I’ve been going to the gym almost every day for 4 years. While it allows me to have a well-honed exercise routine, there are days when I feel like working out differently, and ‘using the strength gained in weight lifting to do something more fun. I ‘ve already tried climbing several times – whether on rope walls or in bouldering rooms – and I find the feeling really interesting: we work the upper body very intensely , but you also learn to play with your center of gravity, your balance and use the weight of your body to move forward. The grip is also very stressed, and you come out of a 1 hour session relatively tired!
During my visit to Paris this summer, I had the chance to test the concept of Arkose Nation, which mixes bouldering walls, yoga & catering, in an environment ultra cute relaxation.
Already, Arkose, what is it?
The Arkose group has several climbing rooms all over France (Lyon, Bordeaux, etc.) and in Paris. The idea is to offer blocparks (bouldering rooms, therefore without harness and without rope) but in an urban spirit, revisited, far from the clichés of the PSE room, basically. As a result, we play sports, but not only in a really cool environment . They also rely on the local and young artists to decorate the spaces – and it has been successful.
Arkose Nation, one of the rooms in Paris, is a very good proof of this concept: A huge space, which includes 3 block spaces, but also a restaurant / café, a yoga space, a sauna and a relaxation area, with a really neat decor.
What did I think?
Already, having done rock climbing in rooms in Singapore and Dijon, I can say that the atmosphere is radically different: Exit the very cold side of traditional rooms – where you come to practice a sport, and nothing else – the setting is incredibly welcoming, the place (from the old factories), pretty bright and very chill, and the really lovely staff. You feel at home, or in an ultra-relaxing coworking space – the climbing walls and more.
Let’s talk about the block, now: the rooms are beautiful and very clean, the courses really fun and varied: enough to spend 1 to 2 hours to climb without getting bored for a single second. In the end, I find the boulder more interesting physically than the rope walls, since you can literally only count on yourself, the strength of your fingers, your back, his arms and his self-confidence. Since the walls are not very high, falling is not scary (although dizziness can be a drag, let’s face it), and you can improve your skills while having fun.
The restaurant has a short menu of fresh products – I did not have time to test, but if I have the opportunity I will come back with pleasure, the wraps just have the looks fabulous. The coffees are delicious anyway, and it’s perfect to open your eyes for good, before you start climbing!
What if you want to try it too?
For a truly optimal experience, I would recommend targeting off-peak hours (very early mornings, in particular), because it tends to fill up quickly, even on weekdays.
We put on a sports outfit that fears nothing (because talcum powder makes it dirty!) and good socks, we bring a bottle of water and a towel if you plan to shower there.