The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Climbing Club fosters climbing community at LAHS

Junior Armon Moghbel scaling a climbing wall at Movement Sunnyvale. The climbing club visits the rock climbing gym to allow its members to experience the sport and climb with friends.
Dorie Xie
Junior Armon Moghbel scaling a climbing wall at Movement Sunnyvale. The climbing club visits the rock climbing gym to allow its members to experience the sport and climb with friends.

You’ve probably gone rock climbing once or twice. It’s not super mainstream, nor is it readily accessible. The Los Altos High School Climbing Club, founded in September 2022, aims to change that by providing an environment for rock-climbing enthusiasts at LAHS to gather.

“We wanted to build an environment for climbers at our school since it’s becoming a much more popular sport,” co-president sophomore Ella Kanarik said. “It was a fun sport and we wanted to introduce others to it because there wasn’t already a club like this.”

On the first Friday of every month, the club organizes a trip to Movement Sunnyvale, a rock climbing gym. The club usually brings around 30 members with a range of climbing experience. 

“It’s a great community where we try to spread our passion for climbing,” club secretary sophomore Mark Beliaev said. “It’s pretty important to me because it’s how I got into climbing myself. All my friends did it. I decided to tag along and ended up loving it.”

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It’s pretty important to me because it’s how I got into climbing myself. All my friends did it. I decided to tag along and ended up loving it.

— Mark Beliaev

At the gym, members will climb together and guide beginners.

“The kids are very dedicated to and passionate about rock climbing,” Club Adviser and math teacher Linh Tran said. “They spend time learning and developing their skills to teach each other. It’s very fun for them.”

“Everyone does what they feel comfortable doing,” Mark said. “If you’re a beginner, someone will help you. If you’re more advanced, then you can go off by yourself and try the stuff you want. Anytime you need help with the climb, you can ask and people will be glad to help you out.”

Before each outing, the club meets to discuss climbing safety and gives lessons on improving techniques and skills like footwork or equipment usage. The officers plan the upcoming trip to make sure everyone gets the opportunity to go.

The club manages to bring everyone who signs up to the gym, for free. Gym members can bring one person for free, and by balancing the number of gym members and non-members, they succeed in letting everyone who wants to join go.

The club organized a climbing competition last March that was scored based on the number of attempts and how long it took students to complete complex climbing walls. Chalk bags were awarded to the winner, sophomore Alvin Joseph Roquero; the Climbing Club hopes to host future ones with more prizes involved. 

“The competition was really fun and not too stressful or anything,” Alvin said. “You try to earn as many points as you can by attempting the hardest or the easiest walls. They didn’t care whether I was a beginner or not — they’ll still teach you the proper techniques.”

The club believes in the importance of giving its members an outlet to step outside their comfort zone, an environment centered around beginners for them to understand what climbing is all about.

Get yourself used to testing your limits. I feel like that’s where the fun of rock climbing comes from.

— Jeeho Lee

“It tests your physical abilities as well as your problem-solving skills,” Mark said. “You have to be strategic about how you approach a climb and efficient with your strength and energy.”

“Get yourself used to testing your limits,” co-president sophomore Jeeho Lee said. “I feel like that’s where the fun of rock climbing comes from.”

The Climbing Club meets on Friday during lunch in Room 311. They visit Movement Sunnyvale on the first Friday of every month from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Learn more about the club at their Instagram @climbingclub_lahs.

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About the Contributors
Oscar Johnson, News Editor
Janavi Ramde, Staff Writer
Dorie Xie, Sports Editor

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