The Arch Supports Climbing In Sierra Leone
Back in 2018, we received an email from Ed Feldman, who was looking for old holds, volumes, or climbing shoes to help him with his climbing wall project. Now, this isn’t an unusual request by any means, but what made it so interesting was the location of this wall… Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
Ed and his team had taken on the incredible challenge of building Climb Salone, Sierra Leone’s (and West Africa’s!) very first indoor climbing wall! They needed all the help they could get to source holds, volumes, and climbing shoes, as these are the sort of things which are just not available in West Africa!
We were delighted to be able to help them out, and Ed has just informed us that our holds and shoes donations have finally arrived at Climb Salone, and have recently been put to use by their trainee route setters.
“Building and maintaining a climbing wall in Sierra Leone has presented many challenges: from working in 35 degree heat and 100% humidity, to the unreliable electricity supply when working with power tools, to the huge lead time on any materials not available in country (which is most of them!). By the time we have finished, we will have a 10,20 and 40-degree overhang, a roof, a vertical wall, a steep slab and a section of wall for kids where they can top out and climb back down to the bottom!” - Ed Feldman
Since kicking everything off back in 2017, the scope of the project has increased, and Ed tells us that they’ve had a lot of interest from locals who live in the area, and who have shown great promise as budding climbers (Matthew, the local partner and trainee instructor has just climbed his first V7!) In the first month of opening they’ve had over 150 customers through the door to come and give it a try.
We’re super excited to have been a part of such an incredible project, and hope we can continue to support Ed and the team in the future!
If you’d like to keep up with their progress, and see more of these wonderful pictures, head onto their instagram page and give them a follow!