I am moving to Sheffield. Good news for a number of reasons but I'll stick to the one that this blog is focussed on - rock climbing. As some, most or all of you will know, Sheffield is widely renowned for its proximity to the legendary Peak District. It was also home to the UK's (possibly even the whole of Europe's) first ever dedicated indoor climbing centre. These two facts make Sheffield the rock climbing capital of Europe. Yes. Yes they do.
And I can vouch for that with first hand - and totally unbiased... erm... sort of unbiased - experience. I'm from Sheffield, you see. Born and bred. I moved away when I was 18 (for University) and have not returned, except to visit the family every now and again, since next weekend. And I can't wait.
The Peak District is one of the world's best destinations for bouldering and single pitch trad climbing. There are also world class sport routes littered throughout the countryside, on the slippery and sharp limestone. And this is all within 10-20 minutes of most of the city. Plus, the city also contains the now famous Climbing Works, The Edge, The Foundry and The Matrix, which are all top class indoor climbing venues.
The climbing "scene" in Sheffield is second to none. I've never found anywhere with as many psyched, dedicated and passionate people. Just go to the Works on any given day (when it's raining) and the place is heaving with people out of their mind for rock climbing. I'm one of them. I can recognise my own. You've got world class boulderers climbing alongside the first timers. And everyone is having a blast.
I'm going HOME!