After one of the most pleasant Easter weekends I can remember it seems a little strange to talk about indoor climbing, however on Friday I took my first opportunity to visit The Depot, a new bouldering facility in Pudsey.
Just to recap from this post, The Depot is the second bouldering centre to have opened in Leeds the last few months and is set to become the largest dedicated centre in Europe. I was hugely impressed by Citybloc when it opened and it was obvious that any competitor was going to have to be good to beat it. I think that, with a few reservations, the Depot might just have succeeded in surpassing Citybloc.
The first thing that struck me about The Depot was how much more of a complete facility it was than Citybloc. As you enter there is a large service area with cafe facilities and lockers accompanied by a very comfortable waiting/resting area. Changing facilities are excellent: roomy and light with a shower for those who need one. A small gear shop is currently under construction and will hopefully be up and running soon.
The climbing surfaces are similarly high quality with a brilliant array of walls and features. I found that the problems tended towards being reachy and powerful compared to more intricate and perhaps more interesting sequences at Citybloc however that didn’t detract from an excellent set of circuits. There were 8-9 different circuits to choose from covering everything from around font 4 to very, very hard indeed. There was a little less interest to be found in the easier problems than some of their equivalents at Citybloc and perhaps a bit less choice overall for the low grade climber. I was a particular fan of the Orange and Red circuits which were nominally around v3-5 but predominantly somewhat easier. The only negative comment I can think of about the climbing is that the lighting in certain areas could do with a rethink. It’s pretty dingy underneath the steeper faces.
So all in all the guys at The Depot have done a superb job and produced a really professional, classy facility which is only going to get better when the second phase opens in a few weeks time. Next time I get rained off the crag I’ll definitely be back!Now if only they’d get their website updated…