Monk Bouldergym Amsterdam
Last time I went conferencing, I also checked out a bouldergym for you guys, Monk Bouldergym in Amsterdam. Here’s the review.
15€ for entry and shoes wasn’t cheap but I wasn’t going to bring my smelly climbing shoes for conferencing in my tiny handluggage. And, then again, it’s a crazy prize if you don’t stay really long (say all afternoon). But you’d pay the same amount in our local gym at home. However, I do think bouldering is really expensive in many places. In Braunschweig’s Fliegerhalle as well as Aloha Sport Club, I paid around half the price compared to most other gyms (!) – around 40€ for a monthly pass.
I didn’t know the Dutch were so correct. I always thought that was just Germans. But I had never seen people be so “correct” about boulder gym rules like “Don’t sit on the mat”. According to my experience, nobody ever respects that rule more than necessary. At Monk, the mats are relatively small (as opposed to covering all the floor) and there is a sort of pathway in between them with a bank to sit on. People actually sit on this bank. I was even told off for crossing through on the mat rather than the pathway (there was tons of space between the guy on the wall and me – in Graz we often don’t even have the luxury of this amount of space at all). Maybe it was a gendered thing because the guys who did it looked like too much testosterone and I am a woman with rented shoes after all, so they probably thought I needed telling what to do. (Which is actually the most likely explanation for this event. Sadly.)
Another guy who seemed kind of new to bouldering and couldn’t climb my level (which is not massively high since I only started at the beginning of last summer term, despite a good amount of progress made) seemed completely in awe that a girl can climb better than him and followed me around like a (very obvious) ‘shadow’. This seemed to be meant in a nice way. He might have been trying to pluck up the courage to talk to me all along and never ended up doing it 😀
After one and a half weeks of not bouldering due to extended conference travel, I wasn’t fit as usual and tired much too early. I would have wanted to try out many more boulders, so I ended up trying many of the easy level boulders without using any strength. I have been using this technique at many new boulder gyms on my trips now and I feel that it’s actually a really good way of working on your efficiency and body positioning. I highly recommend this exercise / game for days where you’re just feeling tired. Also, don’t forget to climb the route back down to the start without using any strength too!
The routes, by the way, were really interesting. The levels were similar to Graz. First is yellow in Graz, orange here. Then green, then blue. I am at ease with blue right now, usually. However, here most of the blue ones were a challenge since they were all very sloper-y and we don’t have that much in Graz. But without the practice (I only got around to going once), many weren’t feasible or I didn’t get through until the final pull. Maybe I also just lacked that little bit of strength that day, which can make all the difference in the world with slopers.
Overall, Monk was a really fun expericence. They also have a nice strength training area, lockers for valuables and a cafe. It’s better to reach by bike. I was there on foot which was some walk from the metro station (and it was raining all along).
I wanted to try more Amsterdam gyms but in the end, there were many social evenings at the conference so I didn’t have the time.