EWU Climbing Wall has a club


Mckenzie Ford

Senior Haley Golden climbs down the bouldering wall at EWU. Golden started climbing at EWU two years ago, and is now the climbing club's treasurer.

By Sam Jackson, Copy Editor

The EWU climbing club has been making strides to reach new peaks for the sake of the university’s climbing community.

Senior Tim Hamersly told The Easterner in an email that he became president of the club because he cares a lot about climbing and that he wanted to “revitalize the EWU climbing community’s interest in climbing.”

For the first time in several years EWU climbers participated in the Northwest Collegiate Climbing Circuit (NC3) Northwest division.

“I wanted to make sure EWU was represented well at the competitions,” Hamersly said.

On April 6 EWU hosted an NC3 competition called, Climbtastic Voyage 2019. Seven out of the 17 other colleges in the division came to compete.

Competitors were split into male and female divisions and then categorized into levels from recreational (lowest), to advanced and to open (the highest). Senior Katie Farmer was EWU’s best female competitor. Hamersly placed No. 3 overall and was EWU’s best male competitor.

“Eastern has a legacy of some great climbers and I think it’s important to continue bringing people into the community to experience pushing themselves physically and mentally all while having a good time and getting in shape,” Hamersly said. “I am proud to represent EWU when I meet other climbers outside.”

It was about two years ago when senior Haley Golden started scaling the EWU Climbing Wall. She said that climbing was the best thing for her. It was from then on that she “just kind of blossomed” as a climber.

“I just fell in love with the sport,” Golden said.

Golden, like Hamersly, wanted to take action and get more people involved in climbing at EWU. This fall, Golden became treasurer of the club and recruited other climbers to join. Now, the club has about 30 members. Golden said between 10 to 15 members are considered “active,” by competing or devoting time to the club by climbing.

“We’re a family is what it comes down to,” Golden said. “I’ll be climbing in the (EWU) gym, and someone I don’t even know will sit there and cheer for me to be able to climb a route. So everyone there is just awesome.”

Junior Harry Curry said that the wall looked cool, and he began climbing there a couple times a week during fall quarter. Soon after, he was approached by club members and encouraged to join.

“We all have the natural ability to climb up the wall, and it’s fun to learn from everyone else because I’m obviously new at it,” Curry said. “Everybody has wisdom that you can gain, and then through that you can form really nice friendships.”

Whenever Curry is in a bind with a new route on the wall he watches the other climbers and studies their movements.

“With climbing club … there’s a lot of coaching that we do,” Curry said. “So if someone is climbing a route and struggling, someone who can climb the route will sit there and tell them, ‘You know, if you want help I’m more than willing to coach you.’ So that’s what’s really cool … you’re gaining kind of a family through climbing club.”

Members of the club also include EPIC Adventures staff who conduct student climbing trips throughout the year. Other members work for the EWU Climbing Wall and teach a variety of non-academic and academic climbing courses.

Non-academic courses include Belay Certification, Lead Climbing and Rappelling. Academic courses include Intro to Rock Climbing and Climbers Self Rescue. The full list can be found at the Climbing Wall website, sites.ewu.edu/recreationfacilities/climbing-wall/climbing-wall-classes/.

“(Climbing) is there for everyone,” Golden said. “It doesn’t matter how small you are, how tall you are, how big you are; you can do rock climbing. It’s not so much a physical aspect but a mental aspect. And it works on your problem solving skills. It’s literally available for everyone.”

The club meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 p.m. at the EWU Climbing Wall in the URC. To join the club go to its Eaglesync page, orgsync.com/92162/chapter and fill out the current risk acknowledgement form, orgsync.com/92162/forms/334955.

Club dues are $15 per quarter. Club meeting times for next year have not been finalized but they will likely be the same as this quarter, according to Hamersly. All climbing equipment is free to use at the Climbing Wall.

“Having more people in the club will encourage more people to enjoy and spread the word about the awesome sport of climbing,” Hamersly said. “The club is also fairly small and having a larger club means we would be able to do more outdoor trips, and we could even hire a professional climbing coach if there was enough interest. I especially encourage any beginner or intermediate climber who is looking to improve their technical climbing abilities while getting to know peers in the climbing community, to join.”