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Work or studies make you feel like climbing a wall?

UT has a spot for that. The VOL Wall, featuring 6,000 square feet of climbing space, is one of the biggest climbing gyms in the Southeastern Conference. The RecSports Outdoor Program runs the facility, which is located in the HPER Building, Room 202B.

More than 3,000 students use the climbing wall each year, with 110 climbers in attendance each night. Climbers of all experience levels are welcome to learn the basics or improve their skills in this safe, friendly, and relaxed environment.

Here are five reasons why you might want to check out the VOL Wall.

It’s free: Not only is the climbing wall accessible to all current students at no additional cost, but complimentary rentals of climbing shoes, harnesses, and belay devices are also available to those who do not have their own equipment.

Anyone can do it: The wall is open to everyone, regardless of skill level. Free weekly climbing clinics teach beginners the basics of climbing, while other mini-courses are available to more experienced climbers.

It’s a place to belong: Getting involved on campus can be difficult at times, but the VOL Wall makes it easy. It is a friendly community made up of people from all walks of life. The wall staff is always eager to welcome new climbers, and there is always someone on hand to assist and instruct beginners.

It’s a great source of exercise: Rock climbing is a full-body cardio and strength-training workout. It is a great alternative for those who do not typically enjoy exercise as it’s a way to be active and socialize simultaneously. In addition to climbing, the climbing facility also hosts yoga sessions and group workouts.

Benefits for your mental health: Studies have shown that rock climbing is just as beneficial for your mental health as it is for your physical health. Frequent climbers report that the wall is the perfect place to release stress and get their minds off school.

“I always leave the wall in a better mood than I walked in with,” said Darbi Flaherty, junior and wall setter manager. “Climbing never ceases to make my day better.”

For climbing hours and more information, visit the VOL Wall website.