Weekly Updates - January 2010
We're very happy to announce that big Ron will be giving a lecture in The Climbing Works on Sunday 7th March.
Ron Fawcett was one of the key players that transformed rock-climbing in the 1970s. His first new climb, Mulatto Wall at Malham Cove, was completed when he was just 15 and came in at the weighty grade of E3. From there he went on to push the grade of climbing to new levels with FA's of classics like Masters Edge (E7), Strawberries (E6) and Careless Torque (E7 7a / Font 8a).
A true living legend, Ron is also one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. A regular to The Climbing Works, Ron still loves to climb. On bad weather days he spend hours ticking away at our coloured circuits and when the sun does shine, you'll find him on the gritstone doing his own circuits.
This is his only confirmed lecture in the UK to promote his new autobiography (from the same people who gave you Jerry Moffatt) and it should be a great night full of stories. You can buy tickets on the website or at reception.
At the moment, we have not confirmed whether he will be showcasing some of his more famous lycra leggings....but you never know.
The Purple Spotty circuit has now been finished with the problems in the Font 6a-6c range.
The topo for the Berghaus competition wall has also been completed and is now resting on the mats waiting for you to pick up and go 'that's what grade!'
For all you training beasts out there, we've just added a video to our Facebook page of French wad Antoine Vandeputte campusing 1-4-7...10 & 13 1 handed!! Well worth a look.
We were hoping to have the full circuit completed yesterday for the new purple spotty's. Unfortunately problems with our cleaners meant Percy and I spent our morning hoovering instead of setting. It was even more fun as it was a Monday morning...after a very busy Sunday.
The purple spotty circuit will get completed by the end of the week. Sorry for the delay but at least you have a nice clean centre to climb in.
New into store today are the Scarpa Instincts Lace. Alot of you may recognise them from the feet of myself, Percy or Sam who have been using them for the last few months in the Works and outside. We've pretty impressed by them so they're certainly worth trying on for those looking for a performance shoe that wont cripple your feet.
The Instincts are a performance shoe that provides more comfort than your normal aggressive shoe. The instincts fit that spot above a Five-Ten Anasazi and below a Scarpa Booster.
The Lace-up version is particularly good at standing on small edges. The slipper version will be instore in February sometime.
Below are the Scarpa Instincts in action indoor and outdoor:
Just a quick public announcement to help you out if travelling to The Climbing Works over the next 2 weekends.
This Sunday (24th Jan) & next Sunday (31st Jan) Woodseats road will be partially closed. This will affect you if you are planning to travel down from Chesterfield road direction. The bridge is open as usual so the best way to get here is from Abbeydale road.
Percy has set half the purple spotty circuit but has had to delay finishing them as he and Graeme are off to Glenshee to go skiing / snowboarding. He'll have them finished Monday evening....if they don't get snowed in that is.
We've had Meg in before for a chat and a look around, this time she came back with Gerry for a look at a local business that's doing something different from normal sports.
The Climbing Works not only provides a fine facility for our regular customers but we also work closely with school partnerships, charities and other local community organisations. As the biggest bouldering centre in the world we're pretty proud of all that we do (toddler/parent free afternoons, free improver sessions, green policy, CWIF etc..) and the wide range of climber we attract (from 2 yr olds to the Gandalfian unknown age of big Ron). Climbing is nowhere near a mainstream activity so it's always nice to get visits from government officials to promote and explain what else is out there beyond your regular team & individual sports.
Percy coaching Meg Munn MP
Percy even managed to get Meg to get a pair of shoes on and to try her hand at climbing. She didn't do too badly either. Unfortunately he couldn't persuade her to try the new purple spotty's that he was setting...but they did enjoy the coffee on offer.
Meg Munn MP and Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe MP
The Browns have disappeared into the holds room and the purple spotty's have returned to the wall.
Percy has started setting today so by tomorrow you should have another 40+ problems in the Font 6a-6c range to climb on. This is on top of the 30 problems that are now on the comp wall.
Tonight the Clinic return to the Works with their free physio advice. Rick and John will be over at the Campus board from 7-9pm.
We've also got our CWIF 10 page up on the website. With strong teams already confirmed from France, Austria and Holland it's going to be a great day. Read up on the festival and get psyched!
As some of you may know, The Climbing Works is hosting the CWIF event again for the 4th consecutive year. The event has grown and grown in popularity, and it looks like we might even have to cap the number of entrants for this years event, so get planning your teams now, 'cos when we're full, we're full!
Just in case you were wondering if we've got any foreign monsters booked up yet, the latest news is that the Austrian climbing team have booked places for several quite strong climbers, including Babara and Sabine Bacher, Katharina Saurwein, Lukas Ennemoser, Johanna Ernst and Stew Watson (Stew is a Brit, but also an honorary Austrian seeing as how he lives over there!)
