‘So… it’s just a climbing centre?’
It’s hard to describe the Climbing Hangar to anyone who hasn’t been there. You could say it’s more than just a climbing centre, that it’s the individuals, the community, the vibrancy and charming madness. You could say it has that something. Something that other centres don’t have.
But try explaining that to someone who has never been there; it sounds like a rehearsed sales pitch.
To all intents and purposes, the Hangar is a climbing centre. A climbing centre made of wood, with resin holds, foam mats (open-cell on the bottom, close-cell on the top), and shelves of hire shoes made of that trendy chipboard wood. But what really makes it is the people scaling those walls, and their values.
I climbed and worked in the Climbing Hangar for three years, this is what I learned.
Everyone has something to offer.
The Climbing Hangar is like a huge family, and like in a family, everyone is unique and everyone has a role to play – and I don’t just mean the staff.
An example of this was the management structure. (No wait, come back!)
Say a traditional workplace look a little bit like this:
Whereas the Climbing Hangar structure kind of looks a little more like this.
We could almost call it organised chaos (almost, but we've rescued it from the brink in the time you've been gone! - Ed). The beauty of this openness was that it built a community where everyone could draw on their experiences, contribute, and collaborate whether they worked in the office, in the kitchen, or somewhere else down the road.
Leaving the realms of possibility behind for a few hours or so isn’t the worst thing in the world. When we start climbing, we start to dream up trips, training plans, quitting our jobs, world domination. Some of these dreams we fulfil, others we don’t, but why should dreaming be limited to the walls? Plus, working with people who understand that the occasional mistake makes us better humans, well it makes you a better human!
There are a lot of things that we do because we think we should. Go to university, earn more money, buy fancy things, earn even more money, get a puppy (hmm, maybe we should all get a puppy). But why?
Businesses tend to make up targets and aim for them until they lose sight the point of the target was in the first place. The best solution? Keep it simple. At the Hangar we did cool stuff well so that we could do more cool stuff. Easy.
The community makes the place.
After leaving Liverpool, I’d just going to head to my new local climbing centre to make friends in my new place. A flawless plan!
Unfortunately I hadn’t accounted for other climbing centres not being quite like the Climbing Hangar (in that indescribable way that we talked about earlier).
Granted, the Climbing Hangar is an excellent climbing facility. But what makes it unique is the colourful, open and diverse community that has grown within and around its walls, fostered by a shared, inclusive, and genuinely compassionate vision. That’s the difference, and that’s why, these days, no visit to Liverpool is complete without a trip up to Sandhills for a coffee, a catch-up, and a climb.
We miss Hati loads and so she writes for us now and again and helps make us look more professional than we are.
If you fancy experiencing a bit of your own Hangar magic, and never escaping us, we're looking for people to swell the ranks in London and Plymouth - check out the blog page for information about current vacancies or contact us through the website, letting us know where you're based and we'll send you the job descriptions.