatever happens it’s exciting to see such rapid development in what had become rather a stagnant market.