Do I need to book to use the gym equipment?

No, you only need to book your climb slot and use of the training equipment is included in this. Make sure you have watched the induction video to ensure that you help us maintain a safe environment for everyone.

How do I book a place on the yoga for climbers class?

You can find out everything you need about the climbers yoga classes and booking on our dedicated yoga page.

How do I buy an unlimited membership at City Bloc?

At the moment we don’t have an option to buy our unlimited membership to the Bloc online, however if you book a climb and choose to ‘pay at reception’ when you arrive for your climb we can set up the membership for you.

Can children come to the climbing wall unsupervised?

All children under the age of 18 must be supervised by a parent/guardian whilst at City Bloc, unless they are booked into one of supervised climbing sessions or a Party.

If your child is 14+ then they can climb alone once they have been signed off by one of our team members. Please speak to reception if you are wanting your teenager to have a junior assessment.

Do I need special equipment to start climbing?

One of the best things about bouldering indoors is its simplicity. All you need are climbing shoes and chalk, you can hire shoes and buy chalk during your visit to City Bloc. Your climbing shoes should fit tight, but comfortably. For beginners it’s recommended that your toes touch the front of the shoe (without being squished), and there shouldn’t be any painful pressure points. If you’re considering buying your own climbing shoes, the aim is to find a shoe that matches your foot shape, that way you can get a snug fit without having to go for a tiny size.

For more information on starting climbing check out our useful beginners article.

What climbing shoes should I buy?

Our friendly staff will be able to advise you on climbing shoes just ask at the desk when you come down.

How do I start bouldering?

You need to watch our induction video and complete the questions online, then we recommend that you book a beginners ‘Get to Grips’ session for your first climb. We will show you all the basics on technique and etiquette on the wall in this 30 minute session, then you have time at the end of the session to practice what you’ve learnt and get used to climbing independently.

We recommend you come back regularly and take advantage of our expert team who can offer advice and support at non peak times.

We have a number of other development classes, and coaching sessions running, check with staff or on the website for the most up to date information.

Read more about starting to climb.

What’s the difference between bouldering and climbing?

Unlike sport climbing (which involves the use of ropes and harnesses), bouldering is the cool and casual member of the rock-climbing family, needing minimal gear and experience. It began as a method of training for climbing on big walls, and has evolved into its own sport; with its participants ranging from casual climbers to professional athletes competing in the Olympics (alongside a couple other disciplines of climbing). Bouldering walls tend to be about 4.5 meters tall, and indoor walls will always have some sort of cushioned landing. 

Can you boulder by yourself?

Yes. The great thing about bouldering compared to climbing is that you don’t need a rappelling partner. And whilst we wouldn’t recommend going out bouldering in nature with no one around, that isn’t an issue at City Bloc as there are always staff and other climbers. The staff are always there to offer support and advice on how to tackle a problem.

I’m scared of heights, will I be able to boulder?

A great thing about bouldering is that it’s not about height. The maximum height of our walls is 4.5metres, so your feet will never be more than 3.5metres away from the floor. We have specialised safety mats underneath all walls which cushion a jump if you need to come off the wall in an hurry. We teach you how to come off the wall safely in our beginners instructed sessions.

Do I need to be strong to start climbing or bouldering?

No, you don’t need to be strong to start. There are lots of levels of ‘difficulty’ on the walls (what in the climbing world we call ‘problems’), so you will be able to start out on something that feels achievable. Will climbing help build that strength as you keep practicing, hell yes it will!

What are your tips for beginners to bouldering?

  • Keep your arms straight(ish)!  A lot of energy can be wasted by instinctively holding yourself up with your arms bent. Keep your knees bent instead, your weight low, and your arms straight like an orangutan swinging in the trees.
  • Just the tippy toes. You should only be using the first inch or so of your climbing shoes on the foot holds. This will allow you to pivot and shift your weight as you need, which is difficult to do if you’re stood on the arch of your foot.
  • Keep your centre of gravity in mind. If your base of support (your feet) are nice and wide, you will be in control of where you move your hips. Loose hips will allow you to manoeuvre your weight over your feet, allowing you to push yourself up with your legs (which are a lot stronger than your arms.)

How long does it take to get good at bouldering?

This is subjective to each individual – based on your past experience of climbing anything and how you are with being at moderate heights without safety equipment. It is at around grade 6B/C (yellows & purples at City Bloc) where climbing starts to require good technique but still possible without any specialised strength. Climbing indoors, we would say around 2 years and climbing outdoors would likely take longer. Learning with an instructor would increase your chances of getting good at climbing faster.

Is bouldering a good way to get fit and lose weight?

Rock climbing in any form, is a full-body workout which will quickly begin to build muscle, particularly in the core, arms, back and shoulders – while increasing your flexibility and mobility. With a healthy diet, the aerobic work and your muscles building is burning calories. Finally, you can train by climbing the walls quicker and in quick succession to treat your session like a cardio workout.

What do the different colour holds mean?

In climbing you find your way up the wall using a specific colour of hold. Every climbing gym is different and they set all the different coloured holds at certain difficulties. The aim of the game is to reach the top, using that colour and as you advance through your progression, you will start moving up your gym’s colour grading system.

What are your recommendations for outdoor bouldering in Yorkshire?

Yorkshire boasts a plethora of outdoor bouldering venues. Being the largest county in the UK, flooded with countryside, we are spoilt for choice. The nearest and most popular locations are Caley in Otley or Almscliffe. But, the best way to discover locations is to use some of the following resources::

  • Guidebook: Yorkshire Grit Bouldering Vol 1 and 2
  • Mobile App: 27 Crags
  • Website: Unknown Stones
  • Website: UKC