Since the story broke about the two American climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson climbing El Capitan, Guildford climbing centre Craggy Island and Sutton Bouldering centre Craggy 2, have seen an upsurge in people looking to take up rock climbing for the first time.
Rock climbing and bouldering has been steadily growing in popularity both amongst extreme sports enthusiasts and with people looking for a more exciting way to keep fit. The latest Active People Survey suggests approximately 250,000 adults go rock climbing or hill walking once a month and that up to 80,000 go to indoor climbing walls once per week.
Rob Mitchell a director at Craggy Island said, “we normally see brisk business this side of the new year, but this year demand has been so high we’ve had to quadruple our beginners courses and we are now taking bookings into March at both our centres”.
The sport seems to appeal to all ages and both sexes, Craggy Island now have over 500 children on their Kids Clubs and run their own elite youth climbing team, several of whom are knocking on the door of the British climbing team. Craggy Island Guildford will be hosting the 1st round of the British Mountaineering Youth Climbing series on Saturday 24th Jan 15 and Danie Rushmer who runs the Craggy team says, “since we started our team the competition for places has been intense. We have seen such an improvement in our kids climbing and look forward to a great event”. Most evenings and weekends however will see climbers of all ages climbing, having fun and getting fit. It really does seem that rock climbing and indoor climbing and bouldering is the new trend in the fitness industry.
Craggy Island currently have a special offer to commemorate the achievements of the El Capitan Dawn Wall climb – book before the end of Jan and get a beginners course for only £59 (normally £89) the course includes all equipment and will teach you all you need to confidently start indoor climbing.