Boulder Central

Photo Shane Dawson

A few weeks ago I travelled to Boulder Central for their launch day where they were running a Beastmaker workshop and a boulder competition. It has been several months since I last competed in a competition but I was keen to go as I find there is no better training for me than to try really hard in a comp!

On entering Boulder Central you are greeted with a nice open plan area with a comfortable and relaxed feel. The walls look ace. There are plenty of different angles and all of the walls are nice and high. The chai latte is good is especially good and the staff are friendly.

The competition went well. All of the problems were well set, interesting and varied. I managed to top out all of the boulders so qualified for the final in 1st place.

Super final photo Giles Cranston

The Final was a long traverse graded about french 8a+. The route featured a mantel to start, a beastly drop down move in the middle and slaps of slopes to finish. I managed to slap the second to last move on my onsight go. On the following two goes I could not even pull through the hard middle drop down move (the sign of a good session, and tired body!). Fortunately my first go kept me in the lead despite some tough opposition from Andrew Hutshinson himself!

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of boulder central and hope to get back there many times in the near future.

Photo Giles Cranston

Photo Shane Dawson


The Bridge of Khazard Dum

Over the last week or so we have had several great short sessions working the local scene. The main focus has been putting up new problems at Gandalfs. A great little stone close to my house. We have been trying to finish of the development of this little crag and last Tuesday I climbed the hard challenge of the bloc, a right to left traverse.

I have called this problem “The Bridge of Khazard Dum”. It is very sequency, thecnical, balancy and powerful and is one of the best and most complex problem I have done.  As for the grade, when I was trying it I could not do any of the moves in isolation. It was only when piecing it all together that it seemed to work. I think it is the hardest boulder problem I have done and so propose a grade of 7C+ but I am very open to suggestions on the grade from any would be repeaters! (video below)

I also added a one move problem called “Nazgul”. This problem involves a heinous move to pull on then a dyno for the top, which is very difficult to latch. This problem probably weighs in at about 7A+.

Gandalfs now offers a range of great problems from 4 to 7C+ish. For more info head over to