Belaying and bouldering basics
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Updated: Thursday, August 30, 2012 22:08
Tucked away in the Student Recreation Facility lies the UConn Climbing Center, where students can hone their skills at rock climbing.
The Climbing Center requires all students who wish to utilize it to take an orientation class, which is offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Students should note that if you wish to register for this class you need to do so online through the Recreation Facility’s Bodywise Website. This class teaches students about the various aspects of rock climbing such as belaying and bouldering, in addition to the policies of the UConn Climbing Center.
According to Wisegeek.com, “Belaying is a critical technique used in rock climbing. It consists of securing the climber to a rope, or belayer, so he doesn’t fall very far in case of slipping off the rock.”
Bouldering, on the other hand, is free climbing without a rope or other safety device. After attending an orientation session, students are free to utilize the Climbing Center during its hours of operation, which can found on its website. The Center rents equipment to students wishing to climb like helmets, rock climbing shoes and harnesses, so don’t let the fact that you don’t own any equipment discourage you from giving rock climbing a try.
Clancy Emanuel, a sophomore who works as a supervisor in the Climbing Center, offered this advice to potential rock climbers: “Don’t be discouraged, even though your forearms will hurt for the first month.”
Annie Szarka, a sophomore who also works as a supervisor in the Climbing Center, spoke with me about the benefits of rock climbing. She stated that rock climbing is “much better than running on the treadmill.”
Her reasoning is that rock climbing offers a full-body workout and allows you to be fully engaged in your workout instead of suffering the tedium of the treadmill.
For students interested in purchasing their own equipment, Szarka said that it’s “definitely worth it if you’re going to be climbing a lot.”
If you’re just planning on climbing sporadically, investing in equipment would not be worth the money since you can rent it for free.
“I look forward to learning to rock climb in the rock climbing center,” said Jordan Force, a 1st-semester student electrical engineering major.
Jordan also expressed his hope that other students would join him in eventually using the climbing center, and experiencing this aspect of what UConn has to offer.