MAILED: Jan. 4, 2001
A state-of-the art indoor climbing wall at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is set to open to community members Jan. 22.
The wall, which is the largest of its kind among UW System institutions, covers 66 feet of wall space, incorporates one corner and stands approximately 27 feet high. The facility is in McPhee Physical Education Center Gym 201A.
Students, faculty and staff, and the public 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 community and student organizations, residence hall wings, and academic departments 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 Eagles View Challenge Ropes Course.
Patt emphasized that the wall is 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 group of experienced students, faculty and staff have been selected to serve as supervisors and facilitators. Al Wiberg, student services program manager, trained the wall supervisors.
The cost for community members is $8 for a four-hour time slot, plus $1 shoe rental fee. The cost for UW-Eau Claire students, faculty and staff is $3 for a four-hour time slot, plus $1 shoe rental fee. Group rates also are available. The facility will be open from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturdays throughout the academic year.
Contact Wiberg at University Recreation, (715) 836-5601, for more information.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Jan. 4, 2001