Some or all of these names may be new to you if you don't follow the bouldering world cup series, but these guys and gals are some serious big hitters when it comes to comp climbing - a quick loook at their world rankings will only confirm these suspicions!
Last years winner, Jerome Meyer, has also promised to come again with a strong French contingient, and word on the street is that The Works are currently attempting to put together a team of 'Super-Ringers' (and Sam). Watch this space for further updates, and get cracking getting your teams together!
UPDATE: Just had word from our Dutch mate Wouter 'Wally' Jongeleenen who tells us he'll be across with 9 or 10 Dutch competitors for the comp and a weeks training at The Works and on the grit.
In almost forgot, the worlds best climbing ginger person has confirmed he'll be back to help with the route-setting.
We'll have more information on the website this week including a registration form or if you're super keen to get your name down you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
2009 CWIF film
Another Friday night comp, another big crowd. The competition wall was busy with people on every problem. Even with the event expanded to 4 hours some people still ran out of time. Out of this big crowd we only received scores back from 55 people - there was easily twice this amount taking part. There's more about this below...
Overall, the competition was a fantastic success with a range of scores across the board. The cash bonus problems as usual attracted some big guns. Unlike R2 were only 1 man & woman took the respective Â£125, R3 saw the cash prize get split 3 ways in both categories. The men who topped were Ned Feehally, Tom Newman & Dawid Skoczylas. The Women were Katy Whittaker, Dianne Merrick & Katy Piddock. All putting in determined displays to tag the top hold.
R4 will take place on Feb 26th at 6pm again. After the big crowd on the comp wall and the small relative returns of score cards, next round we're going to be much stricter with checking people to make sure they have score cards. If you want to take part, please make sure to pickup a score card at the door (Â£2). ONLY people with score cards will be allowed on the competition wall.
I had been looking forward to watching The Asgard Project, especially after Leo Houlding's excellent lecture at The Climbing Works back in November. We received the DVD earlier on in the week and with a bit of a back injury curtailing all exercise I lied down to watch it this weekend.
Simply put, it's a film of epic proportions. In movie-making terms it is the Avatar of the climbing genre. It has the feel and look of a big production and it doesn't disappoint (unlike Avatar).
For those who know little about The Asgard Project, in summary it revolves around attempting to free climb Mt Asgard on Baffin Island (in the Arctic circle). Delving into the film you get the sense it's the desire and dreams of the main protagonist, Leo Houlding, that drives this expedition. The first 20mins feels like some kind of sick test to put together a team crazy enough to follow his lead, to push the boundaries of not only big wall climbing, but also his other passion for base jumping.
The film really kicks into gear when the team arrive in the already remote port town in the South of Baffin Island. The resulting air drops, sky dives, missing gear, weather conditions and rock fall all help to create an air of surrealism and a feeling of 'whatever could go wrong...'.
The story of the film is much more than a big wall climbing trip and the film really comes alive in the climbers and their camaraderie. The banter, the problems, the internal & external meltdowns, the all round suffering is there for all to see. The whole project could have ended at numerous points, from Leo's knee rupture to the horrific weather, but it seems that no matter what the Norse Gods of Asgard could throw at this team, they pushed on. An impressive feat.
The other really impressive feat of this film is the actual capture of the climbing. Alistair Lee and his team have to be congratulated for getting such amazing shots and for creating a film that makes you feel the coldness and the remoteness, the pain and the good times. On this note, I highly recommend the extras as they give a greater sense to the whole expedition and provide some beautiful shots of Mt Asgard and Baffin Island.
The Asgard Project is not a climbing film in the essence of Progression or Between the Trees. There are no big moves, impossible looking holds and fast action. It's all about the slow progress of movement upwards in a hostile environment on a cold, difficult big wall. It really is the other end of the spectrum from most climbing movies. For this reason alot of people might not enjoy it. This is not a 'psyche' movie. You won't be motivated to go train after watching this. What you will get from this is the feeling for a bit of an adventure, to maybe push your limits in a different way.
As I lied down to watch The Asgard Project I really wasn't sure whether I would enjoy it. Would I already know too much after the lecture? Would I be bored from hearing so much about it beforehand. Watching the final credits I was left wanting more, I wanted to know about the epic reversal of the wall, the walk back out, the return home. This in itself shows how much I enjoyed the movie, wanting more not less. I really like this movie because it is not about hard moves or quick action but a slow tale of a group pushing themselves onwards when it would have been so easy to quit. The film is not perfect, there are flaws but in summary The Asgard Project is a film I would definitely recommend and watch again (unlike Avatar)
Available from The Climbing Works online shop