Local teen ditches high school for international rock climbing experience

NEW ORLEANS -- He's a former Benjamin Franklin student, and he's ditching the traditional high school scene for something a little more intense.

It's called the Climbing Academy.

This is an alternative high school that allows students to travel the world and climb while basically homeschooling abroad.

"I figure I don't really enjoy school as it is. I like climbing a lot. So, if I put them together, I'll be able to tolerate school and have more fun just climbing," says 16-year-old, Ludo Scarpulla.

Ludo fell in love with rock climbing at the Boulder Lounge in New Orleans.

"Ludo has only been climbing for about a year and a half, and that is a relatively short time," says Ludo's climbing coach, Garret Mortenson.

He coaches a team called "The Turtles" which is composed of 8 to 18 year-olds.

Mortenson says Ludo scores exceptionally well when it comes to levels of intensity.

Each team member learns a style of climbing called "bouldering" which is low height and high difficulty climbing.

"It's really helping being in just a group of people who all have different strengths and weakness, because then you've learned from them and they can learn from you and vice versa," says Ludo.

Ludo is gearing up to train and learn in Colorado, Utah, China, Spain, and Slovenia.

"The thing that makes me most proud is that he's found something that he is passionate about and he's pursued it in a way that is really inspiring," says Mortenson.

Though there will definitely be falls, Ludo says it's all a part of this adrenaline-filled lifestyle.

"If you don't fall you're not really training, because if you don't fail you can't learn," says Ludo.

Ludo leaves for the climbing academy on September 2nd.

His first stop is Maple Canyon, Utah.

He says his long term goal in life is to become a professional climber.