Climb Up at Mission Cliffs

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One of the most valuable aspects of climbing at Mission Cliffs is the community that new climbers become a part of. Although Mission Cliffs sees hundreds of new faces each month as people come in for the first time, it usually only takes a few visits for new climbers to pick up on the strong sense of familiarity and belonging that exists within the gym. There are morning regulars, late night regulars, people you always see climbing with the same partners in the middle of the day. Tapping into that community, and the welcoming smiles and recognition that accompany it, is one reason why people continue to return to Mission Cliffs and how climbing becomes a part of people’s lives.

Climb Up Organization at Mission CliffsOften, when young climbers visit the gym for just a single day, they don’t get to see this strong community, which is why Mission Cliffs is always pleased to be able to offer recurring weekly visits to a variety of school groups. Instead of just coming to the gym once and being belayed up the walls, dedicated teachers and educators from across San Francisco bring in small groups of students each week, teaching the students how to belay and having the students take belay tests and learn to belay each other.

Climb Up at Mission CliffsFor many of the students, this provides a rare opportunity to connect with teachers in a non-academic setting and to foster trust and responsibility among the students. By establishing a routine of returning to the gym each week, the students get to interact with other climbers and staff who recognize them and the students are able to benefit from the community that makes Mission Cliffs so unique.

Mission Cliffs Community groupsOne organization that Mission Cliffs has partnered with to provide recurrent climbing opportunities to the students who need them most is Climb Up, a volunteer organization that works to bring students with unique needs and limited resources in to climb regularly. The students who participate in this program come from backgrounds that would normally limit their exposure to indoor rock climbing. This includes students who have socioeconomic disadvantages, developmental disabilities, mental health needs, and/or learning disabilities.

The students who participate in Climb Up’s program come from across San Francisco and are able to climb free of charge. Founded in 2012, Climb Up encourages students to find the recurrent benefits of climbing, including focusing on achieving goals, fitness, problem-solving, trust and communication. Students who have participated in Climb Up often return, and are more likely to incorporate climbing into their lives and share it with others.

To learn more, or find out about ways to get involved, visit Climb Up.