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Climbing walls across the country are entering the busiest part of the year and Highball will be no different. This year we are making a few changes to how we operate to ensure everyone has the best experience possible when visiting and climbing.

Most of the changes will commence from Monday 8th January. Here’s the main headlines followed by more info.

New entry/exit process
Time Limits go, booking stays
Members No Longer Need To Book
New & Updated Climbing Areas
Yoga / Warm Up Area
Opening Hours

New entry/exit process
We are in the process of making changes to our entrance/exit area. We are introducing turnstiles to help manage capacity in the building and manage the flow of people entering and exiting the building during our busy periods. These will work using your normal Capitan barcode.

The main entrance will also be the exit – how it used to be pre-pandemic – and the current exit will just be used to access our outside space.

Time Limits Go, Booking Stays
As you know, we have been using a booking system since the pandemic to manage when people are visiting Highball. The booking system will stay in place however, we will now be using this for arrival time opposed to the specific time slot you can visit.

We have a good amount of people travelling into Norwich from more rural areas and feel this will prevent any disappointment of people arriving and the centre being at its maximum capacity. Additionally to this, customers visiting the centre will now be welcome to stay for as long as they wish, with no set leaving time.

Members No Longer Need To Book!
If you have a prepaid or recurring membership you will no longer need to book on to a climbing session ahead of arriving. You can just turn up and climb! Moving forward, this will be an exclusive benefit for our members so you can access the centre simply and easily.

New & Updated Climbing areas
We have two new developments around the centre. Firstly, we have expanded our coaching area (upstairs) to include a new 10 degree wall and have extended the existing traverse wall.

This area will now be open for general climbing. However, at certain times of day, it may be unavailable if being used by our coaching team. There will be signs in place when it is not available and coaches may also ask you to leave the area if they have a session.

We will also be repurposing the stamina board into a general bouldering wall. Opening this up to general climbing for the next 3-4 months will help give everyone extra space to enjoy their climb. We will review this at Easter once the winter peak subsides.

Yoga / Warm up area
The yoga area will now be open for general use when we are not running classes or birthday parties. We understand that stretching and warming up is crucial to a good climb so we have a collection of yoga mats up in that room so it is the perfect place to warm up as well as stretch and practise your own yoga routines.

To take advantage of this space, head up stairs and you will find this room on the left.

Opening Hours
Last year, we sent out a survey on potential changes to opening hours. We had a fantastic response and the majority preferred a later opening time at weekends. Based on this, from February we are extending weekend hours to 10am-8pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

We will also open at 2pm on Mondays from Monday 15th January.

Routesetting Tweaks
Whilst this isn’t something new, it’s something which is worth highlighting.

Before the Pandemic, the route setting on the Xcult Comp Wall and ‘Squad Wall’ (Zones 5-7) was very different. There were less boulders, of a comp style, and they tended to be harder. As a result these areas were often quieter than the rest of the centre; whilst the blocs looked great, people didn’t climb them.

This changed through the pandemic as the aim was to ‘spread people out’ (stay safe people!). Guy and the routesetting team changed the plan for these walls and set more boulders across the full grade range. After seeing more people attracted to and on these walls, it is an approach the team have maintained ever since. This means during our busy periods, people are more spread across the whole centre than they were this time in 2020.

The result of all of these little improvements…
During this winter, we finally expect our numbers to get back to pre-pandemic levels. We know the next few months will be busy, not just for us, but for all climbing centres in the country. Our aim with all these changes is to put us in the best ever position to deal with these peaks and give you the best experience.

Next winter… We’ll have more space 😉

We are really excited for the changes coming and feel these will make everyone’s experience at Highball better. If you have any questions around these changes, feel free to come to reception and speak to a member of staff on your next visit.


What if I arrive early/late?
No problem. Come straight to reception and we will sort this out. Please note, if we are at capacity and you are early, we may ask you to wait a short time.

What if there is a fire?
Our turnstiles will be integrated with our fire alarm system to ensure that in the event of a fire, you can leave the building quickly and safely. However, you should always exit using the nearest emergency exit and if you are climbing, there are 3 in the main area.

What if someone wants to spectate?
No worries at all. Just come to reception when you arrive and a member of staff will let you in.

What about power hours?
Power hours will still exist and we will be adding more to our timetable to ensure there are plenty available. Please be aware, this is a time restricted session.

What if I want to climb across two booking times?
Our new booking system is just an arrival time so you only need to book when you will arrive.

If I am a member and I am bringing my kids, can I take them through the turnstiles or do I have to come to reception?
When bringing your kids, just make your way to reception when you arrive to sign them in.

Can I use the yoga/warm up space anytime?
As long as we do not have any yoga sessions or birthday parties, this will be available. There will be signs in place when this is unavailable.

Do I still have to book with my multipass?
Yes, it is the same as before. You still need to book on to a session ahead of arriving to ensure your entry.

Why are you keeping the booking system?
Prior to the pandemic, we had started considering a booking system to help manage capacity during peak periods. Historically, climbing centres just kept the doors open to the point where, at times (mostly in the winter), it could be ‘too busy’ and negatively affect people’s climbing experience. We want to provide the best experience possible and managing capacity is part of that. The pandemic simply gave us the perfect opportunity to introduce it and test it.

Ultimately, Norwich is a rural city and we have lots of customers who drive in for 20-45 mins. We want our customers to know that if they’ve booked a session, they’re in, and won’t have to wait in a queue in a ‘one in one out’ system.

How do I become a member so I don’t need to book?
You can become a member by visiting