there is a new climbing spot in Greater Lisbon

Adventurers with no fear of heights: there’s a new rock climbing spot in Greater Lisbon

It’s called Altissimo Lisboa and opened earlier this month with the promise of revolutionizing the sport and showing that it’s (really) safe.

Climbing has gone from a niche sport to one of the most sought after activities in recent times. The rise of sport in Portugal is reflected in the opening of new spaces dedicated to this practice. And on June 3, another arrived in Lisbon. It’s called Alíssimo and it’s one of the biggest climbing gyms in the country.

It was one of the last sports to debut at the Olympics. However, several Portuguese athletes have been climbing mountains and other obstacles for many years. One of them is Alexandre Marques, a fan of this sport who decided to open an exclusive space to climb walls.

Alexandre has been climbing since the age of 15, that is to say 30 years old, a small challenge between friends made him discover the sport to which he has never ceased to devote himself. “This passion brought me friendships, which are now old, and inspired my professional life as a photographer and climbing guide. Sport is now also a way to spend time with my family, with my wife and two children.

After having climbed several mountains in the country and in the world, it was in Cascais, climbing in the open air at the Guia lighthouse, that he met Claire Dalier. They had in common a passion for sport and a preference for rope climbing. From there, becoming partners was just a small step.

Raised in the French Pyrenees, the connection to the outdoors and nature has always been part of Claire’s life. “I was introduced to sport climbing for the first time in Belgium, where I assiduously frequented one of the first rocky sites in the world, the Terres Neuves. Then I fell in love with climbing, the happiness and pleasure it brings to my life,” he explains. Sport led her to cross paths with Philippe Verbeeck, in a rocodrome in Brussels.

Since then, Philippe has also been a climbing, hiking and mountain enthusiast. Before embarking on the opening of space in partnership with his wife and Alexandre, he was a manager in the field of information technology.

Claire moved to Portugal with her husband for professional reasons and the couple’s big dream was to open a rocódromo that would fill the void they felt existed in the country. The spaces that existed were relatively small and dedicated solely to bouldering. Both followers of the rope version of the sport, when they meet Alexandre, who also shares this preference, they realize that they can no longer push the goal. On June 3, the doors of Altissimo Lisboa opened and a dream came true.

Many have already been tested.

Now is the time for indoor climbing, underlines Alexandre, who recalls that in the last two years at least eight other rock sites have opened in the country and adds that “in the coming weeks they will open more three others, one in Setúbal and two others in Lisbon”. This interest, for the climber, is justified for several reasons: from the documentary on the sport which won an Oscar, to the sport’s debut at the Tokyo Olympics. Not to mention the two athletes who made the news in the United States of America who, while trying to climb a route that lasted several days, ate meals and gave interviews as they hung on trying to climb .

The rocódromo is located in Cacém, in the Belavista Retail Park, has a thousand square meters and offers routes with a height of between eight and 14 meters, spread over 43 peaks, which offer more than a hundred routes for all climbers feel challenged.

Altissimo is a gym that believes rock climbing is for everyone. Alexandre explains, however, that the advice is to be practiced only by children around the age of five, “because it is still a demanding sport”.

There are several difficulty levels to try – and don’t worry, if you fall you’ll be supported by soft mattresses. In the case of rope climbing, there is a pulley that allows you to return to the ground safely. For those who are inexperienced or want to challenge themselves, the climbing school will open in September.

If you want to make your debut and you don’t have any equipment, Altíssimo offers equipment to rent or, if you want to make climbing your favorite sport, even to buy it. Individual tickets cost €9 for children under 12, €10.50 for students under 26 and €12 for adults, with no time limit. Equipment rental costs €6.

If you prefer to buy a card with several classes, you will be entitled to a 50% discount at the gym store or on the monthly plan. There are also individual courses where you can learn and prepare your body for climbing. Introductory lessons last one hour and cost €20 per person, which includes materials and entrance fees. Free passes cost €59 per month.

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