UNC Campus Recreation reopened the doors to the Rams Head Climbing Wall, located in the Rams Head Recreation Center, on Monday, March 18, after being closed for nearly a year. Campus Recreation encourages all UNC community members to break in the program’s new gear and climb once again.
“Our staff has worked and trained hard to be prepared to reopen our doors. I greatly look forward to seeing climbers back on the wall and taking advantage of such an amazing climbing facility,” says Chance Van Noppen, the UNC Climbing Program coordinator.
The Climbing Program offers a variety of classes in order to get interested climbers certified to use the walls. The Introduction to Climbing Class is for individuals who need basic climbing instructions in order to pass their Belay Certification Test. For the seasoned climber, there is a Belay Test Challenge, which allows an individual to bypass the class and take the Belay Certification Test. For those brand new to the sport of climbing, attend Newbie Night and climb for the first time under the guidance of an experienced Climbing Wall staff member.
The Rams Head Climbing Wall stands approximately 30 feet tall and features Top Roping and Bouldering. Rappelling and Lead Climbing Clinics will be available in the future.
In April 2012, Campus Recreation closed both climbing walls after a UNC student and Campus Recreation employee fell off the Rams Head Climbing Wall. Immediately following the incident, an independent review was implemented, led by Christopher Payne, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.
“The Climbing Wall Working Group engaged third party experts to conduct an independent review of the indoor climbing wall program as part of a comprehensive set of recommendations focused on the safety of the program. The Climbing Wall Working Group reviewed the implementation of the recommendations and as a result, confirmed support for reopening,” says Payne.
The Fetzer Climbing Wall, located in Fetzer Hall, is still closed at this time, although Van Noppen is busy getting the Fetzer Climbing Wall staff properly trained and the facilities ready.
For more information, including climbing class schedules, facility hours, and belay tests, visit campusrec.unc.edu/climbing-wall.