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Cracking ‘The Crux’

Bouldering wall contributes to well-being of student body

By Jake Graham ('13), Intern Office of Communications and External Relations
Wake Forest political science major Brian Craig ('13) climbs The Crux, the indoor bouldering wall in Reynolds Gym.
Wake Forest political science major Brian Craig ('13) climbs The Crux, the indoor bouldering wall in Reynolds Gym.

Since its transformation from a racquetball court in late 2005, The Crux has become a vital component of campus life for many students. To the hundreds who take the challenge, it is part physical workout, part stress-reliever and part social outlet.

If you are looking for a physical challenge, The Crux will be sure to provide you with a unique test each time. There are countless possible climbing routes, which are known as problems amongst the climbing community. The toughest element of each of these problems is known as “The Crux” which contributes to the facility’s namesake.

However, if you know of The Crux as simply being a rock-climbing wall, you are deeply mistaken. Brian Craig (’13) said, “The Crux is the hub of a substantial subculture at Wake and is a sure spot to find some of the most interesting people on campus.”

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With around 400 users each month, this self-described “subculture” group from humble beginnings is starting to grow and attract more attention.

“The Crux has been my home since I first got to campus,” Mo Earley (’13) shared. “I remember it as a place where undergraduate and grad students all hung out together. I have friends I met at The Crux during my freshman year that I still keep in touch with even though they moved away years ago.”

While the students gain physical strength through their workouts, it is the strength of the social bonds among the The Crux fans that matters. “Everyone is very friendly and especially supportive. We collaborate with each other and there are moments when everyone just works on one thing together,” Earley said.

With final projects and exams fast approaching, The Crux is likely to see a rise in its users. Just ask Craig. “There is no better way to blow off some steam,” he said.

Earley added, “There are so many days when I will take climbing study breaks. It leaves you reenergized when you return to your books.”

Although The Crux might seem like just another workout facility offered to the Wake Forest students, it is clearly much more to a significant number of students.

“I don’t know what I would do without it on campus,” Early said. “It can be a very empowering place.”

The Crux is located on the 3rd floor of Reynolds Gym and operated jointly by Campus Recreation and Outdoor Pursuits. It is open from 2-4 PM on Monday-Friday and 6-10 PM on Monday-Thursday. For more information please visit their site.

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