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Mile End Blog

Blog - News

Reel Rock 10

Don't forget the amazing Reel Rock 10 screening here at the wall this Sunday (22nd November). Last few tickets remaining on the website priced at £10 per person.

Don't miss out!

Posted by Dean Straw on 18th November 2015

Blog - News

Christmas Hamper Raffle

Fancy helping our Squad raise some much needed funds? If so please buy some raffle tickets and you could win yourself one of our amazing hamper prizes just in time for Xmas. Squad parents will be sitting at the counter most evenings and weekends selling tickets or you can see Amie on reception.

Posted by Dean Straw on 18th November 2015

Blog - Squad

Squad Trip to Snowdonia, 2015

This August, all of squad were gven the opporunity to climb on real rock in Snowdonia.

There were two trips, each of which lasted 4 nights, and on each trip there was a combination of leading, bouldering and top-roping. For most of squad, it was not their first outdoor climbing experience and a lot of progression was seen between this year, and previous trips. We were all really able to push ourselves this year, and some squad members did thier first V4's and V5's outdoors, and 7a sport-climb. When the weather was good enough, we climbed until about 6pm each evening, after which we went back, exhasted, to the campsite in Llanberis and cooked (or more like heated up) food and then sat around the fire until going to bed. On a rainer day, we visited the DMM factory for a tour. 

The trip was so much fun, and a great way to see how all of our hard work over the last year has paid off. I can't thank all of our coaches enough for making this trip possible!

A member of squad, Matt, made a video of the second trip, which you can view here


Posted by maisie on 12th September 2015

Blog - Squad

Squad BBQ!

All members of squad and thier parents enjoyed a BBQ (along with some climbing, of course) to allow the current members of Squad to meet the new Academy members! Mike and Dean took their roles as chefs very seriously. 

Posted by maisie on 20th June 2015

Blog - Squad

Callum is awarded the season winner at the Vauxcomp!

After smashing numerous competitions at Vauxwall this season, Callum wins the overall best junior male! A big congratualtions to Callum for his fantastic climbing and effort! 

Posted by maisie on 20th June 2015

Blog - News

Access Denied

The centre is now open again but there is still no access to our car park. Hopefully this will be resolved in the near future.

Posted by Dean Straw on 17th June 2015

Blog - Squad

More success at VauxWall!

A big congratulations to Calum who achieved first place at the most recent VauxWall competition!

Callum crushed yet again at the VauxComp Marmot Edition, winning a Marmot Long Hauler Duffle Bag!

He has now won a total of 3 VauxWall compeitions: we're very proud!

Posted by maisie on 03rd May 2015

Blog - News

Potential Road Closure

Boring but important: We have just been informed that the local authorities are doing some work on the water supply outside our main gate.

As a result, the road might be closed to traffic at some point on Thursday 23rd April 2015. It is possible to park on the road leading to the wall as long as you come in to reception and ask for a permit to place on your vehicle.


Posted by Dean Straw on 26th March 2015

Blog - Routesetting

March Madness

Just over two weeks have passed since Mile End hosted the epic final round of Blokfest. For everyone that was there- what a day! A great vibe during the qualifiers and then the top nearly lifted off the secret garden for the finals showdown in the evening. Thanks to everyone who made it happen and everyone who came down and got involved. A few of the blocs are still up but will be stripped as each area gets re-set, bringing our green V2-V4 circuit back into the mix. Saturday just gone Mile End hosted the infamous Rock On boot demo, with the usual mix of great blocs and loads of different shoes for people to try out. Another classic event.

Things have been moving along swiftly on the setting front. Last week we set some extra lines on the new auto belay line in the rope bay, which is located on the stepped lead wall at the far end. On Thursday Liam 'The Hitman' Halsey joined us for two days of setting. First up was the Rock On slab, then on Friday Ned Feehaly came on board for the Karma roof set. Great blocs all round, so get involved! This week, we have set Trackside and today The Cave. On Friday we will be stripping most of the blocs from the Monkey Room in prep for the set on Monday. Ben West will joining us for this set- Team GB wad/setter/coach,  so no doubt this will be another classic set! Also due for a reset next Thursday is the overhanging lead wall in the Ropebay. The next Bloc/comp wall/slab set is scheduled for the week beg April 13th. More info to come on this in the next blog!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 18th March 2015

Blog - Squad

Squad Trials for 2015/2016

Posted by Dean Straw on 16th March 2015

Blog - Routesetting

Blokfest 2015

Its just over 2 weeks until the final round of Blokfest 2015 hits Mile End, so heres a rundown of whats happening in and around the centre. The week leading up to Blokfest the Bloc will be set on Monday 23rd and the Slab being set on Tuesday 24th. There will be slightly less blocs set to accommodate the comp blocs set later in the week. Also we will not be setting any greens as these are all going to be stripped from the centre on Wednesday 25th as this is the colour of the Blokfest circuit. On Thursday 26th we are stripping the Comp Wall so it is ready to set the Blokfest finals on Friday 27th. On Saturday 28th we will be setting the full Blokfest tour throughout the centre so expect some disruption. We will be moving through out the centre area by area so please bear with us! After the actual comp on Sunday we will be re-setting the Comp Wall for a night set on Monday 2nd March as IRATA are in during the day time. The next few days will be spent recovering, but there will be plenty of blocs for you to come and try! With a new bloc and slab set the week before, all the Blokfest problems and a new Comp Wall set you will have over 100 new blocs to crush! 

Posted by Alex Lemel on 13th February 2015

Blog - Routesetting

Blocs a Plenty

It's been a while since we last updated our routesetting blog so we thought we would give a quick overview on the setting that's just happened and what's coming up in the next few weeks.

The last 2 weeks have seen 36 new lines go up in the Rope Bay, a whole re-set in the Money House as well as a partial re-set on the new Competition Wall.

This week (2nd feb) sees complete re-sets in both the Cave on Tues and the Playground on Thurs.

Don't forget Blokfest will soon be upon us (1st March). There will be some disruption to the normal setting routine but we can guarantee some awesome competition blocs for you all to have a go at.

