Harrogate Climbing Centre (HCC)

For those that end up reading this blog and do not know my whole back story, here it is in a nutshell* : Whilst at Uni in Carlisle I used to go down to the Sands Centre climbing wall, wearing skate shoes, I sucked at it, I gave up. That is my climbing history.

This year after my collarbone breaking incident, my fitness was at an all time low, so I decided to give climbing another chance, and someone kindly donated me their old shoes and harness. Thanks very much to the guy responsible. I loved it, the shoes made a massive difference and I really took to it, like a penguin to ice climbing. So now I climb at the Sands Centre in Carlisle every Tuesday with some other Jackrabbitt people.

So anyway, I was back in Yorkshire for a week and had heard about a new climbing wall in Harrogate. Decided to take my wife and brother along and have a bash. First and foremost, the place is very clean and very well run, possibly because it is new but then again, it seems as though the people there have a passion for it so it should do well. We paid £8.50 each to get in, and we were only there for a few hours so it seemed a bit pricey, but if you were there for an afternoon or full day, you could definitely get your monies worth. Check out Ricks, review of the evening on the Jackrabbitt.net blog

The main hall is very modern with a fantastic range of colours and an interesting layout making the most of the space available to them. The tallest walls are around 11 metres, although I think they are possibly slightly higher or the rope we were using wasn’t quite 25 metres as you can see in the photo! There was a good variation of routes, from extremely simple 4’s with top ropes all the way to 7c+ and possibly higher which I didn’t see. You did not need quick draws on the routes without top ropes.

The main overhang wasn’t as severe as some that I have seen (as seen in the right of this photo), but it was still enough to be challenging (I didn’t try it, this time). I felt the grades were graded correctly and this is something which I am sure many people will find as they go from centre to centre, a 5+ is sometimes a 6a+ at another centre.
The bouldering room was really nice and had some fantastic challenges in it, with some great opportunities to dyno, which is my current favourite bit of climbing…however I don’t like the lack of skin left on my fingers.

All in all, I would highly recommend people to go spend the afternoon at Harrogate Climbing Centre if they get the chance. They hire out kit which is essential for a climbing venue in my personal opinion, how can we expand the sport if we can’t provide the right equipment.
Click here to see the HCC website.
Click here to see all the photos
[* nut allergy safe, just a figure of speech ]

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