Cambridge climbers go over the Rainbow for new facility

PUBLISHED: 13:16 18 January 2018

Rainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

Rainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

Iliffe Media Ltd

Hundreds of climbers flocked to the opening weekend of a new climbing facility in Cambridge.

Rainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith HeppellRainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

Rainbow Rocket, which opened on Friday (January 12), is the brainchild of Jeremy Leong, who left his job as an analyst at Google to start the venture.

Jeremy, who is a climber, studied engineering at Cambridge University. He now works with nine others at Rainbow Rocket, a bouldering wall with around 200 climbing routes.

It all started with a Crowdfunder that helped Jeremy and his 
team open a 6,000 sq ft facility on Clifton Road, behind Cambridge Leisure Centre.

Jeremy told the Cambridge Independent: “I was working at Google, analysing marketing campaigns for very big companies. If it’s a drink or something you wear, then I’ve probably analysed it. But I thought I’d try something different.

Rainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith HeppellRainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We had over 100 people come in on Saturday, a lot of them were the people who supported us on Crowdfunder. But people are getting to know about us by word of mouth.

“There’s already a lot of climbers in Cambridge, but there’s nowhere on this scale to go really. Until now they’ve had to go to London or Norwich or Milton Keynes to access a facility.”

The bouldering wall doesn’t require ropes and harnesses. Each route is up to 4.5m high and the floor is padded to break a fall.

Planning permission for the business was granted in October and Jeremy has worked with professional route setters and local climbers to design routes that range in difficulty.

Rainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith HeppellRainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

“The routes vary from super beginner stuff to far more advanced climbing. There’s something for people who want to get into climbing as well,” Jeremy explained.

There are also plans for the first competition on the walls with ambitions of hosting a varsity match against Oxford in March.

“We’re just in the preliminary planning stages now,” Jeremy said. “I know some of the university mountaineering club guys climb for GB so I think it’ll be quite competitive, but it’ll also be a fun day as well.”

He added: “We’re planning to have a big open competition as well with qualifying stages.”

Rainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith HeppellRainbow Rocket new climbing wall opened on Clifton Rd, Cambridge by Cambridge Graduate and climber Jeremy Leong. Picture: Keith Heppell

for more information visit rainbowrocket.cc.

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