So long, treadmill! Rock climbing is beginning to gain traction as a new fitness trend, and the climbing community here at Penn State is rapidly growing. This activity combines both muscle-activating movements and endurance to challenge you physically, while also exercising your brain to push through difficulty and finish a route.
The climbing facility in the Penn State Intramural (IM) Building features a 40-foot climbing wall with 16 routes that are capable of two types of indoor climbing: top rope and lead climbing. In addition, there is a 14-foot bouldering wall to allow for boulder climbing, which is another type of indoor climbing that doesn’t use a rope or a harness. This versatility offers problems to solve and potential for growth for climbers of all levels.
If gear expenses are holding you back, have no fear! The IM Building offers shoes, harnesses and chalk free of charge, so all you need to do is hit the wall. For open hours and course opportunities at the climbing facility in the IM Building, visit Penn State’s Student Affairs website here.
“When I first started climbing at Penn State, I was nervous people would be unfriendly because that is how I felt at my previous gym,” says Sasha Pershania, a member of the climbing community. “But when I entered the wall, I was welcomed with open arms.”
“Everyone can climb,” says Ben Oesterling, a climber and a trip leader for Outdoor Adventures. “I started climbing freshman year of college when I began missing partaking in a varsity sport everyday back in high school. I knew that I wanted to try something new and some of my friends had started bouldering. I went with them one day and was hooked.”
There are no limits to climbing here at Penn State. Outdoor Adventures, an organization that specializes in getting PSU students off campus and into the mountains that surround the valley, offers trips and gear rentals to allow climbers to safely put their technique to the test on real rock. For more information on getting involved with Outdoor Adventures at PSU, visit Penn State’s website here.
“It was awesome to be introduced to outdoor climbing through a program where I felt comfortable, I would be taken care of and I was also given the opportunity to learn new skills,” says Pershania, who participated in a trip to Donation Rocks — a climbing area in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania this past semester.
Rock climbing offers much more than just upper body strength; It’s a full body workout that challenges the mind, conquers fears and relieves stress.
Challenge yourself to reach the top this year!