Sutton News

Job Vacancy at Guildford: Full Time Duty Manager

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 - Posted by Danie

Location: GuildfordCrew

Position: Duty Manager

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Line Manager: Centre Manager

Application closing date: Sunday 29th of May 2016

Duty Manager Job Description:

To be a Duty Manager you will be passionate about climbing. This vital position will mean you are ‘hands on’ in the responsibility of running a high quality public sporting venue. You will report directly to the Centre Manager.

Your duties will involve a variety of back-office and customer facing tasks to ensure the smooth running of the centre for both staff and the public. This is a varied role with the opportunity to promote climbing as a fun and exhilarating sport to be enjoyed by all.

The centre is staffed on a shift basis seven days a week and therefore we require someone who can work as part of a team and on their own initiative. Hours to include evenings and weekends. We offer training on all our systems and all staff have access to free climbing at both our Craggy Island Climbing Centres. Salary is £16,477.50 pa for a 37.5 hour week.

If you are interested in applying for this position please send your C.V. and a letter letting us know why you want to be part of our crew to Marv Smith, Centre Manager at

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

What is the story of Craggy Island?

Thursday, March 3rd, 2016 - Posted by Danie

Look at all that SPACE!We were recently asked, how did Craggy start? What is the story behind the business? It’s a very good question and well worth telling the tale…

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.

The beginnings of our Craggy!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.

They just couldn't wait to climb it.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.

And then it was done... :o)We looked carefully at the spreadsheets, took a deep breath, and pressed the button.

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,

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

Success for Craggy Youth Team and Squad at BMC Youth Climbing Series!

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 - Posted by Danie

IMG_9476Wow, what a day!  We love nothing more at Craggy than hosting a great event and were very proud to host Round 2 of the BMC Youth Climbing Series at Guildford on Saturday 27th of February.

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:

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

Guildford – Closure for Youth Climbing Series on Saturday 27th of February!

Saturday, February 20th, 2016 - Posted by Danie

closedWe will be hosting Round 2 of the British Mountaineering Council’s Youth Climbing Series on Saturday 27th of February 2016.

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!

Further information is available via the BMC here.

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.

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

Price Increases for 2016

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.

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

Tufa Madness at Guildford…!

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.


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

Christmas Opening Times!

Monday, December 14th, 2015 - Posted by Danie


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

Annual 3 Star Membership Offer!!

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.


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

It’s nearly all NEW at Guildford!

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.

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

Sutton CLOSED ’til 3pm Saturday for LUBE 2016!

Friday, November 20th, 2015 - Posted by Danie

imageWe are very happy to be hosting the London Universities Bouldering Event 2016 on Saturday 21st of November.

This does, however, mean that we will be closed at Sutton until 3pm that day.

The centre will be fully open with 25 brand new black and yellow problems for you to get stuck into after 3pm.

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

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