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Climbing in College - Kyle Francis

Climbing in College - Kyle Francis
Climbing in College - Kyle Francis
Climbing in College - Kyle Francis
November 03, 2013 - 

When you think of keeping up with climbing, Texas A&M is generally not the school that comes to mind. Its around no rock, and its rec center is a sorry excuse for a playground, and I was beyond worried when I first got here and realized what I was dealing with.

As far as the climbing goes, I have been surprised. The route setters at the schools boulder wall are awesome, and the hold quality is really good. They max out around v8 so I generally will spend one day when they set new boulders and try to do every single problem on the wall. I’ll spend the other days repeating as many in a row as possible. Outside our rec center though I have found alternatives. I met a guy who built an awesome training center in his garage with a tilt wall. Its not huge, but there are endless problem possibilities! He also has a few hangboards and a campus board with three different rungs. With all those resources I have been climbing 3-4 days a week, and training a ton! I feel like I’m getting back into good bouldering shape finally.

With not being able to coach everyday, I have been going through withdrawal. Within a few days I was in contact with the climbing clubs president, trying to exchange ideas to revamp and change the program into what I think could give the Collegiate climbing series a new contender! We’re still working on a few things but I believe it is finally coming together. I’ve also started my own little club with about 8 people in it, coaching them, which keeps me psyched!

Outside of climbing completely, climbing has made college rich with opportunity, especially at a rock climbing poor school. Being a rock climber has made me “unique” and caused a lot of wonderment. I think that as climbers we develop independent skills that make us seem strong as leaders. It also makes us different like I said earlier. I have already had over ten interviews for different organizations on campus and hands down I can say that my experience as a climber has helped me more than I ever could have imagined. We create experiences that allow us to learn so much about ourselves as well as other people, which sets us apart from almost every other sport. I know that of the organizations that I accepted, the things I learned as a climber were what got me in.

Obviously, my climbing in college is nowhere near Josh Levin’s, but competitions are still in my future. The DFW has been putting on comps, that unfortunately due to tests and such I have not been able to attend, but November 15th the Summit Carrollton is putting on an adult comp feature Alex Fritz, that I will be competing in. I really am excited for this comp. I haven’t been in this good of boulder shape in a long time. Because I am poor, I have lost a few pounds, which has been awesome for my climbing! I cannot wait for these next couple months, like I said I will be competing again finally, as well as making some trips outdoor to Arkansas, and hopefully Hueco. The dream is Slashface. Last season I did all the moves in a bout thirty minutes, and just didn’t have time to try and do any linkups. I’ve been doing a ton of work on creating this boulder in the training center, and doing moves and workouts specifically for that climb.

I will say that sometimes finding time is extremely difficult, especially with being involved in cubs, my time is at all times occupied. Im either studying, in meetings, doing homework or climbing. As my schedule has gotten more set, its been a little easier, but it really is something you have to plan for as if it were a class.

Other than the severe lack of climbing, A&M is awesome. Everyone is so nice here, and the atmosphere is so optimistic and energetic. Everyone is always down to go do whatever, and meeting people is so easy. I joined a few organizations and have met so many different people and created some amazing relationships. With the rest of my time here I really hope to change the climbing community here to put A&M on a climbers map.


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