Weekly Updates - March 2013
We brought you news in the last few weeks of the expansion of The Climbing Works into a new unit that would provide additional areas for the growing number of climbers we are experiencing. Today we can show you some new photos to wet the appetite. We've had local muralist & Works member Mel Holmes in for the last few weeks to do something special for this new area and as you can see below, he is doing something extraordinary.
We'll continue to bring you new photos and more news about the Mini-Works as the weeks go on. If you're wondering what to do with the kids over the Easter holiday, check out our range of activities on the website .
The Climbing Works first opened in Dec 2006 to a climbing public unused to bouldering exclusive centres. A 10,000 sq ft dedicated space; it was completely unique in the U.K. There were many doubts over whether it would succeed and if it was just ‘too’ big.
Fast forward 6 and a bit years and The Climbing Works is now considered too small by the vast amount of people who enjoy the centre. Since we opened we have introduced thousands of people to the sport of bouldering who have enjoyed the unique atmosphere that we work extremely hard to maintain.
For the last few years the question of ‘when will you expand?’ has grown from a rare event to a constant affair. The difficulty for us was always ‘go where?’ We couldn’t go up or next door as the buildings just did not suit. Finding somewhere that would maintain the atmosphere and further enhance it was proving a very difficult task. Well, we believe we’ve finally found somewhere and luckily for you all it’s not too far away. In fact it’s about 50m away.
Some of the regulars may well have seen the work going on or seen us going back and forth to our new unit but for those unfamiliar we will be expanding into the old Eurosafe building which is in the opposite corner of the same business park (Centenary Works).
Current location and new Mini-Works location
We started work on the new build about mid-January and it’s been a steady process to where we are today. All the main climbing walls have been finished and we’re just about to start work on the reception. We’ll be releasing more information as we move closer to the opening date but below is a quick summary of this new ‘Mini-Works’.
When will it be open?
We don’t have a definite opening date as of yet but at the moment we believe it should be ready for the middle to end of April. The photos you see are a of a week ago. We've built a lot more since then.
So what is being built in this new unit and who is it aimed at?
Well it’s a big ‘un! Percy, Rob & Matt have out done themselves and created some beautiful walls.
The unit space is just under ½ the size of our current place and it will have more vertical, slabs and easier angles for those looking to learn and develop as a climber. With this expansion we have looked at the increasing popularity of bouldering to kids, groups and adults (new to climbing) and built a facility that will excite and challenge them. The increased space will also create a more comfortable and safer environment for children to enjoy their climbing education.
There will also be plenty for younger kids to go at and we will also be expanding and developing our very popular kids clubs to meet the demand from parents. It also allows us to do more with groups so if you are involved with Scouts, Schools or even a local Business looking to do something fun with your staff, this would be the centre for you.
Overall there will be something for just about everyone but in general the main focus will be on those climbing in the Font 6b and below grades. If that means nothing to you (or your kids) we’ll be introducing some other ideas so you can figure out which colour will suit who in your family.
Parents & Children:
The big change for this facility will be the quicker induction process for parents wanting to take their kids climbing for the first time. This new unit will have a shorter (about 15mins) induction process that will focus on parent’s supervision of their children allowing their kids to get climbing sooner. We’re hoping that this will allow our current members to spread the word of bouldering to their friends and family. If you already bring your kids to The Climbing Works then this new Mini-Works will provide a great place for you to climb with your children while still testing yourself.
As a Climbing Works member can I climb in it?
Yes. The Mini-Works is still part of The Climbing Works. You can climb in the new unit and cross over to the old place or vice versa. There will be no extra cost to enter either building. There will be a reception and café area in the new Mini-Works and once you have paid in at one reception you can climb at either unit. If you want a bit of extra space on a busy Works night, want to try some different problems or just fancy a change of angle, you’ll be able to pop across to the Mini-Works. We’ll have slightly different opening hours for the new unit but we’ll let you know all the details in the coming weeks.
Over the last few years we have seen the number of children wanting to climb explode with all our kids clubs pretty much packed out with long waiting lists. This new centre will allow us to create a whole range of new sessions at different times of the day to cater for different ages & abilities. We’ll be advertising these sessions in the coming weeks so keep an eye on the blog and website for more details.
So there you are. More walls, more problems, more space. All for the same entry price. We look forward to seeing you enjoy this great new centre. For more details keep an eye on this blog over the next few weeks.
