by Jake Fraser, staff writer
The climbing wall was built by Paul Bobbitt and his Rentals and Renovations crew, under the supervision of Alpine Towers international. Alpine Towers, owned and operated by a Warren Wilson graduate, previously donated the challenge course on the soccer field. They also generously donated their time in building the on-campus climbing wall. Senior Theodore Hurly also put in much-appreciated hard work into the planning and construction of the wall. After the wall was built, the Paint Crew painted the wall.
The wall includes 1,100 square feet of climbing area, nine ropes, and 42 routes. Riley West, Jackson Depew, and Ethan Smalley set up the routes. Bruce Hills, Marty O’Keefe, and West co-wrote a staff manual for operating the wall. The fully-functional and infinitely challenging climbing wall is now a destination for adventure seekers on campus.
“Asheville has arguably the best rock climbing in the southeast, it’ll be nice to finally join the ranks,” Riley West said.
The previous rock wall on campus had to be removed after the roof began to collapse. Since its removal, a climbing wall has been desired among this rich climbing community.
“The climbing wall will change this school. It’ll make stronger humans, hands, and cores,” said Rebecca Droz.
The competition brought out many students, and five placed in the competitions. Zachary Kane was awarded first place in Mens, and second place was Nick Shaw. Rebecca Droz was awarded first place in Womens while second place was awarded to Dani Giannone. Tyler Kelly won first place in the crate stacking competition, climbing 20 single stacked milk crates before toppling.
The risk management committee is still negotiating the details of how and when the climbing wall can be open.
“We hope to have the wall open for bouldering all the time,” said West.
As of right now, the rock wall is staffed for open climbing everyday except Thursday from 1-4 and 7-10 p.m.
Outdoor Programming recently hosted a well received chalk-bag making workshop. In the future, belay and route setting clinics as well as movement or general climbing workshops will be available to climbers.
While some climbers have already taken a stab at the wall and others have been killing it, the Outdoor Programming invites anyone to come climb the wall, no gear or previous experience necessary.