Posted by Dean Straw on 02nd February 2015

Blog - News

Changes to Child Supervision

From Sunday 1st February our policy covering adults supervising children in the centre changes. From this date onwards only customers registered as 'CLIMBERS' will be allowed to supervise children in the centre. If you are registered as a NOVICE/BOULDER ONLY then you would need to do a beginners courses (or similar) before being allowed to supervise U18's.

Posted by Dean Straw on 30th January 2015

Blog - Squad

Squad success at the YCS 2015

A big well done to the squad members who took part in the London & SE (north & south) 1st round of the BMC Youth Climbing Series.

Megan Peters  -  3rd (Girls C)

Agnese Fossati - 4th (Girls C)

Callum Sturgeon - 6th (Boys B)

Lucy Young - 1st (Girls D)

Fantastic results squadlets - keep up the good work.


Posted by Dean Straw on 29th January 2015

Blog - Squad

Junior Boulder Cup Round 1

3 of our brilliant squadlets made the journey up to Derby on the 7th December for the first round of the Junior Boulder Cup. They all did brilliantly and we are very proud of them. It was really good to see Matt Hawkins make it into the final in the 'Junior' category and we are already looking forward to the next round.

Posted by Dean Straw on 17th December 2014

Blog - News

Wide Boyz come to Mile End

It's just been confirmed that the Wids Boyz, Tom Randall & Pete Whittaker are bringing their new lecture series  to Mile End Climbing Wall later this month.

They are kicking off their tour here at Mile End Climbing Wall so you can be the first people to be inspired by BEARDS, BAGELS & BIG WALLS (in association with Climb On! and Sterling Ropes)

It takes place here at the wall on Saturday 29th November and tickets will be on sale from the website later this week.

For more information ask at reception or at Rock On or email



Posted by Dean Straw on 10th November 2014

Blog - News

The Competition Wall opens.

It's a pleasure to say that at long last (and slightly later than we anticipated) the new Competition Wall in The Secret Garden is now fully open. Al and the setters have adorned this fantastic new surface with all manner of problems to tease and test every level of climber. There's some nice easy bimbles for beginners as well as a corking selection of killer lines for those seasoned monkeys who like it a bit tougher.

The rules are a bit different on this new wall; There are no grades - it's just like a comp, have a go and if you can't do it, keep at it until you can. Also the colours don't mean the same as the graded problems in the rest of the centre, just because the holds are yellow for instance it doesn't mean it's a V6-V8+ problem. It may be easier (or harder).

The start holds are all tagged with either one tag on each starting hand hold or two tags if it starts with both hands on one hold.

Posted by Dean Straw on 07th November 2014

Blog - Squad

Squad Success at VauxWall

Congratulations to Callum, one our our rising stars who recently took first place at the VauxWall competition. Keep going Callum and enjoy the new pair of climbing shoes you won!

Posted by Dean Straw on 24th October 2014

Blog - News

Competition Fever

As the winter starts to draw in and everything gets colder we start to think about the up-coming competition season.

Here at Mile End Climbing Wall we are in the middle of building a brand new competition wall that will hopefully make the events happening here even better than ever. Simon and the guys from Karma are busy putting the last few panels in place before the mats go down and the route-setters are let loose from their cages, drills in hand & foaming at the mouth. You can expect some great problems on the latest, fresh out of the box holds from some of the best setters around.

The action kicks of here on Saturday November 1st with the opening of the new wall and the final round in the Tour Du Bloc series. The event starts at 11am and goes on till we close at 6pm.

There will be free food available for everyone in the Secret Garden from 12 noon - 4pm courtesy of the lovely Brenda.

When we re-open the Secret Garden on the 1st Nov there will be a complete re-set on the Bloc, the Slab, Trackside and of course the new Competition Wall with over 100 new problems for everyone to have a crack at. So make sure you come along on the 1st November and join in the action.

Posted by Dean Straw on 23rd October 2014

Blog - Squad

Bye bye Laura

After many years as a member of the Mile End Squad our squad captain Laura has moved on to pastures new. We just wanted to say a massive thanks to her for all the committment and dedication she has shown over the years and particularly over the last year as captain. She has been a fantastic role model to the other young people and we really wish her well as she moves on to her student years at university.

Good luck Laura we will miss you loads.

Posted by Dean Straw on 29th September 2014

Blog - News

Get started on real rock: Inside To Out

Here we take a look at our Inside to Out course, following a group of London climbers as they take their first steps on real rock.

In the last few years, the surge in popularity (and availability) of artificial climbing walls means that majority of climbers in the UK now start out pulling on plastic, indoors.

Although based in London, our centre has always had a strong outdoor climbing ethic and we regularly offer courses that help new climbers from inner-city London make the leap to climbing outside - on some of the finest crags the UK has to offer.

The course is based in the Eastern Edges of the Peak District, just outside of Sheffield in the Dales and Moors of Derbyshire. The rock in this part of the Peak District is predominantly gritstone - for some, the hallowed home of traditional hard climbing (see Hard Grit video), for others it’s all about the rugged yet beautiful views and the remote, peaceful moorland climbing.

Our group for this course consisted of Anna, Alex, Eleni and instructor Andy. Of the three clients, only Anna had some previous outdoor climbing experience, and absolutely none on UK rock. Gritstone has an almost unique set of qualities, being very rounded in shape (think mostly slopey handholds) and providing excellent friction. This requires a style of climbing that is quite different from typical indoor routes!

Day One, Stanage

We met in Hathersage, the epicentre of gear shops and cafés in this area, and took a short drive up to Stanage Edge.

Stanage is the longest gritstone edge in England, with extensive bouldering and traditional routes. A brisk walk up-hill from the car park gets you warmed up, and instantly provides excellent views of the surrounding moorland and the wonderful rock on which we were about to climb. It was difficult to drag the group away from their cameras and get them into helmets and harnesses!

In order to climb here on a top-rope, we need to build removable anchors at the top - there’s no ropes waiting for you, unlike at an indoor wall! Setting up anchors using the natural protection of the rock is something that takes time and experience to perfect. Fortunately, all our Inside to Out instructors have suitable qualifications and tons of outdoor experience, so the group can sit back and relax whilst this is taken care of.

