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Hanging at the Red Barn

Becky Drexler on Tuesday, 12 July 2016. Posted in Athletics, Clubs, Residence Life, Student Life, Vacation / Break

Interested in rock climbing? Then you'll love the Red Barn!

As the name implies, the Red Barn is a "wells" style dairy barn on campus (and yes, it is painted red). Inside, the barn has been converted into an elite collegiate climbing gym.

The Red Barn has two levels. The upper level contains a section of top-out bouldering courses (also known as "problems"), where you climb up and onto the top of the climbing structure. There is also one top-rope course. The top-rope course is only open on rare occasions, but there are still plenty of bouldering courses that do not require any ropes. Thick mats line the floor around the different routes, so there is little risk of injury from falling.

The lower level contains multiple courses, many of which are located in bouldering "caves." These "caves" are niches that provide more interesting routes along corners than straight up/down or side-to-side routes. I love climbing in the lower level since a lot of the problems have cool inclines and even go onto the ceiling! Since the ceiling is around 10ft-15ft tall (or shorter in the caves), no ropes are needed to climb any of the bouldering courses in the lower level either. Several thick mats are also located throughout the lower level for when you do climb on those ceiling routes. The rest of the floor is lined with a soft thin mat.

There are routes for all skills and levels. Beginner-level problems are typically labeled with neon green or neon yellow tape. Intermediate is the next level up, then advanced, then expert. Within each, there are easier and harder problems. 

This past fall I took the rock climbing wellness class - yes, you can take a class on rock climbing! Every student is required to take at least 2 wellness classes while at RIT, so if you're at all interested in climbing, I highly recommend the rock climbing wellness. You can also purchase a membership to climb throughout the semester. After your 3rd or 4th climb, your membership will start paying for itself! I own my own climbing shoes and chalk, but you can purchase rentals right when you sign in. Happy climbing!

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