Craggy Island News

Bart’s Cafe – OPEN NOW!

Friday, April 14th, 2017 - Posted by Danie

BartWe are delighted to announce that the cafe in it’s brand new location in the climbing arena under Reception is now OPEN!

Not only that, but we have a new proprietor who will be running the cafe as his own business, trading as ‘Bart’s Cafe’. Many of our customers will know him already but for those who don’t I asked Bartosz Hilla a few questions about his climbing and his ideas for the cafe…

So Bart, when and where did you start climbing? (and how did this affect your lifestyle)?

I always loved mountains and as teenager I was hiking in the Tatra Mountains in South of Poland. As I was growing up by seaside I didn’t have much opportunity to climb so I am quite new to climbing. I actually started climbing here at Craggy 3 years ago after I came for taster session with my work mates :)

Do you get to climb outside?

I do but like everyone, I wish I could go outdoors more. I went few times to Portland, Harrisons Rocks, Swanage and Cheddar (My PB – Stoned to Death 6a at The Tsunami). So I do mostly sport climbs. I tried a bit of trad in Jura Krakowsko-Częstochowska (pronounced Yoora) just north of Kraków, Poland. It’s great limestone not far from this popular tourist city. This spring I went to El Chorro in Spain and really enjoyed it.

Do you prefer bouldering or routes?

I try to mix it a bit – once a week bouldering and once ropes. If I could squeeze in a 3rd session, it would be ABzone for endurance.

Have you always lived in Surrey (when did you arrive)?

I came to UK in 2004 just for a few months…;) Since then I fell in love with the Surrey Hills (I lived and worked in Ripley for many years) and now I cannot imagine living anywhere else (if only we had a bit of rocks outside of the house LOL)

Tell us about your work in Ripley…

I used to work in a fine dining restaurant now called The Clock House (previously Drake’s Restaurant) for 10 years. It was a great experience working within such a professional and dedicated team. It helped me to find out what I am actually passionate about. I worked as a Sommelier and also looked after the cheese board and making coffees. And now all my passions in life start with the letter C (C for cheese, coffee, cakes and recently climbing).

Have you always worked in catering?

Pretty much. I have a Master degree in Tourism and Hospitality and started working during my uni years as a waiter at my friend’s restaurant and after that I worked in hotels until I started working at Drake’s 10 years ago.

What attracted you to taking on the cafe at Craggy?

I saw the potential in creating a social hub here and I’ve had plenty of ideas about serving proper food and great coffee.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

It has been in my mind for some time now. Looks like it’s getting real and I’m very excited about it!

What is your vision for the cafe (how do you see it as part of the indoor climbing experience)?

Coffee is great because it gives the opportunity for people to connect and be social. As us climbers are a friendly bunch of people it is kind of natural to share our experiences over a cuppa. And that is where Bart’s Cafe comes in. I wanted to create a place where people can meet and have a chat over a nice cup of coffee and grab a bite to fuel up before or after their session and also where parents can spend an hour waiting for their children whilst climbing.

What sort of things do you intend to provide in the cafe?

Since I started to climb I started to look at what I eat and how I fuel my body more closely and try to avoid processed food. We will try to encourage climbers to have a healthy salad or a hearty sandwich made from locally sourced ingredients (bread from the Christmas Bakery, sausage and ham from the Village Butchers, coffee from Surrey Hills Coffee). We will also make our own nutty granola using honey instead of refined sugar. But of course we must have some very naughty cakes so that people can indulge in something nice after a hard day at work or at the weekend. We are going to bake our cakes here on site – my wife Rita is damn good at coming up with good cake recipes so watch this space.

Are you going to introduce us to any Polish foods?

It might be interesting to bring something different to the menu – maybe our famous sour soup – Żurek, but we will start with a British menu and bring some flavours from around the World as we go along. We are planning to change the menu frequently and happy to listen to people’s suggestion.

When are you hoping to open for business?

I am hoping to open during the Easter weekend and hopefully will see a lot of familiar faces enjoying our food and drinks.

 

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News | No Comments »

Guildford part-time Receptionist vacancy!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 - Posted by Danie

Crew

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be one of the ‘Craggy Crew’ at Guildford, come and talk to us!

We are looking for a permanent part-time Receptionist to work in our busy climbing centre.