With the rope set up, and the basics of this system explained to the group, there’s only one thing left to do: CLIMB!!

The rock proves challenging, yet all 3 climbers make it to the top of the first two routes. We decide to try something a little harder. More rigging and we move the rope over to our new climb, which seems a little higher and more intimidating. “Where are the coloured holds?” they ask, rather optimistically!

The key to this route, and grit climbing in general, involves smearing/standing on the highly frictional rock, but on features that are elusive at first sight. It’s very hard for the novice climber to spot these footholds, so luckily for these guys Instructor Andy is on hand to give directions and advice. With a great deal of effort and determination, and after a few aborted attempts, everyone makes it to the top of Little Ernie, a climb graded severe 4a (see here to learn about the British grading system).

Stanage Plantation bouldering

After a quick break for lunch, we head down to Stanage Plantation, home of Brad Pit... No, not the Brad Pitt, but a famous boulder problem that comes in at V10 . Fortunately there’s an array of great easy problems that start from V0 or even less - easy scrambles abound.

This is where we got into the nitty-gritty (pun intended) of foot placement and balance, using the amazing friction that gritstone offers climbers. At this point we really started to see some progress in technique and confidence, with the lessons learned being put into practice by everyone on day 2. You can see from the images how the climbers appear to be standing almost on nothing - especially when compared to footholds at indoor walls. Out here, everything is a foothold.

By 5.30pm, after an internsive first day, everyone is starting to feel a little bit achey and tired, so we drive back down to Hathersage. There's a great selection of pubs to choose from and everyone has a well-deserved meal, before heading off to their accomodation for the evening.

Day two, Burbage Valley

On day 2 we start with bouldering, switching things around so we can end the day with some slightly less intensive rope climbing.

Burbage South is a beautiful bouldering venue, probably the closest thing we’ve got to Fontainebleau in the UK (‘closest’ being a relative term!). There's loads of lower-grade climbs with good landings, ideal for the novice boulderer.

As everyone is feeling like proper outdoor climbers after a successful first day, we aim to try some harder problems and explore more of the techniques needed on gritstone. With the roundness of the rock being a key feature, we focus on mantelshelfs and especially topping out - often the point when most novices start to get scared and shaky! And of course, after reaching the top, it isn’t over, so we ensure that we’ve checked out a suitable way down (preferably a walk-off, where possible).

After this initial coaching, building up through some easy warm up problems, everyone makes it up a tricky V0 arete -  and makes it down safely at the end!

After a great start to the day, it’s time for lunch, followed by a short journey up to Burbage North . On the walk-in, we spot on of these guys (a common lizard?) basking in the sun.

We head for towards the Ash-Tree Wall area, a popular area for groups, fortunately nice and quiet when we arrive. There’s a range of classic easy lines here, all at a decent height. Andy heads up to the top and installs the anchors and top rope ready for the group. You can see in the picture that the rigging needs to extend over the edge of the crag, so that the moving top-rope isn’t rubbing against the rough surface of the gritstone. Additionally, we often link several anchor points together to ensure redundancy should any one point fail - building what we term in the industry a ‘Bomb-Proof Anchor’!

We set the rope up on Bilberry Crack, a nice VDiff that, although at the easier end of the grade spectrum, requires a variety of techniques, some of which may not seem obvious to the novice outdoor climber!

Although we were approaching the end of our 2 day course, all 3 climbers put in a shift on this climb and battled up past a couple of tricky sections with steely determination, eventually conquering this great little route. 

With a short time remaining, rain stopped play, so we donned waterproofs and took shelter behind some handily located boulders. Luckily for us, the rain was light and the rock offered a great spot for an introduction to the theory of placing gear, building simple anchors, tying various knots and learning to coil ropes.

As the sun returned it was time to pack up (more rope coiling) and head back to the car. A tired but happy team of climbers, now bursting with questions about how and where could they climb outside next, was dropped back at the station, ready for the train back to London. I'm sure that everyone's journeys home were filled with dreams of future climbing trips!

Find out more

Inside to Out Courses run throughout the summer until October 2014. 

Click here to view upcoming courses dates, costs and additional information.

After finishing an Inside to Out course, or as an alternative, you might want to look at our Sandstone course and Fontainbleau Bouldering course.

Thanks to Alex and Eleni for taking the wonderful photos!

Posted by Andy Irvin on 29th August 2014

Blog - News

Development in the Secret Garden.

UPDATE 21.9.14: Manufacturers were unable to deliver all the components this month so the construction work has been pushed back slightly. We decided that, rather than have it standing around half built teasing people, the build will all happen during the last three weeks of October. The new surface will open on Saturday 1st November.

*  *  *

Starting next week on the 26th August we’re going to make some exciting changes to the climbing surfaces in the Secret Garden.

The remaining traverse wall will be removed and new climbing surface mounted to make better use of the space. Drawings of the design will appear on the main notice board soon.

The work will happen in two phases; one week in August and two weeks in the middle of September. During this time we will keep disruption to a minimum and will aim to keep the Garden Bloc and Slab open during the build.

Details of disruption and any closures will be published on our website and posted on Facebook.

The Secret Garden is about to get even better and we hope you’ll enjoy it!

The new Bloc in the Secret Garden, area to be developed in the background.

Posted by Andy Irvin on 21st August 2014

Blog - Routesetting

A Secret Garden Secret

Rumours are flying around about a comp wall in the Secret Garden.... All we can say is- watch this space! (Or more specifically the space opposite trackside). More info will be coming over the next weeks about this exciting development, so keep your eyes peeled!

