Saturday, November 30, 2013

A long way down

If you have been in the Physical Education building at Frostburg State University then you have noticed the loud drills and hammer sounds as you walk the halls. The room has glass doors but your view is blocked from the outside. You can catch a quick glance inside if you walk past at the right time. The mysterious room is under construction for the new climbing wall. The climbing wall used to be located in the back of the P.E. building down a side hallway that you wouldn't even know existed unless you wanted to use the batting cage room and happen to roam to far in the wrong direction.
Maurice Adams , a junior parks and recreation major with a health minor, said "I think they wanted to move the climbing wall because it was too far away. Not many people new about it. Just wanted to update it and relocate it." Adams is also a member of the climbing club and the recreation society. The climbing wall is now located in the main hallway in the P.E. building, beside room two of the racquetball court.
The design and preparation for the new climbing wall started in the fall of 2012. The hours for the climbing wall are Tuesdays and Thursdays 6-9 p.m for the public, and 5-7 p.m. for the climbing club. "Anybody can climb. Everyone has to sign a waver stating that you understand that climbing is a dangerous sport. It's climb at your own risk" Adams stated. Their are only a couple stipulations to gain access to the climbing wall, " You have to be 18 to sign by yourself, parents need to sign if you're under the age of 18" Adams explains. People of all ages can use the climbing wall with regards to the stipulations.
You don't have to be certified to use the climbing wall. The only certification is for the climbing style of belaying. The person holding the rope that provides slack and tension on the rope in order to let you down or hold you up has to be certified in the proper use of the equipment and safety regulations. An example of belaying can be seen in figure one of Adams climbing the wall.
Figure one
The climbing wall provides challenges for all categories of climbers from amateur to experienced. The climbing wall changes through out the course of a week. New routes are made to the top so the climbing wall doesn't become repetitive and easy after a while. "One of the hardest parts when climbing is being a route setter. You have to climb for and extended period of time. Move the pegs around. Screw new ones in. It's a hard and tiring task" said Adams.
Setting routes requires precision and great endurance. You aren't using ladders to climb to the top. Coordination and balance is required. An example of setting a route can be seen in figure two. If you aren't afraid of heights and want to try something new then rock climbing is a good option.  
Figure two

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