Story By: Whitney Allen
Feature Photo By: Melissa Scott
At the Forest Hills Climbing Complex, cadets from the 2nd regiment of the Leader’s Training Course, completed a variety of exercises Monday and Tuesday including climbing a rock wall, a high ropes course, and a climbing tower which entails a variety of vertical obstacles.
Range officer, Marreio Shepherd said this course is about much more than self-confidence. “You have to have confidence in your team members and that they will catch you if you fall.”
Stephanie Sjoroos from the University of Colorado at Boulder completed the High Ropes course first. Sjoroos said she felt very comfortable throughout the course, but that isn’t the case for every cadet.
One of the more physically challenging courses is the climbing tower. This is a combination of climbing posts, cargo nets, swinging beams, and ladders.
When climbing the rock wall or the climbing tower cadets must rely on one another to help them repel once they reach the top. Deyona Freeman from Hampton University said this aspect made her a little nervous at first.
“It was scary a little bit but once I felt that they had me I was okay,” Freeman said.
While one cadet is completing the High Ropes course his or her battle buddy stays on the ground to make sure they are following proper safety precautions. The battle buddies also act as moral support from the ground.
Derek Dalgeish from Eastern Michigan University let his battle buddy go through the course first.
“Right now, I’m doing a little bit of coaching and making sure he is motivated,” Dalgeish said. “It feels good to help somebody out like that.”
Cadet Obed Santiago from the University of Puerto Rico was eagerly anticipating his go at the ropes course while his battle buddy was completing it.
“We both wanted to go first so we played rock, paper, scissors for it,” Santiago said.
Upon losing rock, paper, scissors, Santiago stayed on the ground and cheered on his fellow cadets.
Cadets experienced a variety of emotions from facing fear of heights, to completely relying on one another to safely return to the ground.
“The whole purpose behind this is team confidence and overcoming fear,” Shepherd said.
(Photo By: Melissa Scott)