North Texas Daily

Rock climbing builds confidence, muscles and friendships

Rock climbing builds confidence, muscles and friendships

Lian Shea (Place Holder)

Rock climbing builds confidence, muscles and friendships
June 20
21:57 2017

Climbers scale the steep walls, their fingers gripping the multicolored rocks as chalk powder floats in the air. Between the hustle and bustle of weekday traffic and busy streets, climbers inside Summit Climbing Gym expel their stress and socialize with friends.

Rock climbing has become quite the trend in recent decades, and it has found its way to Denton thanks to Summit Climbing Gym opening just off the Square two years ago. The climbing community is new, but it has evolved into the tight knit and supportive group it is now.

Logan Prentice, a longtime employee of Summit Climbing Gym, first encountered the possibilities of rock climbing at the age of 9. He later started climbing at the Summit Climbing Gym location in Carrollton his sophomore year of high school where he eventually got a job. Once the Denton location opened he transferred there. 

“It’s really like a big family,” Prentice said. “Everyone is super supportive. It’s not really competitive. It’s not you versus someone else. It’s you versus yourself, your own personal bests and the wall.”

Summit Climbing Gym has been a go-to place for people to work out and discover what rock climbing is all about, but also to meet new people.

With the many events Summit Climbing Gym holds, it’s easy to immerse yourself into the community of climbers from varying backgrounds of experience. Despite working on different levels of difficulty friends and strangers give each other tips on routes, or what is known as beta in climbing jargon.

“[The community] is really accepting,” said Cole Dyson, a Summit Climbing Gym employee and two-year climber. “You can definitely see that here in Denton, especially at UNT. Everyone is going to welcome you in, take you under their wing and show you the ropes. They’ll give you all the knowledge and input you need to be successful in the sport.”

Dyson said what draws people into the climbing world is the community itself. People persuade their friends to climb with them, which allows those friends to connect to new people, or even rekindling with old friends, through climbing.

For both new and old climbers, building each other up is more important than competition.

“It’s not super competitive,” Dyson said. “It’s more of a community where everyone comes together and works together to improve each other.”

Most people at Summit Climbing Gym said they are now more inclined to reach out to newcomers and others they generally would not talk to thanks to climbing.

“I’ve met a lot of new people, and I met my new boyfriend through climbing,” one-year climber Cheyenne Mullan said. “Some of my old roommates from college were climbers once they got to UNT, so I kind of reconnected with them. So now we have the same kind of friendship with them as we did four years ago.”

Joining the Summit Climbing Gym community has even helped others with their confidence and their body image.

Climbing is a physical and mental work out. With the muscles climbers gain from pulling and pushing on holds, they also gain the confidence in themselves to do things they normally would not do.

“[I’ve gained] confidence because I used to be a really weird guy who just sat inside and played video games all day,” one year climber Michael McCormick said. “But through climbing, I met a lot of people and I’ve gotten buffer. So instead of being a skinny, weak kid, I’m now kind of a buff kid with confidence.”

Since the opening of Summit Climbing Gym in Denton, the community has evolved from just a few people to a big family of diverse backgrounds all coming in from a shared interest: climbing.

“There’s just a lot of love, and everyone wants to hang out inside and outside of the gym,” Prentice said.

Featured Image: Competitive climber Liam Shea climbs a difficult V10+ at Summit Climbing Gym on Monday, July 12, 2017. Shea was one of many people in the gym late that evening, socializing and climbing the new routes set the week before. Michelle Guan

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Michelle Guan

Michelle Guan

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