It was Pitbull night at the Castleton Rock Wall. As the artist’s tunes played in the background, everyone was chatting away having fun on Oct. 24. They played horse, tag and simon says – all on the rock wall.
Climbers were trying their best to beat each other at the games. Their climbing shoes scratched against the wall to try and achieve what task that had been given.
Some hung sideways as they tried to decide what rock to use next, while others were climbing sideways between two walls.
Their hands sweating as they continue to climb, everyone was cheering them on.
Others on hand helped belay climbers who were climbing 20 feet into the air.
If they slip, the person belaying them would catch them.
After being closed for a while, the rock wall at Castleton is back open – thanks to a rekindled Rock Climbing Club started by student Sally Zuk.
“Rock climbing is my thing, it’s my designated hobby. When I came on a tour here they where hyping up the rock wall saying they had one, that there was a club and a bunch of events. Then there was not a club, and the rock wall was not open for two months, so I wanted to get to a place where I could use it and do my hobby,” Zuk said.
A lot of students said they use the rock wall as a stress reliever and to just have fun.
Jack Summers, one of the climbers, said he uses the rock wall to work out, saying it is more fun than the gym.
“Like a video game… the more time you put into the game, the more you’ll get,” he said.
Even though you might be a newbie to the rock wall, the more effort you put into it, the more fun, and better you will get at it, climbers said.
Delaney Fielder, another rock climber who has been rock climbing since elementary school, is ecstatic to have the rock climbing wall open again. Fielder did not plan on climbing, until she learned of the Rock Climbing Club and figured she would try it out.
Jason Guerino used to climb when he was little, and just started back up because of this club. He said he does it as it is a stress reliever and said it helps get the body moving. Guerino also mentioned that he is feeling really good to have the rock wall open, like many other climbers are.
Several students have joined the club with no rock-climbing experience at all and are loving it. Hunter Dayis one of those climbers, and is loving it so far. Day said climbing has been a big stress reliever.
“It soothes a lot of emotions, gets exercise, just really relaxing and fun,” he said.
Day says that he loves the club, and is also ecstatic that the rock wall has been opened up to the students.
The club, once November hits, plans on meeting up twice a week. It currently meets every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
When Zuk learned there was no club and the wall wasn’t open, she took things into her own hands to form the club and started talking to professors, coaches, SGA, anyone she could talk to about getting the wall back open.
No one knew how to fix the problem, saying they needed a staff member to be in charge of the rock wall. Zuk kept trying and finally got the key to the wall and began cleaning it up.
Then, out of the blue, everyone got an email saying that the rock wall was open! Turns out they just needed students to oversee it, which was a little odd, she said, because there were many students trying to apply for the job.
Zuk has put a lot of work into this club, including adding more footholds into the wall. She also just got $6,000 from the SGA for memberships to the climbing center in Rutland.
She says that the rock wall is going well as they have the “largest participation, regarding clubs on campus.”
“I wanted to start one (club) just so I could have actual place for me to climb somewhere, as well as make a community here,” she said.