Mitchell looking to make her next move on the climbing wall. Photo credit Josh Stambaugh
Article written by Josh Stambaugh
Have you ever wanted to try rock climbing? If so, the rock climbing club at St. Cloud State University has brought up many opportunities for climbers of any experience. With biweekly meetings on Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. at the rock wall in Halenbeck, there are plenty of chances for newcomers to check it out and get involved.
The St. Cloud State rock climbing club was started by president, treasurer, and co-founder Elizabeth Mitchell. Mitchell started the club this year to share her love and passion for the sport with others around the campus and to find other people who enjoy climbing as much as her. “My hope is that the people who join can make some new friends, and hopefully experience a love for a new sport that they have not experienced before” said Mitchell, who has been an outdoor rock climber most of her life. Mitchell started by working at Halenbeck and witnessing all the experienced climbers who would come to climb the wall for fun when it was open. Mitchell claimed that hearing all the language that they used made her more interested in the sport of rock climbing. “Climbing is problem solving. I really enjoy seeing a new route and trying to map out how I am going to climb it and what parts of my body I am going to use” Mitchell said about the joy of rock climbing. With there being so many different paths on the rock wall, the climbers need to think and plan out in advance how they are going to climb the wall using different grips and holds that will help them make their way up the wall as easy as possible. Mitchell stated, “what I have noticed is that most beginners rely too much on their hands when they start to climb. I try to remind them that climbing is an entire body workout.” More experienced climbers will use every single part of their bodies to make their way up the wall. According to Mitchell, there will be times where the climber is being supported by as little as just their thumb and a couple of toes while they are trying to transition to another type of grip on the wall. The grips and positioning are the most important part of climbing. It is what keeps the climbers in the best positions to keep climbing and making their way up the wall.
Mitchell encourages newcomers to come by the wall on Wednesdays when they are climbing and try it out. She says that it does not matter how much experience a person has, because they are a community trying to share their love for the sport, while making each other better every time they climb. The rock climbing club is not currently on any social medias, but they do have a Husky Connect page where people who are interested in joining the club can go to get more information. People can also find Mitchell’s contact information on the page so they reach out to her with any questions that they may have about the club.