Salut tout le monde!
My name is Lola and I am currently participating in the CIEE study abroad program here in Toulouse, France. On Monday after French class, we had the afternoon free, and a couple of us and program leader Alannah decided we would try to venture out in search of a rock climbing gym here in Toulouse. Our first plan to go to a place called Solo Escalade fell through because apparently people here like to have vacation and the facility was closed on Monday. However, we found another place called Block Out that seemed to be only thirty minutes away, so off we went! Our first plan was to take the metro and transfer to a bus, but after exiting the metro we realized that we had missed the previous bus by two minutes, and the next one wasn’t going to come for another half an hour. So, we got back onto the metro and tried again, going back four stops and switching to a different bus. After waiting for this bus for another 12 minutes, we were finally on our way. When the bus finally came to our stop, we realized we were in the middle of nowhere. Literally. We weren’t about to give up hope just yet though, so we trekked along the side of the highway searching for the climbing gym. Finally, we see it, completing what should've been a thirty minute journey in just over an hour and fifteen minutes. (It was right next to a trampoline park, so if it was closed at least we had some other options that weren’t too bad.)
Here's a picture I found of Blockout Toulouse
Before I go on, let me explain rock climbing a little bit to you. The kind of climbing we did was called bouldering, which is basically climbing without a rope over shorter walls. In bouldering, a grading system based on difficulty is used. In the United States, the V scale is used. Grades range right now from V0, which is similar to climbing a ladder, to V17, which I’d imagine would be similar to trying to climb a concrete wall, so pretty much impossible. Bouldering is a little bit like trying to solve real live puzzles. Here’s a video explaining it more if you are interested:
After putting on some climbing shoes, we were ready to hit the wall!
Christine crushing it on the wall-- a natural climber!
Caitlin working on some overhung climbs
Tesla looking très forte!
A la prochaine!