Outdoor Insider Fall 2015 - Page 9

nical skills like self-rescue and multi-pitch techniques takes a significant investment. Also, there has been a lag in our community’s desire for those advanced skills. Time is needed for them to progress through lead climbing and work toward deeper gym-tocrag clinics. Be patient and invest effort in building capacity step by step. Looking Ahead sharp edge between two moving forces: The commercial climbing industry is booming and driving much of what consumers expect. Meanwhile, higher education is struggling to establish its value against broader public rhetoric. Administrators are right to ask whether these sorts of facilities belong on our campus—that is, if all we offer is access to an architectural fixture with a side of adrenaline. In an article in Athletic Business, If climbing is to continue to have Emily Attwood noted that “many a home on college campuses, recreation centers are finding that it will be because programmers their 20- or 30-year-old walls— can use climbing as a means to once seen as cutting-edge—are meet institutional goals. Programno longer meeting expectations, mers will have to redefine what and something needs to be done.” really takes place in our climbing About five years ago, UNL found centers: capturing the positive itself squarely in this scenario. impact of social connections at Students supported the programthe climbing center rather than at ming and facilities, but they were well “As the climbing industry advances aware of its limaround us, we stand on a razor-sharp itations. edge between two moving forces: As Adam The commercial climbing industry is Koberna of Wallbooming and driving much of what topia has consumers expect. Meanwhile, higher said: minorities are engaging in adventure recreation less than others. Patrons must see people of all abilities finding the challenge in climbing. These questions can be posed if we re-examine what it means to build and operate a climbing center. Our facilities must be designed to allow these experiences to take place. Merely designating more space will not preserve our standing between the two moving forces of the climbing industry and higher education. Just as the competing influences in our small project forced us to consider broader solutions, the field of adventure recreation and education must do the same. Todd Grier wishes to acknowledge Outdoor Adventures Assistant Director Jordan Messerer and Outdoor Adventures Coordinator Kyle Hansen, who were instrumental in the facility development process. education is struggling to establish its “Universivalue against broader public rhetoric.” ties used to be the place to the bar, highlighting the positive learn how to rock climb because side effects of healthy risk-taking there was nowhere else to go. in a managed environment, and But those people have graduated showing how solving a boulder and go to big climbing gyms, and problem can affect someone’s they take other people to those broader innovation, creativity, or gyms. Now you have a generation resilience. coming to college and saying, ‘This isn’t a climbing gym.’ The Students will have to see the notion of what indoor climbing is space as something more than the has changed dramatically.” place they go for an adrenaline rush or to train. They must be A stray corner in a gym can no challenged to think about how longer be redeveloped and magitheir actions affect a larger comcally engage students and visitors. munity—including issues such as As the climbing industry advances reinforcing gender roles and why around us, we stand on a razor- aore.org | nationaloffice@aore.org 9