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The Climbing Depot Armley

At 1000m2 of matting, the Depot Armley is our biggest matting job of the year so far. 1000m2 is a substantial amount of material requiring multiple deliveries: six artic loads! To ensure the project was delivered on time we needed to maintain a good workflow, the additional challenge being that we were also delivering two other projects consecutively. Flashpoint Swansea and Roc Bloc’s expansion in Cardiff also needed to be completed in the same month. It was a really nice site to work on. There were lots of familiar faces around and a big thanks to Luke and Rob for making everything run so smoothly.

Job Done

A week or two after we had finished the matting I was travelling up the M1 from Sheffield to Leeds to take some photos of the new Depot Armley bouldering wall. As well as City Bloc, The Climbing Lab and Last Sundance, Leeds can now also boast not 1, not 2… but 3 Climbing Depots!!!

I don’t often get the chance to take a trip just for some blog photos, but my Friday afternoon was pretty clear for once. With a bonus of catching a couple of uninterrupted hours to listen to the England New Zealand test match. This particular Friday was also the last chance to get some shots before the wall opened to the public on Saturday.

Let me tell you about the wall.

Loads of parking

First thing to note is there is lots of parking! I like that about a centre, and the second thing to note is there are also loads of dedicated EV charging bays too. Winner!

It is a massive centre and it has a nice open feel.

From entering the building it’s obvious a lot of thought, time and effort has gone into creating Armley Depot. It’s a wide, open and spacious building. Everything is big and shiny and it certainly has a wow factor. A huge curved mezzanine floor has been installed, and the space below the mezzanine houses the reception, café and shop areas which have been partially glazed creating a nice separation with the climbing areas.

Curved Mezzanine

Shop, reception and café

The Depot shop is well kitted out. With a good range of climbing shoes, books and clothing, plus all the usual consumables you could ever need. The café has a state of the art coffee machine and they even have their own Depot House Blend! Honestly, I’m no expert and I frankly am not bothered about the finer details of coffee, but the espresso is very good and has always picked me up when I have needed some extra beans!

Chill space

There is plenty of space to kick back and relax, meet friends or catch up on some emails. There are two main rooms for sitting down in. The main seating area has a good view of the climbing and the back room has a quieter vibe and is furnished with a selection of quality black and white images from “man of the moment” Dave Parry. Some of the images are featured in his new book “Grit Blocs”, due out Sept 2022.

^ N.B. not a paid advert!

Gym Monkeys!

The area on top of the mezzanine has been dedicated to the gym equipment. More and more climbers are doing a couple of sessions of weights and cardio work as well as climbing indoors two or three times a week. So I know the folk of Yorkshire (we are known for being tight) are going to appreciate only having to fork out for one gym membership.

Training Walls

If you like to train on steep boards these are some of the most beautiful I have seen. The wooden grips are from Hard Wood Holds, GG and Lock Holds. The setting is by Alex Fry from “Hard Wood Holds” and Matt Cousins from “GG (Guchi Grains)”. I love the tufa features on the circuit boards! “Digital Training Boards” have worked their magic with the LED system and touch screens.

The Bouldering

Finally we get around to the bit you probably wanted to know about the most, the boulders!!!

The climbing walls were built by Simon Wilson and his team from the “Climbing-Wall” company. The walls are super modern, big flat panels that are not overly textured, perfect for comp style setting. There are three large islands, with all the angles. The back walls have lots of vert, just off vert, subtle angle changes, corners, prows and slabs for technical setting as well as a big roof in the corner. The Depot team have gone all out for lots of big shiny “Gucci” holds. The emphasis is “King Lines”.

It was an absolute pleasure to do the matting for the latest Climbing Depot at Armley in Leeds. Looking forward to the next one!!

Sum it all up: “shiny, shiny”.