Lake Tahoe is known for some of the best rock climbing north of the Yosemite Valley, and Sierra Nevada College’s Rock Climbing Club and Team is taking advantage of its surroundings. The team is in its fourth year of competition, and for its members, progression is achieved by having a good time climbing with friends.
“I love that climbing is such a social sport,” said Senior Camilla Rinman, Outdoor Adventure Leadership and Psychology major. “Even in competition, everyone is very friendly and cheering for everyone.”
Rinman has been climbing for six years, and started competing three years ago when she came to SNC. Now she is the president of Sierra Nevada College’s Rock Climbing Club, whose mission is to establish a social climbing community at SNC by providing opportunities for climbers from first time beginners and beyond.
Dean of Students Will Hoida, who is the club adviser, confirmed that “climbers of all levels are welcome, and competitions are optional.”
Practices for the club are held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays at High Altitude Fitness.
During training, the team has fun and challenges each other on different routes, bouldering or climbing with a rope and harness.
“Our practices are more about climbing and having fun together. We usually give each other tips on how to climb different routes and cheer each other on” said Rinman.
“We push each other to do our best and achieve new heights,” said Junior Bryant Knowles, a member of the club.
The Climbing Team has already completed two competitions this season, and it has three more to go, including visits to Sacramento State University, Humboldt State University, and Reno, Nevada.
According to Rinman, the competitions are a fun way to check out new climbing gyms and meet other climbers.
“For me it’s more about challenging myself by climbing as hard as I can, and less about actually beating other people,” said Rinman, “but it’s still fun to compete.”
Rinman placed second in the Collegiate Climbing Series competition on March 2 in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Even for non-competitive climbers, SNC is a great place to get a start in the sport.
“I would suggest taking the beginning climbing class in the fall for outdoor climbing or in the spring for indoor climbing, which is a really good way to learn the basics,” said Rinman.
Knowles has been climbing for a year, ever since he got his start in Will Hoida’s Rock Climbing 101 class.
“After the first class outside I was hooked,” said Knowles. “The sense of freedom and detachment from our increasingly synthetic world in rock climbing, its just you and the rocks and it doesn’t get much more down to earth than that.”