This past weekend we visited Rock Up in Hull to try out their climbing walls as part of our summer of #microadventures. Read on to find out about our day out what we thought of the place.
Why Rock Up indoor rock climbing?
When you have four daughters ranging from 8 years old to 14 going on 15, finding a day out that they will all enjoy can be tricky. Pitch too low and the older ones are boring, but pitch too high and the younger ones won’t enjoy it. When were had to opportunity to go and try out Rock Up and Climb in St. Stephen’s Shopping Centre in Hull we thought it was a great idea. Of course, I wanted to have a go too.
We travelled down to Hull from our home in North Yorkshire and it took us about an hour and 30 minutes. Verity slept over at a friends house the night before so we had to be unkind to her hosts and pick her up for 8.30 on a Saturday morning – sorry guys if you’re reading this!
The best thing to do if you drive there is to park in St. Stephen’s shopping centre car park. We parked on the first level we entered on, went through a door and there was Rock Up right in front of us. It couldn’t have been easier.
Let’s Go Climbing
We checked in at the reception desk where they found our booking and we were directed to where we needed to be. Once we were given coloured wristbands allocated to our session time we were immediately advised to use the toilet facilities before getting harnessed up as we’d be in them for an hour. From there it was up to the briefing room where Andy went through strapping us all into harnesses and then a full briefing on how to use the equipment.
At each wall, there is a bright coloured mat that is unclipped and lays on the floor. This way, if you see a mat on the floor at the bottom of a wall you know someone is already on it. At the wall, you have to be clipped onto the safety line by one of the brilliant attendants and your away. Once you finished on a wall you are allowed to unclip yourself – although I would say younger children may struggle with this and need some assistance.
Into the Arena
After the briefing, we were sent down a climbing frame, a little bit like an indoor play gym, and into the arena. Helen wasn’t climbing but the cafe tables are along a glass fence separating the arena from the cafe area so she had a great view. I’d barely made it out of the climbing frame before the girls were on their first walls. It’s fair to say there was little apprehension from them to climb 30 feet up a wall and jump off!
On your first go, you’re advised to climb a couple of meters and then jump down. This gets you used to the way the safety lines work. As you jump it reacts and the resistance kicks in and lowers you slowly and safely back to the ground. The first time you try this you have that niggling thought in the back of your mind, in that split second it takes for the resistance to kick in, that you’re going to plummet downwards. You don’t. Don’t worry.
Climbing the Walls
Verity, being just 8, was a little more careful about her climbing and wasn’t going very far up. But, once she got her confidence she was whizzing up those walls to the top. The attendants are really encouraging and supportive. They also who all wear harnesses themselves in case they need to assist. Grace, the climber of the house, as she’s always up a tree, was absolutely in her element and trying some of the harder walls from the off.
Despite me having an irrational fear of heights, mainly when I watch videos of people at height, I was loving the climbing. One wall was a bit different because you were meant to use wooden pegs in each hand and slot them into the grip blocks on the wall. However, the person before me left one of the pegs at the top. So I went up that with one hand using the peg and my other hand trying to grip the blocks not designed for hands.
A Bit Different
There are only two walls that are the same, in fact, they are identical. On these walls, there’s a start button at the bottom and a stop button at the top and you are timed so you can race against the person on the wall next to you. There is a free-standing see-through wall that you can climb from either side so you are able to see the person climbing opposite you. As well as the walls there are is an orb-like structure that is ridiculously tough on the arms and you can’t really use your legs much, and then there are the columns. With the columns, you climb from one to the next getting higher each time. I managed to get to the top and sit down before launching myself off. Grace went one better and manage to kneel on the top one. Delilah and Verity managed to get about halfway.
This variety of climbing apparatus really seemed to keep us all occupied for the full session and you never get bored.
The Vertical Slide
You have to pay a little extra to try to vertical slide, but I think it worth it. You get dressed in a boiler suit and helmet and you are then pulled up to a height of 10 metres. If you make it to all the way to 10 without letting go then you win a Rock Up sports bottle. Lydia, Grace and I attempted it.
I went first and by this point, we’d been climbing for 45 minutes and my arms weres sore. I just managed to hold on for the full 10 meters before letting go. It’s a heck of a fall! But I won the sports bottle. On my second ride (you get two goes) I made it to 9 metres. My fingers just couldn’t hold on any longer. Delilah said I was shaking whilst trying to hold on – I can believe it!
Tiring but fun
I have to admit that after 55 minutes of relentless climbing I was feeling it. The girls could have carried on I’m sure but our hour session came to an end. They call out your colour of wristband and you head in to have your harness taken off.
Helen sampled the cafe for drinks and found it to be reasonably priced. So often with venues like this, the cafes can be quite pricey but not here. After our climb, the girls all enjoyed a nice cold slushy to cool down. Rock Up in Hull is in a shopping centre there’s plenty of places to get a bite to eat around there too. I avoided the Krusty Creme (go me!) but we did end up in KFC in town. This location is great with it being in the heart of the city and not some out of town industrial estate like some of these venues can be.
If a parent isn’t climbing they can still ebter the climbing arena. They’re given a blue hi-viz vest so they can be there to help their children. There’s no charge for this.
I have to say the staff were fantastic, so friendly and helpful. They encouraged all the children to have a go and helped with tips for getting up the different walls.
Would we go back?
Without a shadow of a doubt – YES! We loved it and really enjoyed our climbing experience. I can see why people enjoy climbing as a sport and also why it keeps people fit too. I might run, do HIIT and recently more weights but nothing could prepare me for this. I’m sure I’ll feel it tomorrow!
What does it cost?
Days out with children these days can often be costly experiences, especially if you have four like us. We try to balance our days out between free/low-cost days (8 free/low-cost days out in North Yorkshire) and experiences such as Rock Up. This experience would have cost us £57.25* for myself and the four girls (Helen doesn’t do climbing). We paid the additional £3 each for Lydia, Grace and I to attempt the vertical slide as well.
Rock Up slit their pricing into three separate time slots; saver, standard and peak. It’s worth noting that these times also chang during the school holidays. It’s best to plan ahead and check online what their schedule looks like when you want to visit.
|Youth (up to 15)||£11.45||£10.45||£8.00|
|Student (full-time education/NUS)||£11.45||£10.45||£8.00|
|Family of 4 (min 2 Youth)||£45.80||£43.80||£32.00|
|Family of 3 (min 1 Youth)||£34.35||£32.85||£24.00|
|Vertical Drop||The Vertical Drop Slide is an additional £3 cost to climbing customers|
|Soft Play (non-walkers)||£2|
|Soft Play (walkers)||£4||£3||£3|
* All prices were correct when this blog post was published on 6th August 2018.
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* Our visit to Rock Up (Hull) was a gifted experience. This has no influence on our review of this venue whatsoever.