Students Summit Rock Climbing 101

For more than 15 years, the College’s Campus Recreations Services has been partnering with the James Island County Park to offer students exciting and unique outdoor experiences across the Southeast.

Recently, seven CofC students traveled to Crowders Mountain State Park in North Carolina to learn the basics of rock climbing and to camp at nearby Kings Mountain State Park just across the border in South Carolina.

Located near Gastonia, North Carolina, the mountain’s peak offers beautiful views of the Charlotte skyline, and it’s a favorite of Campus Recreations Services Director Gene Sessoms because it’s great for introducing novices to rock climbing.

Robert Lavarnway, climbing coordinator for James Island County Park, has been providing climbing instruction on the student trips for the past 12 years.

“Without our strong partnership with the James Island County Park, I doubt we would be in a position to offer this and our other outdoor trips,” says Sessoms.

Campus Recreation Services tries to offer one rock climbing trip per semester, says Sessoms, noting that a date for spring semester has not been set yet.

But given all that students get out of these trips – exploring the outdoors, trying new activities, making new friends and having a blast – he’s sure that the next outing will fill up fast.

“Opportunities such as these aren’t as easy to find once you graduate,“ he says.