Up You Go!

June 13th, 2012 | By Marjie No Comments

When it comes to having fun and getting fit, Adrian Prelipceanu (everyone just calls him Adrian) knows how to take you a notch higher … by climbing! Adrian is the owner of Active Climbing here in Athens.

Even if you have never climbed before, you can learn to climb on the beginners’ wall at Active Climbing. You will learn with ropes and then advance as you feel comfortable. In fact, as the challenge gets tougher, so do the holds, the angle of the wall and your grip. Once your confidence and skill grow, you’ll find yourself on the harder walls, where you climb up to 40 feet and sometimes are upside-down.

Adrian says, “Climbing is a good cross-training event for upper body development and can complement weightlifting. The body memorizes what muscles need to be used in weightlifting, but climbing uses muscles differently than weightlifting, so the upper body movement and strength constantly increase. Anyone – whether you use climbing for off-season training for a sport, for the fun and health benefits, or because you’re a pianist looking to strengthen your arms and hands – can benefit from climbing.”

So, what exactly is “climbing”? There are actually three types:

  • with ropes, which is considered sport climbing
  • without ropes, or bouldering, in which a crash mat is below the climber (Adrian recommends climbing no higher than 15 feet when bouldering)
  • ice climbing

Typically, climbing equipment includes climbing shoes, a harness, carabiners (metal clasps), chalk bag, ropes and helmet. Indoor walls provide all the equipment you need as part of their fees.

Indoor climbers can avoid all weather-related pitfalls, but outdoor climbing in Georgia, and even right in the Athens area, is available with several companies that provide guides to teach you how to climb in different conditions and on different surfaces. While Georgia may not boast the wealth of great venues found in neighboring states, we still have an excellent variety of climbing and bouldering.

For traditional climbers, Lost Wall is a great choice, with mostly short lines ranging from easy to ferociously hard. Granite slab climbing can be found at Mount Yonah or Currahee Mountain. And for the aspiring climber, Tallulah Gorge offers intimidating and exposed multi-pitch lines.

Boulderers, on the other hand, have a field day in Georgia. North Georgia’s Rock Town attracts pebble wrestlers from all over the south, while Boat Rock, in the metro Atlanta area, has a wealth of high-friction granite problems.

Here in Athens, UGA’s Ramsey Center and Ila Elementary school (Madison County) have their own climbing walls in addition to Active Climbing’s wall and program. For additional venues,
search www.activeclimbing.com, www.rockclimbing.com and www.mountainmadness.com. You can also reach Adrian at 706-354-0038.

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