William Spears, a student at Richland, started a rock-climbing club to give people newly interested in the sport and experienced climbers alike the opportunity to meet other climbers at school.
The club meets off campus at Summit Climbing Gym in Dallas where participants can learn to climb up 40-foot walls while being strapped to a harness and carabiners, then descend down the wall using a belay system, which exerts tension on the climbing ropes.
“Climbing is full body. It’s not just your physical. It’s a lot of mental. It’s overcoming that fear of ‘oh, I can’t climb up that. It’s way too tall.’ And once you do it, it’s like ‘that’s not so bad’,” Spears said.
Club members can also try bouldering, which requires no ropes or harnesses. People are challenged to climb up the boulder-like walls and reach the top, by putting their cores to the test. “Stick with it,” encourages Spears. “The first few times you’ll be tired and sore pretty quick. As you start climbing your body gets used to it.”
Spears recommends that beginners wanting to get into the sport “bring a good attitude” with the goal of just having fun. The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. at Summit Climbing Gym on Forest Lane.