Claw your way to the top

Portland State students are climbing up the walls! It’s not because finals are only a few weeks away, and it’s not because Vikings fans are getting hyped for the upcoming basketball season, it’s because Portland State now has it’s own rock climbing wall!

Last Thursday, the PSU Climbing Center was officially opened in the Peter Stott Center. Students came by the Climbing Center to get their chance at scaling the rock wall.

The rock-climbing wall was not just some simple idea that was put into effect by the folks at the Stott Center. A good amount of time and effort was put into building the rock wall over the past three years. The Climbing Center began as an idea by Portland State’s Outdoor Program. The Outdoor Program plans camping trips, whitewater-rafting trips and many other things that have to do with outdoor activities and a few extreme sports. The Outdoor Program usually does not do programming on campus, but with the opening of the Climbing Center, the program will now be much more visible and accessible on campus for those who love outdoor activities.

The Outdoor Program decided to approach the student body for their opinions and signatures to determine whether the rock wall would be something good for PSU. It seemed to be a great idea, since approximately 1,300 students signed the petition. The Outdoor Program then presented the plan to the Student Fee Committee, which approved it.


Todd Bauch, the project’s overseer, feels that the rock wall will be a success at PSU as students begin to warm up to the idea of climbing the wall. Though it just officially opened, faculty and students have been showing interest.

“We have a lot of people who check us out, peek through the door and are kind of intrigued,” Bauch said. “We opened up about three weeks ago, and today we have 75 faculty and students who are regular users of the wall.”

PSU students can have full access to the wall once they sign up in the Rock Climbing Center and pay a membership fee of $20 for the remainder the fall term. The membership fee will be upped to $30 for the following terms, and students will be able to use the wall at their leisure. Those who do not wish to pay for a whole term can use the facility for $5 a day.

In the winter term, student organizations, student groups and dorm floors will be able will be able to book a night at the Climbing Center for $50 an hour.

Students who do not know how to climb or belay can take an hour-long class provided in the center for students who wish to learn how to attach their harness, tie ropes correctly and learn the correct ways of climbing. There may be a chance that an actual credited class will be provided within the next year or so.

“When the initial proposal was drawn up, there was an allowance made for a class including the rock wall,” Bouk said. “We haven’t activated it yet, but we’re planning on talking with academics to get a rock-climbing class in.”