It's always difficult to look back at your own event and describe accurately what happened. Basically because you're running around so much that you're not sure how everything is going. We got CWIF competitor Sam Schofield to write us his views on The CWIF weekend which you can read below. If there is anyone else who wishes to do a writeup we'd love to read it and it may even end up on here. All photos courtesy of Alex Messenger, you can view the full gallery on our website here>>
A customer’s point of view: the CWIF weekend round up
By Sam Schofield
The Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) attracts the best and the brawniest – not just from the centre’s home city of Sheffield, but from around the UK and the rest of the world. It’s not just a competition for the elite, however, but for climbers of all abilities, offering a rare opportunity for the climbing community at large to test themselves against international stars.
CWIF 2013 attracted 350 competitors from around the globe, hundreds more spectators visiting the centre throughout the two day event, and thousands of online viewers for the competition’s thrilling finale. CWIF garners a lot of attention and is quickly becoming a staple of the competition calendar, with many of the world’s best competitors using it as a warm-up for the bouldering world cup, which kicks off in just a few short weeks.
The competition is split over two days, with Saturday hosting the qualifiers, followed by the top 20 men and women battling it out on Sunday in the semi-finals, and finally the top six going head to head on the evening of that same day. It’s a test of route reading skills, strength, flexibility and, not least of all, endurance. It stretches even the best to the edge of their abilities. Many a tweet and Facebook post from semi-finalists and finalists spoke of aching limbs and exhaustion the following day.
As well as the competition element, there’s a free BBQ and hundreds of goodie giveaways from CWIF sponsors: Adidas, Berghaus & Scarpa. This year was also the first time a charity has been so central to proceedings, with Climbers Against Cancer (CAC) raising an amazing £6,145 in just two days, through the sale of merchandise, a collection bucket and the route setters incredibly kindly donating their wages. As the compère for the final, Percy Bishton, warned: “If you got a free t-shirt and didn’t put something in the CAC bucket something bad will happen to you on the way home”, and from what I gather the majority did indeed plunge into their pockets and give what they could to a very worthy cause.
Yours truly took part in the competition for the first time this year. There’s a prize for the best fancy dress and, with no hope of making it into a prize position through climbing ability alone, this was my best hope of victory. Me and my fellow team members formed the Cereal Killers. We dressed as cereal box characters: Tony the Tiger, the Coco Pops Monkey, Lucky Charms Leprechaun and me, as the Scott’s Porridge Oats guy. Trying to climb in a kilt is not especially easy, but it was fun nonetheless. And yes, before you ask, I was wearing shorts underneath! It’s a family event after all.
Part of the event’s charm is the fun of it – not too many taking their results too seriously, with only those with a hope of making it through to the next round making it around all 30 qualifier problems. The rest, me included, tend to take their time, socialise, help others on problems with beta or pointing out tiny, hard-to-see footholds, and generally having a ball. While we had a considerable amount of time to make it around all the problems, I still only managed to try 20 of them. I’m told they were set slightly easier than the year before as well, but if that’s the case then they must have been nails in 2012.
This year the climbing required balance, technical know-how, and very specific sequences. I found it hard. I’m sure many others did as well. I was spat off a 6A+ three times in quick succession. The following day I did a 7B outside, at Curbar, in two tries – that should give you an idea of difficulty. But don’t let that put you off – it’s well worth a go next year!
After a grand morning pitting myself against the qualifier problems in my kilt – and struggling – I was mighty impressed to see the score sheets the following day. The big names had all scored well into the 200s, with a handful approaching the perfect 300 score.
The high scorer in the men’s qualifying round, Jakob Schubert (current world lead champion), sailed into the final in second place. He was joined by William Atkinson, Dave Barrans (former CWIF champion), James Garden, Tom Newman and Ben West. The high scorer from the women’s qualifying round, Mina Leslie-Wujastyk, was joined by Leah Crane, Shauna Coxsey (former CWIF champion), Diane Merrik, Alex Puccio and Michaela Tracy.
Arriving an hour before the final was due to start, I managed to wangle myself a decent standing position, central to the competition wall, behind the crowd that had already gathered. The CWIF final always draws a hefty number of spectators, keen to see some of the world’s strongest competitors doing their thing. You have to get there mighty early to get a decent seated position, as many stay around all day, to watch the semi-finals and then make the most of the free BBQ. When the finals eventually kicked off, we were treated to disco lights, a loud-o-meter (which regularly peaked at 10 on the Richter scale), and some banging tunes from the DJ.
