Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Climbing the walls

(U.S. Air Force photo/Lea Johnson)
A climber learns to navigate the rock climbing wall at the Peterson Sports and Fitness Center during a certification class Oct. 14. The class is open to all ages; children must be big enough to fit into one of the harnesses. Classes are offered every second Tuesday at 5 p.m. and every second Wednesday at 11:30 a.m.

By Lea Johnson

21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Maybe work has you climbing the walls. Or maybe your kids are climbing the walls. If this sounds familiar, then maybe you should try literally climbing a wall at the Peterson Sports and Fitness Center — the rock climbing wall.

The rock climbing wall, tucked away past the spin room behind a fire door, is a lesser known feature the fitness center offers.

“It’s open to anyone who’s authorized to use the fitness center. The only requirement is they have to take the certification class to be authorized to use the wall,” said Monica Schwartz, Peterson Sports and Fitness Center director of operations.

According to Schwartz, certification classes are offered on the second Tuesday of each month at 5 p.m. and on the second Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. Each class has 10 slots, so sign-up in advance is required.

The fitness center has all of the equipment and the class is free.

“Just come in comfy clothes,” Schwartz said.

Roger Hill, Peterson Sports and Fitness center director, said the rock climbing wall is fun for the whole family.

“It’s fun and it’s for all ages. As long as your kid can fit into a harness, you can bring your family in here and learn how to rock climb,” he said.

During the certification class, individuals learn how to properly use the equipment, tie knots, and belay for climbers.

After taking the certification course, individuals can use the wall, and the equipment provided by the fitness center, any time as long as the room is not reserved for a class.

There are a multitude of reasons people should give rock climbing a try.

“It’s fun! It’s huge fun,” Schwartz said. “It’s a really good workout. It’s definitely a good strength and coordination exercise. You can’t just mindlessly go climb like you can go run on the treadmill and veg out. It incorporates the brain.”

Hill said it’s a fun way to try rock climbing in a more controlled environment.

“This is a lower level to start at, it’s safe indoors and you can get a little more experience before you go outside and try to do the big mountains,” he said.

To sign-up for a certification class, call 556-4462.

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