Climbing team strives to reach new heights, scaling into new season

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Junior Maria Bisaga organized the climbing club on campus during the fall of 2014. Members climbed together and got to meet other climbers.

This was the beginnings of a neat kind of community unique to St. Edward’s University.

Bisaga, a graphic design and computer science major, wanted to do more. She handed her club presidency to sophomore Rebecca Darling and formed the official climbing team.

“I wanted something more competitive and more serious, so I started the team last semester, and it ended up being such a success,” Bisaga said.

The climbing team, as opposed to the club, is much more intense.

Members are expected to climb at least three times a week, including two-hour practices Monday and Wednesday nights. They have to pay a fee of $150 per semester to cover the costs of membership to the South Austin Rock Gym, the facility the team uses for practices.

The team will spend the fall semester training, and will compete throughout the spring.

Competitions will be held at Texas universities who would like to challenge other climbing teams.

The competitions have brackets — beginner, intermediate and expert — allowing team members to climb against competitors with similar skill levels.

The team’s table at the Involvement Fair on Sept. 2 drew a lot of interest.

Freshman Will Wineinger, an experienced ice-climber, hopes to join, enthralled by the challenge of climbing and drawn to its community.

“I imagine I’ll develop some pretty close friendships,” Wineinger said. “[Bisaga] and I have already become pretty close friends.”

Tryouts for this year’s team were held at the South Austin Rock Gym on Sept. 10.

“Tryouts were awesome,” Bisaga said. “We’ve got a really good group this year.”

Throughout the year, Bisaga hopes to organize a trip to California, where the team would compete in the Collegiate Climbing Series finals.

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