While centrally located in Bury, it isn’t the easiest place to find. It’s tucked between Wash Lane and the Rochdale Road, close to H’s Diner. There is plenty of parking.
The first thing to note is that it is actually bouldering only. There are no
routes. As such it suits the space in
the old mill building well. There is probably slightly less bouldering than
Stockport and probably a tad more than Rochdale. Basically, one large room with
stuff round the side but also an extensive area in the centre. While mostly
vertical, there are two slabs and an overhang area. The holds themselves are from Core of Sheffield. There is a
sensible coloured coded grading approach throughout the centre that most venues
now seem to adopt. There are five grades/colours starting from V0 through to
V5/6 set by Centre Manager John Stokes and Brett Chapman. There is a range of further
Championship problems set by Harry Pennells. There is also a traverse graded at
So what was it like? Firstly it was brilliant to “break in” the centre. The friction was
obvious fantastic at a new venue. The setting and grading was a little bit
random. I guess this will come with time. Rock Over felt the same on the first visit but
I am now more used to it. Each wall has its own particular feel. I remember
Rochdale’s routes feeling very similar to quarried grit.
If there is one critism it is that a lot of the problems are very “reachy”. Not a problem
in itself if you like this style but for smaller adults and children there might
be issues. Drop the grade at the lower end to make them all easy enough for
beginners and a nice warm up circuit for the more experienced and chuck in some
children’s routes and job’s a goodun.
What was really good was the mini gym and stretching area. These would be good at all
climbing centres for initially warming up.
There is a good cafe and seating area and ample lockers although a few
larger ones might help.
Pricing is competitive but I am getting a rather large collection of membership cards. Why can’t the BMC or someone produce a universal card for climbing walls?
There is equipment to hire and for sale all from the Climb X brand which I haven’t come
across before. It seems pretty pukka. There is a nice chalk bag with a separate
zipped pocket which would be good for stashing some brew money without going
back to your locker.
I’d say give it a go. I’ll be going back but then it is the nearest venue to me!
I also thought the venue has a lot to offer, it's nice to see that it is not just aimed at hard climbers, there's plenty for the low to mid grade climber as well. That said I'm not much of a boulder myself but it is nice and local so I will probably keep poping in and you never know I might get to like bouldering lark.