The Weber Rocks climbing wall reopened for drop-in classes Nov. 2 after five months of closure due to redesign and budgetary changes.

Climbers waiting for a chance to climb during the Ogden Rock Climbing festival in April of 2015.
Climbers waiting for a chance to climb during the Ogden Rock Climbing festival in April of 2015. (Credit: Ariana Berkemeier)

“The climbing wall is an academic wall,” Teri Bladen, director of Campus Recreation, explained in an interview, “and until July 1, 2015, the department of Health Promotion and Human Performance paid for the wall to be installed with management by Campus Recreation through the Outdoor Program. After July 1, HPHP took control of the management and budget of the climbing wall. The purpose was to have more classes and academic usage available.”

In order to help facilitate this transition, Derek DeBriun was hired on full time as the Recreation Manager for HPHP. DeBriun was the assistant coordinator for both the academic climbing classes and the drop-in recreational climbing prior to being hired to his new position. This change in employment situation caused the drop-in classes to be canceled until another assistant coordinator could be hired by Campus Recreation. In the downtime, HPHP remodeled the wall to increase the overall height and safety.

For the students at WSU, the wall provides a chance to get a taste of the thrill of climbing.

“Trusting your life while you are 80 to 100 feet above the ground to a metal anchor attached to a carabiner with a rope to catch you should things go south, is living,” Nick Murphy, an automotive technology major and climbing enthusiast said. “The Weber Rocks climbing wall offers a cheap way to get started in the sport of climbing and bouldering while in a safe indoors before heading outdoors where the dangers get a little more real.”

Weber Rocks is one of three indoor climbing walls in Ogden, the others being iRock and The Front.  iRock, located in the Junction, offers climbing for $15 a day, all inclusive. It is open in the afternoons and evenings and offers 55-foot-high climbing walls. The Front is located on 22nd and Wall St. and is $24 a day, all inclusive. It is open morning through the evening and offers 1600 square feet of bouldering and crag areas.

“Indoor climbing gyms such as The Front Climbing Club or Weber Rocks offer a great relaxed environment, and I really like the fact that they have clinics and classes designed for beginners,” Public Relations major Dylan Totaro said in an interview. This allows someone who has never climbed before the opportunity to learn in a fun and safe environment, keeping them and their climbing partner safe.”

Weber Rocks’, located in Wildcat Center Arena, drop-in hours are in the evenings and offer access to the 40-foot-long, 13-foot-high bouldering wall and the 30-foot-tall climbing walls, for a $5 rental fee to students or $16 for the general public. Anyone wanting to use the wall must complete the assumption of risk form, either online or in person, as well as attend the belay clinic to have full use of the wall. Visit the Weber Rocks website at www.weber.edu/outdoor/climbing-wall.html  for specific hours, forms, info and classes available.

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