By Allister Fenton
It’s 5pm on a Tuesday and the regular crowd is here. The only difference is no one is climbing . . . yet. That was two weeks before we opened and we’re amazed at the people who offered to help us build this beauty. Some people stopped by after work for a bit of sanding, others arrived during lunch for a quick coffee and some taping and painting.
Friends and Allies is a new bouldering gym in Johannesburg, built for the community, by the community. When we first started using that term we didn’t realise how much the community would get involved, it’s been a self-fulfilling prophecy as new faces arrive each day to put in a bit of work. Friends and Allies offers some of the best training facilities for climbing in South Africa. We have a gear shop run by Vertigo, stocking a range of performance climbing gear from Tenaya, Mad Rock, Friction Labs and Scallywags training products. You can work remotely from our workspace and coffee shop, or get creative through woodwork and metalwork downstairs with the Made In Workshop.
Friends and Allies has the biggest spray wall in the country. Two massive boards at 30 and 40 degrees overhanging, plastered with the best holds from Blue Pill, Unit and Blocz, plus a few local and Moon Board holds. A spray wall is one of the best tools for training for climbing.
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