The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate’s Climbing Wall: Showing Students the Ropes

Printed with permission of Ethan Ady

Tucked away on the third floor of the Huntington Gymnasium is the Angert Family Climbing Wall, a great place for Colgate University students to come together and build community over a shared love of rock climbing. The wall features multiple routes of varying difficulty levels, attracting both beginners and experienced climbers alike.

Junior Eric Young, Outdoor Education leader and climber, believes the wall is excellent for beginners because of its numerous lower-level climbing routes.

“[The climbing wall] is wonderful because it has a lot of beginner climbs with bouldering, so people who don’t necessarily feel like they’re ready for conquering super tall climbs can do the smaller climbs,” Young said.

First-year Jack Pearlson, who has been climbing since elementary school, has enjoyed the opportunity to climb at the wall since coming to Colgate.

“It’s great because there aren’t any restrictions about who can go,” Pearlson said. “As long as you are willing to learn, you can learn the ropes pretty quickly and become a competent climber. It’s all about challenge by choice, and that’s the great thing about rock climbing; you can challenge yourself, but in a safe manner.” 

Like Pearlson, Young, who teaches outdoor climbing classes, finds climbing to be a great environment to safely expand one’s limits. 

“From a teaching perspective, one of the things I love about the sport is that it is a very safe environment for individuals to push their own comfort zones,” Young said. “I think it’s just a really fun, exhilarating way to kind of push your own boundaries, no matter what level you’re at.” 

Pearlson also finds indoor rock climbing to be unique in that it is not inherently competitive against others – only against yourself.

“I love that I can get a full-body workout in an hour, and it’s a great way to meet people,” Pearlson said. “The sport is also non-competitive, and so many facets of my life are competitive. I can just go to the rock climbing gym and compete against myself.”

The climbing wall boasts friendly staff who are there not only to assist but also to have fun and connect with climbers.

“The staff there is also really helpful, and they’ll give you the basics, get you shoes, and have fun and climb with you,” Young said.

The wall also hosts Colgate’s indoor rock climbing team, which is open to anyone interested in the sport and of any climbing level. The team practices at the wall Monday and Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sophomore Kyra Trumbull, a co-captain of the team, began as a beginner when she joined the team last year. 

“I basically only rock-climbed at friends’ birthday parties before coming to Colgate,” Trumbull said. “I kind of just went to the [Student Involvement] Fair, and I was like, ‘I like climbing; I’ll check it out.’ And then I got absorbed, as the community is really great and I made a lot of friends, so I stuck with it.”

Trumbull encourages beginners to come to the wall and try the routes but also to have patience with themselves. 

“I would say don’t get discouraged if you can’t do that many [routes]. It takes time, but once you spend time trying it out, then you get a lot better, and you won’t even notice,” Trumbull said. 

The wall has free climb Monday through Thursday from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

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