Ladies take over Rec

Carolyn Drummond

Girls-only rock climbing night

Girl power will have a new meaning from 7-10 p.m. tonight at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The Adventure Center is offering two free climbs up the rock wall to females who show up for Ladies’ Night on Thursdays throughout the rest of the semester.

“We’d always have guys in here, and the girls were intimidated to climb with a bunch of guys,” said Ryan McElwain, indoor climbing wall supervisor.

The Adventure Center is the branch of the rec center that operates the rock climbing wall and organizes outdoor skiing and kayaking trips, among other activities.

On an average night, the climbing wall brings in fewer than three women. On Ladies’ Night, which started last semester, as many as 12 gave climbing a try each night.

Kate Jefferies, Adventure Trip and Outdoor Instruction supervisor, explained the 7-10 p.m. time slot on Thursday was chosen because it’s a slower time at the rec center.

“It can be intimidating, even for me, but that’s really more of an empty time, just for girls,” Jefferies said.

She said rock climbing gives women the opportunity to work out and challenge their minds at the same time.

“Girls seem to like understanding the technique and skill of climbing over brute strength,” Jefferies said.

Adventure Center staff are hoping women will make climbing a habit after trying it in such a friendly environment.

“People who climb together tend to stay together,” Jefferies said. “You meet a lot of cool friends along the way. How many people do you meet running on a treadmill?”

Karl Schmidt, a climbing wall staff member, said he wants Ladies’ Night to grow through word of mouth.

“It was nice to see when someone would come back and bring a friend,” Schmidt said. “They want to show someone else the ropes – literally.”

Women can sign in for free climbs at 7 p.m. tonight at the Adventure Center, located on the lower level of the rec center.

Contact Student Recreation and Wellness Center reporter Carolyn Drummond at [email protected].