Recently, we have been expanding our pool of guest setters to include some of the country's best and most respected climbers. We have had appearances from 3 times British Bouldering Champion and Beastmaker pioneer Ned Feehaly, IFSC competition route setter Gary Vincent and grit master Ben Bransby. All these guys alongside our pro in house team! These setters have had a big impact throughout the Centre, bringing different styles and adding lots of diversity in the sets. Combine this with the latest and best grips on the market and you have a recipe for some world class setting! Theres also more guest setters in the pipeline, with British Team Member Tom Newman joining us in a few weeks . Last week Myself, Ned, Gaz and Big Mike re-set the bloc and slab for the 3rd round of Tour Du Bloc (special thanks to Lewis and Andy, and everyone that helped out on the night.) Another great evening of blocs and food! This week we are re-setting the Rope Bay and Cave, and next week Ben Bransby is back in the house!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 19th August 2014

Blog - News

Instructors Required

We are looking for CWLA Assessed Instructors, preferably with experience.

Employed on a freelance basis.
Rate of pay £17.50/hour.
To work as and when required
Schools, NICAS, Adult Beginner’s, Tasters, Birthday Parties, Private Instruction
Weekdays and Weekends
Responsible for own Tax & National Insurance.

For more details please contact us at:

Mile End Climbing Wall, Haverfield Road, London, E3 5BE

0208 9800289

Posted by Dean Straw on 15th July 2014

Blog - News

Secret Garden Denied

It's time for the IRATA boys and girls to take over the Secret Garden again.

Monday to Friday this week (30th June - 4th July) and next week (7th - 11th July) the Bloc and Slab area in the Secret Garden will be closed for public climbing until around 5pm due to IRATA courses taking place.

Sorry for the inconvenience - back to normal from 12th July.

Posted by Dean Straw on 30th June 2014

Blog - Routesetting

Green With Envy

With the next Tour Du Bloc just over a week away, the Routesetting Team have taken delivery of a large amount of  new holds from Volx for our new green V2-V4 circuit. This will debut at the next Tour Du Bloc, as well as some new volumes from our friends at Karma. The green circuit will replace the current "off piste" greens, as we re-set each area throughout the centre. A few other slight changes you may notice will be the tags on the red circuit changing to just "VB". This won't affect the difficulty of the problems, but will be easier for new climbers to understand. Also the orange/black circuit will now be V0-V1. Again, this makes more sense to new climbers and is the obvious progression from VB climbs (Very Basic) through to numerically graded climbs which represent technical ability - V0/V1/V2 etc.

The Centre has seen alot of setting activity recently, with the Karma Roof, Slab and Vert, HAW, Prow, Monkey Room, Overhang and Red Slab all being set over the past few weeks. This week, we are setting The Wave on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th and next week Trackside on Wednesday 18th. Tour Du Bloc setting will be taking place Thursday 19th and Friday 20th. Make sure you come down! We have setting from Ben Bransby, BBQ, tunes, and of course the Tour itself!  

Posted by Alex Lemel on 10th June 2014

Blog - Routesetting

Where Do I Start?

A question that is often asked.... It's a bit of a grey area, so i'm going to try and clear a few things up and give you the lowdown on how we do it at Mile End.

Every climbing wall has its own tagging system and guidelines to define start posistions for boulder problems. Unless it's a comp where you have two flashes of tape for your hands and two flashes of tape for your feet, it can sometimes be a bit confusing for people as to how a bloc starts. This is especially true as more volumes are thrown into the mix and we try and make each bloc we set more creative, trying to make you think about body positions and movement. So, how do we do it? A grade number or circuit tag is placed on a start hold or volume. The climber then has to work out if the bloc starts there - matched on a big jug for example, or, if there are any volumes or aretes in close proximity, does the bloc start one hand on the tagged start hold and one hand on the volume or arete? This is for you to decide - but, there are a few things to consider.

If it feels like a horrible start position or too hard for the grade, your probably in the wrong posistion. We like to get you on the bloc and get you going so its extremely rare for the first move to be the hardest.

The highest start hold is the one tagged. This means you can use any of the holds/volumes/arete underneath it if you want, any holds higher and you are starting in the wrong place.

It's not always a sit start! You don't have to pysically sit down on the floor to start a bloc. If you cant reach the start holds just pull on in a crouch position.

So, remember that it is a "boulder problem" and you are here to solve it! If you really aren't sure about a particular bloc and happen to see a route setter wandering about-  ask! We are only too happy to tell how we intended you to start the bloc and how it was set.

Posted by Alex Lemel on 21st May 2014

Blog - News

Bank Holiday Opening Times

Just a short but sweet note to remind everyone that we will be open 10am - 6pm on Saturday 3rd, Sunday 4th & Monday 5th May.

Posted by Dean Straw on 02nd May 2014

Blog - News

Tour Du Bloc

Tour Du Bloc our brand new competition event starts here at the wall this Friday 25th April 6 - 9pm. There will be BBQ food for all participants as well as spot prizes on the night.

Please note: In preperation for the competition, the outdoor slab and Bloc will be completely closed all day Thursday & Friday. They will  open at 6pm on Friday for the event to start.

Posted by Dean Straw on 22nd April 2014

Blog - Squad

BMC Youth Climbing Series

London Final of BMC Youth Climbing Series took place at the end of March at The Castle Climbing Centre with Callum’s 7th position with only one point behind 5th and 6th position. Unlucky, he didn’t qualify to the National Grand Final at EICA this year but he’s already training harder to get there the following year. Here are his thoughts about all rounds:

"Recently I took part in the BMC youth series competition. Just the thought of it was quite intimidating! Such a big organisation, new style of competition, it's safe to say it was quite a challenge. I was very nervous for the first round as I didn't know what any of it was going to be like, but with great support from Gordon, my coach, the whole experience was a lot more enjoyable and manageable. By the second round I was lot more relaxed about it.... Until I saw my climbs! But yet again my coach, this time Mike, pulled through and helped me through it with superb instruction! On to the London finals!
I really had to put on my A game here as it was the best of the best competing, no room for error and after some detailed route reading and scary beta from the other climbers, I engaged every muscle in my body and hauled myself up the climbs. These were the hardest in the series at around F7a-b and sadly time was not on my side, nor was my height (or lack off it!).Sadly I did not make the national finals but I still feel that I did the best that I could have done. So hopefully with some more of Mike's strenuous training plans I will be even stronger for the series next year!
Lastly I would just like to say a big thanks to Mike and Gordon for coming with me to the competition and for all their enthusiasm and hard work. Without them I would not even have made it past the first round!"

