Courtesy of Marc Magnus-Sharpe

April 6, 2016

Bartels Climbing Facility to Add Bouldering Wall

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The Lindseth indoor climbing facility in Bartels Hall will undergo renovations starting in June to upgrade the rock climbing wall.

Andrew McLaughlin, climbing programs coordinator, said he hopes that the upgrade will increase community participation and interest in rock climbing.

“We would like to provide people with an increased opportunity to continue developing their skills and, hopefully, becoming life-long climbers,” McLaughlin said.

Marc Magnus-Sharpe, director of Cornell Outdoor Education, added that the renovation will help further the main mission of COE.

“Our goal is that all of these students learn to climb so well that they then go outside and become some of the most competent, quality outdoor climbers,” Magnus said.

Magnus explained that rock climbing has expanded over the last 25 years, and facilities have been updated to a degree that the renovations hope to reach.

“It’s been 25 years since the Lindseth Wall was built,” Magnus said. “The upgrade is needed because climbing has significantly changed over two decades. We’re making sure we increase capacity for our sold-out climbing courses. We’re also making sure that we catch up to what the state of the art is now for climbing.”

The new design of the Lindseth wall will encourage different levels of climbers to participate, according to Magnus.

“The new design includes an intentional effort to provide equitable distribution of terrain for all skill levels,” Magnus said. “There will be routes to the top for beginners and experts alike.”

He also said additions such as a bouldering wall will allow more opportunities for climbing.

“Bouldering allows you to climb at a height less than 14 feet without a harness or ropes. You’re never far from the ground and you can fall into high compression foam flooring, stand up and keep bouldering,” he said. “You can come here between classes and climb without having to wait for a friend to belay you.”

Rock climber Raashed Raziuddin ’19 said he is looking forward to the new bouldering wall.

“I’m eager to climb with more of my friends who like bouldering too,” Raziuddin said. “A lot of them tend to go to Noyes because it has better bouldering, but if the bouldering at the renovated wall will be as good as the design, I’d get to rock climb with all my friends.”

The new wall will feature an increase in variation and square feet of climbable terrain, according to McLaughlin.

“Routes will be set with modular holds which will increase the variety and style of routes,” McLaughlin said. “The geometry of the wall will be more varied than it currently is and include everything from slab to vertical to severely overhanging.”

Funding for the wall has come largely from the Cornell and Ithaca communities, according to Magnus.

“This wall is 100 percent fundraised by gifts from students, staff, alumni, and friends,” Magnus said. “We’re thrilled, this really is a Cornell-wide and Ithaca community-wide effort.”

Along with renovations, Magnus said he hopes to uphold the wishes of Jon and Virginia Lindseth, the original funders of the wall.

“Jon Lindseth said, ‘I just ask one thing: To do everything possible to make sure that, like the original Lindseth wall, this again is a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art climbing area,” Magnus said.

Magnus said he expects the wall to be finished sometime this fall.