Climbing center proposed to open in Delacombe | The mail

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A new bouldering center is in the works for Ballarat, providing the area’s climbing community with an indoor venue to train. A planning permission application has been submitted to council and is currently being advertised for a climbing center at 7 Laidlaw Drive, Delacombe. The site is currently occupied by a sign writing business but will soon be vacated to make way for Friction Bouldering. Friction Bouldering hopes to install around 250 square meters of block wall over Christmas before a planned opening in early 2022. The walls would be between 4.5 and 4.8 meters high and wrap around the back of the building from the warehouse. IN OTHER NEWS: The business is proposed to operate seven days a week from 4pm to 9.30pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm on weekends with a maximum capacity of 30 customers at a time. The center would have nine on-site car parks, including one disabled space, with the remaining parking to be on-street spaces for use outside opening hours and without impacting nearby businesses. Friction Bouldering co-owner Jason Elshaug has been a rock climber for 15 years and used to travel to Melbourne with his brother to boulder indoors and said he wanted to bring a center to Ballarat after the forced closing of the last. “There was the Olympics this year and the popularity got a little crazier and the opportunity finally came for us to be able to do it here,” he said. “It was about time Ballarat had a place for everyone to go. The Western Victorian Climbing Club had a place in Barkly Street in secondary school, but it was closed a few years ago when they sold the school, so no we had a place locally to do it indoors for a little while.” There are many local climbers who have nowhere to go. Lots of people have pretty basic home setups and then with all the lockdowns that have been happening in the Grampians for the past couple of years people have been screaming for somewhere to train and hang out. some climbing walls can be over 10 meters high, bouldering walls are shorter but harder to navigate, and climbers do not use ropes, instead landing on large protective mats at the base of the walls . what sprinting was to running. “It’s the shortest, hardest, most condensed version of rock climbing. Usually it’s only about half a dozen moves and it’s usually very difficult,” a- he declared. “It’s a lot more social than rock climbing, there’s a lot more discussion because with rock climbing there’s one person directly on the wall and one person belaying it and it’s a bit more separate so bouldering is a lot more social. You can hang out with your friends and work on your projects together.” While the center will start with 250 square meters of bouldering wall, Mr Elshaug said there are plans to increase this by an additional 100 square meters on the track and also introduce a higher climbing wall to widen their market. “It’s only bouldering at the moment, then we’re planning to expand the shed at the back and add a climbing section a bit later. It’s the biggest one, so we’ll do 10 to 12 meters high in the back with lots of ropes and then hopefully start targeting school groups and events and birthday parties and stuff like that,” he said. people know rock climbing, but bouldering is a bit more specialized, it’s a bit smaller market, so you have to know rock climbing first, but it’s a great sport.” Bouldering is just difficult for small children because the walls are so high and it is really difficult for anyone below a certain height to be able to safely climb to that height and land without ropes.” If you see this message, you are a loyal digital subscriber to The Courier, as we have made this story available to subscribers only. Thank you very much for your support and to allow us to continue to tell the story of Ballarat. We appreciate your support for journalism in our great city.


Virginia F. Goins