“The Climbing Academy undoubtedly sets new standards in dedicated bouldering facilities in the UK.”
Neil Gresham


The Climbing Academy
Charlton Street

0117 907 2956

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Hours of opening

Monday to Friday

 10am to 10pm


9am to 6pm




Reel Rock 9 - Valley Uprising

We're co-hosting Reel Rock again in Bristol, now in it's 9th incarnation. Valley uprising looks like blowing the previous 8 versions out of the water though and we can't wait. Tickets are on sale at TCA (cash only) and from Stanfords book shop on Corn Street.


The Carpenter's Apprentice

Ex TCA squad member, current staff member, and one of the finest up and coming UK climbers, James Squire ticks his nemesis - The Carpenter's Apprentice at Dinas. Apprenticeship over!


2014/15 TCA South West Schools Bouldering League 

The Schools Bouldering League returns this autumn for the 6th consecutive year. Last year's league was a great success, with over 80 school children taking part. Bristol Grammar School, Colston Girls school and Cathedral School were crowned the 2014 South West Schools Bouldering Champions.

For more information on the competition, coaching sessions for school groups and free induction sessions for teachers, please click here! 


Third Time Lucky by Hamish Potokar

As the summer draws to a close, now feels like a good time to reflect back over some of the experiences I’ve had. One in particular stands out for me; my first EYC of the season in L’Agentierre La Besse, France…

With its growing familiarity, this place seems to signify a lot for me as a climber. On my first visit, at the age of about twelve on a family holiday, I was just beginning to become captivated by the ‘sport’ of climbing. I was at that stage where all of a sudden I, having been following my dad to the crag for the past six years or so, was the one who was starting to drag him to the crag as my enthusiasm and desire to improve suddenly accelerated. Up in the cliffs surrounding the valley I remember climbing my first sport 7a, not a pretty sight as I desperately grappled with the rope at the top, trying to clip the final chains with my pumped (and inexperienced) arms. When I finally did it, and lowered back down, I was elated. But this elation I felt on climbing my first 7a somehow seemed to linger on within this valley, and reoccurred last year, when I returned for my second EYC and made the finals, again something I never thought I would be capable of doing on my first year of competing at this level.

This year I returned for a third time. Though not unconfident, I felt a little apprehensive to be competing in the junior category for the first time. I knew these guys would be stronger than me, and as we headed in to the warm up wall, this was confirmed. As me and fellow team mates Max and Joe begun rubbing tennis balls on our backs to warm up, we watched as the euro guys pulled some crazy moves on the warm up board. At this stage it’s easy to become pretty intimidated; however we all knew that this wasn’t the way to go, and so carried on with how we’d planned. Though I wasn’t feeling so great on the wall (a week in magic wood takes its toll!) by the time qualification started I was ready to go. 

The setting in this competition has its own individual style compared to other Europeans. With not a single slab, the entire wall seems to overhang slightly, and instead of adopting the typically euro style of dynamic and technical climbing on volumes, the moves are basic and predominantly on crimps. This is something which definately suits me, being far more paralleled to the style you find on most indoor walls in the UK. Consequently during qualification I felt in my element, and though I won’t bore you with the details of each problem (I have a lot to fit in!) I finished up with seven out of the eight boulders topped in a decent number of attempts. Though this was a good I knew it was going to be close as to whether I made finals.

It was! I was one attempt to a bonus fewer than the guy in 7th, meaning that I sneaked in in 6th. When things come this close it really reminds you fragile the difference can be between making finals, and just missing out. Every go really counts. Fortunately this time I was on the right side of the cut, but in a few weeks’ time I would feel the frustration of being on the other. Being the only GB athlete to make finals it was all on to me, and I arrived back to our house to be greeted by the cheers of the rest of the team. Having the energy of the whole team behind me was something which really made a difference. Though there may have been some disappointments from the day, everyone seemed to put this behind them and pour everything in to supporting me for the finals, and this is something I am so grateful for. And so when on the next day I walked on to the mats, I was once again met by the whole team giving everything in the crowd.

Being in 6th place I was first out. Bloc one was a weaving line up a vertical wall on volumes. This one was all about getting the right body positions, the crux being switching the left hand to a press in order to reach up and right. Getting thorough this on my first attempt, I dropped one of the final moves. After a bit of a rest I was back up there, this time sinking my hips a bit lower I was able to match in to a dirty crimp and lay it on for the final hold. Though happy to have topped it second go, I knew that that really it wasn’t that hard and, in order to keep in the running, I should have flashed it. 

The next one was hard. After sticking the sideways dyno and securing the bonus after a few goes, not much more progress was made. Finally I was stood in front of the third bloc, this one involving another sideways dyno. Again I stuck the dyno after a few goes and dropped the last move. With time running out, I put in one big effort and just managed to match the top sloper. Its always good to finish on a high, and I certainly did! Knowing that id secured a fifth place I was really happy. As I watched the rest of the competitors emerge on to the final bloc I realised I may have done better than I had originally thought, maybe 4th? However I didn’t properly believe that I’d made the podium until I saw the official results board. 3rd. And for the third time in this place I reached goal in my climbing I never thought I’d reach. And so as well as a recognition of my placing in that competition, that step on to the podium marked something more for me; it was a step up in my progression as a climber, a step which began all those years ago at the chains of my first 7a.

I’d like to Thank the management team and chaperones who came on this trip, they all give up their free time to come along and support us to be the best we can on the day, as well as making sure we have a good time as well! Its so great to be part of such a cohesive team, who over these first two years have started to develop a real identity, and one which entails us being the loudest supporters in Europe! I’d also like to thank my sponsors: Banana Fingers, The Climbing Academy, Sports Aid, and Tip Juice, for all the support they have given me.


Summer Comp Full Results

Here are the full Summer Comp results in pdf format. Massive thanks to Ellis Brigham, Scarpa and the lovely people at Beta Climbing Designs. We're not sure where the usual younger and older females were hiding, but hopefully they'll reappear in time for the Winter Series!

In the heat of the moment we failed to notice that Ollie Laz should have been credited with joint 3rd place, appologies Ollie and we'll sort you out with something nice for a great result.

Click here for the full results.