The WallCrawl organised by www.exerk.com was an adventure of ambitious proportions. The aim to cycle and climb in all of the 7 major climbing (bouldering) walls in London in one day! I am pleased to say that the band of 12 epic individual (including myself) absolutely smashed it!
The event was brilliantly organised by Annie @ www.exerk.com, with maps, cake stops and pre-organised discounts for the majority of the centres. The weather also being on our side made this an amazing day out for any London Climbing enthusiast.
I. Westway - 08.45: Meet
We started our adventure at the Westway Climbing Centre near Shepherds Bush, meeting at about 8:45. After a quick meet and great with the team I would be spending the next 10 hours with, we got signed in, had a quick safety brief and we were off climbing at the first of 7 walls.
After a quick traverse warm up and with everyone feeling fresh, most people attempted a variety of climbs at the top end of their abilities, myself pushing some V3/V$’s. After a lot of problems completed we made our way for the exits and got on the bikes for what would be a long day in the saddle…
Cycle 6.5km (25mins)
II. Urban Ascent (10.30)
After our first session on the bike we arrived at Urban Ascent near Parsons Green. This was the first time I had been to the centre but we had a very warm welcome from the team there. The centre is one of the smallest in London but jam packed with well-set problems, so there was a great variety at hand for all the wallcrawlers.
After taking our first group shot of the day, including the Urban Ascent resident dog. We were back on our bikes and off for a coffee break at St. Clements and then onwards to Vauxwall
Cycle 7km (25 mins)
III. Vauxwall – (12.15)
3rd on the list was Vauxwall, with the brilliantly air conditioned wall providing some salvation from the heat of the day. As was the theme of the day, the welcome was fantastic and we were instantly through reception an out onto the wall. You could tell people were already starting to tire but everyone was still making a valiant effort. I was luckily still feeling strong, so I picked off some good routes in all 3 of the rooms.
Up next was the longest cycle of the day from Vauxwall to the Castle, so we set out with spirits high and music blarring.
Cycle 11.5km (45 mins)
IV. The Castle (1.45)
Arriving at the Castle and making our way through the temporary reception area (as they are renovating the old one). We stopped for a well needed lunch at the Castle Café. Sadly it was a little busy in the café causing a delay on food, which meant climbing was cut a little short but the food was absolutely delicious!
Managing to squeeze in only about 4 quick problems it was back on the bikes for one of the more scenic bikes around the reservoir and onto Mile End.
Cycle 7km (25 mins)
V. Mile End (3.30)
It was nice to be back at Mile End after quite a long-time, it was actually the London Wall that got me into the London Climbing scene! The welcome again was fantastic and we made our way out to the very sunny ‘Secret Garden’ section at the back of the wall. This newly created area is jam packed with get routes and sections, and being outside on such a warm day was charming.
We didn’t have very long at Mile End due to growing time pressures for getting to The Reach before they closed at 7:00pm, so we packed up and made our way out and down the very picturesque canal tow path to Limehouse and onwards to The Arch.
Cycle 6.5km (25 mins)
VI. The Arch –Building One (5.00)
The penultimate centre was the excellent Arch – Building One. Everyone was getting pretty sweaty and tired by this point but there was still some great climbing to be had! I found myself swinging around in the training area giving my fingers and toes a bit of a rest, which was no less fun. After some refreshments and a quick group photo, we were off to the last wall!
Cycle 9.5km (35 mins)
VII. The Reach (6.20)
Last but by no means least we made it to the emptying but impressively big Reach Wall, near the Thames Barrier. By this point everyone’s technique was out the window, it was just about bagging the last few climbs to tick the day off!
AND WE DID IT!! 7 climbing walls and over 50km of cycling in one day is no mean feat.
It was a ridiculously long day but what an epic adventure it was. Just goes to show you what can be achieved in a day!
Big thanks to Annie at Exerk and the rest of the WallCrawl team!