Climbing Gym Road Map:
Climbing Gym Situation in Paris:
First off, the current climbing gym situation in Paris and France is not currently at running at its best. Of course, due to the pandemic, climbing gyms have had to close for the general public, and it is just recently that they have begun to reopen. Paris in comparison to other regions of France has had the most success in reopening climbing gyms however they are not open to everyone. When I say they are open, but not to the general public, I mean that someone who wants to access a climbing facility must have a paper of identification and document from either the government, work, or a doctor stating that he or she can have access that facility. It’s complicated and not simple for everyone to get to enjoy climbing at this moment in France. I am fortunate enough to be on the High-Level Athlete Program for Canada which permits me to pass and access most climbing gyms in France. With the increase of sanitary limitations on sport facilities, and the 6:00 PM curfew gyms have adopted new rules and times of opening so they can still supply their members with climbing opportunities, but on a more COVID-free level. For example, some climbing gyms are only open at a specific time and day during the week.
As of now, the situation is not improving drastically, but hopefully, in the next month and a half, the French Government will revisit the idea of making facilities like climbing accessible to all public so everyone can continue to stay strong.
Climbing Gyms Currently Open in Ile de France:
Each of these climbing gyms differs from one another. Here I will share and explain my opinions on each currently open Paris climbing gyms.
Topics that characterize each gym: (Climbing setting/holds) (Climb intensity and difficulty) (Style of place/ vibe of the environment) (Type of climber who goes to the gym) (Access to strength training/ weight)
Arkose Nation: Bouldering Gym
Arkose Nation is a fairly new bouldering gym that is very popular for climbers in Paris. When you walk in you are greeted by a little outlet of clothes, climbing gear, and climbing shoes. Arkose is known for its great setting and holds variety.
Arkose is very popular; therefore, you have strong climbers who visit the gym, and there is a high demand variety of holds types and quality and difficulty of bouldering problems. Arkose offers a variety of different climbing styles and intensities of boulders so that all level climbers can have something for them. At the moment there are only old climbs up on the walls and they will not re-set until climbing gyms open to everyone.
They do not have a workout zone with weights. At the moment they only have to pull up bars, and one hang boards.
The vibe of the gym is lively and energetic. Everyone seems to know one another makes for a very positive and enjoyable space. Without COVID limitations, Arkose offers coffee, drinks, and delicious food.
Climbing District: Bouldering Gym
The newest addition to the climbing gym scene in Paris. Climbing District only just recently opened to those with access to climbing facilities 1 month ago. When you pass by the gym you are struck by magnificent wooden wall panels, illuminated by bright lights. You can tell that the gym owners have an eye for design, architecture, and style. The simplicity of the wooden walls complements the great variety of holds, boulders, and colors in the gym.
Climbing District offers many varieties of climbing style, holds, and boulder problems. Although there is less density of difficult boulders, the intensity of the problems they offer will keep all level climbers entertained. They re-set the boulders every week so that people always have new climbs to return to.
They do not have a workout zone with weights. They simply only have one hang board.
The employees are extremely kind and always at your service if you have any questions. Climbing District is the most Covid safe climbing gym in Paris. It is constantly cleaned and sanitized to ensure safety for all.
Pantin Mur Mur: Rope Climbing Gym
Although Mur Mur is one of the oldest climbing gyms in Paris, the contemporary style of the registration area and climbs compliment the old wall panels and building which makes for a cool climbing environment.
Mur Mur has a main wall with a range of difficult and easy climbs that they frequently keep up-to-date. The other walls that surround the main wall are meant for more level climbers. There are many options as well as intensity levels of climbs for all climbers. For example, currently, in the gym, they have a very difficult climb that the top French climbers have attempted and still remain a project.
They have limited access to weights and a training environment.
Like most French climbing gyms, the vibe is always energetic and comforting. Because the main climbing wall is fairly small you have no option but to communicate with the climbers around you. Luckily people who climb there are kind and supportive.
Antre bloc: Bouldering and Rope Climbing Gym
The first and oldest bouldering gym in Paris. When you walk in you can tell that this gym has a history. There is no intention for the modern architectural style behind the gym and building. The facility is clustered with an eating area when you walk in, and then continues with random colored walls and climbing holds.
Antre bloc has nearly no variety of holds and climbing movement styles. The setting of each boulder and rope climbs closely resembles one another. The holds that they use must be older than am if we are going, to be honest. However, the old style and vibe of the environment is the Antre bloc’s charm. It is historic, so might as well keep it as close as possible to the original condition.
This gym is not a gym for all. Although it has a variety of climbs at different intensities for all-level climbers, it is very poorly organized for someone who doesn’t know their way around the gym.
This gym has the best workout zone, with many weights, pull-up bars, machines, and equipment for strength training. It also has a hangboard and training wall for climbers who do not want to climb on set boulders.
The characteristics of Antre Bloc’s climbing and vibe are quite opposite of any other Paris gym. Rugged and disorganized, however, Antre Bloc still possesses a fervent presence of local members who love and respect the ancient space.