A new semester of Adventure WV’s Climbing Wall classes is officially underway, full of all kinds of new climbing activities! We now offer three different types of climbing classes: Belay classes, Introduction to Aerial Silks, and a Lead Belay class.
Aerial Silks involves introductory skills in working with fabrics while suspended in the air. New to the Climbing Wall this semester, these classes are offered for free every Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Serena Kew, program manager for Guided Trips & Climbing, said that the current Aerial Silks classes will be a trial run. If successful, the class will be expanding in the future.
Two types of belay classes are currently offered: Top Rope Climbing and Lead Climbing. Each class corresponds with a different level of climbing.
Belaying is when someone — either a climber or their partner — works with a rope to stop a climber from falling. In Top Rope Climbing, participants work with an anchor attached to the top of the wall and a rope that will go through the anchor and back down to the belayer. This class will be interspersed through April 25 and costs $10.
The Lead Climbing class is slightly more difficult, requiring participants to be able to climb at least a 5.9, which would be classified as the very beginning of intermediate. This class will run from 5 to 9 p.m. on eight select Wednesdays starting Feb. 15th and costs $25.
While it is important you have a certain level of experience to participate in the Lead Climbing class, other classes don’t require any experience at all.
“We assume that you are walking in there knowing absolutely nothing about it,” Kew said.
For those interested in a free climb, the Climbing Wall is open anytime the Rec Center is open – no reservation is required. Normally all gear is rented out at the climbing desk, but if there is no staff available, it can be rented at the front desk. Both free climb and climbing classes are open to all WVU Campus Recreation patrons and sponsored guests.
Kew encourages people interested in climbing to take classes so they can eventually come to the free climb and use the equipment on their own.
“The goal [with climbing classes] is to provide people who want to climb with self-sufficiency so they can come down and climb whenever we’re open." Serena Kew
So, why climb? Climbing often requires a partner, so it is the perfect way to bond with others and make new friends!
“We strive to have a very positive, very open and welcoming climbing community, and that’s something that we try to permeate throughout any sort of belay class that we run,” Kew said.