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The rock climbing wall at the Pottruck Center will now be free to all paid guests and members of the facility. Credit: Kaveen Harohalli

Penn Campus Recreation announced that the climbing wall at Pottruck Health and Fitness Center will now be free of cost.

The free climbing wall will be available to all paid guests and members of the facility. Its new hours will be from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Shelbi Long, Associate AD and Director of Campus Recreation, told The Daily Pennsylvanian about the thought process behind the change. 

“This was a conversation [which took place] prior to my arrival two months ago,” Long said. “It was an important conversation from the Recreation staff, specifically Scott Steiner, Assistant Director [of] Recreational Facilities and Risk Management. [Steiner] brought this to the attention of the Administration and provided a proposal that ultimately was approved for this fall.”  

“Scott and the Administration knew the positive impact this change would make on our students and members,” Long added.

The change comes as a positive to student climbers, who can climb for more hours without incurring any cost. 

College sophomore Ahaan Chhatwal, a member of the Climbing Club, was pleased with the changes to free climbing wall accessibility.

“Outside of club hours, Pottruck had free climbing only on Fridays last year,” Chhatwal added. “This year, Pottruck has free climbing all weekdays, making it easier to meet with passionate climbers outside of club hours, too - which I really like!”

Long agreed with Chhatwal’s sentiment, adding that Penn Campus Recreation has heard positive feedback about the change. 

“We have only heard great things about this being a free program to our members,” Long said. “They have been excited, and there is great energy about this change.”

While there were some challenges that came with the implementation of this new program, Long is looking forward to future collaboration between University departments. 

“As with most things, challenges come -  but this is a great one. The challenge we are [working on] finding solutions to is the increase of climbers versus the number of climbing wall staff. I’m excited to work with Scott and his team to create a community of climbers to help build the program.”