Climbing Unit grand opening

By Kenny Stocker

After months of hard work Derby’s new climbing centre, The Climbing Unit is finally open. Having been involved in anything from painting the walls, cleaning windows, printing graphics and screwing together a pirate ship I was really looking forward to actually doing some climbing.

Doors opened at 4 and by the time I arrived the wall was bustling with climbers drinking tea and coffee, munching cakes and some even braving the spotless high friction surfaces and climbing! As the comp got underway there were over 300 people enjoying this new facility.

It was the classic format of 30 problems to climb in 3 hours. There were a lot of familiar faces, it was good to see some of the staff fom the neighbouring Nottingham Depot and Loughborough Climbing Station but some had travelled from further afield. There was a strong team down from ROKT in Brighouse (home to the Alpkit Figfour dry tooling Silo) and it was great to meet Will Oates from Bob Hats. Dan thinks he knits because he's broken himself and has nothing better to do.. either way we agreed he knits the finest bobs in North Wales.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the number of junior climbers who had turned up, and they were strong! Despite many of the problems being set by Loz.. the tallest climber in the building - they were swinging around like monkeys with arms twice their size.

The Alpkit competition wall was home to most of the harder problems, but it was also covered in easier routes to give everyone an experience of this fantastic structure. I thought that was a nice touch.

There was a strong team from Alpkit on the night. For spot prizes they had made some Waffa launch pad mats that mirrored the style of the comp wall. These were given out during the competition along with chalk bags, beer towels all appearing from unsuspecting angles.

We had also made our biggest pad yet... having spent a day helping the Holdz guys with the matting we clearly felt our mats were a little inferior. So we inflated a Mujo and it came out 4 times bigger… we had created a real beast. The factory guys have dubbed it Godzilla, and it did a great job of eating up climbers during the evening.

The spacious area at the end of the climbing centre was littered with Phud sofas and bean bags, providing a safe area to relax and watch the climbing. As the climbing came to an end no one really knew who had won but the kegs of beer supplied by the Derby Brewing Company were rolled out and the music played on…

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