Climbing & Bouldering at XC

Bouldering Safety

Bouldering is a fantastic sport that encourages strength, agility, problem solving, and teamwork. There is always a degree of risk involved when climbing no matter how skillful you are, so to help out boulderers old and new we’ve put together a handy video of tips and safety advice for climbing at XC. If you have any questions after watching please speak to one of the team, they’ll be happy to help!

Are You Clipped In?

When climbing safety is of paramount importance. Climbing indoors or outdoors carries serious risk, and it’s easy for advanced and experienced climbers to make mistakes when focusing on the next move. If you’re feeling confident you become complacent.  The below video created by The Climbing Academy and a fall survivor is a great watch, to remind all climbers to take a second when doing your pre-climb checks. Ensure that at all times you are clipped or tied-in correctly.

What do I need to know for my first visit as an experienced climber?

Every participant wishing to use our climbing and bouldering walls unsupervised needs a valid waiver form. This can be filled in online prior to your session by clicking here.

You will also be asked to pass a “competency check”, which can be attempted once per visit. This entails checking that you’re able to properly fit your own harness, tie in, and belay safely. We will also check your knowledge of auto-belays and bouldering, and ask you some basic safety questions. If you do not pass you will not be able to use our walls and will need to re-attempt the check no earlier than the following day.

Only climbers aged 18+ may climb unsupervised providing they have passed a “competency check”, attended a bouldering induction or brief, and have all relevant waivers completed.

Climbers aged 14 to 17 can climb unsupervised providing they have passed a “junior competency check” that must be booked and paid for in advance. This can be done by calling 01442 952333 or e-mail us at

What if I’m a first time climber?

You’ll likely be on a guided session or being supervised by a competent climber, so just make sure your supervised climbing waiver has been filled in and you’re ready to go. Be sure to listen to qualified climbers to ensure a fun and safe visit.

What kind of climbing can I do at XC?

We have 20 lead lines, with a great variety of routes. Most routes range from 4 – 7c+ in difficulty. We have a natural feature wall which can be climbed without using any holds at all, climbers can utilise the natural holds and features of the wall to make it to the top. (Note to climbers: You’ll need to bring an appropriately rated 30m rope (minimum) to lead the walls at XC.)
Our 8 Auto Belays allow you to climb alone should you wish, 3 of which are on the 14m wall.

We have 15 top rope ready walls. 9 on our 14m high walls, and 6 on 8m walls. The routes grade from 3 – 7c and are reset regularly to provide an adequate challenge and variety for experienced climbers.

We also have a reinforced wall section that you can use to practice trad placements, but please note you will need to be backed up by a top rope when practicing this. Please ask the team for more info if you’re interested in trying trad climbing at XC.

Do I need to bring any equipment?

We do offer shoes, harnesses, belay devices, and chalk bags for rental if you don’t have your own but these are subject to availability. If you have your own equipment that is in good condition you can use it. (Note to climbers: You’ll need to bring an appropriately rated 30m rope (minimum) to lead the walls at XC.)

What should I wear?

Dress appropriately according to the temperature outside. Although we are an enclosed building, it can be hot in summer and cold in winter. Wear layers that can be easily removed if you become hot. Dresses and skirts are not permitted. Remove all jewellery and if you have long hair, this must be tied back into a low ponytail.

Do you provide lockers?

Lockers are provided at a cost of £0.20 and are large enough for a rucksack. Alternatively, you can leave your belongings in our briefing room. (Personal items are left unattended at your own risk)

Do you have toilets and changing rooms?

Changing rooms, toilets and showers are available for use on-site at no extra cost to your visit.

Climbing Memberships


Did you know you can now sign up for an XC Climbing membership online?

You can enjoy easy, fast check-ins and online booking all for one low monthly cost!

Pay flexibly with a monthly recurring EFT payment, or pre-pay for a month in advance with no lock-in period!

For full terms and conditions of membership or to sign up online head to our membership page.

Climbing is a fantastic sport that is both mentally and physically challenging. It’s a great workout, builds confidence, and will quickly help develop your core strength, endurance, and flexibility. If you are looking for a unique indoor climbing experience in the home counties or a stone’s throw from London then you should give XC a visit!

Located in Hemel Hempstead, XC’s 880m2 walls consists of four distinct areas that are suitable for beginners and advanced climbers alike. Our walls feature a combination of Lightwave, Cristalithe and Mozaik climbing systems, which have been used to design a challenging and exciting environment for even the most experienced of climbers.

Did you know?

We have a newly installed speed climbing wall, with an inset timer ready to clock your top times and help you gauge your progress.