Rock climbing club provides students ways to ‘take a break’ from world

Sophomore Noah Platt uses climbing to exercise, make connections

Taking+a+selfie+with+the+climbing+wall%2C+sophomores+Tyler+Leatherman%2C+Noah+Platt+and+Quinn+Jones+pause+between+climbing+different+routes.+The+Prosper+Rock+Climbing+Club+was+founded+by+Noah+Platt+and+Tyler+Leatherman+this+school+year%2C+with+the+goal+of+providing+students+a+way+to+exercise+and+make+friends.+The+club+usually+climbs+on+Wednesdays+and+Sundays%2C+alternating+between+local+gyms+for+variety.

Photo courtesy of Tyler Leatherman

Taking a selfie with the climbing wall, sophomores Tyler Leatherman, Noah Platt and Quinn Jones pause between climbing different routes. The Prosper Rock Climbing Club was founded by Noah Platt and Tyler Leatherman this school year, with the goal of providing students a way to exercise and make friends. The club usually climbs on Wednesdays and Sundays, alternating between local gyms for variety.

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Hands and feet adjusting, climbers move to new grips as they make their way up the routes on the wall. Noah Platt and members of the Prosper Rock Climbing Club coat their palms in chalk, as they await their turn to climb.

Platt, a sophomore, tried rock climbing for the first time in seventh grade. With the help of his uncle and support of his parents, he made climbing a regular activity. 

My favorite thing about climbing is the feeling of accomplishment you get when you complete a hard route that you’ve been working on for a while. It’s always so much fun learning how to climb them and what to do, and the satisfaction of actually completing one would easily have to be my favorite thing.”

— Tyler Leatherman

“I did it once, and I was like alright, this is kind of fun,” Platt said. “Let’s do it again, and again and again.”

After climbing on his own for a few years, Platt made friends with fellow sophomore Tyler Leatherman through weight lifting, and the two decided to start climbing together.

“Climbing on my own was a little bit boring sometimes,” Platt said. “But, now, I have a good group of people to go with, which is more fun. Tyler Leatherman is very competitive, so we compete a lot all of the time, and that gave me something to really push for and look forward to.”

After beginning to invite their friends from band and weightlifting, Platt and Leatherman decided that forming a club would be the easiest way to climb with a group. 

“The club started when Noah Platt and I were super into climbing,” Leatherman said. “And we really just wanted to see if anyone else would be interested in climbing with us.”

Their decision to form a club led Platt and Leatherman to begin searching for a sponsor. 

Adjusting his grip on the wall, sophomore Tyler Leatherman climbs a top rope route. The Prosper Rock Climbing Club is sponsored by algebra two teacher Andrew Cory. “The club started when Noah Platt and I were super into climbing,” Leatherman said. “And we really just wanted to see if anyone else would be interested in climbing with us.” Photo by Christi Norris

“I was at band rehearsal, where I found a teacher who was into rock climbing (Andrew Cory) and I was like, we need a sponsor. He said ‘Okay, give me some time to think about it,’” Platt said. “Four or five months go by, and he gets back to me and is like, ‘Remember that rock climbing club idea you had? I turned the paperwork in for it.’”

Joining the rock climbing club requires no payment, other than gym fees, and also doesn’t require a “big commitment.”

“There’s not much of a process as far as induction,” sophomore Quinn Jones said. “You just tell someone you want to be in the club, and you’re in.”

The club tries to climb together at least once a week, providing students with a way to exercise outside of the usual school sports.

“I like puzzles, and climbing gives you that good puzzles part and athletic ability,” Platt said. “I’m not the most athletic person, but it allows me to do some recreational exercise outside of school.”

Members of the club can often be seen teaching each other how to complete different routes, while also socializing between climbs. 

“I’d say that my favorite thing about climbing with the club is that if you don’t know how to do something, you always have someone else who can give you insight on what you may be doing wrong, or maybe what they would do instead.” Leatherman said.

Moving forward, the club hopes to not only meet more frequently, but also compete. 

“I’ve looked into some competitive climbing going forward,” Platt said. “I’ve looked at having two teams, one more competitive and one less competitive, but you have to compete by gym and we don’t have access to that yet. But, if we can get access to a gym, and have our own team under a gym, that would be really cool.”

Jones and other members of the club say they particularly enjoy the challenge of rock climbing.

“My favorite thing about climbing is the feeling of accomplishment you get when you complete a hard route that you’ve been working on for a while,” Leatherman said. “It’s always so much fun learning how to climb them and what to do, and the satisfaction of actually completing one would easily have to be my favorite thing.”

The club currently has nine members, but Platt said he hopes more members will join in the coming months. He also said he hopes climbing becomes a way for people to not only exercise, but also to socialize, and step back from the world.

“Right now, we’re just trying to get the word out and see who wants to join,” Platt said. “It would be cool to have more people come, along so it could be a more social activity, as well. That way, we could meet more people, and kind of get our minds off of the world for a little bit.”

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