Athletics Adds Rock Climbing as Winter Sport Offering

December 11, 2017

Madeira Athletics added rock climbing to the list of athletic offerings for students this winter. Enrolled students will practice climbing at Sportrock Climbing's location in Sterling, Virginia, and will compete in six events throughout the winter season. 

Dr. Lee Walker, a mathematics and STEAM teacher at The Madeira School, will be the head instructor for the climbing team. Dr. Walker started climbing in high school at Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, and has been involved in climbing ever since. Reflecting on his adventures in the sport, he said, "Climbing in North Georgia and Tennessee is awesome.  Throughout college I spent a lot of time in Big South Fork and Red River Gorge in Kentucky. Moving out west for my post-doc, we lived near Joshua Tree National Park, which is like the Holy Grail of climbing in the United States.  We took regular trips there, as well as to Zion National Park, Yosemite, and tons of places in Colorado.  So my experience started in high school, climbing outside.  I’ve trained in the climbing gyms off and on since then, but my love has always been about getting outside." 

Madeira Climbing participated in the first of six scheduled events for the season on December 5, 2017. The event was a bouldering meet with The Heights School, Woodberry Forest, National Cathedral School (NCS), St. Albans, and Foxcroft, all schools that are part of the Washington Area Interscholastic Climbing League (WAICL). Madeira finished in second place in the girls division, behind NCS. Skye Jannery-Barney '18 and Laura Simpson '19 finished in the top two climbers for Madeira. 

"I was very impressed with the girls’ focus and intensity during the meet," said Dr. Walker. "They were all pushing themselves at an elevated level...It’s all about each climber getting the most out of themselves and pushing one another."

Best of luck to all of our Madeira climbers in their upcoming competitions!