Students seek support for wall expansion
Students hope to see the Augustana Climbing Wall facility reach new heights with the implementation of a boulder wall expansion project. With a goal to hit $7,000, climbing wall employees are raising money to support the project.
The project is spearheaded by fourth-year environmental studies student, Nils Asfeldt, employees of the Augustana Climbing Wall, and Greg Ryan, Augustana athletic director.
“The Augustana Climbing Wall is home to a growing community of climbers in Camrose. Part of that growth includes the need for a wall expansion, to allow more people access to the benefits and joys of climbing”, said Asfeldt.
First built in 2001 by the Augustana Students’ Association (ASA), the climbing wall is now an essential part of Augustana, serving students, faculty, community members, and the surrounding Camrose County. The demand for these facilities is growing as climbing lesson programs, birthday party bookings, and drop-in climbing sessions have become more popular.
Asfeldt has been involved with the climbing wall since his first year at Augustana.
“I began as a volunteer climbing lesson instructor and have spent the past almost three years as the manager, facilitating all the climbing wall activity from kids lessons to Build-Your-Own-Hold events to Junior Forest Warden groups,” said Asfeldt.
Asfeldt said that a bouldering addition would benefit both Augustana students and the Camrose community.
Bouldering is a type of ropeless climbing that is limited to short heights and requires crash mats. Currently, the wall offers top-roping and bouldering. However, there is little space to do both at once. A bouldering wall expansion would increase the size of the area, allowing for more than twice the climbing.
“From my own experience, I can say that the climbing wall is special. Both visitors and staff have always gone above and beyond the expectations, spending their own time and money to improve the wall and make others feel welcome,” said Asfeldt. “Staff and visitors alike mentor each other, push each other, and have fun with each other.”
The plan is to build the expansion to the left of the existing wall, allowing for people to boulder on a wall with a better layout.
Joe Sartison, third-year outdoor education student and wall employee, said that it is primarily fundraising that will make the expansion happen.
“A bouldering wall is an amazing place to relax with friends, both old and new, while working together to build new routes and challenge each other to push for that next move,” said Sartison.
Sartison climbed recreationally in Saskatoon before he was a student at Augustana.
“The gym gave me a community of people willing to work together to push for new ideas and challenges regardless of how diverse our skill levels were,” said Sartison. “I would be thrilled if Augustana could have a bouldering addition installed to expand the wall and facilitate the expansion of our climbing community.”
Visit https://ualberta.useed.net/projects/1015/home/ to donate to the project.