Bouldering, a balanced sport

MAGAZINE. Bouldering has been gaining popularity in Quebec for years. In Drummondville, fans of this discipline meet in L’Escarpé to practice this technical, physical and mental sport.

According to the co-owners of the place, Simon-Louis Pépin and Yannick Benoit, bouldering is a fun and very accessible sport. Courses adapted to all levels are offered to climbers, in accordance with their objectives and wishes. With some fifty different circuits, L’Escarpé constantly offers new challenges on its walls of some 2,000 square feet.

Simon-Louis Pépin overcame his fear of heights by rock climbing. (Photo: Ghyslain Bergeron)

“There are courses for everyone. This variety allows you to climb with people of different levels. It is possible to have fun with the family, with the children”, says Simon-Louis Pépin.

This trained kinesiologist caught the climbing bug after experiencing disciplines as diverse as martial arts, circus acrobatics and…ultimate frisbee

“What accompanies me when climbing is the modern side. Previously it was limited to takes on the wall of the school. Today, climbing will involve a much more frequent rotation of courses, as well as more dynamic movements and very varied styles. There is a small flash effect,” says the enthusiast.

In the eyes of Simon-Louis Pépin, bouldering offers a perfect balance between technical, physical and mental skills.

“It’s good exercise, but it’s part focused, part problem-solving, and part overcoming fears. On the physical skills side you can develop everything strength, endurance, mobility and general stability while on the mental side it takes self-transcendence and perseverance.

“It’s an individual sport where you only meet yourself,” he continues. It is ideal for people who suffer from vertigo, as I did in the beginning. Gradually, you will gain confidence in your movements and your resources. It is interesting to develop this aspect, especially because the feedback is very fast. Once you come down, you can get instant feedback. People feel that they are getting better quickly.”

L’Escarpé constantly presents new challenges on its walls of some 2,000 square meters. (Photo: Ghyslain Bergeron)

From his perspective as a new shareholder, Yannick Benoit notes that climbing is meant to be more diversified than activities solely focused on, say, bodybuilding or cardiovascular training.

“It’s the whole body that forces. It’s not always the same routine, not to mention that the sockets are replaced regularly. The regular customer who comes back here is never the same. You will never reach a plateau, because there are there is always something new to learn, it allows you to make progress”, emphasizes the martial arts specialist.

“In addition, there is a community of climbing enthusiasts who visit the climbing centers in the province. These are people who thirst for new paths”, adds Yannick Benoit.

Climbing is also a social activity. L’Escarpé also organizes all kinds of events at its premises on rue Demers.

“It is a friendly and connecting sport. After an intense effort, you have time to recover and have a good time with friends. Often our members share the same passions. The events we organize are what binds us together”, conclude the co-owners of the climbing center.

An accessible sport

Bouldering is practiced without ropes or harnesses, on walls 16 feet high. Fall arrest is done on mattresses that are specially designed to absorb them. This activity only requires athletic shoes or specialized shoes called climbing shoes.

Bouldering is practiced without ropes or harnesses, on walls 16 feet high. (Photo: Ghyslain Bergeron)

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