What’s to Climb?

What's to Climb?


Bouldering is unroped climbing, climbing freely in areas where specially designed landing mats are laid to soften the impact should you fall. If you’re over 18, you can join the Centre, watch the Bouldering Safety video, and start bouldering straight away!

Bouldering video

Roped Climbing

All roped climbing requires you to wear a harness, to which a rope is attached. For your own safety, you must be competent at putting on a climbing harness correctly, fixing a rope to that harness, and holding the rope of another climber. Over 18s can affirm they are competent on joining- we will assess you to make sure you know what you’re doing, for your own sake. If you are not yet competent in these tasks, we offer a variety of courses to get you there (see the How Do I Start page on the Climbing section of this website to choose the most appropriate course to suit you).

Top Roping

Top-roping is where you climb up following a rope which is threaded through a pulley at the top of the climb, and your partner takes in your rope as you go up. This is called belaying. When you reach the top (or when you’ve had enough!) your partner gently lowers you back down.


An auto-belay does what your partner does mechanically. You fix your harness to the auto-belay, then set off, and the auto-belay takes in the rope as you go. When you reach the top (or when you’ve had enough!) you simply let go, and the auto-belay gently and slowly lowers you to the ground.

auto belays

Lead Climbing

Lead Climbing is when you have no rope above you. You take the rope up yourself, clipping it in to special links called karabiners, so that if you were to fall, you would only fall down to where your last clip was placed. Your partner has the important responsibility of paying the rope out gently as you climb up, so as to not pull you off, but at the same time being ready to hold you using a special device called a belay brake which stops the rope from slipping away.

The Tower

The Tower is in the centre of the Main Hall, and features slabs, walls and overhangs. Some of its surfaces have been designed to replicate gritstone crags, with awkwardly shaped cracks for hand- and foot-jamming. The Tower offers both top-roping and lead climbing.

The Tower

The High Walls

These walls are vertical, with Volumes to create interest. They provide both top-roped and lead climbing.

The High Walls

The Headwall

This is where you strut your stuff when you’ve got it all together! This is the looooong leading wall, steeply overhanging in the centre, where all that stamina training pays off. It’s a bit like Yosemite, except you can pop into the cafe for a latte when you’ve done a couple of routes…

The Group Room

This is where people new to climbing take their first steps. There are plenty of straightforward routes to enable you to learn the ropes, and prepare you for more challenging climbs after you’ve mastered the basics. Oh! And the kids love it in here.