Your duties will be to work with the other Craggy Crew, liaise with customers in person and on the phone with regard to the services we offer, use our automated booking system and take payment by card and cash ensuring accuracy at all times and other general administrative tasks.  In-house training will be provided.

The job will suit bright and lively people who want to work in a healthy, uplifting, buzzing and social environment. Being a climber is not essential but an interest in an active lifestyle would be an advantage.

Hours: Approximately 20 hrs per week to include daytime, evening and 1 weekend in 3.

If you are interested then send a CV and a covering letter telling us why you would be perfect for this job to marv@craggy-island.com

Please note; Closing date for applications is Friday 30th of April 2017.

Posted in Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Sutton News | No Comments »

results and round-up – bmc ycs 2017 round 2!

Monday, February 27th, 2017 - Posted by Danie

Youth TeamThe Youth Climbing Series (YCS) is run by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and gives youngsters aged between 7 and 17 the chance to compete in a fun series of competitions within their region.

This competition series is a great way to introduce young climbers to the thrills of competitive indoor climbing. The emphasis is on fun, with the selection of routes ranging from “easy” to “hard” and getting progressively more difficult the higher up the climber gets.

These events rely hugely on volunteers to act as Belayers, Judges and Chaperones. Without the willing support of these volunteers (more often than not these are parents of competitors) the events would not be possible so a big thank you to everyone that gets involved!

For Round 2 we had 7 Craggy Youth Team members and a great number of Youth Squad members also in attendance. It’s always great to see you all in action and Saturday was no exception – We are so proud of all of you!

Ella Griffith – Youth B Girls – 1st place (Youth Team)

Matilda Collins – Youth C Girls – 1st place (Youth Team & GB Development Squad)

Toby Roberts – Youth C Boys – 1st place (Youth Team & GB Development Squad)

Jonas Mueller-Doblies – Youth E Boys – 1st place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Katie Roberts – Youth D Girls – 2nd place (Youth Team)

 

Rhys Conlon – Youth D Boys – 2nd place (Youth Team)

Joshua Bruyns – Youth B Boys – 3rd place (Youth Team)

Hannah Toward – Youth D Girls – 4th place (Youth Team)

James Harwood – Youth D Boys – 4th place (Youth Squad, Sutton)

Gemma Lees – Youth B Girls – 6th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Madeleine Grainger – Youth C Girls – 9th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Alexia Coburn – Youth B Girls – 10th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Camden Jones – Youth C Boys – 17th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

If your child has been missed off the list above, please contact Danie below so they can be included.

Full results for all regions can be see here.

Round 3 will be hosted at White Spider, Tolworth on Saturday 25th of March 2017.

For any media or sponsorship enquiries regarding the Craggy Island Youth Climbing Team, please contact Team Manager, Danielle Rushmer.

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Sutton News | No Comments »

NEWS: Cafe & Changing refurbishments!

Friday, February 17th, 2017 - Posted by Danie

Changing

The new mezzanine Changing Area. Including toilets and showers.

The Cafe at Guildford will be closed from 19th February. 

Plans for the final stage of the centre redevelopment will commence on 20th February and last for approx 6 weeks. This will include moving the cafe to the ground floor and the changing area up to the mezzanine.

Phase one will see the cafe closed and the mezzanine area  cleared. New male and female changing rooms will be created, each with a shower and toilet. The viewing gallery will remain with comfortable seating for those wanting to enjoy the view!

Phase two will commence with completion of the changing area and this will include building a new cafe with a cafe seating area being created where the current changing area is located.

All work is expected to be completed with the new cafe opening on 1st of April 2017!

Cafe

The new “Bart’s Cafe” – opening 1st of April 2017!

Under New Management:

Management of the cafe will be provided by Bart Hilla Trading as Bart’s Cafe. Bart is a regular climber here at Craggy and will be known to many of our members, he is currently working on a new menu and has plenty of exciting  ideas up his sleeve!

Please note: Hot drinks, cold drinks, crisps, chocolate and sweets will be available to purchase from Reception throughout the refurb. Seating will be limited but we very much appreciate your patience whilst we carry out these improvements.

Party Food: If you have booked a Birthday Party with food during this time then rest assured, your party food will still go ahead as planned. Please contact Marv Smith, Centre Manager, at marv@craggy-island.com if you have any questions.

 

 

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Results and Round-Up – BMC YCS 2017 Round 1!