Blokfest is over for this year as well, with Morag’s 13th overall position and being the most improved in under 16 female category. Well done Morag.  Also Megan S’s 17th overall position and Megan P’s 26th position in under 16 female category, Maisie’s 12th overall position and Laura’s 18th overall position in female senior category, Callum’s 23rd overall position in under 16 male category, James’ 25th position in male senior category.

Posted by michal on 04th April 2014

Blog - News

Secret Garden Closure

A number of people have asked us to publish the dates when the Secret Garden area is closed due to courses taking place in there, so here goes.

Please Note - The Secret Garden (slab & Bloc area) will be closed until 5pm for public climbing on the following dates.

31st March - 4th April

7th - 11th April

28th April - 2nd May

5th - 9th May

2nd - 6th June

9th - 13th June

30th June - 4th July

7th - 11th July

28th July - 1st August

4th - 8th August

1st - 5th September

8th - 12th September

29th September - 3rd October

6th - 10th October

3rd - 7th November

10th - 14th November

1st - 5th December

8th - 12th December

We hope this helps.

Posted by Dean Straw on 02nd April 2014

Blog - Routesetting

Tour Du Bloc

Summer is nearly here, and with it comes Tour Du Bloc. In the Secret Garden the sides will come down, the blocs will be set, the tunes will be turned up and the BBQ will be lit. This will be the opening night of Tour Du Bloc, which will be happening on Friday 25th April. This is a new event which will be happening in the Secret Garden and will comprise of 25 blocs set on the Bloc and slab.

The blocs will be set as part of the normal reset and will stay up until the next reset. Score cards will be £1.50 and you have until the next reset to complete as many as you can. Scoring will be based on an honesty system. The event will run for 4 resets throughout the summer with the resets being every 6-8 weeks to take advantage of the nice weather and vibes in the Secret Garden. There's free food for competitors on the opening night - all you have to do is hand in your score card! The Bloc and Slab will be open from 6pm and food will be from 7-8.30. There will be prizes for overall winners and spot prizes on the night! Check the posters landing soon!

Other recent route setting activity throughout the Centre has included the Monkey Room, Karma Roof and the Wave. The next resets are- Rock On slab-Monday 31.3 and HAW Tuesday 1.4


Posted by Alex Lemel on 28th March 2014

Blog - Squad

Cake Cake and more Cake

On Saturday the 22nd March 2014 we will be having a cake sale at the wall to help raise money for a squad trip to North Wales in the Summer. So far we have promises of a plethora of cakeage so please come along and help support our squadlets.

Posted by Dean Straw on 18th March 2014

Blog - News

New Opening Times

After many many years we have decided to extend our weekday opening hours. From Monday 10th March we will be opening on Monday - Friday at 10am. This gives an extension of 2 hours to our off-peak climbing time, perfect for those people wanting to avoid the evening hoards and queues. 

We are going to trial the new times until Easter and then we will review it (but we hope it will become permanent).

Posted by Dean Straw on 14th March 2014

Blog - News

Rope Bay Update

Well folks, the rope bay is almost finished. As often happens we have hit on a few last minute snags before we can sign it off as completely finished.

We have to test all the leading bolts and anchors before we can let everyone loose on them, then we have to routeset the main lead wall. This means:

  • The Rope Bay will be partially open from 7pm tonight (Tues 4th March) for Top Roping Only.
  • The Rope Bay will be fully open from 7pm on Thursday 6th March.

Please accept our sincere apologies for the delay in fully opeing the new walls but I'm sure thay will be worth it.

The Mile End Team

Posted by Dean Straw on 04th March 2014

Blog - Routesetting

Bloc Party

The Secret Garden Bloc was reset yesterday and by 7 o'clock the graden was packed with people trying the new problems! Great to see so many people getting involved with the top outs, and the different angles and climbing style out there. The slab will be reset tomorrow, meaning that alongside new resets on trackside and the outside traverse last week, the whole garden has now been reset. The next reset for the Bloc and Slab has been sceduled for 24/25 April and will open in conjunction with Tour Du Bloc. There will be another blog with all the details for this event next week. Also look out for the posters coming soon! The Ropebay is due to be reset Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th and the Karma Roof Thursday 6th March

Posted by Alex Lemel on 26th February 2014

Blog - News

Rope Bay Re-furb

The second half of the Rope Bay re-furbishment is coming along nicely. Simon and the gang at Karma have been working hard on the last 2 sections of wall to be rebuilt. The building work will be finished by the end of next week allowing Monday 3rd & Tuesday 4th of March for some major routesetting to take place.

Thanks for bearing with us while the Rope Bay is closed. We will have it open on the evening of Tuesday 4th March with everything finshed and some schorching new routes.

Posted by Dean Straw on 22nd February 2014

Blog - Squad

Blokfest. The Depot, Nottingham

Fourth round of Blokfest took place at the beginning of the 2014 year all the way in Nottingham with Maisie' s 24th position and Laura’s 27th position in Senior Female category, Morag’s 11th position and Magan S’s 23rd position in under 16 female category, James’ 43rd position in Senior Male category, Callum’s 31st position and Isaac’s 35th position in under 16 male category. The last round of Blokfest is only a couple of days away.


Posted by michal on 14th February 2014

Blog - Routesetting

Rise Of The Rope Bay

The first half of the rope bay has been refurbished and is looking good. The new section at the back end has some great new angles and a new paint job on the left hand side has brought it up to date. That leaves the small featured buttress and the yellow lead wall and small roof section next to it. Work on these sections will begin on Monday 17th February and will take 2 weeks to complete, with route setting scheduled for 3/4th March. After this you will have a new lead wall with arete/prow and the featured buttress will be replaced with some beginner friendly angles.

On the setting side of things, over the past few weeks we have re-set the Wave, Playground and Cave. This week we will be re-setting the Monkey Room and HAW and next week the Prow and Peggy Day.This leaves just the secret garden Bloc and Slab, Trackside and Traverse. IRATA will be out of the area from Monday 17th February so setting out there will be scheduled for that week and the next. Keep and eye on the route setting notice board in the main room for the exact dates. 

