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Legendary climber Johnny Dawes re-opens The Lock Climbing Wall

Lifestyle / Wed 15th Jan 2014 at 04:04pm

THE LOCK Climbing Wall at Harlow held its official relaunch to the public over the weekend (11-12 January) – with help from star climber Johnny Dawes.

The ‘stone monkey’, as he is nicknamed, held climbing masterclasses throughout the day and delivered a talk in the evening to an enthusiastic audience.

Johnny has an autobiography out called “Full of Myself”

Those new to climbing were treated to a free taster session, before winding down in the newly decorated café, and enjoying an outdoor barbecue beside the canal. There was live music in the evening from local band Alibi.

Johnny Dawes – a key figure in British climbing for 30 years – enjoyed his day at The Lock and said: “There’s a very nice supportive and friendly atmosphere here. It’s an inclusive facility that’s really well managed.”

wallThe Lock, Essex’s premier indoor climbing centre, offers:

• A wide range of climbing opportunities for all ages and abilities

• More than 100 routes up to 14 metres – some of the tallest walls in the South East

• 30 ‘lead lines’ for those who enjoy lead climbing

• A new heating and air-conditioning system, maintaining an optimum comfortable temperature for climbing throughout the year

• New LED lighting and an improved climbing wall surface with a variety of new holds giving the centre a fresh look and feel

• Specialist equipment to assist people of all abilities to experience the sport, such as wheelchair abseil ramps

Climbers tackled new routes at the attraction throughout the day, with many taking part in The Lock’s ingenious ‘Climbing Golf’ competition. All were impressed with the quality of the upgraded facilities.

Alison Lambert, chair of the Herts and Essex Climbing Club, said: “It’s excellent! They’ve really brightened it up and there are exciting new routes. It’s a fun place for the club to be based.”

One climber preparing to scale a route commented: “I haven’t been climbing for ages. It’s one of my new year’s resolutions to get back into it.”

Climbers will be able to share their experiences and encourage others to try climbing on Twitter at https://twitter.com/TheLockClimbing and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheLockClimbing.

County Councillor John Jowers, Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning, said: “Whether you are a seasoned climber or a newcomer looking to try the sport, The Lock provides quality lead climbing, top roping and bouldering experiences for all abilities. If you’ve not tried climbing – now’s your chance.”

For more information about The Lock visit http://www.thelockclimbing.co.uk

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