It’s been a while since I’ve been down to the Lab which is odd as I have a prepaid punch card. I found myself falling out of love with it, the yellow circuit (v2-4) felt easy and the blue circuit (v4-v6) felt like it all too often relied on powerful moves off crimps which with injuries meant I couldn’t touch. The lack of routes seemed to hem me in and take away from the awesome centre. Things have changed however…
The Lab has done things a bit different, the floorspace is similar to other bouldering centres in the region however they haven’t crammed in maximum amounts of routes, in the centre is a fabulous seating area (with board games!) Where you can sit and watch the walls and chat, this encourages people to get off the mat when not climbing and makes the climbing feel less cramped and the landings much safer. When you climb the centre feels open, light and free. So put simply the Lab is a nice place to be, and they do good coffee.
Where they have made the most change however is in the routes, last night the routes were high quality. The blues were a good mix, the yellows were testing but doable and there is a new V3-v5 Pink circuit which is superb. A tricky set of problems with some beautiful dynamic moves. I noticed how good the circuit was by watching Amy find her weaknesses but on routes good enough to work at which saw clear improvements at the end of the night.
This place is well worth a visit and is settling in to the Leeds scene. It’s good to see a wall doing something different.