Member Spotlight

Third year Human Development major Luke McCandless frequents the SRWC rock wall—and has ended up with many good friends because of it!

“The rock wall staff are very friendly, and it’s a very safe, open space for new people to come,” said McCandless. “You’ll have no problem finding any help for any of your climbs, and it’s actually a place I’ve made many friends at over the past year.”

But McCandless was not always a rock climbing enthusiast. His first attempt at climbing was at the SRWC during his freshman year, but he began attending more frequently since last year—and now loves it. So far, he finished first in the Mile High Climb last semester and participated in both the Belay a Mile and Rock Wall Mini-challenge Series.

“I love how the rock wall is a great place to challenge yourself to see how far you can go, how hard you can climb, and to see improvements over the course of a semester,” said McCandless. “It’s a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t exercise any other way in the [SRWC] to start getting active.”

Not a fan of traditional weightlifting, cardio or other workouts, McCandless developed a love for rock climbing alongside other regulars at the rock wall. And last November, he and his rock wall friends hiked Mt. Baldy together.

“That was the first time I was able to get to the summit of a mountain,” exclaimed McCandless.

McCandless now climbs frequently and advocates for students to utilize the rock wall.

“Climbing is really fun!” he says. “It doesn’t matter how fit you are—there’s definitely going to be a route for you and you can climb whatever you want. And if you keep going, you’ll find improvement.”

For more information about the rock wall, visit

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