Mountains to Climb

Life has some pretty steep slopes, but here at the University of the Parks, the mountains of homework aren’t the only ones to climb. If you’re looking for an escape from the stress of school, look no further than SUU’s backyard.

Rock climbing is a sport that has been “climbing” in popularity recently, but a lot of apprehension comes when most people think of it. 

Fear of heights, lack of experience, and a host of other reasons keep many from trying. But climbing is for anyone, and there are a myriad of benefits that come from the sport. 

“I think going outside and doing things like that is really beneficial to one’s health mentally and physically,” said junior graphic design major Tyler Battenfield. “It’s really relaxing, and especially in the middle of the semester it’s good to just get outside.” 

Climbing involves problem solving, teamwork, and exercise to reach new heights. And according to nearly every climber nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you get to the top. 

And what better place to do it than a region filled with national parks?

“To put it simply SUU is in a perfect spot. There’s lots of rocks here and they’re the best kind for climbing.” said junior geology major Jacob Allred.

But not every climb is for every climber, so check before to make sure the skill level matches the adventure. Graveside up Cedar Canyon is an easier climb recommended for beginners. 

Be sure to do the research before any climbing trip to learn more about it and know how to get there. Getting lost is a high possibility when trying to find one rock surrounded by mountains.

Never go without the proper gear, a pal (preferably one who knows what they’re doing), and confidence. 

According to sophomore outdoor recreation major Jessica Merkley, these are essential for any climbing trip.

“I always feel safer when I go with someone who knows more than me,” Merkley said, “and confidence is super important, so having my friends there to motivate me helps a lot.”

If nerves are getting in the way of trying it out, start with the climbing wall in the J.L. Sorenson building. Friendly and experienced SUU Outdoors staff can help with technique and offer a belay.

Whether its the boulders in Moe’s Valley or the rocky slope of midterm week, there isn’t an obstacle that can’t be climbed.

Click here for more locations and information about potential climbs near Cedar City.

SUU Outdoors sponsors several climbing trips throughout the year. Visit basecamp in the student center next to Chick-fil-A for gear rentals and suggestions, trip information or questions.

Story by: Larissa Beatty
Photos by: Larissa Beatty, Christopher Dimond, and Patrick Hendry on Unsplash