The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Extending Opportunities

    “Butts and Guts” and “Hip Hop Hustle” are not the only exciting and free exercise options offered in the McPhee Physical Education Center. The indoor climbing wall is open to all students, faculty, staff and community members to practice their rock climbing skills with no experience necessary.

    The wall, located in gym 210-A, is open from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday.

    To begin climbing, students must complete an orientation class to check belay skills and basic knot skills, said Dan Langlois, assistant director of programs at the Environmental Adventure Center.

    “It orientates you to safely climb,” Langlois said. “The belaying and proper knots are so you are doing your climb safely and using the wall safely.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    The orientation class costs $10. Junior Kelly Ripp works for the EAC and said a semester of climbing costs $15 and a year of climbing is $25.

    Freshman Charlie Firer has been working at the EAC since the beginning of the semester. He said anyone on campus can be involved in rock climbing.

    “There are different grades for the routes so there is always something a person can get on and feel good doing it,” Firer said. “We definitely welcome any newcomers. We’ll make them feel welcome.”

    Ripp said there is also the option for bouldering — climbing horizontally across the wall instead of vertically, which doesn’t require belaying.

    “You can come by yourself,” Ripp said. “We have auto belays and it’s a friendly group of people. If you want someone to belay you, people will belay for you.”

    Rock climbing is a sport that doesn’t have an end point in sight. Firer said he likes the different
    directions you can take the sport and the level of difficulty can always advance.

    “It’s something that you can always push yourself in,” Firer said. “There is no limit and it’s fun and challenging at the same time.”

    Ripp said rock climbing is a great workout because you use your whole body and use muscles that are not normally used when exercising. Also, she said, it’s a great excuse to avoid homework and meet new people.

    Unlike other university sports, rock climbing can be done around the world. Langlois said more
    experienced climbers have planned fall and spring trips to multiple places around Wisconsin and to the west.

    “There are just so many places to climb in the world,” Langlois said. “As a program we have climbed as far west as Joshua Tree (Cali.), but people rock climb all over
    the world.”

    Most climbers, Longlois said, prefer climbing outdoors, but the great thing about the sport is that it can be continued all winter.

    “We try to talk about doing things that are close by,” Longlois said, “To provide a break and an outdoor experience and taking on those activities that you can do for a lifetime.”

    Any climbers, at any level of experience are welcome to visit the climbing wall.  Ripp said using equipment for one day is $3, so not too big of a commitment if you decide rock climbing isn’t foryou.

    “We’d love to have as many visitors as we can,” Longlois said, “And we hope that we can accommodate students and get them into the outdoors and create a passion for climbing.”

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Extending Opportunities