We 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.
The 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.
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!
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 email@example.com if you have any questions.
Our 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.
There 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.
For 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!
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.
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!
Anyone 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!
That’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!
All members of the party are safe and well. They’re currently resting in Leh, the capital of the province, before returning home to the UK soon.
Watch this space for an interview about this expedition with Drew coming soon.
He goes away on another expedition to Nepal in mid October so we’ll be speaking to him as soon as he’s back home and settled in.
Drew climbs regularly with us on Tuesday evenings – well, when he’s not away in the mountains that is! Feel free to say hello and have a natter if you see him. He used to also work as an instructor for us in the early days so who knows, he might have even taught you to climb!
Drew, we wish you and the rest of the team a safe journey home and look forward to hearing about all of your adventures.
Centre Manager Marv and his team of Duty Managers have been working hard to create these beautiful new volumes for us over the past few weeks!
We’re absolutely delighted with them and I’m sure you will be too when you get to climb on them.
We don’t like to waste things here at Craggy and these volumes have been made from some of the old panels that were removed when the centre was re-vamped last Summer. Makes us feel good to have recycled the old walls into lovely new ones again!
They’ll be featured on the new Comp Wall set which is happening this week at Guildford.
Want to work as part of a great team in the sport you love?
We are looking to recruit 2 new members of staff to join the already awesome Craggy Sutton Team. We are looking for a Weekend Receptionist and a Part Time Receptionist to fulfill vital roles within the centre.
As a Receptionist you will be responsible for assisting in the smooth running of the centre; serving customers and ensuring that everyone who comes in to the centre is kept safe and, most importantly, has a great time!
Full in-house training will be given on all aspects of the job including our bookings and membership system.
Passionate about climbing?
Fun to be around and a great team player?
Eager to share climbing with others?
Keen to work in a bright, healthy environment?
Very excited about being able to climb and train for FREE?!