051008 Camden Buildering

Overview - What do you do stuck in London for the weekend, with a house-warming party on both Friday and Saturday nights? well, you find a wall to climb on. We just happened to pick Camden. The bouldering mat got quite a bit of attention, but Damian had done some scouting, so off we headed down the canal.

Camden canal

Somewhere below the back of Sainsburys in Camden are some slightly-crumbly brick walls with small grassy landings. The ramps make good warm-ups, but it will become quickly apparant that this isn't as easy as it looks. If you want a good afternoon's crimp workout, it's full of fine crimps and layoffs. Most of the holds need brushing off, and don't ever trust the mortar between the bricks. Good problems at about Font 5-6a.

Camden canal 2

Continuing out of town on the canal, you must resist the temptation to climb into the back of the pub and have a quick pint, and continue to the large round balcony ahead. Quick inspection will confirm that coming off at the head of the balcony will almost certainly result in getting wet. For those who want a real stamina challenge take the lower ridge all the way round, hands and feet. Get those toes and heal hooks working, brusing amounts of core strength, and the best forearm workout you'll get. Got to be a good V6+, if not quite a bit more. For us mere mortals, I could get a hand to the disc in the middle, and decided that was the commitment point for having your body-weight over the canal, and beat a hasty retreat. Probably V3/4 to there, using all the letters and lower ridge.

Regent's Park

There is a tinted-glass building at the first large junction heading out of Camden on Parkway. Although dusty, the blue strips holding the glass in place makes easy grips, and easy layback moves allow you to gain quickly. Touching the fan on the side is high-ball enough, but the moves are 5a tops.

The broad arete on the front of the building is fun too, but ends quite quickly due to the lower roof. Slightly easier, but the *cough* exposure is slightly greater. BTW - The building has be empty since I've been in London (min 3 years).

As a side note, it's amazing how few people glance even twice at someone half way up the side of a building. If you're going to try buildering like the last mentioned here, do it in broad daylight. Make sure its obvious you're not doing anything malicious.

Regent's Park

Still heading out of Camden, drop off to the right just passed Albert Rd. and you'll discover the next section of road is a bridge. The side of this has a few crimbling, and a number of eliminates and traverses, but nothing that can really entertain for very long.