On January 18, twelve Texas A&M University-Commerce students and Climbing Society members attempted to set the Guinness World Record for “Greatest Vertical Distance Climbed in 6 Hours by a Team”. August 2, just twenty-one weeks after the attempt, they found out they accomplished their goal and much more.
“We are very proud of the Climbing Society in reaching this goal,” said Roger Greer, Faculty Advisor. “Andrew and Sarah came to me with a big idea, the officers developed their idea into a workable plan, and then lead the Climbing Society through the process of breaking not one, but two World Records.”
The Climbing Society is a student organization on the A&M-Commerce campus whose purpose is to build a network of students who are interested in rock climbing and bouldering. The club provides members with the opportunity to be a part of a team and climb at a competitive level. After holding try-outs, the top twelve candidates were chosen based on agility, balance, endurance and quickness. The participants say they decided to make this attempt to become the best in the world and to promote the Climbing Society of A&M-Commerce, as well as the university.
Using the indoor rock climbing facility of the Morris Recreation Center, the team measured, mapped out, and practiced their climbs meticulously before beginning to log data for the Guinness World Record. During the event, there were two witnesses present at all times. The same witnesses were present for the measuring of the wall, and they agreed on the distance chosen.
“I personally prepared for the record attempt by climbing the official route over and over, making sure I had every step and hand hold memorized,” said Andrew Dahir, Team Leader and 2013 A&M-Commerce alumnus. “I wanted to be able to climb the wall without having to think about what I was doing.”
Andrew Dahir, Hunter Joyce, Kathryn Cotsakis, Will Lian, Dustin Lux, Luke Raper, Deric Moore, Jake Gadbery, Rory Curtin, Dax Havrilak, Tyler King and Austin King each scaled the wall around ninety times, it varies per climber, to reach the record breaking height of 40,485’7.2”, or 12,340 meters. This height overcame the previous record by 23,068’3.74”, or 7031.2 meters. Because the crew was climbing at such a fast pace for the entire attempt, they also passed the height of Mount Everest. By a complete and happy accident, they broke a second Guinness World Record for “The Fastest Time to Climb Everest on an Indoor Climbing Wall (Team)”. The group surpassed the height of Everest at the 4 hour, 24 minute, 33 second mark knocking the old record, 9 hours, 58 minutes and 55 seconds, out of place.
“The officers of the Climbing Society did a great job working out the process for our climb. That was a huge addition to working conditioning and practicing speed climbs,” said Luke Raper, Team Member. “We only expected to get in the low 20 thousands, so to break 40,000 feet was completely unexpected! The “Fastest Time to Climb Everest” Record was broken purely on accident. We never expected to be able to climb that far in that short amount of time.”
An estimated 500 viewers cycled in and out to watch the attempt being performed. During the entire 6 hours, not one climber fell, so each of the 1,011 climbs were able to be counted. The four ropes and eight pairs of gloves used during the event had to be retired immediately afterward. After this success, the Climbing Society has decided to research more team-based climbing records with the hope of bringing more titles home to A&M-Commerce.
“I am very proud of my team and what we were able to accomplish,” said Dahir. “Everyone worked really hard, and it paid off enormously! Without a coordinated effort from Outdoor Adventures, The Morris Recreation Center and The Climbing Society, none of this would have been possible.”
For more information about the Guinness World Records broken, visit http://bit.ly/15LHpKG.
If you are interested in the Climbing Society, contact Roger Greer at [email protected] or visit http://tamuc.orgsync.com/show_profile/51394-the-climbing-society.