The climbing facilities in the Intramural Building here at Penn State create a hub of excitement and community. The staff at the wall have a refreshing mindset of attempting to get as many students and faculty to become immersed in the lovable sport of climbing as possible. It’s easily seen how the staff has a deep care for climbing and how they want to share it with the rest of Penn State. Climbing wall staff are constantly seen inviting timid observers peering in from outside of glass walls of the gym in to try it out for themselves. This shows just how much the staff contributes to the welcoming atmosphere of the wall.
Climbing in general is an extremely social sport, and the wall here at Penn State is no exception. The bouldering wall can be seen popping with excitement as climbers with all different experience and climbing backgrounds gather to try and solve the problems that the PSU route setters work to creatively put up.
Climbing both at the bouldering wall and the big wall allows you to connect to vast amounts of people with positive attitudes and a common love of climbing. After climbing a hard route and a feeling pumped, it’s extremely easy to converse with the people around you experiencing the same feeling.
Often times, many climbers are interchangeably working on the same bouldering problem which creates a natural exchange of friendly conversation. After continuous interactions such as this with climbers, you may become accustomed to the regulars of the bouldering and big wall which often leads to climbing wall acquaintances and friendly relationships.
Katelyn Anthony is a climbing wall monitor and is a sophomore studying Community Environment.
“The climbing wall is an extremely inclusive environment where you can become uplifted by the friendly and positive climbers around you while simultaneously getting your own climbs in,” she remarks.
Not only are the climbing facilities social and fun to be around, but they allow you to create an improvement within yourself in a multitude of ways. Climbers who progress through the levels of climbing routes establish a new sense of confidence both in climbing and life in general. There’s something about physical activity located meters above the ground that stimulates the mind and creates noticeable self-growth from even your first climb every climbing. Self-growth from climbing is not only beneficial to your own self but allows you to establish a connection to other climbers who have also experienced the same process of self-growth and the overall love of climbing.
Michael Vaness is a climbing wall manager and instructor who is a senior studying electrical engineering.
“The connection between climbers is instantaneous when conversing about climbing related topics. The staff here are not only here to ensure the safety of climbers but we also strive to create an environment conducive to building great relationships between both the staff and other climbers,” he explains.
The climbing facilities here create an environment that attracts people from all over campus and town creating a community unlike any other at Penn State. This community bonds over the love of climbing and the outdoors. Climbing here allows you to connect to amazing people that create the vast and interconnected climbing community here at Penn State.