Reach New Heights with ‘Vertical Dancing’

Amanda Bialek, Staff Writer

Why not come out and climb to new heights at the Wilkes Rock Wall or Rock Gym? Whether you want to observe, belay or climb, there is something for everyone to try.

There is open rock wall climbing available to students on Mondays and Fridays from 7 to 9 p.m. in the University Center on Main (UCOM). The rock wall is about 30 feet tall and offers both beginner to more advanced climbing.

Students also have the opportunity to climb at the Wilkes-Barre Rock Climbing Gym located on South Main Street. The gym is open for students every week on Wednesday nights from 5 to 10 p.m. It costs $10 for an entire semester to climb at the Rock Gym.

“It’s a local run business, and it’s a facility that has everything from no rope climbing, which is called bouldering, to lead climbing which is pretty advanced techniques,” said Jill Price, adventure education coordinator.

According to indoorclimbing.com, rock climbing gives you a great workout that both the mind and body will benefit from.

Climbing as exercise helps you learn mental control, practice strength training, engages all of your muscle groups, and also improves your balance and coordination skills.

Price recalls that her heart was beating very strong during her first time rock climbing in North Carolina because she was so excited to have discovered something new.

“I climbed up to the top really fast and then I didn’t know how I was going to get down,” Price said. “My legs were shaking like crazy from both excitement and the unknown.”

Price enjoys moving and turning her feet and leaning back while climbing.

“I like rock climbing for its physical contortion,” she said.

Price finds this activity to be mentally relieving because you can’t really think of anything else when you are focusing on the climbing in front of you.

Rock climbing, which is also called “vertical dancing,” is not only an exhilarating experience but it also allows people to connect with others and hang out together for a good time.

If you’re nervous about climbing for first time, Price recommends coming and learning how to belay.

According to climbing.about.com, belaying is the technique for holding the climbing rope and turning it into a safety tool to make sure that the climber is secure.

“Sometimes once you understand how something works its easier to trust it,” Price said.

Wilkes offers free rock climbing and has access to additional climbing that is offered at an inexpensive price at the local Rock Gym.

“It’s a pretty amazing opportunity to fill your bucket up with some recreation that otherwise costs a lot outside of this environment,” Price said.

For more information, please contact Jill Price at [email protected] or the Wilkes-Barre Rock Gym at 570-824-7633.

Wilkes Adventure Education is also planning a number of trips and excursions to celebrate the warmer spring weather. To see what types of adventures could be in store for our students, those within the Wilkes University community are encouraged to contact Price or stop in to the office.