Students hope to create “climbing culture” at TCU


Four students are working on creating a new club at TCU – one rock at a time. 

The TCU Rock Climbing Club will be on campus starting next semester.

The club is a Next Generation Leadership Program impact project for juniors Matt Casciani, Sarah Sheppard and Michael Harpole. Casciani, a marketing major, said the program, which is connected to the Neeley School of Business, is a year-long project meant to establish a legacy at TCU. 

Casciani, who is the manager of the Rock Climbing Wall and Outdoor Center at the TCU Recreation Center, said this club is something he has wanted to establish for a while.

“Ever since my freshman year, I’ve continually wanted to establish a way to organize the rock climbing community, allowing students to really get into rock climbing once again,” Casciani said. “That’s where, initially, the whole idea came from.”

One student who is helping with the club is not part of the Next Generation group. Sophomore communication major Adam Galper said he just wants to help create a climbing culture at TCU.

Galper said he works at the TCU Rock Climbing Wall as a climbing coach and route setter. He said he thinks the TCU Rock Climbing Club could compete next year against USA Climbing teams, such as Baylor and SMU.

“I know how to run a team, how to hold a practice, stuff like that,” Galper said. “I know a lot about the competition scene. It’s just a matter of getting us to that level, but I see it happening.”

Leaders of the organization also want to get involved with local Boy Scout troops, Casciani said. He said they will work with and mentor the troops by teaching them basic climbing skills and allowing them to use TCU’s rock climbing wall for free. 

Casciani said the group has already planned a trip for the scouts next semester to a camping site in Mineral Wells, about an hour away from TCU.

Casciani said about 50 people have already signed up and expressed interest in joining the rock climbing club. He said he is excited to see that people want to climb.

“I’m really excited to be starting this club,” Casciani said. “I’d love to see more people join. The more, the merrier. You don’t need any previous experience to join the club. We’ll teach you everything from the bottom-up.”