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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Health

Climbers reach peaks of rock wall


Rock Wall

Built in 2003, the 53-foot rock wall at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center has provided free equipment, offered training courses and given students the chance enjoy the daring experience. | Courtesy of Outdoor Adventure

A rock wall has towered above the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center for 10 years, providing an alternative for thrill seekers who dare to take the climbing challenge.

Built by Nicros in 2003, the rock climbing wall is equipped with two auto belays, five top rope lines and a variety of realistic natural features.

“Students can use the wall for free, and we provide all the equipment,” said Director for Outdoor Adventures Caleb Wells. “Elsewhere, it is expensive to use the rock wall, so why not try it while in college?”

A harness and shoes are required to climb the wall, and staff members are ready to help, motivate and guide students on their first rock wall experience.

“I like that it works your body, your mind and your logistic abilities,” said computer science sophomore Carson Baker.

The Recreation Center also offers educational services for those who enjoyed their climbing experience and want to learn more.

One of the classes for beginners is “Fundamentals of Belaying,” which is a two-hour course that instructs students on the proper methods of rope climbing.

The second class, “Movements of Climbing,” is for intermediate-level students to learn techniques that challenge their newfound climbing ability.

The beginner and intermediate classes are offered each week for $5.

The advanced class, “Lead Climbing,” focuses on advanced techniques and rope systems required to safely climb all heights and difficulties. Participants must demonstrate satisfactory climbing skills before advancing to this class, and it is offered by appointment only.

For some students, the 53-foot rock wall is intimidating and provokes a fear of heights.

“I get a lot of new climbers. They are scared and are afraid of heights, but by the third time they come, they usually get their first route,” said rock wall staff member Elena Jones. “I like seeing the accomplishment.”

Petroleum engineering junior Aubrey Milliron is the treasurer of Wall Crawlers, a rock climbing sport club.

“There is nothing to be scared of,” Milliron said. “The people that work here are really good people, and everybody has to start at one point. It’s free gear rental for trying. They will tell you everything you need to know and tie you in, and you just kind of do it.”

For more information and hours of service, visit the UH rock wall website.

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