UNB’s Rock and Ice Climbing Club wants to reach new heights this year.
The club, dedicated to indoor and outdoor climbing, has introduced new programs for students and community members.
“We’ve developed a few new programs, like Beginner Hour,” said club president Magda Celejewski. “Beginner Hour is a good time because you meet other beginners, so other people at the same stage as you are. That’s the whole basis of that program is to not intimidate others.”
The Rock and Ice club, which has been around since the 1970s, has grown its outdoor programs as well, including Rock Schools.
“In the fall, it’ll be more of a beginner Rock School where we introduce rock climbing outside to those who haven’t done it before. In the spring, it’s more advanced Rock School,” said Dominic Caron, club secretary and community member.
“We also have Ice School which happens in February. This year it occurred in Sussex. [It’s like] climbing giant ice pillars, like waterfalls that have frozen over.”
This year, the club has around 180 members. These are students and community members who have paid the membership fee and participate during some of their climbing hours. However, this is a drop from their peak years, where they used to have 300 members.
“Part of our decreasing membership is because of the access fee that community members now have to pay. It is $100 for non-students to have access to [the LB Gym],” said Celejewski.
However, the club is strongly supported by a core group of volunteers who monitor climbers and create new routes so it is never the same experience.
“[The club] helps form a community of cooperation, of helping each other out, and figuring out the sport. It’s very tight-knit,” said Caron.
The club also organizes events throughout the year for students and the community, both as a form of sport awareness and as a fundraising tool. One of these events is the adrenaline-filled Banff Film Festival.
“One of the new things we did this year was the Banff Film Festival at the Playhouse,” said Celejewski. “We’ve been hosting it for 20 years, and it’s usually at MacLaggan Hall and it always sells out. So we thought to move it to the Playhouse and it worked really well.”
To climb at the LB Gym rock wall, it costs $3 for non-members, and $2 to rent shoes. The money raised through this fee, as well as their other fundraisers, is used to repair walls and fix holes. Last year, the club put some of the money raised towards ice-climbing boots for their Ice School. Membership is $50 for the year,
“But if you’re interested to start, come down and talk to one of the monitors,” Celejewski said. “If you’re keen to climb, just come on by. Your first climb and shoe rental is free.”
For more information on the club and climb times, check out their website at UNBrockandice.ca, or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.