A video of Nick sticking the move but then almost killing me.
The SUNY Cortland Climbing Facility is located within SUNY Cortland’s Student Life Center which has multiple facilities and amenities provided to the students (as well as outside visitors who are required to pay a daily cost of 8 dollars)). Located inside this Student Life Center is a climbing gym which some of us members in SUOC (Syracuse University Outing Club) often use as an addition to our outdoor climbing.
The SUNY Cortland Climbing Facility has two separate climbing walls (one for bouldering and one for lead/toprope climbing) and a rotating Freedom Climber spread throughout their climbing section. The bouldering wall is about 13 to 15 feet tall whereas the belayed climbing wall raises 42 feet off the ground.
Within the belayed climbing section you can have about 6 to 8 people climbing at the same time, including an automatic belay system which allows users to climb without the need of a belayer. When the climber ascends, the system takes up the slack and when the climber falls he or she is slowly lowered to ground. This is much different from the normal two person belay setup used in toprope climbing where one climber ascends the wall while the other belays and takes in slack through their belay device. The belayer is responsible for the lowering of the climber as well as the stopping the climber from completely dropping in the event of a fall. Although the idea of not having an actual person on the other end of your rope can be a little frightening, it really makes it easier to climb when you have people who don’t know how/want to belay.
The center is a great place for any level of climber, from beginners to people with more expertise. They offer dozens of routes of varying levels that they change day to day which allow climbers to improve their abilities as well as keep in shape during the offseason. They offer varying types of climbing as well, even including lead climbing. Also, the center offers clinics on various climbing and belaying techniques which is another great resource that is offered to those who enter the gym.
A really cool addition to the gym is their Freedom Climber. This a great way to either warm up before you climb or just another great way to exercise and have fun. The Freedom Climber is great for people who are reluctant to overcome their fear of heights by allowing them to gain some experience while climbing close to the ground on a continuous flow of holds. When you get on the wall it rotates according to what resistance you set it at and the body weight of the user.
Overall my trips to SUNY Cortland’s Climbing Gym have been highly enjoyable and a great way keep up climbing when outdoor climbing isn’t feasible either due to time or weather. I would highly recommend the gym to beginners and more advanced climbers alike. The center and other climbing gyms in general, can be a great place to go if you are new to the sport and would like to introduce yourself to it. It is a great environment for those who are new to climbing because all needed gear is provided and you can improve your abilities without any needed knowledge of setting up outdoor anchor’s or belaying techniques.Our trip to SUNY Cortland’s Climbing Gym was definitely a fun one and I hope to be back soon!