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Q&A with Fred Stone - Director of the Arch Climbing Wall

I had the privilege of meeting with Fred Stone Director of the Arch Climbing Wall on our pre-launch visit to the Building One, we've since asked him a few questions about his climbing career, the London Climbing scene and what the future has in store for the Arch Climbing Wall.

When did you start climbing?

I started climbing relatively late, around the age of 19 when I went to university. Right from the start bouldering was the side of it that appealed to me the most.

What is your favourite climbing memory?

Developing an outdoor bouldering area in Egypt & having that huge playground all to myself and a few friends at the time.

How long have you been climbing in London?

On and off about 12 years, maybe a bit more.

Best thing about climbing in London?

People - climbing draws a diverse and interesting mix of people together who would otherwise never get to meet.

How has the London climbing scene changed over the years?

More variety as new walls appear & things progress. Route setting is improving too, as more people are able to make it their full time profession.

What’s your favourite place to climb in London and why?

Anywhere really, there is no such thing as bad climbing - London has so many different centres, buildering looks like fun too, there are even those outdoor boulders in the East London parks.

What is your Job at the Arch and what does your role entail?

I'm the director, so mostly making decisions & helping staff prioritise their own work.

Building One has just opened, how’s it going so far?

The response to Building One has been phenomenal. I'm so pleased that people are getting what we wanted to do with it. I'm really enjoying seeing the interaction with the movement area too, people are getting quite playful and creative with it all.

What’s next for the Arch and the Arch Team?

There's the Arch Superbloc Open at the Telegraph Adventure & Outdoor Show in February, which will be one of the biggest climbing events of it's kind ever in the UK. We start building a new centre in North London a month or so later, which will open mid 2015.

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