By Luis Petty |Staff Writer|
CSUSB Student Recreation and Fitness Center (Rec Center) provides the perfect opportunity for students to try rock climbing as an alternative exercise.
Rock climbing is a sport unlike any other in that it provides students a new outlet in their workout routine and an opportunity to experience something new.
The rock wall is equipped with a 34-foot wall and managed by experienced staff and faculty.
The knowledgeable staff will guide students through the basics of safety and climbing rules in order to provide a safe climbing experience.
The Rec Center’s rock wall requires climbers to be physically and mentally versatile for each section of the wall.
Each face has a different structure and must be approached differently.
Climbers use safety gear such as a harnesses, which are worn around the waist and a taches to a paracord rope that is connected to the top of the wall.
The belayer is a staff member at the base of the wall, pulls the cord as the climber ascends the wall, and serves as a counter weight to keep the climber suspended in the air in case he or she falls.
The belayer can also feed the cord to allow the climber to descend when he or she reaches the top or decides to come down.
Top rope climbing is a safe version of rock climbing and a great way to experience the outdoors, providing giving new perspectives to the sport as well as some ins and outs.
“Give it a chance, there is a lot of misconception about the sport,” said staff member Karina Velarde.
Velarde continued, “it’s a great emotional experience, a chance to release pinned up stress and an opportunity to build a great sense of community.”
“It is also a great way to develop oneself physically and mentally.” said staff member Tim Whitney.
An undertaking that requires technique and versatility, it often brings out something different from each of its climbers, whether it be some time to oneself or just the chance for a thrill.
“For me it’s a peaceful escape, freedom, a chance to get away from it all.” said Velarde.
“I get a surge of runners high, a sense of clarity.” said Whitney when expressing his take on the sport.
When asked why they would recommend rock climbing to students, Velarde and Whitney both said that it is a fun sport that should be given a chance, and a safe way to conquer one’s fear of heights.
Rock climbing is a sport with a simple objective: reach the summit of the rock on the rock wall.
The rock formations present difficult levels with different ropes, along with the different paths for students to follow.
Student Stephen Barrett explained that he is not much of a climber but climbing provided an enjoyable challenge, “It’s a fun workout and a fun alternative,” said Barrett.
The rock wall also provides opportunities to students who want to challenge themselves.
The Mile High Challenge encourages students to push themselves to the next level while also helping students relieve the stress of the quarter and competing with others that are also in the competition with them.
The Challenge is a tough endeavor undertaken by rock climbers.
Those who complete it are among a select group of individuals who have climbed the rock wall for a mile, or 155 times, and can be entered to win prizes at the end of the challenge.
All students are encouraged to participate and should take advantage of the opportunity.
All students are invited to participate those with no experience and more advanced climbers can accept the challenge of reaching the top of the wall.
Rock climbing is a fun and challenging way to push a person mentally and psychically while setting and accomplishing new goals.
The rock wall is opened Monday through Thursdays from 1:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Fridays and Sundays from 1:30- 7:30 p.m. and closed on Saturdays.
So make sure you have a chance to experience something new in your workout routine.