The new ‘Awesome Walls’ wall in Sheffield opened this weekend. It’s the 5th wall to open in Sheffield and has created some competition for The Foundry and The Edge as the main focus is on top roping and leading.
None of us were sure of the extent of bouldering at the Wall, or even if any had been set, but we thought we’d go. Also, we wanted to get a low number at the wall because we’re sad like that. We bumped into Ned Feehally and Shauna Coxsey leaving as we arrived. They said hi, we said hi, and that was about it.
After registering, we wandered around and my main impression of the place was that it was big, and cold. I think its going to be pretty Baltic in there come winter. one of the staff assured me that they have some pretty awesome heating system which means that it won’t be as bad as it could be. Part of my impression was founded on the fact that the place is really nowhere near complete yet. The main wall isn’t set yet, and they haven’t got a proper coffee machine yet. They were still in the process of setting the bouldering wall(s) when we turned up, and there were pretty basic trestle tables and chairs for seating.
There weren’t any facilities for training either. I’m not entirely sure where/if they are going to have a campus board/fingerboard/free weights or mats for sit ups etc. I hope they do as that would really be a boon.
Anyway, we started to climb and my first impressions of the bouldering wall were OUCHIES!! The grip paint is very good, and the holds were very brand new. In fact, I’ve not got much skin left on my tips.
Here’s two photos of one of the bouldering walls:
It does feel at times that we were climbing inside a prison:
The grades were set using different colours, pink for easiest (V1-V2) and green for hardest (V7+). I found the Pinks a good warm-up but so painful on the hands!Some of the black problems were a bit reachy and generally straight-forward. The reds (V3-V4) were a mixed bunch. Some of them were really good and had enjoyable moves, but others had very long top moves. Generally, I found the top moves a bit spicy in terms of reach and consistently dropped them. Annoying.
My OH found the top moves a bit more achievable. He didn’t flash the reds, but he did find the tops much easier. Here he is working one of the reds:
In general, the setting was fine. It was’t particularly inspiring, but it was fine. I’m not sure that AW will become a main training wall, and I’m reserving my opinion until it’s completely open. However, it is a strong contender for the backup training wall.
- Topped all pinks
- Topped all blacks
- Topped some reds and worked some too
- No pull ups as no finger board
- Some core work