Climbers flock to Planet Granite in Belmont for rock climbing, a sport that involves climbing mountains or man-made walls.
“Climbing is a great way to stay fit, both physically and mentally. There are a lot of challenges and issues you need to solve. Finding the most efficient way to climb the ascent is great for solving problems and critical thinking, as well as for the physical aspect. It’s a full body workout, so it’s a lot of muscle pulling, a lot of leg pushing and a lot of core exercises,” said Nick Gerrard. , Senior Director of Planet Granite.
The interior of Planet Granite features high ceilings with climbing walls and shorter walls for bouldering.
“Blocking is climbing close to the ground, which means you don’t need a rope [belaying] because if you fall, you won’t get hurt,” said Tim Beisiegel, a sophomore who practices both belaying and bouldering.
Many young people and students practice climbing as an extracurricular activity or with climbing teams.
“I’ve been climbing for six months and I like it because it’s an exercise and a kind of puzzle because you have to figure out how to get to the top. It has improved my life because I exercise through what I love to do,” said Beisiegel, who is also second-grade Jin Nguyen’s climbing buddy.
While some teenagers, like Beisiegel and Nguyen, have recently started climbing, others have been climbing for years.
“I’ve been climbing for two years and I like it because it’s an interesting sport that pushes you to improve constantly. I think rock climbing has made me more athletic because it gives me a reason to get out and climb instead of staying home all day,” said Apollo Tan.
Likewise, sophomore Audrey Abrams believes rock climbing has had a significant impact on her life.
“I love climbing because it’s rewarding to finish a climb I’ve been working on and because the community supports me. It’s impacted my life because it pushes me to work on myself and stay committed to getting stronger,” said sophomore Audrey Abrams, who has been rock climbing for about eight years.
Climbing teams have also been popular among many people.
“I’m on a climbing team, so I feel like the people on the team are all really close friends, so it’s like a tight-knit community. It’s good for my physical health because it’s great exercise, and I feel like it fills my time with things to do like working out and working out,” said Tobey Kirchner, a regular at Planet Granite who has been climbing since 3 ½ years.
Another important aspect of climbing at Planet Granite is the climbing community.
“I like it because I really like the activity, but another thing I really enjoy is the community. I think it’s super welcoming and positive. But generally there’s just many climbers who are really friendly to others in my experience,” Kirchner said.