Monday, January 30th, 2017 - Posted by Danie

TeamThe Youth Climbing Series (YCS) is run by the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and gives youngsters aged between 7 and 17 the chance to compete in a fun series of competitions within their region.

During the competition the kids are required to climb 3 routes and 3 boulder problems – scoring points for the distance that they manage to climb up the route or boulder problem.  A maximum of 100 points is available on the routes and 60 on the boulder problems.  All routes and boulders are set specifically for the competition and take in to account not only the age of the children that will be climbing them, but also their size and the strengths and weaknesses which are likely at their age.

Once everyone had been briefed and the kids had been split down in to their categories it all got started and the kids started cranking away on their specially set routes and problems.

For Round 1 we had 7 Craggy Youth Team members and a great number of Youth Squad members also in attendance. As always, everyone put in so much effort and represented us impeccably – We are so proud of all of you!

Matilda Collins – Youth C Girls – 1st place (Youth Team & GB Development Squad)

Toby Roberts – Youth C Boys – 1st place (Youth Team & GB Development Squad)

Hannah Toward – Youth D Girls – 2nd place (Youth Team)

James Harwood – Youth D Boys – 2nd place (Youth Squad, Sutton)

Jonas Mueller-Doblies – Youth E Boys – 2nd place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Ella Griffith – Youth B Girls – 3rd place (Youth Team)

Joshua Bruyns – Youth B Boys – 3rd place (Youth Team)

Katie Roberts – Youth D Girls – 3rd place (Youth Team)

Rhys Conlon – Youth D Boys – 3rd place (Youth Team)

Gemma Lees – Youth B Girls – 4th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Douwe Boesveld – Youth B Boys – 6th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Madeleine Grainger – Youth C Girls – 8th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Alexia Coburn – Youth B Girls – 13th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Freddie Somerville – Youth C Boys – 15th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Jessica Gale – Youth B Girls – 16th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

James Cathrew – Youth B Boys – 16th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Camden Jones – Youth C Boys – 20th place (Youth Squad, Guildford)

Full results for all regions can be see here.

Round 2 will be hosted at High Sports, Brighton on Saturday 25th of February 2017.

For any media or sponsorship enquiries regarding the Craggy Island Youth Climbing Team, please contact Team Manager, Danielle Rushmer.

 

Posted in Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Sutton News | No Comments »

Guildford CLOSED for YCS on Saturday 28th of January 2017!

Saturday, January 21st, 2017 - Posted by Danie

Closed-Sign-1Our Guildford centre will be CLOSED on Saturday 28th of January 2017.

We are hosting Round 1 of the BMC Youth Climbing Series. You can see more info about this Regional competition series for youngsters by clicking here.

There will be no Kids Clubs, Mini Kids, Craghoppers or Member Entry on this day.

There will be route setting taking place all of the week prior to the event so some areas of the centre will closed off at various times. If you are planning a special journey, please be sure to call us on 01483 566880 to confirm that the area of the centre you intend to use is open and available.

The centre will be open as normal again on Sunday 29th of January and we look forward to welcoming you then.

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Sutton News | No Comments »

New ABZone for Guildford!

Friday, January 13th, 2017 - Posted by Danie

TrublueThere are changes a foot at Guildford this year starting with conversion of the ‘icebox’ to the ‘ABZone’, not just a name change, AB stands for Auto Belay – with 6 new TruBlue auto belay stations ready to install, the area is destined to become a mecca for endurance training and a new party venue for, well anyone who wants a party!

We will be painting this area to mimic the artists impression below, fitting a new range of volume (shapes) and adding new climbing holds throughout, creating a whole new exciting area of climbing.

For members – you’ll get a new area for endurance training or just the ability to climb on your own on a full range of graded routes. This is in response to our members suggestions highlighting a need for more activities when arriving alone, either when waiting for a climbing partner to arrive or for a complete session and by grouping all the auto belays in there own zone we’re hoping it will become an area where people will hook up with other climbers looking for a belay.

ABZone-VisualFor parties – we will now have a bookable party zone, where people can book the area for upto 12 kids (or adults) without the need for ropes training at the beginning of the session. You’ll be able to just clip on to the auto belay and off you go – which means you’ll get a lot more climbing done in your party.

We are looking to have the ABZone ready for use in the 2nd week of Feb. This means the area will be closed off for the week beginning 30th Jan.

Other developments are in the pipeline too so watch this space!

