Rock Climbing Keeps Students Physically and Mentally Fit
Climbing frequently not only improves your physical health, but also mental health. It reduces stress, anxiety, and helps climbers feel motivated.
For Livv Hunter, belaying and bouldering on climbing walls has become a passion and something to help her to exercise, relax and socialize. Hunter has been working at the sport since she was eight years old. For her, it keeps her both mentally and physically fit.
Hunter is not alone. Many students participate in sports to stay fit and interact with their peers. Students will participate in football, baseball, basketball and many other school hosted activities. One sport schools don’t host is climbing.
One doesn’t have to go far to find a climbing wall. The Dell Recreation Center just a block away has a facility set up for interested climbers.
What is climbing?
Climbing is a relatively niche sport for high schoolers. Many people have tried climbing once or twice, but never took it seriously. Most people would find going with a group of friends will spark their interest in climbing and there are many different varieties of doing so.
The most basic way to climb is to boulder. With bouldering, you don’t need any ropes, just climbing shoes that are available to rent. “I prefer bouldering because it can give you an idea about the crimps that you have to use as hand holds and endurance,” Logan Despain said. “My favorite thing about climbing is the progress I’ve made for my endurance.”
“My favorite thing about climbing is the progress I’ve made for my endurance.””
— Logan Despain
Others however, prefer belaying. “I love how relaxing belaying is compared to bouldering, “Sam Warby said. “It’s a nice change from bouldering because it’s usually more endurance focused.”
Belaying is climbing with ropes. Although belaying requires certification to do safely, it’s incredibly easy to become certified. Over time, many Alta students have begun participating in climbing at local climbing gyms. Momentum is the most common gym because it has many locations in the area. There is a Lehi, Sandy, and Millcreek location. Another gym called the front is also very popular.
The Climbing Community
One of the main aspects of climbing in public gyms is the social environment. Climbing problems are more than strength; climbing is like a puzzle. Talking to others about the “beta” is a great way to be successful in climbing. A beta is the term for the right way to attempt the climb.
One amazing thing about climbing is how open the community is to interaction. “I love the climbing community, everyone I meet in the gym is super laid back and supportive,” Lucy Peifer added. “It has brought me a lot closer to people I meet there and my friends.”
Another great thing about climbing is that motivating music is frequently played at the gym, which really boosts the overall atmosphere for everyone.
“My favorite aspect of climbing is achieving hard problems and figuring out the beta. My least favorite aspect is just the blisters and pain on my hands.” Callouses tend to become more developed and less of a problem after around a month of climbing. “People should climb because it’s good for your mental and physical fitness, and it’s overall a great community to be a part of.”
Benefits of climbing regularly
Climbing frequently not only improves your physical health, but also mental health. It reduces stress, anxiety, and helps climbers feel motivated. Climbing on a regular basis is good for building muscle and skill. It even improves things as simple as finger strength. Developing the habit of climbing is pretty easy considering how fun the hobby can be.
“Climbing has improved not only my physical health but my mental health due to the fitness and doing something I love,” Hunter said. “I has helped my depression and I have gained a love for nature and outdoors because of outdoor rock climbing too.”
Shoes to rent cost 8 dollars, and a day pass is 22, a total of 30$ to boulder. If you want to belay, you need to pay for certification unless you have a membership. A membership for students under 18 is 55 dollars a month without an enrollment fee. There also is a waiver that needs to be signed just the first time you come in to climb in case of an accident.
“Climbing at momentum is pretty popular, specifically around 5 it gets busy because of classes.” Said momentum staff. “It would be a good idea to come around that time to consider joining classes, it’s a great way to be introduced to climbing.”