Spring Break Rock Climbing

By Bethany LeBeau, Randy Davila, and Sam Cravey

Rock climbing is becoming a popular sport for students to keep their minds and bodies engaged and entertained. The sport offers many opportunities to challenge oneself mentally and physically, and flex one’s decision-making skills.  

From its origins in exploration, climbers have been around since the early 1880’s in the United Kingdom. Today, we have numerous forms of climbing but mainly two categories: bouldering and sport climbing.

Bouldering is a style of climbing performed without a rope on peg-studded walls normally 10 to 20 feet high. Most boulderers have crash pads that serve as a safety device if they fall. Climbing gyms have an abundance of crash pads lined around the climbing walls to decrease the likelihood of injuries too.

Climbing gyms offer rock walls with routes called “puzzles.” These puzzles are designed to be solved using your body. Color coated pegs serve as a guide for what steps and holds to take to scale the wall. Peg colors like white, red and purple indicate a high level of difficulty, and the pegs themselves are further apart and more difficult to grasp firmly. Peg colors like green and yellow indicate a lower level of difficulty, and these pegs are easier to grab onto.

Sport climbing is done with a rope on routes that are taller and in need of extra safety precautions. Still dangerous, sport climbing can be done by a lead climber who must go first and lay the rope. Then all the other climbers that follow have the rope to climb with.

Video story by Bethany LeBeau

Audio story by Sam Cravey

Photo story by Randy Davila

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