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Route Setting, Sutton News | No Comments »

What will your New Year’s Resolutions be…?

Monday, December 19th, 2016 - Posted by Danie

I’m sure that it’ll come as no surprise that the two most common resolutions every January are: Exercise more and lose weight!

Every year, hundreds vow to change their lives with the New Year. Claiming that “this year will be different” and discovering the timely motivation to get to the climbing wall, say no to the chocolate and give beer a wider berth than normal… Achieving these resolutions can be easier by remembering a few steps:

Set Specific Goals

Everyone wants to get fit and lose weight but specific and realistic goals are easier to accomplish. Keep from making excessively difficult goals and ones attained too easily. Detailed goals like losing five pounds or going to the wall two times a week allow for plans to be made. This way you can change your diet and plan on eating lighter dinners every night. Creating a plan helps meet daily and ultimately larger goals.

Stick to the Plan

Forming new habits can be challenging. That unexpected slice of cake may sabotage your diet. Going climbing becomes a struggle after a long day at work. Challenges happen and faltering is impossible to avoid. However, it’s imperative to return to the goal as soon as possible. Missing multiple days creates a new habit that keeps you further from your goal! The hardest part of realising these goals is sticking to them.

Reward Yourself

Reinforcing positive habits makes changing easier. If you want to climb more, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes on your tenth day climbing. If you want to lose weight, buy a cookbook that details tasty meals. Encourage the habits that move you towards your goal. Challenge yourself with your resolution and reward yourself when you succeed.

Whatever your goals may be in the New Year, we’re happy to be a part of the process! 

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Sutton News | No Comments »

Craggy’s Guide to Fighting the Festive Flab!

Monday, December 12th, 2016 - Posted by Danie

champersAnyone that has the misfortune to spend lots of time with me will know how excited I get about all things festive…  Especially the food!

There are always the lovely presents, catching up with old friends and endless family parties that we love so much too.  However, don’t you just hate that Boxing Day feeling of having eaten and drunk waaaaaay too much…  So much that the thought of squeezing your belly into a harness and attempting to lift your own body weight is something that can’t even be considered until the New Year.

Avoiding gaining weight over Christmas could actually be one of the best gifts to give yourself this year.

Let’s start by looking at what you might eat on Christmas day alone…

  • Bowl of muesli:  150 calories
  • Cheeky treat of smoked salmon on toast:  300 calories
  • Glass of mulled wine whilst basting the Turkey:  250 calories
  • 3 mince pies as a mid-morning snack:  700 calories
  • Handful of nuts:  200 calories
  • Stealing a couple of sausages wrapped in bacon whilst your mum’s not looking:  200 calories
  • Roast Turkey with all the trimmings:  1000 calories
  • Christmas pudding with a dollop of brandy butter:  600 calories
  • Couple of large glasses of wine:  200 calories
  • Two glasses of Baileys:  250 calories
  • Handful of chocolates:  300 calories
  • Big wedge of Christmas cake:  500 calories
  • Cheese and biscuits when you feel peckish in the evening…:  300 calories

That’s a grand total of…  4950 calories!

santaThat’s nearly 3 times the recommended daily intake for the average woman and double a man’s recommended daily intake.  It’s pretty easy to see why most of us pile on an extra couple of kilos during Christmas and the New Year really…

It’s thought that we’ll eat at least an extra 500 calories a day on top of our “normal” intake.  That’s approximately 7500 calories that is going to sit on our hips unless we do something about it.  In climbing terms…  That’s going to take you about 12 hours of climbing your little butt off to reverse it’s effects.

So, let’s not dwell on the facts as let’s face it, we don’t actually want to avoid eating ourselves silly we just want to avoid the weight-gain!

Here’s our survival guide:

1. Don’t get started too early in the day.  Treat breakfast as normal – you don’t need all those extra treats usually, remember!

2. Alternate every alcoholic drink with two glasses of water.  This will not only slow you down but will also keep you hydrated and help you to stay feeling fresh.

3. Drink lower calorie alcohols like wine and water them down like a spritzer.

4. Avoid creamy sweet liqueurs which are packed with calories and fat but sooooo easy to drink!

5. Eat a good sized, healthy snack before you go to any Christmas party.

6. Negotiate with yourself before each party – only one naughty treat and stick to it!

7. First, fill yourself up with low-fat, low-calorie options so there’s less room for the empty carbs.

8. Use smaller plates.  Trust me, it really does work!

9. Get mingling and get dancing!  The more you socialise, the less you’ll be thinking about those pesky sausage rolls and the more you dance – the more calories you’ll burn!

