/ Moving to Brussels - any advice?

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Juan S on 22 Nov 2016
I'll be moving to Brussels in February and want to get as much info as possible on the climbing/mountaineering scene.

Any advice on mountaineering clubs to join? I'm mostly after cheap mountain insurance & reciprocal hut rights, a la AAC in the UK. Likewise, any recommendations of clubs/groups or online places to meet other climbers? So far all I've found is a meetup group for indoor climbing.

Indoor climbing: I can't seem to find any climbing walls where there is leading - and some (rather old) forum posts here suggest there is no leading indoors in belgium: can anyone confirm?

Outdoor climbing: searching through the forums it seems the main place is Freyr.

Any advice on ease of getting out of belgium and to decent mountains (skiing, hiking etc).

I expect there will be a lot of information online somewhere - just don't quite know enough about brussels/belgium as to know what to loof for. Any and all pointers much appreciated!
girlymonkey - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Moving to Brussels - deny any links to the UK!! ;-)

No advice on the mountaineering side of things, sorry!
jimtitt - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

There always was lead climbing in the Belgian walls I used and a quick look at Klimax shows this is still the case, the others who knows?
Freyr we thought was the pits when my brother and I lived there, plenty of better stuff out there. http://en.belclimb.be/Index.asp will telly you all you want to know.
The nearest outdoor skiing is probably Monte Kaolino!
Doug on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Try contacting Carless who I think still lives/works there, although maybe that's changed with Brexit. When I moved to Paris I found that joining the local branch of the Club Alpin Franšais helped meet people & suspect the CAB would be similar
Doug on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

can't edit my post, meant to add that nearest skiing is probably in the Vosges (France) although I suspect its sometimes possible to ski in the Ardennes. I enjoyed skiing in the Vosges when I was based in Nancy but it was only an hour or so away.
planetmarshall on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

> Indoor climbing: I can't seem to find any climbing walls where there is leading - and some (rather old) forum posts here suggest there is no leading indoors in belgium: can anyone confirm?

There isn't any. There's the comp wall at Puurs, which while admittedly rather awesome is outdoors so not much fun at this time of year. There's also the wall at Louvain la Neuve but it's a bit out of the way for Brussels. There's a good bouldering wall at Herent.

> Outdoor climbing: searching through the forums it seems the main place is Freyr.

It is, and something of an acquired taste. The best climbing nearby (at about 2 hours drive) is Berdorf

> Any advice on ease of getting out of belgium and to decent mountains (skiing, hiking etc).

Fly.


planetmarshall on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

> I'll be moving to Brussels in February and want to get as much info as possible on the climbing/mountaineering scene.

I'm afraid Brussels is not the best place for someone who enjoys the outdoor lifestyle.

> Any advice on mountaineering clubs to join?

Try LUAK, the KU Leuven university club. Very friendly, psyched and depressingly competent.
Juan S on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to planetmarshall:

Thanks for all the replies. Weird that there's no climbing wall leading in Brussels (and so little elsewhere in Belgium).

While the location is a bit pants re accessing the great outdoors (and in particular exciting geography) I'm hoping it will be fine once I get to meet local climbers. After all London is depressingly flat and far away from exciting geography too.

planetmarshall on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

> Thanks for all the replies. Weird that there's no climbing wall leading in Brussels (and so little elsewhere in Belgium).

Indoor climbing walls were basically invented in Belgium, but they seem to have fallen behind somewhat since then. Probably the best wall in Brussels is New Rock - they have a new bouldering facility opening in January. Plus font is about 4 hours drive, and there are plenty of cheap flights from Brussels airport, so it's not all doom and gloom.

I expect to be back in the UK in February, but if not feel free to drop me a message and I can show you round.
neilh - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

There is an active climbing club at the EU commision..............................
GargoyleFeet - on 23 Nov 2016
Carless - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Juan S:

Feel free to get in touch

have a look at
Crags: http://en.belclimb.be/home_rock_climbing.asp
Freyr is the biggest & best but a bit polished in some areas - you'll have the most fun from f6a up
Beez, Commando Camp, Mozet, Landelies are all about 30-45 min drive
Yvoir approx 50 min & Freyr 1 hour

Walls: http://en.belclimb.be/home_indoor_climbing.asp
Current best wall in Brussels is New Rock, then Stone Age but most are worth visiting
Yep - leading at walls is rare. As said above Klimax at Puurs (was there Sunday chatting to Anak Verhoeven - she is seriously good) and Blocry at Louvain-la-Neuve (routes you can lead are normally min 5c)

Berdorf is excellent - no permit system anymore but you need to be a member of a UIAA affilated club (same goes for Belgium - at Yvoir & Durnal someone will probably check)

Next nearest crags are Nideggen, Bleau, Les Andelys, SudPfalz, N & S Vosges, stuff round Dijon,...
Driving to Cham takes approx 8:00 (no stops, no traffic) and is cheaper via Switzerland

Nearest skiing is S.Vosges
ads.ukclimbing.com
Juan S on 15:03 Wed
In reply to Carless:

Thanks to everyone for the replies - good to see there are climbing possibilities and people around to enjoy them with.

AAC (UK) membership is still valid even if you move to a different country (including insurance): The AAC office just said I have to update my address to my Belgian one.

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