Every Friday, thirty students hop into cars and vans headed for the “Gravity Vault,” a spacious rock-climbing gym just five minutes away from campus. Its facade may not suggest it, but the gym offers hundreds of various climbing routes for participants of any skill level. Climbers can choose to boulder, where they climb up or across smaller rock walls without ropes or harnesses. A second option is to top rope, where a climber scales a much taller wall while secured by a belayer stationed on the ground. Even participants without any climbing experience are quickly whisked into this exciting new world where every next move is another accomplishment.
For club president Eric Warga ’20, dangling high above the ground while attempting an ambitious route is a regular Friday night occurrence. Warga has been involved in the club since early in his time at Villanova. He says that the club has continued to stay true to its mission.
“Our club is dedicated to sharing something we love with the Villanova community,” he said. “We are proud of the atmosphere we’ve created where students can choose to spend one afternoon with us or to dedicate time to learning about the sport and improving.”
Five freshmen founded the club in 2012 in order to bring students together to climb. Since then, the club’s members have certainly learned to support each other and not just when belaying. One of the club’s biggest benefits is its affordability. Students pay a flat rate of 20 dollars per semester with the opportunity to sign up for climbs every week, gear included.This excellent deal is just one of many things Warga appreciates about the Gravity Vault.
“It helps to have our center of activity located so close to campus,” Warga said. “Enthusiastic students can even choose to further pursue climbing by going to the gym on their own. The management is very appreciative of us and shares our passion for getting the Villanova community involved in rock climbing.”
Ultimately, rock climbing club is a unique activity to cap off your week and kick off your Friday night. Vice President Holly Beske says that she loves how much fun club members can have with such a low commitment.
“It is a super fun club that brings together people from every class at Nova,” Beske said. “You get an awesome workout while having a ton of fun!”