Hold tight

Bouldering wall at Lied Center

Senior Michelle VanRoekel of Adel ascends the the bouldering wall at the Lied Center. It is open climb and offers a higher degree of difficulty with its overhangs and large arch. Photo by Christopher Gannon.

This summer, the popular climbing wall at the Lied Center was gutted and transformed. Now open, the remodeled space contains a dedicated bouldering wall -- a climbing option that does not require ropes or harnesses.

Doug Arrowsmith, recreation services' assistant director for facilities, said Lied's former climbing wall was deteriorating and outdated. The new bouldering wall gives climbers another option to the 40-foot climbing wall and 12-foot bouldering wall in State Gym. Users of Lied's 16-foot high wall can work on free-climbing techniques and routes, with a 2-foot thick floor pad to cushion falls.

"A new bouldering wall was much needed by the growing climbing community at ISU," said Nathan Rector, coordinator of outdoor recreation. "With so few places to climb in Iowa, and the sport of climbing growing so fast, it is hard to keep up with the demand. Having all three of these facilities available to the student population makes ISU very unique in its ability to offer so much climbing to students."