|Oh right... it's lower 'p'...|
"Holy shit, there's an upside down pyramid hanging down from the ceiling!" was my first impression.
|Stalactites - Perfect for arse gazers.|
"I say, there appears to be an artificial stalactite suspended from planchement of this establishment."
|Well fuck you and your monocle, sophisticated me! Nobody says 'planchement'.|
The owners (and everyone who helped design the place) really showed off their imagination when building this place. Redpoint is not just a climbing gym with some walls in it that you can climb on, Redpoint is an organic place that you're supposed to climb in.
... We'll get into the organic part later.
Obviously, I'm obliged to suck up to the staff here (or they might spike my tea). But the truth is, they're all a bunch of douche bags.
|Just look at them and their stupid fleeces.|
The Redpoint staff kinda feels like one big family, and they welcome you into it - kinda like how Auntie Shirley does every time you visit - except they don't bake you pies and don't have a sleazebag husband.
Also, I suspect all staff had to take some sort of memory test before getting a job, because they're always remembering people's names.
|Good job Rumpelstiltskin is too short to get into rock climbing.|
The knowledge and experience in the team is truly amazing, and if you engage them, you'll hear endless tips, advice and stories to keep you entertained. Elitism either doesn't exist with this bunch of guys, or they're very good at hiding it.
Like I said, Redpoint is not a big place, in both floor space and height. You've got your main walls downstairs that covers approximately the space of a basketball court. (don't quote me on that)
To fully appreciate the downstairs area you only really need to look up and be dazzled by all the arches, roofs and bridges connecting all the walls together. At Redpoint, walls aren't static up and down affairs, they're 3 dimensional problems that challenges your skills and imagination.
|Up and down affairs should be saved for the bedroom, here we climb left right and upwards.|
Same route right? Notice something unusual?
|Worst game of Spot the Difference ever!|
(Don't worry, the natural stalactite eventually found a home upstairs in the smaller top rope area, so happy ending was had by everyone.)
The story doesn't end there either. Redpoint, never satisfied with resting on their laurels (thank you Kat for teaching me this phrase), had seen not only superficial wall surface changes, but structural ones as well over its four year lifespan so far:
- The old boulder cave got converted into an entirely new sustained steep lead wall.
- The upstairs boulder area was transformed into a shorter top rope area with a combination of beginner level to down right hardcore routes to test your skills.
- The tallest top rope wall was extended to provide 2 additional challenging panels.
- Another beginner area with slabs has been extended to almost double in height.
|I said it like it's a bad thing...|
I'm not going to lie, Redpoint's routes are notorious for their difficulty. All the negative feedback I've heard from people are about the grades:
"I usually climb 6b's but can't even do the 5+s in there!"
Well... instead of patronising you with easy grades, Redpoint really sets the bar for challenging routes.
The philosophy of Redpoint is, "If you can do a grade competently here, you'll have no problem tackling the same grades outdoors." Never the other way around.
|But I crush 6b's for breakfast!|
Here's another Redpoint philosophy for you "Climbing is about using everything available to you - if you can reach it, it's on." Climbing is about problem solving, it's about being clever with what's available to you and making your ascent.
This apparently has stumped people who're only familiar with holds only climbing walls. You've gotta open your minds, man. See that arête? Why aren't you using that? Notice that little bump on the wall? It's called feature, dude. Get your hands off that quick draw! Quick draws are not on!
|Unless you're a gunslinger.|
I'm working off limited experience here, but most of the routes at Redpoint are of very different styles in nature, even if two routes were set by the same person.
There's no getting around it - we all have our own style of climbing based on various factors, as such that some routes are always going to be easier for us than other people. This no doubt influences route setters as well, when you noticed more dynamic routes; or routes favouring high rock-overs; or simply very crimpy powerful routes etc.
Redpoint is definitely not short on such variety, and this in turns means one thing:
You can still get stuck on a route that's beneath your 'normal grade'. All it takes is one tricky crux move that you can't read, and you'd have to rethink your game plan.
It makes you think more, mature more as a climber so that you climb smarter, and it's certainly not a bad thing...
Well this has run on for longer than I expected, and we haven't even talked about the boulder rooms, the instructions, the cleaniness and the cakes etc.!
I'll be back for more, next time...
Monkey goes review Wonderbras now (They don't Fit! 1/10)