Climbers now have an Olympic-class bouldering and training arena right on their doorstep in Brighouse after a new £100,000 facility opened its doors.
Stretching across the top two floors, the Northlight at ROKT has been created in a former flour mill’s colossal loft.
It features what the team at ROKT describe as “next-level bouldering”, featuring 1/4 km2 of curved and acutely angled bouldering walls, slabs, barrels and overhangs using the latest holds and coatings.
Aimed at a broad cross section of climbers it has something to attract all levels and will challenge elite and competitive climbers.
Euan Noble, ROKT’s Managing Director, said: “To continue to build our climbing offering, working with every idea emanating from the amazing team, is a dream come true.
“From a desolate, disused flour mill to this in the space of seven years, it’s been an emotional journey. But to see the centre as it stands today is something I, and all the team, are so proud of.
“The team have worked night and day for months and have poured blood, sweat and tears into it.
“Now, we’re ready to welcome absolutely all climbers of all levels and hope they enjoy what we have built for them.
“Whether you’ve never climbed anything more than a fence or you compete in national competitions, we’ve got something for you now at ROKT.
“We’re now working on plans for yet another addition to ROKT which will be unique to the region.”
With a dramatic rooftop window structure and views across Calderdale, Northlight opens to the public today (Saturday) will welcome climbers wanting to train hard and increase their abilities, including everyone from ROKT’s in-house team to GB athletes.
One of those is Team GB youth star, Robin Casey, 15, of Hebden Bridge, who said: “It’s great to see it finally finished and Northlight means I can really up my training and test myself, which will fit perfectly with my British team coaching. It all means that when I go to comps, I can give myself the best chance of making the top three.
“With the Olympics, including climbing for the first time in 2020, it means every climber can now start to dream about winning an Olympic gold in the future. That’s maybe something for the future, but who knows – everyone wants to win a medal!”
Many of the routes have been set by former Team GB youth star, Luke Murphy, 20, who has now moved into open age competitions.
He added: “It’s been amazing helping shape this place, working on the walls alongside the ROKT team, we’ve set some really cool, challenging, fun routes for people to test themselves on. I honestly think elite climbers are going to love this space – not just for the bouldering, but for the fantastic training facilities too on the mezzanine level.”
ROKT is based in the former Sugden’s flour mill – which was a disused husk of a building until Euan invested several life savings, bringing it back to life in 2011.
Since then, membership has exploded and despite around 6 feet of flood water deluging the building on December 26, 2015, the centre has continued to grow.