Posted by Alex Lemel on 05th February 2014

Blog - Routesetting


The setters have been back for only a few days and already have a couple of re-sets under their belts... Trackside was re-set Friday 3rd and Karma vert was re-set Monday 6th. The Rock On slab will be re-set Friday 10th and next Thursday (16th) we will be joined by Liam to set the Karma Roof. Plenty of new blocs to help everyone get back in the swing of things after Christmas and New Year. You may also have noticed that work has started in the rope bay. This will include some new surfaces and re-paints of some existing surfaces. Last but by no means least, In the pipeline due to land around March/April (to tie in with warmer weather) we will be launching our new mini league "Tour Du Bloc". More on this in the next few blogs....

Posted by Alex Lemel on 08th January 2014

Blog - Squad

Competition 2013

The 2014 is almost over with three rounds of Blokfest and Selection day to British Team marking the end of competition this year.

The hard training this year has paid off on the first round of Blokfest at Mile End Climbing Wall with Laura’s 21st position and Maisie’s 24th position in Senior Female category, Yumeya’s 27th position in Senior Male category, Callum’s 26th position and Issac’s 27th position in under 16 male category and finally Morag’s 18th position in under 16 female category. There was very high attendance with twenty Mile End squad members competing. Well done to all of them. They had a very good time and enjoy the vibe of the competition.

Only a month later the second round of Blokfest took place at Westway with Maisie’s 18th position in Senior Female category, Morag’s 15th position, Megan S’s 21st position and Maddie’s 26th position in under 16 female category.

Third round of Blokfest took place at the beginning of the December all the way in Reading with Maisie’s 14th position and Laura’s 19th position in Senior Female category, Morag 16th position and Magan S’s 20th position in under 16 female category. They can’t wait for the 4th round in Nottingam in January.

A week after the third round of Blokfest Maisie, Laura, James and Yumeya went to Sheffield to try out their climbing skills on BMC Youth Open Competition for selection to British Team. On Saturday they started with bouldering at the Climbing Works. It was a scramble format with 8 boulder problems and 2 hours to figure them out. Unfortunately, none of the squad members qualify to the final but finished with James 19th position in Male A category, Yumeya 20th position in Male Junior category, Maisie 19th position in Female A category and Laura 7th position in Female Junior category. On Sunday we went to The Foundry for the lead competition. Each competitor had to climb two routes in qualify round. None of the squad members qualify to the final but finished with Yumeya 11th position in Male Junior category, Maisie 17th position in Female A category and Laura 7th position in Female Junior category. After the first competition like this behind us we all have learned a lot and it’s time to train even harder. 



Posted by michal on 31st December 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Merry Christmas!

The setters are back from a trip to Font a few weeks ago and have brought back renewed psych and ideas from the forest (and a reminder of how bad all the footholds are..) So we headed outside and reset the top out boulder and slab with help from Liam and Gaz. Those of you that have been to Font will know what i mean when i say that every foothold in a climbing wall is a jug compared to climbing outside and after a week of falling of V2 and V3's we had to be careful not to undergrade everything when we came back. But its also important to keep fresh in the mind of the setters what the grades of these indoor blocs are actually based on. Next up the Monkey room, and its back to its usual self after the slightly thinner set for the opening round of Blokfest. Our guest setter Shaun has headed back to Austria and it was great to have him back for a few sets. Hopefully he will return again next year! HAW was reset next and a really good set that seems to be getting some great feedback. This week we have reset the Prow and on Thursday we will be resetting the Peggy Day. On Friday Track side will be up for a reset depending on what time the IRATA guys are finished. Setting will resume from Monday 6th January or possibly Friday 3rd depending on how much Turkey the setters eat.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 18th December 2013

Blog - Squad

Squad Success at The Reach

Congratulation to 3 of our squad members who came 1st, 2nd & 3rd respectively in the Recent Junior Eliminator Bouldering Competition at the Reach Climbing Wall.

Well done to Matt (1st), Callum (2nd) and Erin (3rd). A brilliant effort.

Posted by Dean Straw on 20th November 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Routesetting Activities…

Route setting activities recently have included Trackside, Wave, Karma Slab and so far this week the Cave. New volumes are continuing to appear and are helping to change angles and give fresh inspiration for the setters to work with. Liam Halsey joined us once again for the Wave reset, and after that the team headed for the Karma slab. The appearance of another EP wok has caused many love/hate relationships. Regardless of whether you can hold one or not, they change the surface area and force you to maneuver around using different body positions. This week the Cave has been re-set, with the Karma roof next up on Thursday and the yellow lead wall on Friday.

Next week we will be resetting the red/blue overhang and the Karma vert. On Monday, we have a special guest setter joining us for the overhang. Shaun Jansa is back and will be with us over the next few weeks for some guest sets. The team are off to Font for a week and will return to set the Secret Garden Bloc and Slab on Thursday5th/Friday6th December. With a setting team consisting of Gaz Parry, Liam Halsey, Shaun, Mike and myself its going to be a great set!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 20th November 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Blokfest- The Aftermath

On Sunday 20th October, Mile End hosted the opening round of Blokfest 2013/2014. What an epic day! With around 400 competitors and spectators descending on Mile End, both Blokfest and mile End saw its busiest day ever so far. With 2 days spent setting, testing, tweaking, taping and doing lots of other stuff, the team were happy with everything and pretty confident you guys were going to have a wicked time. Great blocs, banging tunes and a wicked vibe ensued, culminating in an amazing set of final blocs on the new secret garden bloc and slab. The atmosphere was electric and certainly inspiring to watch. A massive thanks to everyone who came down and supported, got involved and represented. Big shout to the Blokfest team for all the hard work. These comps aren't easy to run and theres a lot of behind the scenes and running about to make the whole thing happen. Check out the Blokfest website to keep up to date with everything including blogs, photos and upcoming events.

