Rock climbing instructor shares her skills

By Engracia Obregón, NewsNetNebraska

“I was like a little monkey, always climbing everywhere, on anything I could get my hands on.”

Candy Hermosillo remembers how she got interested in climbing. Candy is a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but she also has time to work at the Outdoor Adventures Center, specifically at the climbing wall.

In her hometown there was a park that had a very small rock climbing wall where she used to climb there frequently. Once she came to college, she found this 24-foot wall at the adventures center and thought “Hey, take advantage of it!” Now she works at the wall two days a week and loves it.

On a normal work day, her job is to supervise climbers. People who go to the climbing wall climb at their own risk, but Hermosillo is there to check that security procedures are being followed. With her experience, she knows what to do to prevent injuries.

“Everything is safe as long as the harnesses are tight, the carabiners are locked and the ropes are in the correct line.” Hermosillo asserts.

Sometimes she also has to instruct people who have never climbed before. The rock center offers classes where Hermosillo and other colleagues teach climbers what to do. After class the participants do a skill check to demonstrate their ability to climb on their own.

Pedro Donato is a student who climbs every week. When he first took the class, he was a bit nervous but it was easier than he imagined.

“I really like going to the wall. Hermosillo is always nice and willing to help. I think more people should try this sport,” Donato said.

The climbing center offers harnesses, carabiners and belay devices. You can also rent a pair of shoes for $1.50 and chalk for 50 cents. Climbers can try three different types of climbing: top-rope, lead and bouldering. A wide variety of levels are available for all kind of climbers, from beginners to experts. Unlike what many people think, the color of the holds does not indicate level, but it only suggests how to follow the route. Each path has a label with a number ranging from 5.5 to 5.12. Higher numbers indicate a higher difficulty level.

For Hermosillo, this is not only her job, but also one of her favorite hobbies. She encourages everybody to try this sport, which might be unknown for some people.

“It doesn’t feel like you’re exercising but you are, you’re using every muscle of your body. It’s really awesome and I think everybody would love it if they tried,” Hermosillo said.

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