Good fun at Boulder Gym ‘Klimzaal Blok’ in Antwerp. Exciting walls, from smaller to larger height, from pillar to grapefruit shaped walls. And the route setters know how the use the lay-out: some creative and nice routes! Would love to come back!
The goal of the Bouldertour 2017 is to boulder in all European capitals (well for practical reasons ‘only’ the first half, alphabetically by country name in Dutch) This also includes Belgium, however, we could not find any boulder gyms there! Luckily Antwerp has enough to offer for an enthousiastic climber, and we could not help but find out how the gyms are there!
The boulder gym is in a small village ‘Hoboken’ in the city. Cosy and green, while hosting a bike contest and being 30 degrees outside: we enjoyed the surroudings.
The gym is quite big, with a kids area, small bar, changing rooms plus showers inside a container, a slack line and a nice bouldering area. All in all it had an alternative vibe: good fun! Only down side is that we are so eager to climb the routes that we do not check how to get back on the ground after topping the route. Not that many down-climbing options and the higher routes results in a higher than comfortable fall.
We had a good bouldering session!
Een prachtig mooi afgewerkte boulderhal opende afgelopen zaterdag de deuren: Boulderhal Impact bij Almere Parkwijk. En wij mochten dit aanschouwen, feest! De bar waar je binnen komt is stijlvol, het klimgedeelte biedt genoeg uitdaging. Niet zo groot als een Grip in Nijmegen (of een Campus uit Den Haag die ik nog moet bezoeken sinds hun opening 6 mei!). Maar genoeg te klimmen, creatieve routes waar goed op te puzzelen is. Een aanrader!
En zo kleurrijk! Met een pad om terug te lopen van heuse top-out routes. Achterin een grote trainingsruimte en de basic kleedkamers bovenaan zonder douches helaas. Maar goed geboulderd!
Arriving at our final destination: Helsinki. A great bouldering destination with multiple bouldering and climbing gyms. Not to mention the rocks all over the city with bouldering potential. Topper!
Either a short 2 hour boat trip from Helsinki. Or spending double the time on a luxureous cruise ship. We had a blast at the ship with live music, nice view and entertainment. From the harbour it was an hour walk to our accomodation, sight seeing the city on our way. Ended up being enough for one day and took a quiet evening. Bouldering we could only climb at one place, while having so many options in Helsinki. So we climbed at BoulderKeskus Pasila and visited two more gyms.
Boulderkeskus Pasila was not the best choice: quite small especially as half the walls were broken down for renovation. Explains why there were not any 4’s and we warmed up with 5’s. The level of the routes were clearly labeled at the start holds. The route continued with holds of the same colour. We had an okay session there and touched some 6’s and 7’s. Atmosphere is fine and nice climbers!
Climbing gym Kiipeilyarena was awesome by the looks of it. High climbing area woth artificial rocks and a nice bouldering area, with nice Walltopia walls. Wish we could have tried it out!
Then Boulderkeskus Isatis was the best we have seen so far. Great overhang wall, huge area and interesting looking routes. Plus, a system with an app where you can track the climbed routes. Wantes to give it a try as well! Remarkebly there was no music on while we were there. Nice climbers but got a serious vibe.
We will be back, Helsinki!
After Lithuania and Latvia we arrive in Estonia by a smooth bus ride. First day here we explored the nicely decorated city center. We cannot wait too long to boulder, so the next day we walk up to RonimisMinisteerum.
The bouldering gym in Tallinn is really nice! Creative routes where the level (V system) is marked by labels like in Riga. Works fine. A little bit strange are the falling down mats. There is a gap between the mat on the floor and the wall, which can be filled with flexible mats. When starting a route you have to make sure the mat is filled and move around mat blocks. Mat in place and off we go!
The gym also offers a climbing rope, a high slack line and enough training options. Good fun, would like to come back!
Next day was supposed to be a “rest” day but invited to a climbing parc we found ourselves climbing in the sun between the trees. So much fun! In the beautiful area of Nomme we enjoyed all day! From walking in the forest to watching the Champion League match. Only one day left in Tallinn!
We found the bouldering gyms of Vilnius and Riga! In Vilnius it is in the basement of a building 15 minutes from the city center. Vilnius is nice compact and hosts a small and cosy bouldering gym!
Introduced as the place where bouldering started in Lithuania we found a great place climbed by great people. Both friendly and knew what they were doing while warming up, during climbing and training. Inspiring to be part of for one day!
The gym was crowded – at the crazy times the bouldering gym was open to free climbing. It is closed during classes because of the size, and on Saturday only open for groups/birthday parties. We hit the Friday evening spot!
The routes were a bit “messy” but we found several fun labeled routes, and done a lot of transversing. Or making up own routes which we are getting quite creative at. Nice place, we may come back!
