Get to know an organization: Bama Climbing brings together UA rock climbing community

Get to know an organization: Bama Climbing brings together UA rock climbing community

Students can climb rock walls at the Student Activity Center in Presidential Village. CW | Amy Sullivan

Towering 40 feet above, the rock climbing wall at Student Activity Center in Presidential Village is a flat wall of narrow footholds and grips. If one was to visit the wall on a particular afternoon, they'd probably find the University of Alabama premier rock climbing club, Bama Climbing, suited up in harnesses and scaling the walls.

“A climbing community has been building in and around Tuscaloosa, especially with the recent construction of the new climbing wall at the Student Activity Center at Presidential Village,” said Brandon McChristian, a junior mechanical engineering major, and president of Bama Climbing. He wanted to get the club up and running again after it went inactive for a few years.

Bama Climbing reformed to help weave together a network of student climbers who want to both enjoy climbing and advance in their skills through indoor and outdoor competitions. Some of their activities include both outdoor and indoor climbing, bouldering or climbing without ropes or harnesses, traditional climbing and giving back to the local climbing community.

“Being a member allows you to come to our climb sessions at the new wall and our outdoor trips with other members with access to shared gear like ropes and bouldering pads as well as uniforms that club dues go to pay for," he said. “It's a great environment to meet new people interested in similar things as you and we all believe that it is an extremely rewarding sport to be involved in.”

McChristian said his favorite event the club is involved in is when the University hosts an annual collegiate climbing series, T-Town Pull Down, where other climbing teams from universities across the South compete.

Corey Dennis, a senior majoring in Environmental Engineering, is a member of the club and said meetings are always new and exciting, regardless of how long you have been climbing.

“We have meetings where we climb, movie nights, volunteer days and we are starting to do lake trips at the end of this month,” Dennis said. “Just show up with a good attitude and a willingness to push yourself. There’s no judgement here.”

McChristian said that anyone interested in climbing, regardless of skill level is welcome to join. He said that beginners are usually the most fun to work with because of their energy and excitement to learn. For more information about getting involved, contact McChristian at bamaclimbing@gmail.com 

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