Photo courtesy of GBS Outdoors Club Instagram
As a kid, gazing up at the intimidating indoor rock climbing wall made the likelihood of conquering it seemingly impossible. However, once the fears are overcome, indoor rock climbing can become an entertaining activity with lots of physical and mental benefits. The feeling of adventure and sense of accomplishment is what intrigues people to take part in the not-so-popular hobby of rock climbing, according to sophomore Harrison Wollney.
Rock climbing is a full-body workout that targets many different muscle groups, according to Wollney. Climbing requires upper body strength to hold on to the grips, and utilizes leg and back strength to climb up on the wall.
“Climbing uses mostly arms, such as biceps, and triceps, but it also focuses on lats and back,” Wollney said. “It’s great for using all of the muscles in your body at once.”
The equipment for indoor rock climbing consists of specific types of shoes, chalk bags, carabiners, and harnesses, according to junior Kevin Becker, president of Outdoors Club. Yet, Becker explains that most climbers, like him, simply wear gym shoes and workout clothes to climb.
“I am an amateur, like most of the people there,” Becker said. “Basically all you need is close-toed shoes and workout clothes and will be provided the professional equipment to climb there.”
Attesting to misconceptions of the unrecognized sport, Becker endlessly describes the exhilarating and exciting challenge that comes with reaching a higher grip on the fifty-foot course he climbs.
“It can be really tiring sometimes, but it’s all worth it once you finally reach the top of the wall,” Becker said. “It can give you a real sense of accomplishment, which feels pretty great.”
Wollney is able to improve upon an aspect of his climbing technique whenever he finds time to climb. The facility Vertical Endeavors, where Wollney practices his skills, provides their climbers with different levels of wall difficulty, according to Wollney.
“I try to challenge myself sometimes and attempt the most difficult walls, which is the most fun,” Wollney said. “They have different types of grips and are farther apart than the others.”
Becker, on the other hand, has been rock climbing for almost four years now at Vertical Endeavors, and he now tries to incorporate his love for climbing into the activities Outdoor’s Club does.
“We try to diversify the things we do, whether it’s rock climbing, hiking or ice skating,” Becker said. “I just want to give kids a good opportunity to experience the outdoors more.”