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Q&A with Evelyn Tennenhouse on Rock Climbing

Lydia Teeter
Evelyn Tennenhouse, competitive rock climber and senior, practices at Hoosier Heights. She said this is her fourth year of competitive climbing.

How did you get involved in rock climbing?

So, I actually used to live in Ireland. That was just for a couple years, and I started there. I think it was just from going to a birthday party or something at a climbing gym. There, I didn’t do competitive climbing, it was just once a week going to the gym. Moving back here freshman year, I started going to Hoosier Heights. This is my fourth year doing competitive (rock climbing).

How are you involved in rock climbing today?

I’m on the advanced team at Hoosier Heights. We have three practices a week; Monday, Wednesday (and) Friday. It’s basically an all-year kind of thing. The first half of the year with fall and winter is bouldering and then the second half is ropes climbing. There’s competitions all throughout the year.

What is your favorite thing about rock climbing?

I would say the team aspect of it. It’s not really a team sport, but everyone is cheering you on and it’s very much a team environment. Another thing that I really like about it is the problem solving of it. I think it’s different from other sports because it’s very unique, like every route is a different thing.

Ava Reddick

What is your favorite type of rock climbing? Why?

That is kind of a tough question, I feel like there’s a lot of pros and cons of both. I haven’t done a ton of outdoor climbing, so I don’t have a lot of opinions on that. For indoor climbing, (my favorite is) probably bouldering, so the shorter walls with no rope. I think it’s a little more technical and (there are) more unique routes.

What is your favorite memory associated with rock climbing?

So, I think it was summer (of) 2021, I was able to go to the national competition in Reno. It was kind of a lucky situation because I probably wouldn’t have qualified just out of skill and stuff like that, but I was in a really small age category so they just allowed a bunch of people to go and qualify. That was really fun. I flew over with my dad and it was just cool to be surrounded by so many amazing climbers.

Do you have any future goals or plans related to rock climbing? If yes, what are they?

Going to college, I still want to find a bouldering gym just because I think it’s really fun to have those niche similarities with someone. Not everyone is into climbing, so it’s really fun to find the type of people who are and still keep going to a gym. I think that’s probably the goal.

Is there anyone in the rock climbing world that you aspire to?

That’s a difficult question. I don’t have a specific famous celebrity climber just cause I don’t know a ton about all of them. So, maybe one of my coaches that has really stuck out to me, his name is Ryan Gadberry. He wrote one of my (recommendation) letters for college. I had him for two or three years and he really pushed me a lot and I think that was really the period I grew the most in how much I loved the sport.

Do you have any advice for people interested in starting rock climbing?

I think it’s the type of sport where really anyone can try it at any level they want. That’s one thing that I really love about it. You can either go in and just do a couple climbs just like as a fun social activity, or you can kind of approach it a lot more competitively and be a lot more hardcore about it. I think maybe just go to Hoosier Heights, go to North Mass, just try it out for a day and you might find a new easy activity that you like to do.

Is there anything else you would like the readers to know?

Probably going back to what I said. I encourage everyone to try it at least once. It’s a really fun social activity and it’s great for you as an exercise as well.

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