You can re-watch the finals below:
Suffice it to say, it was a flashy affair, matched only by the nail biting spectacle of the climbing itself. A strange start to the men’s competition saw the two shortest competitors at a disadvantage on the slab, having to hover (almost literally!) to match the last hold, while the tall guys could simply stand on a decent foothold and reach. I would’ve felt aggrieved for Schubert and Barrans if they hadn’t made light work of the rest of the problems while the tall guys struggled to heave their heavier bodies through a series of steep burliness. In the end, Schubert triumphed, narrowly beating Barrans by a single attempt.
Watch Jakob flash Mens Final problem 4 to win The CWIF 2013:
The women’s competition was equally thrilling – a display of power, agility, contortion and finger strength. It all came down to the wire. Leslie-Wujastyk came out on top in both the qualifiers and the semi-finals but struggled to maintain her lead and fell behind Coxsey, Crane and Puccio. It was a battle of champions: the US national champion, a former UK champion and the current UK champion. In the end Coxsey clinched it, to retain her CWIF crown, while Crane came in a close second followed by Puccio – all only separated by their number of tries.
After the competition was over, all that was left was the prize giving, another tidal wave of freebies and the raffle draw. And that was that… another CWIF over with. Keep an eye out for next year’s event.
Sam Schofield writes a regular rock climbing blog at http://samschofield.blogspot.co.uk.
So it has come to pass once again. The CWIF is over for another year and for us here at The Climbing Works it has been the most successful yet. The feedback along with the fantastic vibes from the competitors on the Saturday and the amazing crowds that came to watch on the Sunday is how we rate a good weekend and we're happy that so many people enjoyed The CWIF in 2013.
There is alot of people to thank so apologies if I miss out some people but here goes:
- a massive thanks has to go to the routesetters who did a superb job and donated all their wages to Climbers Against Cancer (more about CAC below).
- a big thanks to The Climbing Works staff who worked so hard over the weekend to make sure everything went smoothly
- To all the competitors and the people who came to watch. It's why The Climbing Works holds The CWIF , to get people excited about their own climbing and how far they can go. A big thanks to those who put their hand in their pockets to help raise over £6k for CAC over the weekend.
- To TDC-AV Sheffield who provided the lighting for the Berghaus Competition wall and Horizon who controlled the cameras for the webcast (Massive thanks to Mike who ran the show flawlessly).
- To all the sponsors, especially Adidas, Berghaus & Scarpa who provided an incredible amount of goodies and prizes for the crowds who watched. To Outdoor Research, Axis & Volx who also provided fantastic support.
- To Matt Bird (Birddog productions) who provided the amazing graphics and to Adrian Samarra who stepped into Si Wadsworths big shoes to control the lighting on the Sunday (get well soon Si).
- To DJ Gusenator for providing some high quality tunes throughout the day.
Apologies to anyone I missed out but we are incredibly grateful for your help and support over the weekend.
If you were here you know how amazing it was but if you weren't you can still re-watch the Semi's& the Finals on the IFSC Channel (or below). We'll be having a highlights film out in the next few weeks for you to enjoy also. We'll be posting a report of the whole weekend from Sam Schofield with photos from Alex Messenger later today. To wet the appetite below is a film of Jakob Schubert cruising Mens Final problem 4 to win The CWIF 2013.
Rewatch the whole of The CWIF Finals below:
The two qualifying sessions are over and all the scores are added up. You can view the full scores on this page>>
The top 20 Male & Females make it through to the Semi Finals. We will posting a top 20 list in a little while but if you are in Yellow or above (Male) or in Red or above(Female) you have made the Semi's. If you have made the Semi-Finals you will be climbing from midday tomorrow. You will need to be in isolation (at the circuit board opposite reception) by 11am at the latest. Isolation will open at 10am.
If you think your result is incorrect please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will have a look to see. If your score is 0 we never received your scorecard.
If you are coming to watch or climb we will be open as normal at 10am. Semi's will start at midday and end around 2.30pm. We will have our FREE BBQ around 3/3.30pm and Finals will begin at 6pm.
You can watch the webcast at IFSC-Climbing.org if not in Sheffield.