THE CLIMBING HANGAR
19th May 2023
This is a guest blog from Ged, founder of The Climbing Hangar (and epic Toast stockist!) Ged’s brand aims to educate new and experienced climbers to make better and more sustainable choices while climbing, not only while they’re on the wall, but also when they’re chilling in their on-site cafes over a cool can of beer.
The Climbing Hangar: more people climbing, less impact on the planet.
At The Climbing Hangar, our mission is simple: get more people climbing, while having less impact on Planet Earth.
We currently have 8 climbing centres around the UK and we specialise in bouldering, which is climbing at its most pure, dynamic and creative. You aren’t tied to a rope, and you don’t ascend all that high. Typically, you climb 3-4 metres up the wall above a thick crash mat. But a lot of thrilling action can go down within those 3 metres.
I love bouldering. It’s brilliant. It’s real-world, high stakes, 3D body-chess meets Twister. It’s a live-action video game, and you’re Super Mario. It’s brain training, but it’s not boring. There’s problem solving but it makes you stronger.
The sport is a brilliant alternative to the gym, and it’s so simple to get involved that a visit to The Climbing Hangar is often the gateway to a world of outdoor adventure.
Our aim has always been to share our passion for climbing and outdoor adventure with as many people as possible. But it’s clear that we have a responsibility to not only introduce new climbers to the sport, but also educate them on sustainability and stewardship of our beautiful outdoor spaces.
When I launched the first Hangar in a Liverpool warehouse more than ten years ago, my ambitions we simpler and more straightforward: I wanted somewhere cool to climb with my mates, and somewhere newcomers to the sport would feel safe and welcome to come along and give it a try.
But running the centre became a crash course in the environmental challenges facing climbing walls and the sport of climbing in general.
In fact, the more success the business would go onto have, the greater potential impact we’d have on the environment, simply by running more gyms. Every time we launch a new venue, we multiply the climbing holds and other materials required.
What’s more, by introducing more people to the sport, we increase the number of people climbing outdoors too. Here’s how it goes: they get a taste of climbing at the Hangar, they head to any of the amazing crags (read: outdoor climbing locations) here in the UK and abroad, and they have an impact on those spaces.
Sure, we are working with the climbing industry to explore a variety of recycled and ethically sourced materials for our climbing business, but one of the areas we have been able to make the most significant changes, immediately, is in our cafes.
You see, a trip to the Hangar isn’t just about climbing the walls, it’s about hanging with your mates in our comfy cafes, enjoying things like homemade sourdough pizzas, fresh coffee and a cold beer or two. Everything available from the Hangar café is provided by a carefully chosen supplier like Toast Ale.
We’re on a mission to teach as many people as possible about the life-changing effects of the sport of climbing, and while we’re at it, we can introduce those people to brilliant B-corps like our mates at Toast.
I’m an active member of the Association of British Climbing walls and I make sure that our sustainability journey is one that is shared with competitor climbing walls.
We want to make the industry more sustainable as a whole and reach as many climbers with our message as possible, even if we reach many of them via a competitor gym.
It isn’t only a question of climbing wall supply chain. It’s about the stewardship of our beautiful outdoor spaces. It’s about leaving the world a better place than we found it. So, we’re inviting our peers on this ride.
Like the best climbs, this journey is not an easy one to complete and we haven’t yet accomplished our mission. But we’ll keep trying, onwards and upwards until we reach our end goal. With any luck we’ll find a bunch of our rivals at the summit alongside us.
If you’re interested to try bouldering for yourself, we’d love for you to pay us a visit. So The Climbing Hangar is offering 25% off your first booking with the code TOAST25. All you have to do is visit theclimbinghangar.com, choose a venue nearest to you and book a climb for any number of participants. Don’t forget to input the discount code at checkout to get the discount.