Climbing requires both physical strength and quick problem solving – The Sagamore

A puzzle. That’s what many climbers think of their sport.

Rock climbing, a unique sport with many quirks, is a sport full of logic, trial and error, strength and great determination that is offered all around Brookline. It is highly recommended by climbers; among many things that are nice about this sport is that it is so different from other sports.

Sophomore Atlas Noubir, who climbs primarily for fun and exercise, says rock climbing is more appealing to him than other sports because it requires more thought.

“Most of the time, I don’t really like exercises or sports, especially competitive sports. But I always liked climbing, even if it requires physical strength,” Noubir said. Even though it requires practice, it feels like a puzzle because you’re looking for all these holes, you’re looking for how to create a route, how to do something better.”

According to Sophomore Fisher Fenrenbach, climbing is not necessarily a competitive sport, unlike many other sports, but that there are competitions.

Competitors usually go to the host gym with certain climbs which are awarded a certain number of points, which they try to climb in the space of around four minutes. Points are deducted for unsuccessful attempts.

Although many consider rock climbing to be a dangerous activity, freshman Benji Kaufman believes that injuries and safety are nothing to worry about.

“As long as you do it safely and with enough protections and are aware of your surroundings, you are safe. On the outside, you just have to be constantly aware of everything that’s going on and if you’re aware and double-check everything, then everything is pretty safe,” Kaufman said. “I mean you could sprain your ankle if you have a bad fall, but if you do everything right, that’s the worst that can happen.”

Documentaries like “Free Solo,” about mountaineer Alex Honnold scaling El Capitan, a popular large wall-like mountain in Yosemite, without ropes, may lead some to believe that climbing is dangerous. However, Fenrenbach said he doesn’t really represent the climbing community as a whole.

“Our intention is not to go out and do something deadly that we could die of very easily. He’s a special guy, and that’s his purpose in life, and it’s good for him,” he said. Fenrenbach said “I’m glad he made it, but I think most climbers are like, ‘We would never do that, but we’re happy for him.'”

Another misconception is the lack of diversity within the climbing community. Noubir said he felt she was not presented as open to all kinds of people.

“There’s a stereotype about who a climber is, like this white guy with big muscles, but where I went it was much more diverse. There were women, POC [people of color] and queer people (LGBTQ+) who would rock climb. One of the climbing mentors was working to get more diversity in climbing, which was really cool,” Noubir said.

Although rock climbing may be easier for a certain body type and height, rock climbing is open to everyone and anyone can be successful.

“I’m not really tall and most of the courses are designed for tall people, but I got better at controlled jumps and jumps,” Noubir said.

According to Noubir, rock climbing is something everyone can do and try, especially after the pandemic is over.

“Even if it takes strength and strength, it’s really elegant. You can do it in a really nice and elegant way. I guess it’s really fun too. And you can make friends, be part of community and you can play games around it,” Noubir said.

According to Fenrenbach, there are places all over Brookline that are open where people can try it out for fun and maybe discover a new passion.

Kaufman strongly encourages people to start climbing.

“Personally, I love it,” Kaufman said. “I recommend it to everyone, but I don’t know if people will love it. It’s probably my favorite thing to do, so I think everyone should give it a try.

Virginia F. Goins