You can tell I never climbed in my life (except from a few trees, that is).
My first question when I entered Strong Hold, the new climbing centre opening in Tottenham Hale on Saturday 25th, was: “Will people have to bring their own ropes?”
This is when I found out that it is actually what you call a bouldering centre and no ropes are needed.
Just the correct shoes (which will be available to hire) and a good thick mat at the bottom of the walls.
Strong Hold Is on Ashley road, near Tottenham Hale station, in a warehouse which used to be charity ReStore.
Entering it, you walk through reception and then into to the main climbing (or should it be bouldering) hall.
The place is huge but they have managed to make it very welcoming. The feeling I got straight away is that I just wanted to explore.
Each section of the walls varies in difficulty, ranging from easy to very – very – difficult.
The last area is called the training area, which to me looks pretty technical and not something i’ll be trying in the near future.
There is a first floor area for children aged 3-4 upwards to have a go at climbing, supervised by parents.
And a there will be a café with hot and cold beverages, as well as pastries and cakes supplied by Tottenham’s beloved Prestige Patisserie. Now that is exciting (read more about Prestige here).
Also exciting are Strong Hold’s plans, according to Patrick Hammond, its managing director.
Patrick says Strong Hold wants to work with the community, be they Tottenham businesses or local schools etc.
He feels very strongly about making bouldering accessible to everyone, not only because it is a great sport – recently added to the Olympics – but also a great way to get fit and socialise.
I left with the impression that whether you are a novice climber or a pro, at Strong Hold you will find walls to suit your experience.
Words and photos by André Ainsworth.