So, after everything was wrapped up late Sunday evening the setters were back in at 7.00am the next morning to reset the Bloc and Slab. An IRATA course taking place that week meant we could only set and test between 5 and 10pm after they had finished. This week the Playground and Red/Blue overhang has been re-set. We have lots of nice HRT volumes waiting in the wings so expect to see them appearing over the coming sets. Next week we will be resetting Trackside and the Wave with guest setter Liam Halsey.

Posted by Alex Lemel on 31st October 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Operation Blokfest

With Blokfest fast approaching (just over one week away!)  setting plans are in place and the team are psyched! First up, recent setting activity- Last week we set the Red/Blue Overhang and the Peggy Day. These sets, along with the Monkey House this week and the Karma Slab and Vert next week, will be set with less problems than usual so we've got plenty of space for the Blokfest tour. New volumes have also started appearing throughout the Centre and certainly add another dimension to setting and climbing. Theres more volumes in the pipeline so expect to see them appearing in about a month or so.

Setting plans for Blokfest are as follows. On Friday 18th, the Garden Slab and Bloc will be stripped and the team will set the Showcase Finals. Also on Friday, ALL the yellow blocs throughout the Centre will be stripped so as not to clash with the Blokfest problems as these will be set in fluro yellow.  On Saturday 19th the team will be setting throughout the Centre, moving from area to area as a group, to cause as little disruption as possible. You may asked to leave an area, but it should only be for an hour at most. On Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday the Garden Slab and Bloc will be re-set. There is also an IRATA course out there for the week, so this means the area will not be open for ANY climbing until Thursday Evening.

Posted by Alex Lemel on 10th October 2013

Blog - Routesetting

The Hitman Comes To Mile End!

So, the Secret Garden Bloc and Slab are going down a storm. The opening of this new area means the setters have been let loose with new holds throughout the rest of the Centre. Coinciding with a few guest sets from Liam 'Hitman' Halsey and some new volumes from Entre-prises, the latest sets in The Wave and The Karma Cave are, in our opinion, some of the best we've had so far... As we've said before, new holds make such a big impact for setting. Throw a few guest setters into the mix and you really start to change up the setting styles. Especially noticeable on the Karma cave set, the style is quite comp orientated with guppying and correct body positions required to top the blocs! The new yellow V6-V8+ circuit is settling well, with just the Red/Blue Overhang and The Monkey House left to receive the yellow treatment.

Sunday 20th October sees Mile End host the first round of the 2013/2014 season of Blokfest and we cant wait. After the success of last year, this year promises to be bigger, better and louder, and with the opening of our new areas in the Secret Garden its gonna be a smasher! So make sure you've got the date in your diary. Come and get involved in the blocs, or, just turn up and soak up the vibe!

Check out the 2013/2104 promo vid from the team here:


All the info and latest from the team can be found here on the official Blokfest website.
More to come on Blokfest preparations and the setting plans surrounding it on next weeks blog!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 27th September 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Secret Gardening

Well, after many many months of waiting the Secret Garden is finally finished and open. For those of you that don't know there's a fantastic new slab and an awesome free standing 'top-out' boulder deisigned and built by the guys at Karma. The setters have been really busy putting some brilliant problems on these brand new surfaces. We've invested thousands of pounds in new holds and we think you will agree it is well worth it. We had Gaz Parry down for this new set and he has provided some really tricky, brilliant stuff.

It's also an opprtunity to launch our new yellow V6-V8 circuit, something new for all you guys that like it a bit harder...

This week Kuzi, Lewis and V have been busy setting the rope bay and the Karma Slab in the main room. This means that there is plenty of new stuff to go at whether you're a rope monster or a slab loving balance meister, there's something for everyone.

Next week it's time to re-set the Wave. Al, Lewis and guest setter Liam Halsey will be sorting out some crushing problems on a new range of brand spanking new holds. Watch this space...........

Posted by Alex Lemel on 06th September 2013

Blog - Squad

Trip Report: Peak District August 2013

This summer the squad made a couple of trips to the Peak District in Derbyshire. Each group had 3 days in which to try out as much of the hallowed grit as possible.

We started out with some bouldering at Burbage South where everyone was introduced to the difference between V0 at a climbing wall and V0 on Grit! After a few attempts people started to get used to it and the grades soon started to ascend.

The next day was spent at Stanage. Ropes were quickly set up and everyone enjoyed a day climbing some fantasic routes on ropes before heading off to the plantation boulders before dinner.

A bit more activity at the plantation and trackside boulders finished off the trip the next day before everyone fell asleep on the bus home.

Posted by Mike D Bean on 07th August 2013

Blog - Squad

Welcome to the Squad

The Mile End Climbing Wall Youth Squad is for young people who are passionate about the sport of climbing. It's not all about selecting the best of the best it's more about taking the enthusiasm, dedication and passion they have for climbing and helping them to develop and progress in the sport.

The squad comprises of young people aged 7+ and comprises of 3 separate groups:

The Academy

Most young people start off in the Academy. This is where the coaches start to work with each young person on improving their climbing skills and abilities and assessing their levels and abilities.


This is the main work horse group within the squad structure. It is made up of young people who have progressed up from the Academy and who have started to push their abilities and train harder.

Performance Squad

This group is made up of a select, small group of young people who focus mainly on high achievement in competitions and have attained a level where they are climbing harder and pushing their abilities  to a higher level.

Although the main aim of all our squad groups is development of the individual young people it is also about teamwork and the positive aspects of working and belonging to a like minded group of people. We encourage the young people to take part in competitions both nationally and locally and we also try to make sure we get out on 'real rock' as much as we can.

We have a great team of coaches who look after the Squad members and who teach them week after week. All the coaches have different skills and abilities and each one brings their own unique slant to the squad.

How do I get into the squad?

Trials are held every 6 months. We'll advertise the date and interested young people can spend a day with our coaches as they put them through their paces.

Who's in charge?

Michal is the Head Squad Coach. He can be contacted here

How much does it cost?

Squad members pay £620 per year. This includes:

  • min 2 coaching sessions per week
  • Unlimited climbing at all times
  • Squad uniform


What level of commitment is expected of squad members?

