UNCG Magazine

Rock steady, on UNCG climbing wall

Caleb Mallory ’22 knows UNCG’s 54-ft. climbing wall well. “I’ve been climbing on Kaplan’s climbing wall for about four years now,” he says. It led him quickly to climbing trips through UNCG’s Outdoor Adventures (OA).

“The climbing community is what it’s truly all about. The space and people are so uplifting,” the kinesiology major explained.

He climbs at gyms around the state “I also really enjoy going outdoors to Moore’s Wall, Asheboro boulders, and Pilot (Mountain.)” With his growing experience, he’s been a climbing assistant for some OA outings.

Chimeri Anazia ’22, also a kinesiology major, was introduced to rock climbing in the Kaplan Center as a freshman. But she got hooked on it her junior year, with her first climbing trip.

Logan Briggs ’22 especially has liked the social aspect of it, particularly at the Kaplan Center’s bouldering wall. “You’re trying problems and hanging out,” he explains.

And there’s the sense of accomplishment. He tells of a route at Pilot Mountain. “Once you get out of a horizontal chimney, the world opens up,” he says. “You’re above the trees. You can see far.”

This academic year marked the 5th anniversary of the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

The climbing wall is one of the center’s most popular features. The wall saw 47,342 climbing sessions in those first five years.

Participation at the climbing wall continues to grow, says Dr. Jill Beville, Director of Recreation and Wellness. “That’s led to more participation in our trip program, Outdoor Adventures.”

Logan Briggs on top of Pico De Orizaba, Mexico. Third tallest mountain in North America and tallest in Mexico.

The center is named for the late Greensboro businessman and civic, community, and philanthropic leader Leonard J. Kaplan. In her late husband Leonard’s honor, Tobee Kaplan created a permanent endowment to support health and wellness programs at UNCG. In conjunction with the opening of the facility in 2016, UNCG’s Wellness Center and Campus Recreation Department merged to create the Department of Recreation & Wellness, now housed at the Kaplan Center.

Nathan Rector is the assistant director of Outdoor Adventures at the center. (He and Alex Hauer ’16 lead the Outdoor Program.) An Army veteran who particularly enjoys climbing Himalayan mountains, he is now a doctoral student in Geography, Environment, and Sustainability. “We develop a sense of community. Everyone is welcome. You find your place here.”

By Mike Harris ’93 MA
Photography by Martin W. Kane
; courtesy photo of Logan Briggs

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