Climbing firm aims to scale new heights

Steve Mason and Bryan Hickman at their new climbing wall in Vale Mill, Todmorden.
Steve Mason and Bryan Hickman at their new climbing wall in Vale Mill, Todmorden.

The owners of a new business are hoping to scale new heights by making it a base for the climbing community in the upper Calder Valley.

Climbing Skool, run by Bryan Hickman and Steve Mason, offers extensive facilities to cater for people of all ages and levels of experience.

The centre, which is based at Crow Carr Ings Mill on Vale Street, Todmorden, opened last weekend and provides a place for people to go indoor climbing without having to travel long distances.

“We have a massive climbing fraternity around here,” Bryan said.

“We have some of the best climbing landscape in the country in this area.

“Hopefully we can capitalise on that by offering a place to climb when the weather gets cold.”

Bryan, who owns an engineering company in the same building, had the idea for the climbing centre earlier this year.

He contacted climbing instructor Steve and looked into the possiblity of installing facilities above his existing premises.

Ten weeks later, everything was in place and the business was ready to open its doors.

“It’s something that we thought would be good for Todmorden,” Bryan said.

“We can offer people something that’s reasonable and that’s nearer than having to drive to Manchester, so they save fuel and money.

“In that sense, we’re eco-friendly.”

Climbing Skool offers bouldering - low level climbing - on a wall that measures 12 metres wide and three metres high.

There are also several climbing bays, each containing eight metre high walls for people to scale.

Each wall is colour-coded for different abilities ranging from novices to experienced climbers.

“We are aiming to cater for all ages and levels of experience,” Bryan said.

He said youngsters are welcome but must be supervised by an adult.

The business is currently open seven days a week, 10am until 10pm.

- Bryan and Steve are inviting people to attend an open day at Climbing Skool on Sunday.

Running from 10.30am until 5pm, it will offer a chance for people to have a go at bouldering and scaling the climbing walls.

Donations will be welcome and all money raised will be given to the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team, to which both Bryan and Steve have links.

“We’d like people to come along, have a look, have a go and, if they like it, book a session,” Bryan said.