In Riga we had 20 hours to find the bouldering gym and have a good night sleep. Which made looking for the gym even more exciting: they moved to a new address and once at the new address we finally found the entrance behind a big building:
Bouldering gym Falkors is small but with good routes and nice climbers. We had a fine bouldering session there! The routes start with a label indicating the level, followed by the holds of the same colour. Nice balance of being flexible with the limited supply of holds and how handy it is for the climber. Small space but complete offer: showers, lockers (nice!) and routes, unfortunately no coffee
We had a good time, now off to Tallinn!
On a trip to the Baltic countries plus Finland while we are there! First stop is Vilnius, flying from Amsterdam. It is on!
First thing after a short bus ride to the center is visiting the bouldering gym Montis Magia. An adventure in itself! And the opening times did not meet our schedule:
So off to Kaunas an hour train ride from Vilnius with a nice bouldering gym. We did not go all the way to Lithuania while not being able to boulder that day!
It was the worse/best timing we could have had: the next day was going to be a competition at Miegantys Drambliai. So no routes on the wall, however, routes were made up right on the spot by route builder Pauvalo. A great climbing buddy!
The gym is compact and has a nice atmosphere. Normally the routes are labeled, instead of one colour holds on a route. Good place! We heard that there is a great boulder gym at the coastal city Klaipeda. Too far detour for our trip unfortunately.
In the evening we made a short walk around Kaunas and took the train back. A nice day!
In rap tempo openen de boulderhallen in Nederland. Nog net op 1 april heeft ‘Het Lab’ als tweede boulderhal in Amsterdam geopend. Volgen er in mei nog twee hallen in Den Haag en Almere: 6 mei opening van Campus, om de klimopties in Den Haag nog maar uit te breiden met een echte boulderhal, waar al De Uithof en Holland Spoor zich vestigen.Daarbij opent Impact de deuren op 13 mei. We gaan het zien!
Visiting Dublin, this time checking out boulder gym Gravity while we’re there. Which made most of my weekend trip.
Gravity calls itself the best bouldering gym of Ireland, so I had to go there! Then again boulder gym claims the same, I only got the check out Gravity, a really nice hall in a suburb of Dublin. Gravity even has routes in the colour of the Irish flag!
The place is big with lots of walls and even a cave! The routes are divers and creative and the atmosphere is really nice. Would recommend going there!
As there was a women only event the previous night to promote climbing to females, I could not help but notice still about half the climbers were pretty strong women. Had it already worked to build a female community overnight? Or did they all avoid that night and trained the next day instead?
The hall features a nice kids play ground and a small training area: for bonus coolness the training area is located inside bouldering walls.
A small tour around the crowded city and it was time to catch the plane back again. A good visit to Dublin!
Off to the slightly warmer Italy, with its great coffee, pizza and pasta! Next to the ancient aquaducts and collesseum, the city offers a fine bouldering gym.
Hidden behind a parc, we are welcomed in boulder gym Rock It. Nice entrance and changing rooms with multiple showers and hair blowers (even here). Looking good!
The bouldering area is split into two parts. One is rather small, where falling down does not guarantee not touching a climber from the other side. The second part is wide and good fun. The levels are hard to predict: some colors are graded, however, one yellow was a warming up to me, another really challenging. Some colors were not graded by a number, soms colors were hard to distinguish from other close colors. After a little search and talking with some locals, there was enough to climb! Lucky to have met nice locals who also provided some bouldering tips. Great plus!
A large training area, which would not have been necessairy to use; the next day we ended up sightseeing most highlights of Rome. By foot. What a beautiful city! With its impressive cathedrals, vibrant city parcs and presence of old-Roman landmarks, like aquaducts and a colossal colosseum. A welcome few degrees celsius warmer than in The Nederlands (or Iceland): a nice place to visit again!
The Bouldertour Europe 2017 is on! Visiting in France, Iceland and Italy in three weeks. Not bad at all
Enjoying this bouldertour through European capitals right away! Ending up in the beautiful and cold Iceland! The city is so tidy, friendly people and relaxed atmosphere everywhere.
Plus, the city has a bouldering gym! A decent 30 min walk from the old town where we are staying. Klifurhusid is nice and cosy with friendly staff. There are showers and a blow dryer in the changing rooms. I did not get the use for the hair dryer until after climbing on the prospect of walking outside in the cold again.
The bouldering area was mostly slopes: heavy for the arms. We had to search for the easy routes, mostly getting used to the hall specifics and the American grading. (V0’s instead of 3’s) The levels are not bound by colours: a yellow route might one time be labeled V0, and another V6. I wonder what other countries use this system.
Next to the Klifurhusid and the awesome small yoga studio I found, we also visited the settlement exhibition (fun! Good view on how early people lived there), volcano house (great!), horse back riding (cold and beautiful!) and lava caving (crawling:)). And that all before our car tour this weekend. Enough to do here!