Well first trip down to Rock Antics on Sunday (website under ‘construction’ – Very bad as they haven’t even left a phone number or address up – I would recommend phone number, email contact, address and opening times as a minimum).
The place is simply packed to the gills with walls, and each panel is covered in holds and features (normal array of holds, and the features are I believe the Bendcrete style, with a wide variety of shapes. They also use small ‘tags’ behind the holds to signify routes, rather than hold colours – this gives much more flexibility on routes, especially where holds have two or more tags each – some panels had nearly 10 routes on one wall – with holds colour alone you are pushing it to squeeze 4 in (plus you need to remove all the holds each time you want to change the routes). For those going however some quick acronyms for reference, FFF means Features For Feet, AFF means Anything For Feet and FFH means Feet Follow Hands.
I was there on my own but a friendly staff member (I think he was called Paul) took pity on me (or decided to torture me) and threw me up a lot of routes. The grading seems to be a little harder than I am used to at Sunderland Wall, one particular route being graded 4c+ felt more like 5b to me!
The height of the walls are all about 10m, although this isn’t a problem, and certainly feels high enough to me. There are two bouldering wall, a feature one on the front and another wooden one around the back. There is also a lead wall around the back although I’ve yet to experiment with indoor leading (and I didn’t have a rope with me anyway).
Bad points currently are that the bouldering wall could do with some more routes described on it (considering its size this shouldn’t be hard) and the wooden one around the back appears very sparse. Also the air conditioning is currently broken – not their fault and they are relying on the leisure centre to fix it so nothing they can do about it either.
Definitely gonna go back.