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The Antelope

Women’s climbing night is everything it’s chalked up to be

Fellow climbers cheer on their peers during their climbs. Photo by Lucas Ratliff / Antelope Staff

On the second Wednesday of every month, the health and fitness center holds a women’s climbing night in the gym. The purpose of the night is to give a place for women who might not usually climb the wall a chance to do so.

Emma Bond, a junior marketing major, started women’s climbing night to foster a safe place for girls to climb and build a community.

“I think doing things like this is a great way to kind of break down that barrier to allow people to become more confident in their skills in order to grow stronger and also grow some relationships out of it,” Bond said. 

Bond said that it is common for people to avoid the rock wall because they feel like they are not strong enough or going to embarrass themselves and this event promotes a positive environment where that doesn’t matter as much.

“I think a lot of that just comes from a lack of understanding, and the lack of being open to trying new intimidating things because you’re put in a very awkward position,” Bond said.

Bond said that the rock wall is a very male-dominated space and it can be intimidating. However, with the growing attendance of women’s climbing nights and girls like Lauren Bader, senior nursing major, bringing friends with them, it is becoming easier to start.

“I brought one of my friends with me the first time I came, and so that definitely helped,” Bader said. “But everyone here is so nice, so there’s really nothing to worry about.”

Climbing the wall itself can be difficult, especially for beginners. The community around the climbing wall helps with that. 

“You won’t know where to go, and so they’ll encourage you to tell you where to go and they’ll hype you up, so you make it to the top,” said Sydney Kinnett, a senior nursing major.

Women’s climbing night continues to grow, reaching record attendance numbers this year. Bond said that’s the overall goal and hope is to spread more awareness and hold more events.

“This is gonna lead to more and more growth in the community overall, so I’m really hopeful to see where it goes,” Bond said.

The night has gotten a lot of positive feedback with its main selling point being the connections and conversations made at the event.

“It’s definitely such a positive environment where everyone is so welcoming,” Kinnet said. “Whether it’s a worker or just other people climbing, there’s always someone to talk to.”

The support from the women of climbing night doesn’t stop at the end of the event. Participants commonly reach out to each other or talk when running into each other on campus.

“I feel comfortable talking to any of these girls if I need help with something,” Kinnet said. “It’s definitely such a positive environment.”

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Lucas Ratliff, Reporter
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