Michelle: Why did you decide to change your existing wall?
Duncan: The existing wall was 20 years old and although it had survived well structurally the shape wasn’t really what we needed anymore. It’s overhangs, corners and arretts dictated the route setting too much. We were getting more or less the same climes over and over.
Michelle: What made you chose the new shapes and angles?
Duncan: We wanted the wall to be as steep and flexible as the space allowed. Given the unusual shapes of the spaces and features in the castle we had to be very imaginative about how we could achieve this. It was by no means a blank sheet of paper.
Michelle: Who is the new wall for?
Duncan: I think we have been pretty successful in achieving the objective above. We now have 7 lead climbing routes with grades ranging from 6a to 8a. The angles vary from vertical to a sustained 22o (is that right, I lost track a bit with the various iterations). The smooth rising wave design on the main overhanging section means we can set competition length lead routes now too.
Michelle: What made you choose Serious Climbing?
Duncan: You positive approach to a difficult project and your desire to be creative with the constraints we faced.
Michelle: Your thoughts on the design process?
Duncan: Although I was not very involved I though you worked well with the team here to produce a design the was universally liked.
Michelle: Any notes on quality versus cost?
Duncan: Although not the cheapest quote we had I would say your flexibility, the design work, professionalism and quality of the finished wall were worth it.
Michelle: What did you think of the installation process?
Duncan: I thought this went incredibly smoothly. The time spent developing the drawings so you had a really good model of the space really paid off when it came to assembling the wall on site. The team from Usteto were also very good, keen to get the job done but did not cut any corners. The length of time that this area was out of action was a very important factor for us so I was really happy to see the installation completed on time too.
Michelle: What has been the feedback from your customers?
Duncan: We really love it but our customers love it even more!