A climbing centre allowing people to explore more than 100 routes – without the aid of ropes – is set to open in Parsons Green next year.
The men behind the Urban Ascent centre, Nick Fishbourne and Ross Southwood, want to bring the explorative world of bouldering to south west London.
Bouldering is a unique type of climbing carried out at low levels over crash mats without rope support.
Unlike rock climbing, the sport can be a solo sport which tests how the individual moves over shorter climbs, usually involving overhanging angles.
These are often known as ‘problems’.
The adventurous pair were granted planning permission last week and are now aiming to open the centre in early March.
Mr Fishbourne, 25, said: “We both took up climbing when we were at university and when we moved to London we both used a lot of climbing centre walls. We found there was only one other half decent centre south of the river, so we looked into it and thought that there might be a bit of demand.
“Bouldering is a different type of climbing which is done at low level. It’s much more of a dynamic sport with the way that you move through the routes and work out the problems. It’s getting really popular in urban areas because you can do it on your own – it is really easy to pick up and you can just turn up and have a go. Everyone hates the gym, so we want to make the centre a fun and social thing.”
Working alongside specialist manufacturers Climbing Wall Solutions, the pair are hoping to change the bouldering routes regularly, to keep things fresh and challenging for their climbers.
They have already had positive meetings with local schools who seem keen to work with the centre to provide extra curricular activities.
Mr Fishbourne, said: “We’ve spoken to a lot of schools and will be doing a presentation to the heads of PE in the next few weeks so we can start making bookings and provide a bit more information.
“There’s a big focus on competition with bouldering and the schools like that, so we’re planning on creating an inter school competition and after school clubs. It’s quite exciting as one of our main aims was to make the sport more accessible to the public.”
For more information visit www.urbanascent.co.uk