Monday, March 7th, 2016 - Posted by Danie
Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 - Posted by Danie
First, a bit of background. Just 12 years or so ago, the indoor climbing world was much smaller. Certainly in the South East there were only a couple of large climbing walls. . . Westway in London and Calshot in Hampshire being the main ones and that’s about it! Further north there were a few more but climbers still had to travel far and wide to find somewhere to climb indoors.
It is also fair to say the industry was not well established and had, well, a bit of a grimy and unapproachable kind of feel to it.
In step Rob and Steve… Both in their 40’s and having a long career in the creative industry, were long term friends and had recently found indoor climbing as a new sport. Add to the mix that they were both looking to find a new business to capture their attention and Rob realised there was a lovely new, large, empty and most importantly, tall industrial building behind his photographic studio in Guildford!
The next day was an evening round Rob’s house where a plan was hatched over a few beers and a scribbled A4 sheet of paper and the concept of Craggy Island was born.
From that day on it is fair to say both just picked up the project, and simply made things happen. The concept started to form and expand until, in literally just a few weeks, it had exploded to building one of the largest indoor climbing centres in the UK at that time.
There was a daily mix of property agents, landlord meetings, planning consultants, council officers, councillors, banks, more banks, finance houses, climbing wall designers, climbing wall suppliers, other climbing walls, accountants, consultants, local climbers, the local public and their dog and the steady realisation that to do it all properly was going to cost money, a lot of money, no. . . a huge amount of money!
But we were going to reinvent indoor climbing. It was going to be new and fresh! No more grey imposing walls, it was going to be welcoming and inclusive to all ages and abilities. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the realisation that the banks needed you to put everything you had on the line for them to loan you the money sharpens the mind. If it did not work they would take your house, your car and and quite possibly in Rob’s case, his record collection.
From that moment we lined up the entire business plan and building designs and worked all hours to get things right, and after a few months of negotiating and wrangling and downright blagging, it all boiled down to convincing a planning committee one dark evening in Guildford in 2003 that it was a jolly good idea and they should allow us to build it.
By that time we had contacted the climbing community and were able to fill the council room with all kinds of supporting souls. We had both very carefully prepared speeches (and even had someone coach us as to how to present them!) and had tried to line up as many councillors as possible on our side against a chief planning officer who was dead against it for a variety of reasons. The entire project would live or die on a simple show of hands. . . can you imagine the tension?
Our case came up and a series of councillors, interested members of public and a very nervous Rob and Steve gave their views. The chairman then asked for a show of hands and we had 100% support. Suffice to say, there was cheering from the terraces! We later found that a unanimous vote was very rare indeed. . . which was nice.
Later in the pub, the realisation of what had just happened hit home and the following days were a whirlwind of signing contracts, leases and mortgage guarantees in blood with the bank. There was simply no going back – not that we wanted to in any case – and it was all hands to the pump to get open as soon as possible.
The actual building and opening of Craggy Island Guildford deserves its own story so you will have to wait for that but now you have an inkling of how it all started…
Thanks for being a part of Craggy,
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 - Posted by Danie
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. 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.
This Round saw a record number of competitors with 143 registered to compete – the largest number ever at a YCS event!
In usually Craggy-style, the day ran very smoothly and both the centre and the routes received many compliments from visiting youngsters and their parents.
We were exceptionally proud of both the Craggy Youth Team and the Squad. They climbed fantastically and made great ambassadors for the centre, wearing their T-shirts with pride.
Congratulations to all of the competitors from across the region. Here’s the results from all of our Team and Squad but a big well done to all of our local youngsters who don’t climb on one of our regular sessions too:
Craggy Youth Team:
1st – Toby Roberts, Youth D Boys
1st – Matilda Collins, Youth C Girls
1st – Miles Graham, Youth B Boys
2nd – Joshua Bruyns, Youth C Boys
3rd – Rhys Conlon, Youth D Boys
4th – Katie Roberts, Youth D Girls
Craggy Youth Squad:
2nd – Amy Feakes, Youth A Girls
3rd – Jonas Mueller-Doblies, Youth E Boys (Mini Kids Club)
5th – Otto Nicol Gauld, Youth D Boys
6th – James Harwood, Youth D Boys (Craggy Sutton Squad)
6th – Sophie Claesen, Youth A Girls
6th – Matthew Crestin, Youth C Boys
7th – Jessica Gale, Youth C Girls
7th – Ella Griffiths, Youth B Girls
7th – Alex Crestin, Youth C Boys
8th – Isabella Edgington, Youth D Girls
10th – Maddy Hunt, Youth B Girls
11th – Katy Claesen, Youth B Girls
14th – Alice Pendry-Humm, Youth D Girls
Full results can be found here: http://www.indoorsout.co.uk/brycs16_lses_heat_2.htm
Saturday, February 20th, 2016 - Posted by Danie
The event will be taking place throughout the day and the majority of the wall will be closed to accommodate the vast number of young climbers that we’re expecting.
Any spectators for the event are very welcome and there is no charge for this. The event is a great opportunity to see local young climbers who are at the very top of our sport!
We recommend that anyone wishing to climb with us that weekend should delay their visit until Sunday 28th of February to avoid disappointment and a very busy wall!
There will be some partial closures on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the run up whilst we carry out route setting and prepare for the event. We will keep these to an absolute minimum though but recommend that you call us prior to your visit if you are making a special journey.
The boulder wall will be out of action for the majority of Monday, Tuesday and Friday while we complete our usual route set and then add the competition problems on Friday. The wall will be open again for use in the evening, from approximately 18:00.
If you need any further information, please contact Reception on 01483 566880.