10. Eat slowly.  It takes about 20 minutes for the message that you’re getting full to get through.

11. Look for low-fat and low-calorie options to incorporate in to your cooking.

12. Say “NO” to the little extras…  A couple of spoonfulls of Cranberry Sauce will set you back 50 calories, Bread Sauce 200 calories and Gravy 120 calories.

13. Avoid unnecessary taste-testing whlist cooking!  Remember, you’re tasting to make sure it’s seasoned just right – it’s not a starter!

14. Don’t dwindle the exercise – do a minimum of 30 minutes every day, including Christmas day.  Keeping up your regular climbing sessions during the festive period will mean that climbing won’t come as a shock after 2 weeks of eating, drinking and partying!  Why not bring the family as a treat and get everyone active?

15. Buy and ask for activity-based presents.  These will be beneficial both during and after Christmas and will help to re-motivate you once New Year arrives.

16. Get plenty of sleep.  If you go to be late and get up early then your body will start to crave energy-boosting high-calorie snacks!

Posted in 3 Star Membership, Craggy Island News, Guildford News, Sutton News | No Comments »

Want to be a Climbing Instructor at Craggy Guildford…?

Thursday, October 20th, 2016 - Posted by Danie

Become an Instructor at Craggy Island!

Click here to BOOK ONLINE now!

Becoming a climbing instructor can be a great way of combining your love of the sport with earning some extra money during evenings and weekends.

If you’ve always enjoyed passing on your knowledge of climbing skills to friends and family then you’ll probably find Instructing a very natural step to take.  It’s also, perhaps, not as difficult a step to take as you may be anticipating!

There are, of course, the National Governing Body awards – Single Pitch Award (SPA) or Climbing Wall Award (CWA) which require a great deal of experience of instructing at a number of sites with many different groups before you’re really even eligible to complete the training.  Then there’s the lengthy consolidation period followed by an assessment…

Angela Gunning abseiling at Craggy IslandHowever, for less experienced instructors or for those at the very start of turning their passion into a career, here at Craggy we offer a Site-Specific Award.

This Award enables you to work at Craggy Island as an instructor.  There is the same training day, consolidation period and assessment day but this can all be undertaken at Craggy rather than needing considerable investment and countless days of driving here, there and everywhere.

Training is a 6 hour long course costing just £27 and this is completed in a day (usually 10:30-16:30).  During the training we cover many aspects of working life here at Craggy:

  • Full tour of the relevant areas of work including customer collection, kit storage and appropriate climbing areas for your group.
  • Training on all “best practice” safety skills so you’re not only topping up your own skill level but are passing those skills on correctly to your students.
  • Correct use of all safety equipment here at Craggy (numerous harnesses, helmets and belay devices).
  • Group management whilst working in the climbing area.
  • Child Protection training.
  • Basic rescue training (what to do when it goes a bit wrong on a session!)

Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll be provided with an individual action plan.  This will give detailed information on the length of your consolidation period (how many sessions you’ll need at “shadow”) and also the type of sessions we feel will be appropriate to your skill set.

When you have completed your “shadowing” you’ll then be ready to be assessed.  There are two levels to this; your first assessment will be with Marv, Centre Manager.  He will be checking to see that you’re up to standard with both your safety and customer service skills.  Should he feel there is something you need to work a little more on then this will be discussed and you’ll be given clear direction as to how to achieve competency on those things ready to be reassessed by him.

kids clubAfter your successful assessment with Marv you’ll be booked in for a full assessment with Danie, General Manager.  She’ll be checking that you’re safe to work within the centre and that you’re able to maintain our high standards of safety and enjoyment for all of our customers.  An assessment with Danie will usually take place on a Party as these can be the most challenging sessions from an instructor’s point of view.

Having successfully passed your assessment…  You’ll be ready to start working with live groups and earning money from something you genuinely love doing!

Next course will be running on Saturday 12th of November 2016.

Please call us on 01483 566880 to get yourself booked on or simply BOOK ONLINE by selecting “Site Spec. Training”. Please contact Marv Smith on marv@craggy-island.com for further information.

Posted in Craggy Island News, Guildford News | No Comments »

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