12 Feb Between a rock and a hard place – Bouldering

Bouldering in the wildBouldering in the wild Photographers: all but second to right Louise Lysen, second to right Simon van Heertum

Does this look exciting to you? It’s the major up and coming sport, bouldering. Climbing to a maximum height of 4 meters on rocks and boulders, with no ropes just crash pads underneath! Good news, it’s easy to learn right here at Amsterdam Science Park !

Artificial = NOT fake
Some say artificial walls are not the real deal, Ignore them! Bouldering gyms are popping up like weeds around Europe and here are a few reasons why you should visit:

  • It’s the safe way to start climbing, with thick mats underneath and clear instructions!
  • Bouldering is a great way to train your entire body
  • Low start-up costs, all you need is a pair of climbing shoes (usually available for hire, for ±3 €)
  • There’s no need for belaying, so you can take anybody! Or go by yourself, although solving problems together is always more fun!
  • Mental health benefits too, as it involves problem solving
  • It is heaps of fun!


Real rock is a no no, artificial is the way to go go
You are in luck, the university sports centre (USC), situated right next to the UvA faculty of Science, will be opening an outside artificial bouldering block! Although most foreigners will tell you, you should try real rock, it’s not really an option anywhere near here (Fontaine-bleau, just south of Paris is a very popular ‘close by” spot for Dutch climbers). Lucky for us Amsterdam has some great artificial spots;

  • USC will be starting boulder courses in the spring, on their new boulder block! Right next to the UvA faculty of science (subscription).
  • Monk bouldergym, situated in Amsterdam-Noord is a great indoor facility, they also provide lessons (Entry 9€ (under 25), 6,50€ for students on Thursday)
  • Mountain network has a separate boulder gym, Amsterdam-West (entry 7.50€ for students)
  • Klimmuur centraal also has a separate bouldering area, Near Amsterdam-Central station (entry 8.50€ for students)


Bouldering on artificial walls

Bouldering on artificial walls
Image: Louise Lysen & Simon van Heertum


Will my mother want to see the pictures?
You can reassure your mom, that what you are doing is not as dangerous she might think. With thick mats and clear grading, anyone can start without being in any danger, I started when I was 14. A basic introduction or lessons are advisable though to prevent injuries, to help determine what risks are safe to take and how to fall. Fall? Yes, you will fall, I have fallen a million times, you get used to it and good news, I have never seriously injured myself!

First time? Yes definitely scary! Even after 10 years I still find it scary sometimes, but that is actually part of the bouldering experience. No good session can go without a little scare now and then!

Do you dare join? Maybe I’ll see you around!
And be sure to let me know if you need any help with deciding if, where and when to go!

p.s. If you want to see some pro’s in action check the ifsc-climbing channel on youtube!
Also if your into climbing, check out the ASAC, the Amsterdam student alpine club!


WTF louise

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WTF louise

WTF louise

Adventurous (even in everyday situations), Outdoorsy (climbing, hiking, camping), Music loving (loving the blues and playing the bass), Obsession with good (not necessarily healthy) food, Practical and problem solving, and a Marine ecologist science communicator
WTF louise

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