The City Bloc team is made up of passionate and experienced climbers who have travelled all around the world and have been at the forefront of the climbing scene for the last 4 decades.  There’s not much that has happened in the climbing world that we don't know about. 



Meet our Managing Director


Ben Meeks

A former member of the British Competition Climbing team, Ben is a well known outdoor bouldering activist climbing at a high standard in the UK and overseas. He was also responsible for developing parts of Ilkley Rocky Valley, gaining first ascents up to the grade of V11.

Ben is a qualified national route setter and is highly regarded for his wall management and route setting skills. Ben has been route-setting since 2004 and has set for national standard competitions since 2006. As chief route setter at City Bloc, Ben puts his extensive experience to good use, creating dynamic, gymnastic and technical problems for you to solve.

As Head Coach Ben teaches climbing skills to all abilities, from beginners wanting to learn the basics, through to national standard competition climbers on the Great British Team. He has also been responsible for coaching Yorkshire based children for climbing competitions and has successfully coached children into many podium positions. 

Meet our team members

Jake Fretwell

Starting climbing at the age of 6, has allowed Jake to climb at different crags all around the UK & Europe. He also spent 3 months travelling around Argentina climbing some of the best rock that South America has to offer. Since he started climbing his aim was always to become a climbing instructor and he achieved this as soon as he left education and has been happy doing so ever since.

Hardest Climb: “Slapstick Arete” at Caley 7B
Favourite UK Crag: Almscliffe


Marianne Lalli

Bio about Marianne coming soon.

Freya Thomas

Freya started indoor climbing in 2016 after being introduced to the sport by her brother. She has since started to explore outdoor bouldering on the Yorkshire gritstone and tries to get out whenever she has free time. Freya is also a freelance Yoga teacher here in Leeds and runs our yoga for climbers class on Wednesday evenings. Having trained as a dancer and practiced yoga for a number of years, flexibility plays a huge role in her climbing technique!

Dan Weatherall

Tom Pepper

Introduced to climbing in his younger yearsby his dad back home in Wales. Tom started regularly climbing in 2016 when he came to Leeds and quickly caught the bug. Since then he has developed a love hate relationship with gritstone and is always pushing himself on harder routes. If he's not getting thrown off some rocks in Yorkshire, he'll be at home in the mountains of Snowdonia.



Malcolm Haslam

Malcolm started climbing in the early 1970s. He could be seen anywhere from the Lancashire quarries, Yorkshire grit, Lake District, snowy mountaineering, buildings, bridges, walls, anywhere you could throw some shapes. Limestone, gritstone, mountain crags, outcrops, sea cliffs, boulders, anything as long as it's made from rock. Climbing's brilliant.

Special places. Hoghton Quarry, Malham Right Wing, The Glen.

He is inspired by everyone around him.

Malcolm offers free coaching and guidance down at City Bloc.

Meet our Directors

Martin Smith

Martin is a former member of the British Bouldering Team and his best result was finishing 2nd overall in the 2005/06 British Bouldering Championships. Martin is currently sponsored by Scarpa and is a member of their elite climbing team and is one of the few climbers in the country to have climbed the coveted grade of 8B. 


Rachel Seymour

Rachel - climber of over 20 years, started competing regionally at age 12, and has been winner of various British national competition rounds. Representing Great Britain as part of the British Competition Climbing Team for 6 years, competing throughout Europe. Rachel is also a keen outdoor boulderer who has climbed at the highest female UK standards outdoors.

Tom Sugden

Tom has been climbing for over 20 years, gathering a vast experience of indoor and outdoor climbing development. Tom has worked as a climbing instructor for a number of years within different outdoor pursuits centres and indoor climbing walls. Bouldering at the highest standard Tom represented Great Britain as part of the British Competition Climbing Team from 2001- 2007 competing both nationally and internationally across Europe. Tom has also climbed at the highest UK standards outdoors in the UK and overseas.