Free climbing wall in Rec Center

Sidney Reckas has been working at the Rec Center’s climbing wall for four years now, alongside Brycen Moore. 

“We had started climbing freshman year, this is where we came for social life and stress relief, and we eventually got jobs here,” said Moore. Through their years of working at the rock-climbing wall, Reckas and Moore have developed a love for climbing and the enthusiasm to teach others.

“There is an amazing community of coworkers and climbers that come through here,” said Reckas. “Everyone here is so positive and encouraging of anyone, no matter their skill level.”

On Wednesday, the campus Rec Center hosted an 80s-themed climbing wall community night in the hopes of drawing a crowd and getting more students into the spirit of climbing. Despite the low turnout and lack of 80s attire, those who came were extremely welcoming of newcomers and appeared eager to show off some of their climbing skills. Some of the students who walked by and appeared to show interest, were welcomed to join by the staff. Because of the lack of students, the staff made sure to try and inform students that as of Spring 2014, the Rec Center has made the climbing wall free to attract more participants.

At first glance, rock climbing may seem a bit intimidating and slightly overwhelming, but once students give it a try, it is not so bad. Climbing is about using one’s feet and knowing exactly where to place them before moving upward. The staff is always eager to show students how to climb and how to reach their full potential, which creates a comfortable learning environment. Some of the students even climbed all the way to the top for the very first time. Although climbing may provoke anxiety in some, it really makes others feel like they are in control of their anxiety, thus making rock climbing a great way to de-stress before exams.

First timers, Sara Flores and Issac Rodriguez, were scared and excited to try out the wall. Rodriguez said he was terrified that the rope was not going to hold him, but once he realized it would, he felt at ease and really enjoyed it. 

Ben Levinsky, a third-year student, only started climbing about two weeks ago for a fun way to keep himself in shape. He is eager to learn more and he looks forward to improve his bouldering skills.

The climbing wall hours are from 5-10 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. On Wednesdays the wall is open from 2-9 p.m. and it is closed on Saturdays. 

The staff at the climbing wall offers free top rope certification orientations Monday through Thursdays at 7 p.m. This certificate allows students to climb up the high wall with a harness and the help of a staff member. They also offer free lead certification clinics, Sept. 24 and Oct. 15 at 7 p.m., where they teach students how to do lead climbing (Where the student controls his or her own rope as they climb upward.) 

The Campus Rec climbing wall staff will also have some climbing events coming up such as their movement clinic on Sept. 10 at 7 p.m., in which they will teach one how to move their body as they climb. There will be a women only clinic on Sept. 18 from 8-11 p.m., to offer female students the ability to get into the spirit of climbing.