MAILED: Oct. 11, 2000
A state-of-the art indoor climbing wall at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is set to open in early November.
The wall, which will be the biggest of its kind in the Midwest, will cover 66 feet of wall space, incorporate one corner and stand approximately 27 feet high. The facility will be in McPhee Physical Education Center Gym 201A.
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to use the facility. Community groups also are welcome to reserve times for the wall. Tom Patt, director of University Recreation, said he hopes student organizations, residence hall wings, and academic departments will book time to build team work, commitment and perseverance among group members.
Patt said University Recreation always is looking to expand its adventure-based facilities. One reason University Recreation chose to add the wall is that "indoor climbing walls are one of the fastest growing activities in the country," Patt said. The indoor climbing wall will compliment and expand current programs such as the Eagle's View Challenge Ropes Course.
Patt emphasized the wall will be unique because its panels can be changed, offering different degrees of climbing difficulty from beginner to advanced levels and a variety of routes for climbers to take.
As in all recreation activities, "safety is paramount," Patt said. "Risk management is top priority in maintaining safety and security among climbers."
All inexperienced climbers will go through an orientation class that will advise them on care and use of equipment, belay techniques, command use, knot craft and rules of the facility. Experienced climbers will attend a skills check session to prove their knowledge in these areas.
A select group of experienced students, faculty and staff will be selected to serve as supervisors and facilitators. Al Wiberg, student services program manager, will train the wall supervisors.
Construction of the wall should be completed by Oct. 28. A specific date for a grand opening has not been chosen.
For UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff the cost is $3 for a four-hour time slot, plus $1 shoe rental fee. The fee for community groups of as many as eight people is $120 per session, while the fee is $240 per session for nine to 16 people. The facility will be open from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays throughout the academic year. Summer hours for the wall will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Contact Wiberg at University Recreation, (715) 836-5601, for more information.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Oct. 11, 2000