‘Climb on’ with outdoor recreation

by Stephani Hinderliter

AdvantiPro Staff Writer

Have you ever spent a Saturday afternoon hanging in a harness from the ceiling, your faith completely in someone else to not let you fall?

If not, then chances are you’ve never been indoor rock climbing.

Indoor climbing is a sport that has gained immense popularity over the years, and now the KMC is fortunate to have its very own climbing wall at Ramstein Outdoor Recreation, located in the Kaiserslautern Military Community Center The climbing wall opened up along with the new KMCC last fall, and the staff have been busy teaching people how to boulder, belay and “climb on” ever since.

Don’t worry if you’ve never been climbing before and have no equipment. ODR has all the necessities, including a helpful staff who will teach you everything you need to know from start to finish and even help you out on your first few ventures up the wall to make sure you’re safe.

Climbing 101 beginner’s classes are offered at 2 p.m Sundays, 1 and 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays. The cost for the class is $20, which includes climbing shoes and harness rental for the day. In the class, you will learn how to fasten your harness and attach the ropes used for climbing, the proper way to knot the ropes, climbing vernacular, and how to belay someone, which means to support them from the ground while they are on the wall.

Before heading to the climbing wall, prepare by eating a healthy, well-

balanced meal and hydrating. Climbing is hard work and you will burn a lot of calories, so fueling up beforehand is a must.

Wear comfortable workout clothes that are not baggy or bulky to climb. Wear shorts at your own risk – remember, people will be standing underneath you looking directly up at you. Capri pants work better than full-length pants, but fitted full-length pants shouldn’t pose a problem.

Plan on arriving for Climbing 101 20 to 30 minutes early. You must fill out paperwork and then be entered into the system before you can begin. Minors need a parent to sign a liability waiver to be able to participate the class.

The class is on a first come, first served basis and ODR does not take reservations. Once you complete the class, you will receive an ODR Climbing 101 card certifying you have completed the class and have the knowledge and skills to safely climb and belay another climber.

From there, you are free to climb as often as you like. ODR will always have shoes and harnesses for rent, but if you find yourself becoming an avid climber, purchasing your own equipment will allow you to find what you feel most comfortable in and take it with you wherever you go.

An all-day climbing pass for certified climbers with shoe and harness rental is $12. ODR has recently begun offering passes for $35 that are good for 30 days from the date of purchase for unlimited climbing and gear rental. A six-month pass is also available for $90. The passes are good for climbing only and cannot be used for classes or special events.

Youths 14 and older can climb unattended as long as they are certified

in Climbing 101 and a signed liability waiver is on file. Any children 14 and under must be supervised at all times.

ODR also offers other classes several times a week. Bend and Boulder is at noon Tuesdays and 11 a.m. Fridays. The class is 45 minutes of yoga, followed by 45 minutes of bouldering, which is climbing without a harness on short walls with mats underneath to catch you if you fall. No precertification is required for this class and the cost is $4.

Rock Girls is a girls only group rock climbing class offered at 10:30 Thursdays. Participants must be certified to climb beforehand and the cost is also $4. Several other classes will be starting this month and ODR will also begin to offer outdoor climbing trips as the weather gets nicer. For more information, stop by, go to www.86thservices.com/OutdoorRec.html or call 480-5705.