Rock climbing has exploded in recent years. There are 250 climbers on Cal Poly campus, all involved in the Cal Poly Climbing Club in various ways- big and small. The club was started a couple of years ago. This year Ben Parsons took over as president.
Parsons encourages every student to come out to the rock wall and give climbing a try. He says the purpose of the club is to get more people involved in the sport, and give those already involved an opportunity to increase their climbing skills. Weekly lessons are held at the on-campus rock wall, and the club also organizes periodical trips to Bishops Peak to get experience on real rock. Climbers are also able to participate in various competitions throughout the year.
Jack Moe is a second year engineering major at Cal Poly, and member of the Climbing club. He first began climbing in his freshman year at the on-campus climbing wall. Climbing provides Moe with exercise and a break from a busy school schedule as an engineer. Moe has participated in the Slo-Op climbing competition two years in a row, and hopes to go to Bishops to climb later this year.
A group of Cal Poly climbers competed in a rock climbing competition at Slo-Op climbing gym in February. More people came to climb at this years competition than ever before- this is just one sign of the growing community of climbers in San Luis Obispo as well as on Cal Poly campus.
"Competitions just a label we have to put on it. Every competition I’ve ever been to its more just people from a bunch of schools getting together and climbing together, it’s all about helping people get to the top of the wall,” says Ben Parsons, Cal Poly Climbing Club president.
There are four distinct types of rock climbing: bouldering, top rope climbing, traditional climbing, and sport climbing. Each type uses different equipment and takes unique skill.
Rock climbing is a unique sport because it provides a good workout and strength training while crating a unique connection with nature. In a society where we spend most of our days indoors, rock climbing is a good way to get outside.