Rock-Climbing “Rocks!”

Photo provided by Wikimedia Commons

by Contributing Writer Shiela Phoha, ’22

Rock-climbing is an activity that many people are not aware about. However, a few students at J-DHS are fanatics about the outdoors, primarily rock-climbing. This year, junior Lauren Fuegal introduced the 3R Club (Ridge, Rock, and Ropes) to J-DHS.

Rock-climbing includes free climbing, where the only equipment used is to keep the climber safe, as opposed to aid-climbing, where the equipment helps the climber. There is also indoor-climbing where there is a course and equipment keep for the climber, which is different than outdoor-climbing, where the climber has to set up their own equipment.

“I just got hooked and couldn’t stop”

In addition to Fuegal, freshmen Marina Stella and Eli Klein are crazy about rock-climbing. Stella goes indoor-climbing while Klein and Fuegal do both. They indoor rock-climb at Central Rock Gym in Syracuse, NY. When outdoor-climbing, Fuegal and Klein go to Little Falls, which is just outside of Utica, New York.

Fuegal and Klein both started rock climbing around a year ago when their brothers took them climbing at the new gym. “I just got hooked and couldn’t stop,” says Klein.

Stella, Fuegal, and Klein all say that rock-climbing is a great and simple way to get in shape, without feeling like you’re exercising. “After I go, I feel amazing. Finishing a climb is really great, but I also feel really strong. Just over the course of this year…I’ve gotten a lot stronger and I can see it in other things that I do outside of rock-climbing,” said Fuegal. Rock-climbing does more than make you feel good in your body. Klein says, “It helps me get my mind off things that happened during the day, which is awesome.”

According to doctor Michael Smith MD on, rock-climbing can challenge you mentally and physically. It’s recommended for one to start indoor-climbing first, so you can learn what to do.  Although you’re using every muscle in your body to hold you up, it’s easiest for beginners that are already active. “It exercises my body and stretches my body in way that you’re not used to…It feels really good once you’ve done a climb that is challenging,” Stella said, reaffirming what Dr. Smith stated.  

Stella, Fuegal, and Klein all agree anyone can become a rock-climber if they really want. These students at J-DHS have only recently found a new passion for rock-climbing, and you can too. Rock-climbing is a great activity to build muscle and clear your mind. Plus, it’s a way to exercise while having fun.

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