There is climbing for everyone at the Quay! We’ve got 85 hangers, each with the potential for 3 lines of climbing meaning we can offer at any one time well over 200 routes to try. The large climbing arena benefits from lots of natural light from the atrium’s glass roof tiles and plenty of room in between and around climbs. Our top rope and lead wall sections range from 7 metres to 15 metres in height and we cover the entire range of climbs from grade 2 for little beginners to grade f8c. Each of our 7 climbing zones offers something different from slabs to chimneys, arches and the 3.5 metre overhang on our lead wall, The Prow. We also have 5 autobelays at the centre – perfect for solo climbers, especially those looking for a quick lunch time workout at our discounted rate. Routes are typically changed on a 10 week cycle with one autobelay completely stripped and re-set every two weeks in order to keep things fresh! The rest of our routes are changed regularly by our in house team led by one of the region’s best, Mikey Cleverdon, with Gavin Atkins, Tom Bunn, Charles Romjin and Neil Empringham. We also have regular visits from guest setters including Gav Symonds, Ed Hamer, Yan Gennouf and Mark ‘Zippy’ Pretty.
The Quarry – the Quarry is where you will find the majority of our Top Rope climbs – it is the centre of the action for instructed sessions and a great space for novice climbers and children to make their first moves on the wall. The slabs are free from fixed protection which means little fingers cannot pull on sharp bolts and our high five handprints marked on some of the walls offer a great incentive for children to aim high! The Quarry sits within easy sight of our café and viewing balcony meaning you can encourage your friends and family whilst they climb and capture their first ascent! The Quarry ranges from 7 to 8 metres in height, boasts 19 top ropes and 2 lead lines with grades ranging from f2 to f7a, taking in 6 Arêtes of varying angles, 6 corners, varying angles of slab, overhangs, grooves and vertical panels which also double up as our Abseil tower. It is the Quays main learning arena, but it has something for everyone, whether you are trying to coach a novice climber or child up their first climb, a beginner trying to tackle your first overhang, or even an experienced climber working on a technical slab, bridging corner or arête. The routes are set with learning in mind, with bridging routes, laybacks and rock overs to hone in on new techniques, ever in doubt as to how a route might be done just ask an instructor or book in for some coaching with our Senior Coach, Mikey Cleverdon.
The Prow – the Prow is one of the best sections of wall in the UK! Stretching up to a point 15 meters high it features a number of different angles and roofs and routes are often set to traverse parts of the prow meaning there are regularly climbs of 17 metres or more on the wall. This is our main Lead Wall although we do occasionally put Top Ropes on routes to train young climbers on endurance routes. Routes are graded from f5 to give beginners a feel for long route climbing right up to f8c. Don’t forget your 50 metre rope for this wall – you will need it!
The Buttress – the Buttress is set with a mixture of lead and top rope climbs ranging from F4-F6c+. The lines tend to take advantage of the arêtes which form the buttress, although slabby in nature, the widest of arêtes will challenge most climbers, with the easier angles a good training ground to get to grips with layback and arête climbing.
The Big Corner – the main corner in the wall is where slab and vertical walls meet producing some balancy and technical climbs. It has a fair mixture of Top rope and Lead climbs, as well as having some climbs that are suitable for both and as such it is a great place to learn to lead and the location for most of our Step Up to Lead courses. Our route setters always set a diverse range of grades and routes – making sure that all routes in this area encourage good clipping positions.
The Arch – this is the place to be if you are into three dimensional climbing. At 11 metres high it is shorter than the Prow, but some of the routes can take in over 4 metres of overhang and be more than 15 metres long. This is a Lead only wall with climbs ranging from f5 to f7c and it’s not uncommon to see Stalactites in this section of wall, great training for those trips to the steep walls in the Med or South-East Asia. We also have one autobelay on this section of the wall to provide diversity for our solo climbers.
The Pillar – the leaning pillar that supports the Arch has an overlap running through its lower section on two of sides and two small stepped roofs on the other. We set a mixture of Lead and Top Rope climbing and also It’s a mixture of lead and Top Roped climbing, and also has an Auto belay in the middle. The Curved Arête is one of the centres most overlooked features; it can provide some balancey and almost exposed position up to 11metres on the wall.
Billy’s Wall – Billy’s Wall is home to three of our autobelays – the perfect home for the solo climber! A gently overhanging featured wall it is 11 metres in height and is set with a mixture of top rope, autobelay and lead climbs with grades typically ranging from f4 to f7.