The climbing wall at Ratho (the EICA; Edinburugh International Climbing Arena) has got to be the biggest climbing wall I’ve ever seen! It has almost the same ability to intimidate as a real crag. 😯 Is it really the largest indoor climbing wall in the world?
Perhaps the strangest thing, with such an amazing facility, is that it seems pretty poorly used. I’ve been a few times now and on all of these visits the number of people at the wall has been tiny. For such a massive centre this seems crazy, how can it be paying for itself? Kendal’s indoor climbing wall is regularily heaving with chalk dusted, beeny wearing, climber dudes. Not so at the Ratho centre.
Ah well, maybe it’ll close (again). 🙁 It had to shut once before after it’s founders failed to make it work. It’ll be a shame if it does fail again, it’s a great place. I guess one factor in making it pay it’s way all year is that it must be near impossible to heat in the winter, being basically the outside with a fabric (marquee-like) roof over it. The place must be un-usable in the winter for the cold – as even if the sun were out it would be super cold as it’ll be shaded by the roof that is intended to keep the rain off in the summer! Doh.
Having said all that, at least I’m getting the benefit now…