Sure, it’ll get you a rock solid bod.
But it also just so happens to be genuinely fun. Especially at Hackney Wick Boulder Project, a sociable climbing centre that combines bouldering with good music, specialist coffee and
surprise booby traps supportive instructors.
If you’re new to bouldering, it’s essentially rock climbing without the harnesses, ropes and complicated bits of kit – you can turn up wearing pretty much anything and just free-climb over massive, rocky structures. It’s just like tackling a craggy cliff in the wild, only without bad weather, birds, or the crippling fear of tumbling to your inevitable doom.
It’s not just a physical workout, but a mental one too. Not only will you have to harness your powers of balance, strength and flexibility; you’ll also need to use your brain to work out the best route (or as they say in the bouldering world, solve the ‘problem’) across the various grips and holds. That route will be different for everyone, depending on body shape, strength and technical ability (turns out you can achieve all sorts with a big toe), and it also means that there’s a surprisingly social environment around the whole activity.
Hackney Wick Boulder Project has a small, simple, but well set-out space, with stylish grey mats and flooring, both vertical and overhanging climbs, fluorescent wall grips and abstract-styled outcrops on the walls. Rock up, and you can either try out a taster session (an hour long, with instructors to take you through it), sign up to regular classes, or – if you’re an experienced boulderer – just drop in for an hour of sweet, unsupervised climbing.
There’s also regular ‘Bloc Parties’ and bouldering socials, perfect if you’re a bit apprehensive about dangling rope-free from a vertical cliff face by yourself, and/or like humans. Set back from the Hackney Wick canals, it’s also perfectly placed for a post-workout brew or cocktail at CRATE Brewery and Barge East.
They’re just a stone’s throw away.
NOTE: Hackney Wick Boulder Project is open daily – weekdays 11.30am-10pm, and weekends 10am-7pm. Taster sessions are £16, with drop-ins at £8.50-11 and membership packages from £42.50. You can find out more, and book, on their website HERE.
Hackney Wick Boulder Project | 117 Wallis Road, E9 5LN
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