This is good news for all parents of ‘mountain goats’ or ‘swinging monkeys’; the type of children who can climb a tree in three seconds flat or can be found sitting atop a washing line in the blink of an eye – there is new recreational space opening in Maidstone on Saturday 17th August that is perfect for you; The Climbing Experience (Baltic Wharf, St. Peter’s Street).
With a sweeping ‘fun wall’ of climbing challenges, ‘The Social Climber’ café overlooking the climbing walls plus bouldering for adults and children over 7 years of age, there is a great range of climbing options. Along side climbing the space is vast enough to also offer a children’s party room (max capacity 24 children), yoga and fitness studio with a variety of classes, sports therapy and physiotherapy room, cardio room, conference room, changing rooms and a shop.
Sprawling out over 18,500sqft The Climbing Experience has been set up by Robert Woods and his business partner Ed. In 2017 Robert formed the idea of creating The Climbing Experience in Maidstone after his son attended a climbing party and loved the experience. Having held a lifelong passion for climbing, mountaineering, skiing and the outdoor lifestyle Robert knew it would be a business he would be passionate about so in 2018 he left his career in IT and Telephony and started looking for premises in Maidstone that would see his vision brought to life.
In January 2019 Robert and Ed took on the premises in St. Peter’s Street and planned the layout meticulously, cutting away a mezzanine level to add height to the two Bouldering areas – reaching 4.5-metre-high, the Bouldering is free climb covering 819sqm with the more challenging climbing routes towards the back. The climb routes are colour coded, they use the Font Grade system and employ a professional route setter to change the routes weekly. There is a traverse wall (horizontal climbing rather than vertical) which is used for training and warm up, a competition wall and moon wall (an interactive LED lit wall designed to be used with climbing apps which allow climbers to use routes programmed by other climbers from all over the world).
The fun wall area is a bespoke design and can be enjoyed by adults and children over 4 years old and includes speed climbs, face to face climbing with a total of 16 fun walls – 5 of them hybrid walls (meaning their configurations can be changed regularly).
After extensive research, Robert and Ed decided to implement the latest generation of true blue clip in harnesses for safety and before climbing commences there is a safety video to watch and clear instructions about working the clip and harness given.
Before being able to do any climbing adults and children have to be registered (which you can do on their website) and you need suitable footware. For the fun walls trainers or closed toe shoes are needed but for bouldering climbing shoes must be worn and can be hired for £3.50.
Using The Climbing Experience is flexible. You can book hour slots (Fun Walls can only be booked by hour), buy day passes or take out membership. For full details and pricing visit their website https://theclimbingexperience.co.uk