It’s twelve weeks since we closed our doors and placed 94 Awesome Walls staff on the Government furlough scheme. All the walls in the UK are still closed but very slowly, climbing walls around the world are opening their doors once again.

The ABC (Association of British Climbing Walls) is working with other climbing wall federations around the world to champion a safe and effective operation procedure for when the time allows us to reopen. Minimising the risk of catching or passing on the virus to staff and customers will be our main priority and one that shall stay above and beyond all others forever.

As part of the ABC’s commitment to draw awareness to safety measures and help walls encourage people back, they have organised a fund-raising initiative called ‘Climbing The Walls’. This campaign enables frustrated climbers to help support the walls they care about so we can all get climbing again soon.

The ABC states- ‘Funding will provide walls with a marketing campaign designed to encourage customers back into walls and help guide them safely around the centres, maintaining good hygiene practices and social distancing.’

It would be really awesome if you would like to help with this initiative. Please have a browse at the available items- and treat yourself.

As an added incentive, anyone who buys then wears their ‘Climbing The Walls’ merchandise in Awesome Walls when we reopen will receive a limited edition Awesome Walls ‘Stay Safe, Stay Awesome’ multi-tube (a Buff, but we can’t call them that!).

I’m reading articles and guidelines on a daily basis about the best way forward for climbing walls and similar businesses. The Government has stated that we will be able to open sometime after the 4th July, but the exact date has not been released as yet. As soon as we hear anything, we’ll be shouting it out from the roof-tops (so to speak…).

The reality of it is, the world is a much different place than it was in March. At Awesome Walls, we were just entering our busiest month and we’d just began a phased facility upgrade at all four centres. Some of this work has been completed and some continue. When we reopen, we want to be like a Phenix rising from the ashes…

During this lockdown, I decided to make a fun video and requested video clips of staff, customers and a few notables throwing their chalk bag around. I was overwhelmed by the response and every time I thought I’d finished it, more quality videos would be sent in to be added. I eventually had to draw the line and do a final cut and here my friends is my ‘Chuck The Chalk’ video- I hope you enjoy it as much as I did editing it!

There’s so much more important stuff going on in the world, why would we worry about our climbing walls reopening in the grand scheme of things?

For me, climbing’s not just a sport or pass-time. It’s a gathering of like-minded people that generally get on well and are at ease in each other’s company. It gets under your skin and up your nose (neither good at the moment!!!) and generally releases endorphins that you never knew you had. Once these endorphins are mixed with others, you’re hooked, there’s no going back. You might take up other sports but at heart, you’ll always call yourself a climber!

Climbing walls are hubs of supportive activity, whether you’re pulling on holds for the first time or conquering the 23,091 problems on the Kilter board, you’re in good company.

Stay safe, stay awesome,

Dave Douglas

CEO and founder

Awesome Walls