Oct 102011
Authors: Jason Pohl

Climbing set for Thursday

For some, it’s an escape. For others, it’s just something to do.

Clinging 15 feet above a foam crash-pad while your chalked-up fingers crimp a lip of stone and 5your cramped toes attempt to make contact with the hold-less rock may not be everyone’s idea of a Zen experience. But for climbers, it rarely gets better.

The CSU Outdoor Program is inviting people of all experience levels to come out and enjoy some of the world’s best bouldering near Horsetooth Reservoir Thursday at the famed Piano Boulders.

Located just 10 minutes from the CSU campus, Rotary Park and the Piano Boulders offer endless problems for all skill levels, all while taking a trip back in time to where it all began.

“The important thing for Horsetooth is what it did for the creation of modern bouldering,” said Eric DeLuca, the Outdoor Program coordinator.

Bouldering was essentially unheard of until the late 1960s when John Gill, dubbed the “father of modern bouldering” by many, coined some of the numerous terms and stylized the sport at various spots around the country including here in Fort Collins.

The sport requires little equipment and a minimal risk of injury, and it sets the stage for an athletic –– and social –– event.

“It was just such an enjoyable experience being up there with (friends) and really understanding how positively the sport of climbing can impact your life,” said Nick Kadlec, a junior construction management major and president of the CSU climbing club.

“Still today, it is considered a remarkable landmark in the bouldering and rock climbing community,” Kadlec said.

Not just a climbing affair:

Thursday’s climb is just one of several programs offered this week during Outdoor Week, which the Outdoor Program is coordinating in an effort to get people outside before the weather turns cold.

The events add to the nearly 70 activities the Outdoor Program at CSU puts on each year in an effort to continue and enhance people’s outdoor adventure.

The program operates out of the Campus Recreation Center near the climbing wall, but climbing isn’t all they bring to the community. During the past few months, backpacking trips, volunteer trail restoration and educational classes were offered through the program.

All experience levels are welcome, and the cost varies depending on the event.

“We strive to get students involved in their local, natural environment,” DeLuca said. “We are here to serve the students.”

DeLuca stressed the options student have within the Outdoor Program, including educational classes, medical training, discounted gear rentals and a chance to try something new.

“We cater to everyone, but typically put an emphasis on students who have little to no experience and offer trips and clinics on almost every kind of outdoor adventure you can imagine.”

Education remains the emphasis of the Outdoor Program, which DeLuca said separates them from other more social groups on campus including the Outdoor Club.

“I think the Outdoor Program represents the physical aspect of the CSU mission,” said Brendan Moran, an employee at the climbing wall in the recreation center. “Environmentalism has its place in academia, but a classroom cannot develop respect for the nature on the level that summiting a mountain or sleeping under the stars can.”

A complete listing of events offered by the Outdoor Program can be found online at campusrec.colostate.edu/OutdoorProgram. For additional information, call the program at (970) 491-1669.

“I know that I want my university experience to be about more than tests and grades. I want it to be about personal growth,” Moran said. “What better place for that than the outdoors?”

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Program offers

  • Gear rentals for all season
  • Medical education classes
  • Trail restoration projects
  • Backpacking, climbing and biking trips

For more information, visit campusrec.colostate.edu/OutdoorProgram

Outoor Week

  • Medallion Hunt and Outdoor Photo Contest: Monday-Friday, Free
  • Bike & Hike Trip: Tuesday, 5-8 p.m.
  • Climbing at the Piano Boulders: Thursday, 5-8 p.m.
  • Women Rock! Climbing Trip: Saturday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Stargazing Trip: Sunday, 6- 9p.m.
 Posted by at 4:10 pm

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