Wide Boyz Blog

Friday, 2 September 2011

Indoor Offwidths and The Spread of Wide Love

Most people think of indoor climbing as being a pleasant experience. Bright blue crimps splattered all over a gently overhanging wall and funky wrestling with resin volumes at The Climbing Works. Think again....

Photo: Gaz Parry approaching a Wide Pony (c) Mike Langley

Over a year ago, myself and Pete were invited down to the Castle Climbing Centre in London to guest route set for their "King of the Mezz" boulder competition. Unfortunately I don't think Mike (the big man on campus) quite factored in how silly things can get when we double team at events. Normally, (I'm a route setter by trade) it's all quite reserved and I will set pretty standard stuff at most walls and comps, but for some reason as soon as Pete steps into the building with a drill in his hand anything can happen!!

Video of the Indoor Offwidth: See video HERE

To cut a long story short - at the King of the Mezz comp, we ended up setting some hideous V8 overhanging offwidth that required invert technique, hand-fist stacks and more than a little risk taking. All the wads from London turned up expecting 45 degree crimping and all they got were upside-down shuffling and Whittaker's V5 "Quarryman Problem" which was bloody impossible. Heads were shaken, lapis brushes were snapped and and steely-fingered beasts were shut down. We walked away from that comp expecting never to be invited back again and for the Castle to set an official policy of NO OFFWIDTHS ALLOWED.

That all changed when I received an email this week from route setting manager at The Castle - Mike Langley ..................

Photo: Mike trying the conceptual "Air Armbar" and failing....

"...In the true spirit of country “Wide” pride I thought I would drop the chiefs of the Mega-Ming a quick message of how we roll down on the South Side. No longer is it "London flicks" whilst sipping the perfectly foamed Cappuccino – us crazy men are now true aficionados of The Wide and would like to put our names forward and join the world wide elite and become BOYZ!

A truly rank set of foot stacks was set in the Castle’s roof yesterday by Gaz Parry, Mike Langley and Alex Lemel. In true Wide style the bloc was completed using a climbing shoe on one foot and a 5.10 trainer on the other from Gaz and a pair of sweaty stiff hire shoes from Mike. As for Alex he tried to flick his way through off the volumes edges..."

Good work BOYZ!!


  1. Some new footage of people trying to climb the amazing roof crack in Sweden. http://gravitagitation.blogspot.com/2011/09/amaliagrottan-2-sequel-amalia-cave.html

    Hope you'll have a good trip to America.


  2. Johan, thanks very much for that link - that looks sick!!! I will definitely come to Sweden. How can you not, with such an amazing looking route in waiting!