BY KELSEY KETTERLING — firstname.lastname@example.org
While on campus, it’s common to see groups of students hanging out together, walking to Kise, the CMU or even the Wellness Center. The Wellness Center not only houses workout equipment, an indoor track, and basketball courts, but also one of the clubs at MSUM. This club, however, tends to rise above all others.
The rock climbing club has been here since 2012 and meets once a month at the rock wall at the Wellness Center. Currently there are 20 members.
Although it has been on campus for two years now, not many students know about it.
“I’ve never heard of it before,” freshman Amyia Haider said, adding that she has never used the rock wall before.
It is not necessary to join if you just want to use the wall, but there are some benefits to joining the club, one of those being the opportunity to meet new people who are passionate about the sport.
“Whether they have years of experience or are totally new to the sport, it offers a friendly environment for people to work on their climbing skills,” said sophomore club member Kate Sullivan.
Sullivan added that it is open for everyone to join.
“Some of our best climbers had never climbed before they joined,” she said.
Not only does the club offer an opportunity for students to work on their climbing skills, but it is also open for students who just want to hang out and meet new people.
“As a freshman I was looking to make new friends and this was a fantastic way to meet new people,” Sullivan said. “I made some of my best friends through the club.”
MSUM provides the basic gear for rock climbing, but there is a $20 fee for anyone wanting to join.
“The fee is mainly in place to cover costs for t-shirts,” said climbing club member Nicholas Spriggs.
Although they only get a small portion of funding, the rock climbers use this money, as well as some out of pocket, to go on trips and get climbing experience in other gyms.
Last year, the members took a trip to Vertical Endeavors, a large climbing gym in Minneapolis-St. Paul.
“We went overnight, crashed in a hotel, and did a lot of great climbing together,” Spriggs said. “It was a blast.”
Sullivan agreed that the Vertical Endeavors trip was her favorite climbing memory with the club.
“We’re also planning another trip down to the cities to go climbing at Vertical Endeavors, which I’m really excited for since the trip was so fun last year,” Sullivan said.
As well as taking trips to enhance their skills, they also have local competitions. Some of the climbing members are competing this Oct. 25 in the eighth annual Fall Crawl at NDSU. It costs $25 with pre-registration and $30 on the day of the event. Free t-shirts are also given to those registered. Sign-up sheets are located at the Wellness Center’s rock wall.
The rock climbers also have their own competitions at the campus rock wall.
“They calculated out how many times you’d have to climb the wall for it to be a mile and then gave us a month or so to climb,” Sullivan said.
She added that they have also had blindfolded competitions.
The rock climbing club offers many benefits such as exercise, making friends, and learning a new sport. All it takes is filling out a liability form and the $20 fee to join.
“I was very excited to see this club form, as I believe it is crucial for every higher ed institution to provide opportunities like it,” Spriggs said.