Living On The Edge

Shedding light on the sport of rock climbing

Calloused fingers, chalked up hands and dangling off a rock wall 30 feet tall only occurs in one sport. Rock climbing is a unique sport that not many students are involved in, but sophomore Jacob Fetsch started climbing around four years ago and has grown to love it.

“I started in 6th grade, and I went to one of the gyms where they have rock climbing, and I really like it,” Festch said. “I’ve met a lot of cool new people and the community is very friendly, and it’s a really [enjoyable] sport because there is a lot of problem solving.”

The intensity of the competition increases as the styles of climbing vary.

“Competitions have different types of styles of climbing,” Festch said. “There are different routes with different difficulties and it’s either whoever can climb the hardest routes or whoever can get the farthest on a certain set of routes, and you are awarded points both ways”.

Training for this sport is not the same as for many other sports. He mainly trains at Upper Limits Indoor Rock Climbing Gym, but has also gone to many places to improve his skill set.

“I’ve trained all over the country in places like Minnesota, Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, Kentucky and a lot more,” Fetsch said. “Getting to travel around is pretty cool”.

Festch does not only climb at indoor rock wall locations. In fact, one of his favorite climbing experiences was while climbing a route out in Arkansas.
“ I was climbing outside and I was at the top of a route where I could see over the trees over 100 feet in the air and I could see the whole Valley of Arkansas,” Festch said. “It was a really cool view.”