It’s been a while since I sat down to write a matting blog and I’ve got a bit behind! It’s fair to say we might have got a little distracted with developing and testing loads of new sewn products, including outdoor crash pads, cellar board mats and boulder buckets. We will be launching them soon. More about those developments later….
Niall and Charly are both passionate climbers. They have both travelled extensively and Niall lived between Spain and the UK for about 10 years. Niall and Charly met in Spain at the “Orange House”, a well known climbers hostel on the Costa Blanca. A favorite place to stay of Steve MacClure. A former “Orange” Niall managed the “Orange House” for a number of years. After ten years of the “dirt bag” lifestyle of sport climbing, hanging out in the sun, hosting and looking after climbers in Spain, they decided to return to the UK to set up a climbing center.
Frome’s purpose-built bouldering centre was imagined from the team’s love of climbing and the outdoor lifestyle. With some inspiration coming from some notable Dutch and German boulder walls. They were also very clear about what they didn’t want! They have created a welcoming, relaxed and enjoyable space for everyone.
“After years of travelling, climbing and working all over the place, we decided to combine our passions and know-how into a new active community space in Frome.”Boulder Rooms Team
I first met Niall and Charly way back when we were installing the matting below the “Monster Roof” at Flashpoint in Swindon.
It took a fair while for their project to get going and a good year of planning! Niall and Charly had many setbacks to overcome. Perhaps their most difficult challenge was finding a venue. The Boulder Rooms in Frome was in fact the third building they had set their sights on. After the first fell through, it was the second property they found that was the real heartbreaker. The landlord backed out of the deal just as they were about to sign on the dotted line. However, they forged ahead through the uncertainty and difficulties of the Covid pandemic and quickly (the next day) found a new venue! Suddenly Frome Boulder Rooms was more than just an idea.
The walls were built by Ben West and his team AKA The Climbing Collective. The team worked tirelessly. Throughout the build the only power available to the site was from a diesel generator! The workmanship is top notch and the walls are truly stunning. With a combination of dark anthracite and beautiful varnished ply. A work of art.
Niall told me he found it a difficult moment when Rob Nappier drove the first screw into the wall to fit the first climbing hold. “An act of pure vandalism”.
“You’ll have to get used to that lad!”Rob Nappier (Sheffield accent required!)
We installed Core boulder matting in July 2021 and the Wall opened later in the Summer. I popped in to see them last week and was really impressed by what they have achieved. Not just a beautiful wall with classy routes and good coffee but more much than that.
Their business model relied on drawing in people and families from a rural area and hoping that they would come and enjoy what Frome Boulder Walls have to offer. Thankfully they have! A brand new bouldering community has been created in a short amount of time. This community is the result of the teams hard work and this is what Niall and Charly are most “chuffed” about.
It’s been a lot of hard work and Niall and Charly are not yet getting many days off yet. But when they do get a day off they like to head Bristol-way to climb outside or to climb routes at Bristol’s Repoint.
The atmosphere at the Boulder Walls is simply brilliant. The prefect place to go to chill and climb with it’s super laid back vibe. There is a lot of attention to detail going on delivering a top venue with quality routes, a great atmosphere, quality coffee (@girlswhogrindcoffee) and locally produced cakes and sausage rolls.
The holds have been well selected and the route setting is excellent. The Boulder Rooms work with Jak Khunrat for their route setting and draw on the local Bristol scene – a hotbed of route setting talent. Jak is well known in the industry and is powered by very milky tea. He has a vast amount of experience and a lovely guy to boot. I bump into Jak fairly regularly and he always has a huge smile on his face, even bigger when he gets brand new Core holds to set with!!! Other regular setters include Ben West and Sheffield’s Rob Nappier.
Frome Boulder Rooms is located in East Somerset, conveniently (perhaps 25 minutes) between Bath, Warminster, Trowbridge and Shepton Mallet. If you are ever in the area then it is well worth a visit. I can’t recommend it highly enough!