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 - Posted by Danie
Ok… So you’re happily wandering your way up a climb when some funny-guy (or gal!) decides to throw some heckling your way! Let’s start with what the technical definition of “to Heckle” is:
Now, I like to think of climbers as being cheeky, cheerful types of folk so the heckling you see and experience in climbing situations is almost entirely well-meant and encouraging. Also known as “Banter”. However there is, of course, the underlying desire to purposefully distract the climber with the expectation of them finding it funny enough to start laughing, fall off or simply to engage with you in a “heckle-match.”
So, how do we deal with this? We’ve divided our climbers into 4 types to see how they work the heckle – take a look:
Upon receiving a heckle, they will tend to lose all concentration. Not only does their concentration go but their arms get pumped, their legs get wobbly and their intentions of completing the climb are crushed beyond possibilities by the overwhelming fear of someone watching them – Eeeek! Ok, so “Pansy” is maybe too harsh a name for this shy and retiring sort that would rather tuck themselves away in a quiet corner than climbing on the big walls. We had to start somewhere though! Pansies – read on to see other options on how to deal with this…
2) The Wannabe.
You all know that climber… Maybe you are that climber!? They’ll get to the crux of the climb, make a big scene and lots of noise about building up for the move that they find tough… [insert heckle here] …and then boom! They fall off. Next thing you know they’ve got “the face” on. After a short, sharp exchange with their belyer – usually to the effect of “Lower me!”. They’ll stomp off to gather their thoughts – blaming you entirely, obviously, for having ruined their umptyfirst redpoint attempt!
This is sort of the pinnacle of heckling glory to be honest. You see, heckles are meant to be encouraging when climbing and the show-off embraces the heckle and fights on for glory! As soon as the heckles start flying they’ll dig deep and give it 110% fighting for every move they can to claw their way closer to the top hold. They probably won’t make it but it really won’t be for not trying!
4) The Legend.
So, this hero of a machine will not only join in with the heckle – giving back harder and faster than the heckler can but they will succeed on their climb AND they’ll style it up, cut-loose, wave to the crowd and generally be, well… a legend! Us mere mortals can only aspire to such greatness.
Sunday, December 27th, 2015 - Posted by Danie
Please note that there will be some minimal price rises to our entry fees as of 1st of January 2016.
For our Guildford entry prices, please click here.
For our Sutton entry prices, please click here.
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 - Posted by Danie
An outbreak of tufa madness at Craggy Island!
Our route setters are busy creating a host of new adventure climbs ready for the Christmas Holidays and the New Year.
In response to the popularity of the long diagonal climb across the front of the comp wall, Mark and Howard are creating something similar but completely different on the back of the new cave wall.
This climb will ask you to traverse across the entire section of wall between the tufas and will be a mid grade adventure experience and will be open tonight.
Monday, December 14th, 2015 - Posted by Danie
Tuesday, December 8th, 2015 - Posted by Danie
Want to get the best possible deal on 3 Star Membership…?
During December we’re offering 12 months for the price of 10 when you take out an Annual 3 Star Membership with us.
Standard – £420.00
Student/Forces 3 Star – £315.00
Junior 3 Star – £200.00
Parent & Child – £770.00
Family – £920.00
Our Annual 3 Star Memberships offer unlimited climbing at a reduced price at both of our centres with nothing more to pay for a whole year!
You can either call us on 01483 566880 or chat to us next time you’re in. The process to set up a 3 Star Membership is very simple and our Reception team will be happy to advise on the best option and answer any questions you have.
Friday, December 4th, 2015 - Posted by Danie
Over the last year Craggy Island have been renewing the Guildford centre, which has now been brought up to date with new lead and top rope walls, 2 new bouldering areas, a new traverse wall and now a training mezzanine featuring a Moon Board.
Actually the process started 2 years ago when we built the stack and the new walls at the back of the centre using EP’s Mozaik wall system. This system designed on computer allows you to realise shapes and structures that would otherwise be extremely difficult to construct. Once designed it is then precisely cut by machines and then can be quickly installed on site like a massive 3d jigsaw. The success of these new walls has been their continuing popularity with our climbers as their near seamless shapes and angles are perfect for route setting and, being flat panels, are very suitable for alteration with the use of volumes and the wide range of climbing holds that are now available.
So successful were the new areas that we had a good look at the rest of the wall and decided that it was time to change other areas too. Starting with the bouldering wall, we found that we could push this back all round and improve the space by approx 15%. Mark Croxall then got involved with the design to the point that he made a 3d model from card and drove it up to the EP offices in Yorkshire. Then, with the engineers at EP, we discussed the idea of adapting Mozaik so that the joins became truly seamless without the bevel edges so useful as crimps and toe holds for all you hardcore climbers out there.
We then redesigned the arch to be a cave on one side and a semi steep wall on the other – effectively doubling the amount of overhanging lead climbing available. Another part of the wall that was missing was a steep slab; the ideal spot for this was opposite the woody and the opportunity to replace the unpopular profile section was irresistible. This opened up the woody corner for redevelopment. We had loads of climbing but could do with some more bouldering especially as the new bouldering wall was mostly steep. The perfect spot for some easier boulders and a mezzanine above would offer a great space for a proper Moon Board and training area.
The build did not go as smoothly as was ideal and the problems we had with the spiral stairs and their installation will go down in Craggy legends! However, all’s well that ends well and now all the planned improvements in the climbing arena are complete and replete with thousands of new holds and hundreds of climbs.
We’d like to thank all our customers for their loyalty and patience during what became a prolonged build period and hope you enjoy these fantastic new walls for many years to come!
One last bit of disruption however will be a temporary reception set up downstairs from 7th – 19th of December while we fit a brand new reception. During this period the Rock On shop will still be operating as normal with access from the stairs on the climbing wall side.