USD climbing club gives students a different way to work out
3 mins read

USD climbing club gives students a different way to work out

For most students, scaling a wall isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when deciding what to do with their downtime. For the members of Climb USD, this is exactly what they want to do.

For Chad Hatanpa, the president of Climb USD, it’s not just the climbing that draws him to the club.

“(It’s) the casual nature of the club and the open and outgoing attitudes of its members,” Hatanpa said. “We all strive to provide a positive environment for students who use the rock wall.”

Climb USD is an organization that commits to the dedication of students who love adventures and the challenges that come with rock climbing. It focuses on introducing students as well as non-students to the joys and excitement of climbing. The organization’s goal is to promote an enjoyable experience for climbers of all skill levels, Hatanpa said.

“We climb and hang out for the most part, but will occasionally get together outside of the rock wall to do other things,” Hatanpa said. “The climbing organization that USD has, contributes to around 30 active members but the Climb USD Facebook page has over 100 members listed.”

The climbing club hosts two competitions, one each semester, at the USD Wellness Center that is home to the state’s tallest rock climbing wall. While USD doesn’t have a university sanctioned climbing team, the club travels to other schools such as South Dakota State University, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well as schools in Minnesota to partake in competitions.

While attending competitions the club also takes trips to improve their climbing skills. They have taken trips to Palisades State Park, Blue Mounds State Park, Spearfish Canyon, Rushmore National Park and Victoria Canyon. They have also taken longer trips to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and Wyoming over spring break.

Over spring break last year the club took a trip to the Sandhills and went climbing there. Active Climb USD member, Rachel Beckman said, that has been her favorite thing to do outside of the rock climbing. She started out as a beginner on the trip and throughout the trip the club was able to teach her and help her progress her climbing skills.

Beckman also mentioned that she, “loves how close the climbing group is to each other, the members do a lot of different activities together and she also likes how open the club is to welcoming new members.”

“Climb USD is composed of members who love adventure” Chad mentioned. 

There isn’t a specific time the club meets, but they communicate within their Climb USD Facebook page as to when other members are going to go climb.The members don’t only rock climb, they also hike and partake in other outdoor activities.

Brad Zwart, USD’s rock wall manager and active Climb USD member said he loves having a hobby that he can share with other people.

“The socialization of members who all share a common hobby, it is one sport that everyone likes to do,” Zwart said.