Rock climbing club reaches new heights
Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter
Upon walking into City Climb Gym in New Haven, a climber is met by thousands of square feet of terrain to climb. Indoor rock climbing tests and trains a person’s muscles, awareness, fears, and problem solving skills. The courses are constantly changing at City Climb, so even the most seasoned climber has to adjust.
Southern students have the opportunity to test their rock climbing ability and learn amongst experienced climbers.
The Southern Connecticut State University Rock Crushers is an organization of students who love indoor rock climbing. The club was founded in Spring of 2014. Currently, the club’s effort is focused on achieving “club sport” status so they can receive funding from Southern for equipment needs such as harnesses and belays.
Vice President David Grylka has been with the club since it came into existence last year.
“Essentially,” said Grylka, “Steve Krozer, the president, and I split leadership decisions for the club. These decisions affect things like recruitment strategies, equipment acquisition and adventure plans. We essentially try to ensure everyone has a great time climbing.”
“We meet on Tuesdays at 7:30 at City Climb Gym.” said Grylka. “This is about five minutes off campus. We offer rides to those on campus students that don’t have cars. During these meet ups we climb and train. If we have any official business we’ll call an on campus meeting, which will happen several times a semester, and are held on selected Thursdays at 1, in room 233 of the Adanti Student Center.”
Students do not need to be experienced to join to the club. “It is a very relaxed club,” said Grylka, “and all you really need to do is enjoy climbing to be a part of the group. We have only held one fundraising event thus far, but plan on expanding our efforts this semester to acquire club t-shirts. If you see a slackline set up on campus, it will probably be us!”
The organization sets up a slackline in the residential quads in the spring to get students involved and help raise awareness for the club. The slackline tests a student balance, agility and trust.
Steve Krozer, president of the Rock Crushers, shared some of his favorite parts about being involved in the organization.
“I think the people are the best part about climbing,” said Krozer. “I have come to learn that it’s an incredibly social sport that, while individually difficult, creates a sense of trust and friendship.”
In indoor rock climbing, the participants harness is attached to the harness of another individual. That individual is responsible for keeping the participants slack tight, so they do not fall backwards. Therefore, the sport requires trust from both participants.
“Before founding the club,” said Krozer. “I was in rock climbing for more of an individual achievement, but it is now even more rewarding to share my knowledge and passion for the sport with people interested in trying it out for the first time. Every time we meet I try and work with people on their techniques and make sure everyone is having a fantastic time; to increase group bonding, we have begun doing a 30 minute core workout at the end of the night and all encourage each other to become stronger, together.”
Krozer said what adds to the success of the club is a team effort.
“I’m really proud of how far we’ve come,” said Krozer, “and hope that after Dave and I leave the club will continue to be successful because I truly believe that rock climbing is an awesome distraction from day to day life.”
Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas