Inside The Newest Bouldering Centre in Birmingham

Photos kindly provided by Archie Cameron-Blackie

It’s no longer a secret – the Birmingham branch of The Depot which opened  last month is clearly the biggest centre in West Midlands solely dedicated to bouldering, and I get to work there! It has hundreds of set problems, two training mezzanine areas, a café, and even its own shop.

The Climbing

The generous bouldering area is a host to eight coloured circuits ranging from V0 to V8+. Like in any indoor centre, grades are subject to interpretation, and every circuit itself doesn’t claim to be an exact grade but a range (e.g. V1-V3). In addition to that, in the next few days a new set of holds will see the light and get marked with chalk as Rob, Archie and Harry set for Winter Bouldering League.

My favourite wall – kids’ rainbow corner.

My favourite centre feature – bouldering pad benches.

The Training

One thing that really makes Birmingham branch of The Depot stand out is the amount of space dedicated to training. Two (!!!) mezzanines packed with tools to help your endurance, finger strength, core and grip. One mezzanine features several sizes of campus rungs, peg slopers and Beastmaker fingerboards. The second are has two circuit boards, the training board, a woody, a few sets of pull-up bars and parallel bars you might want to use for dips, a set of kettle bells, TRX, skipping rope and an ab bench.

My favourite part of the training area –  phone holders to help your fingerboard training.

The Café

If you’re a climber you sure as hell cannot do without sustenance. And coffee. Every climber needs their coffee.

Most jobs come with a set of perks – working in a climbing centre most often comes with free climbing for example. Other advantages include anything from trade price gear, swanky uniforms, training courses, unlimited coffee, to climbing event tickets, meeting climbing celebrities, big competitions etc.

My favourite work task – making announcements over the tannoy system.

My favourite work perk – really cannot pick between the coffee and the shop. Although free climbing across all Depot venues is right up there.

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The Shop

As I mentioned above, the shop at the depot is quite extensive, and since shops in all the branches are linked, you can order a size you need or a book you’re missing.

My favourite shop section – books, of course! I will gradually work my way through the training manuals and memoirs – look out for those reviews.

Upcoming events

Winter Bouldering League
R1 6th December 2017 – 8th January 2018
R2 10th January 2018 – 12th February 2018
R3 14th February 2018 – 19th March 2018
Final – 23rd March 2018

Ladies Night
7th December 2017 – 6.00 PM

Rock Tots Demo Event
15th December 2017 – 10.30 AM

Reel Rock Screening
20th January 2018 – 6.00 PM

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