University Presentation Showcase: Graduate Division

Project Title

The Limestone Ceiling: Overcoming Socioeconomic Challenges in the Rock Climbing Community

Presenter Hometown

West Palm Beach, FL

Major

Natural Resources

Department

Recreation and Park Administration

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Brian G. Clark Ed.D.

Mentor Department

Safety, Security, and Emergency Management

Abstract

Rock climbing has rapidly grown in popularity. The sport, which used to be a fringe hobby, has grown markedly over the past few decades. The growth of rock climbing is a welcome trend, as the sport is beneficial for the physical and mental health of its’ participants. However, rock climbing is not expanding into every community. Gear pricing, travel requirements, and injury risk contribute to an exclusionary nature within the world of rock climbing. Climbers that scale real rock faces must purchase ropes, shoes, helmets, harnesses, carabiners, and travel bags. Additionally, the climbers must have the availability of a rock face nearby. Travel costs can also be steep for those climbers that do not live near usable rock faces. In addition to monetary limitations, climbers need a vast knowledge of knot and rope skills to safely complete an outdoor climb. Improper rope skills can mean life or death for a climber.
As a practice, rock climbing is hindered by the need for vast technical knowledge, expensive gear prices, and availability of terrain. Consequently, there is a lack of socioeconomic diversity within the climbing community. Further research must be done to mend the gap in professional literature. The purpose of this study was to review current data and determine the best practices to improve accessibility within rock climbing.

Presentation format

Poster

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The Limestone Ceiling: Overcoming Socioeconomic Challenges in the Rock Climbing Community

Rock climbing has rapidly grown in popularity. The sport, which used to be a fringe hobby, has grown markedly over the past few decades. The growth of rock climbing is a welcome trend, as the sport is beneficial for the physical and mental health of its’ participants. However, rock climbing is not expanding into every community. Gear pricing, travel requirements, and injury risk contribute to an exclusionary nature within the world of rock climbing. Climbers that scale real rock faces must purchase ropes, shoes, helmets, harnesses, carabiners, and travel bags. Additionally, the climbers must have the availability of a rock face nearby. Travel costs can also be steep for those climbers that do not live near usable rock faces. In addition to monetary limitations, climbers need a vast knowledge of knot and rope skills to safely complete an outdoor climb. Improper rope skills can mean life or death for a climber.
As a practice, rock climbing is hindered by the need for vast technical knowledge, expensive gear prices, and availability of terrain. Consequently, there is a lack of socioeconomic diversity within the climbing community. Further research must be done to mend the gap in professional literature. The purpose of this study was to review current data and determine the best practices to improve accessibility within rock climbing.