The belly of the Red Barn pulsed with music and energy on Jan. 15 as RIT’s unique rock climbing gym hosted one of its increasingly popular themed events, the Snow GLObe Climb. Here, the Rock Climbing Club crew took the opportunity to turn off the lights in the lower level of the facility, break out a few glow sticks, spin some dubstep music, and give patrons a one-of-a-kind climbing experience.
After paying the $5 cover, and signing a waiver of course, the climbers had access to the entire bouldering area in the Red Barn’s basement. Bouldering, a style of climbing wherein climbers are limited to shorter distances and are unassisted by rope, is easily facilitated by the fact that nearly every square foot of the basement’s walls are decked out with climbing holds. The labeled paths or problems range in difficulty, from scaling a vertical wall to working your way across portions of the ceiling.
Attendees were encouraged to bring their own glow sticks and headlamps to create the glow-in-the-dark vibe, and many were happy to oblige. With all of the light in the room being generated by hundreds of bobbing, multi-colored sources, it was comparable to a small basement rave. There was a great deal of lively conversation between climbing enthusiasts as they discussed tips and stories. To add to the party vibe, the event was deejayed by RIT’s Naim Hakim, a New Media Printing major. DJ Hakim’s mixes of hip-hop, top 40 and bass-heavy dubstep kept everyone dancing when they weren’t climbing.
The event itself is the brainchild of Rock Climbing Club President Lindsay Reardon, a fourth year Marketing major, and Vice President Brennah Rosenthal, a second year Visual Media major. The two founded the Rock Climbing Club last year. There are approximately 70 club members: 30 competitive team members, 20 starters and 10 reserve climbers. So far, both the club and the competitive team have enjoyed a great deal of success. In fact, Reardon and Rosenthal took first and second place in the women’s regional competition last year respectively.
The Snow GLObe Climb, whose title was coined by Rosenthal, was intended to welcome climbers of all levels. “We wanted to do something that was beginner friendly. This was the best idea that we had,” said Rosenthal. “And people who don’t want to climb can just hang out.”
Previously, the clubs’ most popular event was the Twister Climb, where games of “Twister” were played vertically on a 8-by-10 portable rock wall. Other events include movie nights, game nights and team dinners; and it seems like the interest and support of the organization continues to grow. Reardon and Rosenthal believe this is due largely in part to how deeply the shared passion for rock climbing runs between the Rock Climbing Club’s members, as well as the trust they have developed. “You’re spotting each other from falling off the ceiling all day,” Reardon stated. “It’s a huge trust thing.”
There’s a lot around the corner for the Rock Climbing Club in the near future, including a climbing trip to Toronto, tryouts for the competition team and the beginning of its season in February. Reardon and Rosenthal firmly believe that the support and commitment the organization garners will keep things going smoothly.
|Taylor Rose, a fourth year Computer Science major and member of both the RIT Rock Climbing Club and the RIT Climbing Team, dances at the Snow GLObe Climb.