Given our name is Climbing Moss, we have had a serious lack of Climbing in our posts of late, (not to mention the total lack of Moss Reviews!) But that is due to injuries and the environment we find ourselves in these days. That being said we wanted to make Climbing related post this week for one of our favourites. The Hackney Wick Boulder Project…
Hackney Wick Boulder Project or HWBC maybe one of the smallest Climbing Walls in London, just 2 warehouse units joined together in a rundown building in Wallis Rd over by the A406 in London’s Hackney Wick. When you visit for the first time it seems you have the wrong location, a run down mostly desolate road leading only to a side entrance of the Jubilee Park and a random food truck in a deserted car park. But there really is a wall here or should we say was, because at the end of January 2022 the HWBP will finally close it’s rustic OBS panel doors for the last time and we will have lost one of our favourite indoor Climbing locations.
The wall was opened 5 years ago, with the idea to be there for just 2 years, situated in an old warehouse/factory building that was due for demolition. The owners opened up and built a simple wall knowing that soon enough it was to be ripped out again and the building pulled down to make way for more (un)affordable houses in the Trendy East End of London. But due to Covid and delays in the building works, it seemed HWBP got a number of reprieves in its stay of of execution and lived on for a further 3 years.
The centre as we have said was always a temporary one and it showed, from the OSB wood panel bathrooms, basic plumbing and simple reception plonked in the centre, it had the perfect rustic look and feel. The walls themselves had it all, one room was an overhanging wave straightening up at the back to include a real Lattice Board for intense training. As well as a selection of hanging finger boards, a simple gym/warm-up area complete with weights. Then a little seating area, the reception and cafe that sold ok coffee. Then the 2nd room had a great selection of angles to its walls, from vertical, slight overhangs and odd angles and shockingly an entire Slab wall! Yes you read that right an actual full length of 20m of slab, this is practically unheard of in a London Climbing Wall, where the usual is to overhang everything, usually even the reception desk tilts over at a severe angle! And yet here we are/were an actual technically difficult (in places) long and high (for modern standards) Slab Wall.
Now you see why we loved this place so much! And why we are sad to see it go.
But it isn’t just the wall, like we have said in reviews aplenty in the past the wall needs to be good, varied and changed regularly so as not to get stale and samey. But it also has to have the right kind of clientele, some garner hostility – they seem to encourage aloofness and dirty looks if you’re not a regular, climbing there 3 times a week and spending a fortune to do so *cough*Castle*cough*. But HWBP never fell into these problems it’s a tiny place where people generally talked to each other, helped, was friendly, if you were going to be rude or snooty, then chances are everyone will hear you and your welcome would be short-lived. This little wall was one of those places where you talked to strangers, where there was usually a dog asleep on the mats and the staff would jump the counter to come help you work out the beta to the V4 you were falling off of.
So it is with a sad heart we have to say farewell to the little wall in E8 and hope that one day in the newly built homes or somewhere close by, a new little shoot will spurt and the next Boulder Project may appear, or maybe even something with lead walls too or a full wall of slab(here’s wishing!)
But until then we at Climbing Moss and the aptly name crag dog that would occasionally join us, we wanted to just say a final goodbye to the best damned lil Climbing Wall in London.
Bye HWBP we will miss you!
So where do we go now? Any ideas of new walls? Tell us in the comments and come back next week for something else Climbing Moss related.