What you need to know about rock climbing


Thomas Semprez, Staff Writer

What is rock climbing?  The name really says it all; basically it’s an activity that requires one to climb up, down, or across a natural rock formation or an artificial climbing wall. Rock climbing is rapidly increasing in popularity globally and is especially growing across the United States. In fact, for the first time, rock climbing as a competition will be held in the 2020 Olympics in Japan. While many people love to climb outdoors, with our busy lives we are usually unable to climb in nature. So we climb indoors in places such as Mesa Rim. Indoor climbing is in a climbing gym with artificial walls that simulates the outdoor experience with predetermined routes that are set against the wall often color-coded. On the other side, outdoor climbing is outside in nature, at rocky formation.


In rock climbing, there are two different types of climbing, top roping and bouldering, each used in their respective way for a different kind of surface. Top roping consists of a rope which is held by an anchor above the wall and attached to a belayer down the wall. Bouldering is climbing without a rope attached to you, but rather above a safety pad instead. It may sound risky, as you could hurt yourself from falling too high, but actually it is completely safe. Overall, both types are personally fun for me to do, but are no easy task. 


Rock climbing may seem like a physical strength-based sport, but in reality it requires just as much mental strength. As one progresses in climbing they will eventually realize that agility, stability, endurance and mental control are vital for a successful climb. Climbing requires you to stay balanced and keep good body position, meaning finding your center of gravity so you do not fall. It also requires endurance, especially when you are climbing for a long period of time. It is also important to know when to conserve your energy or when to exert it. 


If you may not know, we have an LJCDS rock climbing team and this year is our five-year anniversary. Our team was founded by Giana Mitchell and Naia Mitchell with the help from their father, Todd Mitchell. It has been quite successful over the years, but this year, in 2018, it has boomed in popularity with the help of our new climbing wall in the gym. Anyone is welcome to use the climbing wall and I highly encourage to try at least once.  


Our climbing team has evolved over the course of the years. It started off small, but as it grew the workouts and practices have intensified. The classes we take involve us practicing our climbing skills, improve our physical strength, and much more. Come try our thrilling experience!