Rock climbing prepares for upcoming trip

Students grasp fundamentals of climbing during club


Reagan Pohl

Taylor Dudek ‘23 soars across the NC Fieldhouse, hanging upside down on the giant swing during Rock Climbing Club (Pohl/LION).

Reagan Pohl, Reporter

LT has a wide variety of clubs that accommodate the interests of many students. One club in particular is the Rock Climbing Club. The club had its first official meeting of the school year on Sept. 6, meeting every Monday and Wednesday after school in the NC Fieldhouse until 4:30 p.m. 

Incoming members must first grasp a few fundamental climbing skills before attempting more advanced activities. Katrina Byer and Joseph Conway, the club’s sponsors, make it a priority to teach each student the basic concepts of climbing in order to ensure their safety.

I enjoy how everyone in the club cheers on people who are climbing,” new club member Anastasia Jouras ‘23 said. “It makes the atmosphere light and exciting.” 

During meetings, master members of the club engage in several activities such as: rappels, crate stacking, wall climbing, high ropes course, ascension ropes, and access to the 30-foot freefall swing. LT also supplies all the equipment, like harnesses, carabiners and helmets. Rock Climbing Club welcomes any LT students interested in learning the ropes, Conway said. 

“Before students can do any activity off the ground, they have to learn how to tie a figure eight and a fisherman’s knot,” Conway said. “After that, they will belay [a technique for securing an individual or a rope] crates off the ground, and once they learn how to do the correct technique, they then will belay with the assistance of a higher member, and then on their own.” 

Rock Climbing Club also hosts roughly two to three climbing excursions a semester, with occasional club dinners. In mid-October, the club was preparing for their first climbing trip of the year to Lifetime Fitness in Burr Ridge for some time in November. They also plan on traveling to Vertical Endeavors, an indoor climbing facility in Glendale Heights. This facility has walls up to 30 feet high, 35 auto belays, and 450 routes. Additionally, the club is hoping to experience an outdoor trip to Devils Lake this upcoming spring. 

“I feel like rock climbing isn’t something a lot of people do all the time,” club member Maya McCartney ‘23 said. “It’s a great place to get out of your comfort zone.” 

In addition to being a fun after school activity, rock climbing is also a great form of exercise. It promotes muscle development, flexibility, and strengthens your cardiovascular system, Conway said. Rock climbing is a great outlet for students and allows them to meet with new people and learn vital communication skills. 

“Club members learn planning, persistence, and trust as they work toward a common goal, climbing to the top,” Conway said. “Rock climbing helps you overcome your fears and builds confidence while facing new heights.”