Looking for a fun activity to get out of the house safely during COVID-19 and to be immersed in a community of people that cheer you on? Rock climbing on campus is a way for you to get exercise and share a laugh with a friend or two. Located at the Wabasha Recreation Center is one of the Midwest’s biggest university rock climbing walls.

Sheldon Brand ‘22 is climb instructor at the Wabasha Rec Center; he says, “give it a shot.” Sheldon had climbed for field trips when he was younger, but it wasn’t until he took the Climbing Wall Instructor Course his second year at WSU that he really got into it.

Climb for Your Health

Take a break from studying and go climbing! There are tons of health benefits that go along with physical activity and with COVID and it being winter physical activity is hard to find. Sheldon says, “research has shown that these [health] benefits, especially mental health, increase with climbing.”

Meet New People

Climbing is a great way to meet new people and who knows maybe make some friends.

“It’s a great place to get to know people and make lifelong friendships. The people in the climbing community are absolutely the best. We are all so supportive of one another. We see someone that is doing something that is challenging for them most of the gym will stop and cheer that person on,” Sheldon said.

Challenge Yourself

There are six levels of difficulty but understanding them is simple, “The lower the second number is on tape the easier it is. Otherwise just use anything that is on the wall,” Sheldon said.

Reserve Your Climb!

Due to COVID-19 the walls are open to WSU students only, as long as they have a reservation. To make a reservation, visit the Climbing Center webpage, there you will find a link to reserve a time to climb.

To learn more you can follow the Rec Center’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Warrior Change Up

The Warrior Change Up shares creative pandemic hacks and encourages us all to stretch outside of our comfort zones and “change up” our routines in order to have fun, make connections, discover new passions, and simply shake up the monotony a little.

Every week we’ll show a new activity and invite you to try it with us!

Share your Warrior Change Up videos by tagging @winonastatu and we’ll feature you on WSU’s social channels.

Click here to watch a short video about the climbing wall.

-Lucy LaValley and Ashley Rustad