Climbing Wall open for University students

Juliette Gaggini, Contributing Writer

The University’s Climbing Wall, located in the Gerhard Fieldhouse, is open to all students each night of the week from 6-9 p.m. Renovated in 2019, the wall features 12+ foot high bouldering walls with multiple angles and innovative setting, a MoonBoard climbing wall, multiple hand cracks and plenty of training options to improve your climbing. There is no fee for students, even those who are inexperienced and need training. Students can reserve their climbing wall reservation 48 hours in advance through the University website.

“The climbing wall is a really inclusive space where anyone can sign up. It is a different type of fitness than running on the treadmill or taking a fitness class and it is a good way to get people out of their comfort zone,” Bri Kropinack ’21 said.

The Climbing Wall is a part of the Outdoor Education and Leadership (OEL) CLIMBucknell program, which teaches student climbing techniques. The skills learned on the bouldering wall are translated to off-campus locations, including the Cowan Climbing Challenge Course and surrounding state parks. The OEL website says their climbing program helps “students grow as leaders, work in teams, and build relationships with other students on campus.”

The University Recreation Services also helps to manage the Climbing Wall. The Recreation Services team encourages members of the community to establish and lead healthier lifestyles. The Climbing Wall is just one of the great opportunities that they provide for students to get out and remain active. All students are also able to make reservations for recreational swimming, use of the fitness center and group fitness classes such as yoga, Zumba, HIIT, Barre and bike classes.

“Recreation is important not only to our students’ physical and mental health, but is a key driver in creating a connection with campus. Activities outside of the classroom at the University help our students build interpersonal skills and enhance their academic success. During these challenging times, students are looking for ways to connect safely with others,” Associate Athletic Director of Recreation Services Karen Landis said.

“The wall has been a huge part of my life at Bucknell. When I first came here as a first-year, I had never climbed before in my life. I’m not super strong, wasn’t into sports in high school, have gone to a gym maybe four times in my life, nothing athletic at all. But I needed a job so I applied to work at the wall and, miraculously, I was hired. I was a little intimidated at first, but the other staff members and everyone that came in was so supportive, and the atmosphere was one of the best I’ve found at Bucknell,” Climbing Wall Manager Molly O’Halloran ’22 said. “I guess I just want people to know that it exists, that it’s a great place for everyone, even if you’re not super athletic or strong, and that you should come check it out.”

If students are interested and have any questions, they can reach out to [email protected] for more information on the Climbing Wall.

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