Hofstra Rock Climbing Club: Reaching new heights in and out of the gym
The Hofstra Rock Climbing Club at Gravity Vault, in Melville, New York.
Photo Courtesy of the Hofstra Rock Climbing Club
A fear of heights is no hindrance for initiation into the Hofstra Rock Climbing Club, as even the club’s current president, Juan Fuentes, a senior accounting major, is not immune.
Although the club’s members are dedicated to rock climbing, it is by no means a competitive atmosphere. The club members see rock climbing as a means of self-improvement and building friendships.
“We definitely feel like a family here,” said Natalie Lorenzo, a junior marketing major and the club’s vice president. “We want to be able to say that we include everyone and that everyone is welcome. You could be any major, you could be any skill level, you could have any kind of passion for climbing. It’s about people getting to know each other, making connections and, you know what, having a lot of fun climbing while you’re at it.”
The Hofstra Rock Climbing Club was established in 2013 by a group of people aspiring to go rock climbing with Hofstra’s official support. Since then, the club has grown.
“Year after year, more people started coming until it started developing into huge 30-person climbs and people from all over the campus coming to just rock climb,” Lorenzo said. “Normally we get around through word of mouth. We have a lot of friends who recommend us and from there we just kind of snowballed.”
Members of the rock climbing club have the opportunity to visit climbing gyms in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island City and Melville. Although less frequently offered, the club also goes outdoor climbing, most notably during their upstate camping trip, held once every semester. Each climb costs $10, which covers train travel, gear and the fee to actually get into a gym.
“For the value we provide and the activity we do, it’s a really good deal to do it at Hofstra,” Fuentes said. “We basically provide people with a $50 value and we ask for $10. You can really get into it and get really good exercise.”
Rock climbing with the Hofstra Rock Climbing Club has exhilarating benefits. By its very nature, it pushes people out of their comfort zone and helps develop physical and mental strength. It also develops camaraderie and communication skills.
“I’ve actually been rock climbing for a while – I started in middle school. It’s something that I’ve always been passionate about,” said Haley Friedman, a freshman with an undeclared major. “When I was first researching Hofstra, I went to the club page and saw that they had a rock climbing club and I just knew I was going to join it.”
In the future, the club hopes to expand in membership as well as in their scope of activities. They are hoping to attend more rock climbing competitions and they are working on a way to train in the Hofstra gym.
“We are always looking to expand outward and get more people involved because if we want to impact the most people around, we have to make sure that we are advertising, that people know our name,” Fuentes said. “We’re trying to make sure that we have sort of a brand here at Hofstra.”
Hofstra Rock Climbing Club members are keen on accepting new recruits into their ranks. For those looking for friendship, skill-building and vertiginous thrills, the Hofstra Rock Climbing Club is ready to provide a foothold.
“I’ve just met a lot of really welcoming and overall, really nice people who, every week, get together and have a good time rock climbing,” Freidman said. “It’s just a really nice atmosphere.”