Outdoor ed heads inside for rock climbing


Courtesy of Justin Coons

Waiting his turn at Outdoor Education’s rock climbing field trip, sophomore Simon Nagles watches senior Anthony Ortiz scale the wall.

Athena Tseng, Guest Contributor

Staring up at a bevy of hand and footholds, outdoor education students are starting their unit on rock climbing Tuesday at the Canyons Rock Climbing Gym in Frisco. 

“What I try to do is give them an overall knowledge of rock climbing, what they would see or experience some of the terminology, when they go rock climbing,” outdoor ed teacher Justin Koons said. “I set up about six days to take the students in the classes to actually rock climb so they can get their real life experience.”

Never having tried her hand at rock climbing, freshman Maria Mendoza isn’t sure what to expect.

“I am excited about this but I’m a little nervous because I haven’t done it before and I don’t think I’m strong enough to climb a wall,” Mendoza said. “I like it because we also get to watch movies. I don’t think this is going to be my favorite unit, though, because after this is boater’s ed which seems a little bit more fun.”

While Mendoza is nervous about this unit, freshman Urooj Qureshi is ready to try this sport out.

“I feel like this unit is going to teach me a lot about rock climbing and I’m very excited,” Quereshi said. “This will give us experience in a different, more uncommon sport. I will really enjoy this because not that many people know how to rock climb.”

Koons thinks the rock climbing unit will benefit the students in a different way compared to the other units in outdoor ed. 

“This gives them another outlet of something out there to do-outside the standards of other sports,” Koons said. “Rock climbing is slowly growing momentum. It’s back in the Olympics. They even had some Olympic trials over in Plano, so it’s picking up steam, and I want to get students involved and more knowledgeable about this sport.”