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Dave Wallis, Published January 22 2012

Portraits: Ben Frericks

“The first time I toured here and saw the rock wall, I knew that was the one thing that I would be doing to keep me active throughout college,” recalls Minnesota State University Moorhead sophomore Ben Frericks. This is his second year of wall climbing, and that has prompted him to start looking into places where he could do some real outdoor climbing. In the meantime, he will soon get certified as a belay instructor to teach people how to use the top rope wall, where ropes are used in climbing. Besides the four-rope wall at the MSUM facility, there is also a 15-foot-high bouldering wall where climbers scale the wall using only their hands and feet. “Pieces of colored tape are used to define a certain route to the top with different degrees of difficulty to challenge yourself more,” he explains. “I climb four or five days a week,” says Frericks. “I climbed to the top of the(27-foot-high) rope wall 100 times in one day last year.”