Campus Life

The Rockwall Experience

Southern Methodist University has always been a place to explore and expand your interests. The Dedman Recreation Center on SMU’s campus is no exception from this pioneering trend. From indoor soccer to sand volleyball, the Rec Center has many different activities and facilities for students to check out. One of these exiting facilities is the climbing center. The climbing center consists of two different climbing walls, the TAOS Tower and HUECO Bouldering Wall. The TAOS tower is the tall climbing wall that uses a belay system of ropes to safely support a climber up and down. The HEUCO Bouldering Wall is used for bouldering, or a form of rock climbing that is performed without the use of ropes or harnesses but from a low height. These two walls combine to provide over 2600 square feet of climbing space. So, last week while at the gym, I decided to try my luck at the climbing center.

Ever since freshman year, I have wanted to try the rock wall but just never made the time for it. So this year, I decided it was time to give it a go. As my friend Nick and I approached the front desk, a smiling face was there to greet us. We then signed a couple forms and within minutes had a climbing belt on and were ushered to the wall. From the bottom looking up, the wall looked much bigger than I had previously thought. The lady belaying me helped me to get my initial footing and before I knew it, I was off. I climbed for the next hour or so traversing differed pathways up the wall as well as trying out the bouldering routes. I finally quit when my forearm muscles burned too continue climbing.

Since then, I have gone three more times and am looking to add rock climbing to part of my weekly routine. It’s a great activity to try with friends and has a very large range of difficulties for climbers to try out. I highly recommend checking out the rock wall next time you pass through the Dedman Recreation Center.

-Michael Keay


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