As part of our squad we expect all the young people to make a minimum commitment in terms of time and effort. Each squad member is expected to attend 2 sessions per week (3 sessions for performance squad) plus at least one other personal climbing session in the week. Squad members are also expected to climb outside of squad sessions to improve their own personal climbing  skills and knowledge.

Posted by Mike D Bean on 07th August 2013

Blog - Routesetting


Over the past few weeks the setters have been battling the hottest temps to give you the coolest blocs. First up to be set - the Karma Cave, slab and vert wall. A great set with one or two of our new holds managing to sneak in here or there. The setters just couldnt resist the temptation of the new grips! Now, grades always have to be taken with a pinch of salt, but especially so when its this hot. Boulder problems outside are graded for ascents in perfect conditions when friction is at its best, so trying to climb on sweaty grips in 30 degree heat is always going to feel harder. The team then headed into the Wave where grit and font esque problems were set in abundance, meaning cooler temps are essential for some ascents! Late eve or early morning is advised... This week we had our hottest, most brutal day setting yet, on the HAW and prow. It was so hot that we only just made it through the day with at least one member of the team (me) suffering from a partial meltdown. Luckily ice packs and lots of water where on hand to bring me back to life.

Next week we will be setting the Cave and Overhang, whilst the new top out boulder in the Secret Garden starts to be built. Everyone is super psyched for this so keep your eyes peeled!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 17th July 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Axis….Of Evil.

Last Wednesday, half a ton of new Axis holds made it through customs in the Netherlands and landed in our car park. A day later and they had all been counted, checked and safely stored away in the depths of the route setting cuboard. These holds will be used for our new yellow V6-V8 circuit, which will be appearing when we open the new area in the Secret Garden mid August. What with our new Volx holds and a few more deliveries still to turn up, it feels like Christmas has come early in the route setting camp. New holds are one of the most important things a wall can invest in. It gives the setters inspiration, diversity and motivation for setting the best blocs, which ultimately, gives the climber the best possible experience when they come climbing.

So, talking of route setting... Last week saw the Playground fully reset. A great area for beginners, as there are loads of easy angles and lots of easy problems. Also great for working on your bridging and stemming technique! The red slab opposite also got a re-set. Loads of jugs and a few screw ons thrown in the mix.

On Friday, Mike, Lewis and Violetta re-set the Yellow Lead Wall in the Rope Bay. Loads to go at in the 6a-6c range, so get in there and start clipping.

This week, Karma vert, Karma Cave and Karma slab will all be re-set over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Posted by Alex Lemel on 01st July 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Special Delivery…

Its been a busy few weeks for the Setting Team..

Friday 14th saw the sides of the Secret Garden come down and 22 new blocs on Trackside. Its always great to watch people try these blocs. There are so many different foot options, meaning everyones beta is different. Next up on Tuesday was the Peggy Day. Throwing laps is the name of the game here, always popular with beginners and seasoned vets alike, a great area for warming up, sideways crimping and everything in between.

On Wednesday we decided to get a head start on Thursdays Monkey Room set and take the big volume off the roof. Sheridan came up with a great idea to build a mini scaffold tower underneath it so we could literally unscrew it and drop it onto a platform. It worked a treat and gave us a massive head start for the next days setting. It also gave us a massive roof to play with, meaning everything got a bit steeper and the blocs were a bit harder. Its a great challenge and achievement for for people to try and make it it across the roof. I remember spending days trying to get across it when i first started climbing at Mile End.

On Monday we recieved our first batch of new holds for the new areas being built outside. Fresh from France courtesy of Volx, the holds are amazing and we cant wait to start setting with them. Modelled on actual holds from classic boulder problems and areas in Fontainbleau, these holds were used in the finals of Blocfest . They looked sick and climbed even better- look out for the  'Le Coeur' hold, taken from the classic 7a problem in sector  Elephant.  

This Week The Playground gets a full reset on Thursday and the Yellow Lead wall gets a full re-set on Friday!

Posted by Alex Lemel on 25th June 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Going Caving…

Yesterday Mike and Andy re-set The Cave. It looks great in there, and is always popular with beginners and kids. I think this due to the lower nature of the walls and the fact that there is a lot of bridging, meaning the problems always tend to lend themselves to being slightly easier. That being said, there is always a spicy pink/black thrown in for good measure.

 Last week (Thursday) me and Mike re-set the Red/Blue Overhang. We used some of the new circuit holds and they worked a treat. This can sometimes be a slightly frustrating area to set as the arêtes are close together, meaning you can always throw a heel, toe or hand to an arête. However the problems turned out great and we hope you enjoy them.

Planned for the rest of the week is the Trackside on Friday, coinciding with the removal of the sides of the Secret Garden walls. This should give some much needed cooler temps out there. The building of the new slab area is progressing well and looks wicked. The setters cant wait to get on there with some fresh grips and set some king lines!

Next week we are re-setting the Peggy Day on Tuesday and the Monkey Room on Thursday and Friday. Time for the big volume to come off the roof in The Monkey Room which will be a nice change back to its original steepness.

Posted by Alex Lemel on 12th June 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Holds Holds Holds..

This week, Mike, Andy and Vee re-set one half of the Wave on Tuesday, and me and Mike re-set the other half on Wednesday. Loads of cool new problems, remember to brush those volumes!

Also this week we took delivery of loads of new Core holds for our V1-V3 and V4-V6 circuits. Some of these will be saved for our new build happening in the Secret Garden, the rest will appear around the centre as we re-set each area. A rumour is circulating of yellow Axis holds for a new V6-V8 circuit and lots more holds from Volx , Holdz and Entreprises turning up... We will keep you updated!

Next weeks re-sets will be the red/blue overhang on Thursday and the cave on Friday.






Posted by Alex Lemel on 31st May 2013

Blog - Routesetting

Welcome to our new Route Setting blog

Over the next few weeks and months Alex and the routsetting team will be posting all kinds of information to keep you all updated with everything that's happening with the routes here at Mile End Climbing Wall.

Posted by Alex Lemel on 15th May 2013

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