However, while state of the art in the mid-90s, resin walls are now outdated; most making way for a new breed of indoor climber, focused on the competition circuits and training and less interested in replicating real rock projects, requiring flat panels with more scope for creativity. Times change.
For us, there is huge excitement for this new development. The idea is a bright, open and adaptable climbing wall, fit for purpose, and a facility that will be a point of pride for the Brenin. No doubt however, there will be sadness at the loss of our old resin friend. Many a strong climber over the years has plied their trade on this legendary circuit, from new climbers training their footwork ready to move outdoors to climbers operating well into the 8th grade, the old Brenin wall has been a major feature of the local community for so long that it would be impossible to see it leave without a tear in the eye.
Resident storeman Jimbob Derry, who possibly started work at PYB back when it was still a Victorian coach house, often fondly tells tales of wads such as Chris Davies and Chris Naylor, who would wander down in his clogs and chef whites to test himself on his projects every now and again and see if he needed to train again. Finish the route and he’d be up to the bar, but fail, and he’d be back down the wall to get himself up to scratch.
As time wears on and resin walls have become fewer and further between, the secret symbols become almost mythical to visitors. Small apples and lightning bolts, rune-like to the uninitiated, mark what are actually graded climbs, the symbols marking the featured holds permitted for individual routes. For many, the crux is merely opting to give them a try.