Introduction to Bouldering at Freeklime

Kirsty getting to grips with the wall

Freeklime recently welcomed BDO for an afternoon of bouldering. Director Christopher Whitehead and instructor Tiff were joined by Kirsty, Alison, Chris, Craig and Simon, who got to grips with some bouldering basics.

Interior view of Freeklime bouldering gym
Freeklime climbing gym in Huddersfield
The group approaching the climbing wall, led by Tiff.
L-R Alison, Kirsty, Chris, Simon, Tiff (instructor), Craig

It was Simon’s first time, but the Freeklime crew soon had him settled in:

“I’ve been wanting to have a go at bouldering for some time, but never had the guts to. When I saw the post in the Mountains for Mind group, I dithered for a few days before signing up. I was very anxious prior to going as I’m not very good in group social situations, especially with people I don’t know. Also, I was worried I’d be rubbish at it and what people would think of me.

I felt completely at ease walking in with a warm welcome from you and the guys at Freeklime. Tiff, the instructor was great and the rest of the group were all nice and really supportive. It was a very friendly atmosphere, I enjoyed every minute and can’t wait to go back.

I can only equate the feeling to the one I got when I first surfed – it was the same kind of buzz. Which is difficult to explain but if you know, you know. I wasn’t sure feelings like that were possible for me these days with my meds etc.

Think I’ve been bit by the bouldering bug!”. Simon Harwood

Chris, scaling the climbing wall.
Chris, heading in the right direction!
Alison being coached on the wall by Tiff.
Alison, being coached by Tiff.

Craig is already a keen climber and wanted to tell us what he got out of his time on the wall:

“Bouldering is therapeutic – it’s social, fun and mindful. The Huddersfield climbing community are a good bunch in general and BDO is awesome at introducing people to outdoor adventure-based activities – they really appreciate the therapeutic value of these activities as an adjunct or stand-alone positive step along the recovery journey.

The BDO organisers and Freeklime staff are super-positive and supportive and make every possible effort to make climbing accessible for all. I really can’t find the words to express how much I valued my experience climbing with the introductory group.

It’s an intrinsic reward reaching the top on challenging climbs and I made some good gains in my climbing capability having Tiff, John, Hellen there coaching me along the way. The support from the rest of my peer group was great too – everyone’s supportive and there with the common interest of climbing, making rapport building easier.

I’d love to climb regularly with a mental health orientated group co-ordinated by BDO. The fact that this is now a potential reality is a reflection of the aforementioned responsiveness and ethos of BDO and Freeklime. People are put off by climbing for various reasons, for example, social anxiety, heights or thinking they won’t have enough upper body strength. However, there’s climbs suitable for all levels, no pressure to try anything that you don’t want to try and everyone’s encouraged to climb within their capabilities. There’s even a cafe area where you can take a time out if things are feeling too much and you want a rest, refreshments or whatever.

I love it already – I’m so excited about the social climbing group and hoping to make some like-minded acquaintances for regular bouldering sessions”. Craig Wilkinson

Craig got in touch after the event to ask if he could help in anyway and we’re pleased to say he’s joining us on a forthcoming event to shadow our instructors. It’ll be great to see you again, Craig.

L-R BDO Director, Andrew Higson; Freeklime Director, Christopher Whitehead; BDO Operations Manager, John Gale; and BDO mascot, Rosie Higson
L-R BDO Director, Andrew Higson; Freeklime Director, Christopher Whitehead; BDO Operations Manager, John Gale; and BDO mascot, Rosie Higson

If you’d like to join us on any of our activities, check out the events page. For all climbing and bouldering enquiries, get in touch with John Gale at